Cure for the Common Nerd: Nasal Spray

A spritz of oxytocin transforms awkward wall flowers in experiment
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 24, 2010 2:22 AM CDT
Updated Sep 24, 2010 6:25 AM CDT
The spray only worked for men socially awkward to begin with, researchers found.   (?satanoid)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A blast of oxytocin nasal spray can turn a nerd into a potential playa—but only if a guy is "socially awkward" to begin with, scientists have found. Researchers discovered that the chemical—know as the "love hormone" for its ability to increase empathy and bonding, particularly between parent and child—can improve social skills among shy wall flowers. But it has little affect on people confident and socially adept to begin with.

Socially awkward men in the experiment performed significantly better on empathetic tests after a blast of oxytocin, with their abilities boosted to that of more outgoing participants. "Our data show that oxytocin selectively improves social cognition in people who are less socially proficient," explained the lead researcher. The findings hold promise for treatments of individuals suffering from disorders with marked social deficits, such as autism, notes the Telegraph.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |