In the human being (Homo sapiens)

Oxytocin (from the Greek ωκυξ and τοκοξ “rapid birth”) is a peptide hormone composed of nine amino acids (henceforth called nonapeptide) produced in the hypothalamus and secreted in the neurohypophysis. Its translation takes place through the transcription of the gene called Oxt, which is therefore the protagonist of our musical score.

Oxytocin is produced in the human body to control certain aspects of the reproductive system and social behavior: it inhibits the centers of fear in the brain, acts during childbirth and lactation, stimulates sexual desire, and feeds feelings of empathy and affection in both sexes. Oxytocin seems indeed to have a fundamental role in maintaining interpersonal and social ties, from the relationship between parents and children to those with friends and partners.

As a result, oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone”. However, since this definition is focused on the single human being only (and thus called anthropocentric), it would be more accurate to refer to it as “the hormone of sociality”.

At this link it is possible to view the mRNA sequence used for the Oxytocin music created for our project: