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Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(11), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8110101

Sex Differences in Salivary Oxytocin and Cortisol Concentration Changes during Cooking in a Small Group

1
Department of Basic Research on Social Recognition, Research Center for Child Mental Development, Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takara-Machi, Kanazawa 920-8640, Japan
2
Laboratory for Social Brain Studies, Research Institute of Molecular Medicine and Pathobiochemistry, and Department of Biochemistry, Krasnoyarsk State Medical University named after Prof. V. F. Voino-Yasenetsky, 660022 Krasnoyarsk, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 3 November 2018
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Abstract

Background: Oxytocin (OT), a neuropeptide, has positive effects on social and emotional processes during group activities. Because cooking is an integrated process in the cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional areas, cooking in a group is reported to improve emotion and cognition. However, evidence for efficacy in group cooking has not been well established at the biological level. Methods: To address this shortcoming, we first measured salivary levels of OT and cortisol (CORT), a biomarker of psychological stress, before and after group cooking for approximately 1 h by people who know each other in healthy married or unmarried men and women. We then compared the initial OT and CORT concentrations with those during individual non-cooking activities in isolation. Results: Baseline OT concentrations before group and non-group sessions did not significantly differ and OT levels increased after both types of activity in men and women. In men, however, the percentage changes of OT levels in the first over the second saliva samples were significantly small during cooking compared with those in individual activities. In women, however, such a difference was not observed. In contrast, the mean salivary CORT concentrations after group cooking were significantly decreased from the baseline level in both sexes, though such decreases were not significant after individual activity sessions. The sex-specific differences were marital-status independent. Conclusion: These results indicate that OT and CORT concentrations after two activity sessions by a familiar group changed in opposite directions in a sex-specific manner. This suggests that, because cooking is experience-based, we need to consider the sex-specific features of group cooking if we apply it for intervention. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxytocin; cortisol; group activity; in-group member; cooking; stress oxytocin; cortisol; group activity; in-group member; cooking; stress
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Yuhi, T.; Ise, K.; Iwashina, K.; Terao, N.; Yoshioka, S.; Shomura, K.; Maehara, T.; Yazaki, A.; Koichi, K.; Furuhara, K.; Cherepanov, S.M.; Gerasimenko, M.; Shabalova, A.A.; Hosoki, K.; Kodama, H.; Zhu, H.; Tsuji, C.; Yokoyama, S.; Higashida, H. Sex Differences in Salivary Oxytocin and Cortisol Concentration Changes during Cooking in a Small Group. Behav. Sci. 2018, 8, 101.

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