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Prof.Keith Kendrick’s Team Captures the Domestic and Foreign Media

published: 2016-03-25 14:58:00       hits: 

March 21, the Xinhua News Agency reported a new research achievement themed on “Research finding: Oxytocin(OT) is expected to cure autism”. Issued on an international academic journal—— “Journal of Mental Neuroendocrinology”,the new finding is the fruit of a team headed by Keith Kendrick——the professor of University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) and a candidate of “the Thousand Talents Plan”. When the report was unveiled, lots of medium retweeted it on their official Weibos. The original report from Xinhua News Agency is as follows:\

In the end of 2015, Professor Kendrick was delivering a report on the Annual Work Exchange for Scholars of UESTC Listed in “the Thousand Talents Plan” .

March 21, Chengdu, (by Wu Xiaoying), scientist discovered “love hormon——that oxytocin (hereafter referred to as OT) will improve the symptom of autism”. Researchers in UESTC found that OT could enable individuals with high-degree autism to notice some positive facial expressions preferentially. This finding was published in an international academic journal——“Journal of Mental Neuroendocrinology”.

OT exists in both humans and animals, a synthesis of hypothalamus and neuropeptide hormone which is unleashed from posterior pituitary. It plays an important role in parturition and mother-infant relationship. Former findings show that OT has an impact on the brain, which may be crucial to social relation and romance as well. Meanwhile, OT could strengthen the capability to distinguish different facial expressions and reduce offends and anxiety.

As an internationally well-known neuroscientist and a member of British Institute for Biological Studies, Professor Kendrick found that OT had a prosocial impact on sheep, such as the form of maternal behaviors showcasing in taking care of babies and attachment between the mother and child. His finding laid a foundation for science community to delve OT’s prosocial performance.

Now, Professor Kendrick, a researcher in UESTC, casts his eyes to OT’s role in the treatment of mental diseases. He and his team divided 60 college students into 2 groups randomly who were going to receive experimental and analytical study.

In the experiment, nasal spray of OT and normal saline (NS) were respectively given to these two groups of students.45min later, when the spray was fully absorbed, they were going to finish a task testing their attentional bias towards facial expressions. Three categories of facial expressions were provided: neutral (amimia), positive (happy) and negative (angry, sad and fear). The result showed that the subjects whose noses were sprayed with OT tended to focus on neutral and positive expressions. Especially, this kind of phenomenon was more pronounced in those students with concentrated autism peculiarity.

“This demonstrates OT has notably promoted the attentional bias of subjects with autistic tendency when they are observing positive facial expressions.” Professor Kendrick said. A potential clinical application value of OT emerged in the treatment of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), which was expected to have its experiment and application in hospitals. (end)

For extensive reading:

Professor Kendrick is an internationally renowned neuroscientist, a member of British Institute for Biological Studies and honorary professor OF Gresham College. In 2011, as a talent introduced by China’s “the Thousand Talents Plan”, he served as a full-time tutor in UESTC and established “neuro therapy● social cognitive and affective neuroscience lab”. Currently, 14 doctoral students and 6 postgraduates are under his guidance.

In 1980s, it was a breakthrough progress for Professor Kendrick to find OT’s prosocial impact on sheep, which stimulated its further research. Besides, Professor Kendrick had issued over 200 quality academic papers on international journals, among which were 8 published on Nature and Science. Total citation of his papers exceeded 10,000 times and 23 of his papers had been quoted for more than 100 times. In 2014 and 2015 “Elsevier most cited Chinese researchers”, Professor Kendrick ranked top in neuroscience field.

At present, combining over 30 years experience in neuropsychology, Kendrick conducts his researches in neural circuit and neurotransmitter related to social emotional behaviors driven by human brains, and explores relevant mechanism and biological marker of circuit and neurotransmitter disorder in mental disease, so as to provide theory basis for the development of BAM launched by the US and European countries successively. The main focus falls on clinical transformation of mental disease treatment, such as the potential effect of OT and neuro feedback training.

Translator: Xie Ying