Hormones and Behavior
University of Phoenix
June 9, 2013
Hormones are materials in the human body that impact emotional and physical behavior. They are formed by the glands in the endocrine system. When needed, they are discharged into the bloodstream, which then gets to the cells of the imperative tissue and the cells react to it. The correlation between hormones and behavior is bi-directional, suggesting that hormones can change behavior, but the way we operate can also release hormones. Consequently, hormones are also often called biological carriers. The response to a hormone may not always be prompt, but every hormone does affect the human body in either or short or long terms if released. Two hormones that are being addressed in this essay are: Oxytocin and Melatonin, which both change the human behavior.
In the hypothalamus the hormone oxytocin is produced. It is released directly into the ...view middle of the document...
(Coon & Mitterer) Oxytocin can also be used clinically to stimulate contractions for the uterus during labor, used to restrict bleeding directly after delivery, and to encourage the flow of breast milk. Natural oxytocin is released by the pituitary gland which holds and produces oxytocin by the hypothalamus. Oxytocin is also good for mother-baby bonding because it allows a development of trust and a decrease of fear.
The pineal gland was once thought about as a useless piece of evolution. The pineal gland lets out a hormone called Melatonin, in reaction to daily changes in light. Melatonin levels in the bloodstream rise at dusk, peak around midnight, and fall again as morning approaches. (Coon & Mitterer) As far as the brain is concerned, when Melatonin levels rise it’s bedtime. Melatonin is an impressive hormone, with important meaning for human functioning, especially for the blind or visually impaired individuals. If light delays melatonin production, then blind individuals lack a tool for balancing the melatonin levels in the blood. The pineal gland and melatonin also regulate the hormonal changes that guide in sexual readiness during adolescence. Melatonin levels are lower in adults but much higher in children age seven years and younger. Adolescent’s levels are high but not as high as those children seven years or younger. (Farr, 2000-2010) Melatonin acts to keeps a child’s body from going through sexual adulthood, since sex hormones such as luteotropin appear only after melatonin levels have declined. (Farr, 2000-2010)
Learning about Oxytocin and Melatonin has brought new light on both of these hormones and how they work and affect the human behavior. Both play a big role in our behavior. From one helping women during childbirth and to one helping us regulate our sleep schedule. Learning about both of these hormones has taught me so much.
Farr, Gary. (2000-2010). Become Healthy Now. Retrieved from http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/bodyendocrine/737
Coon, & Mitterer. Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews (13th Ed.). Cengage Learning.