Is social attachment an addictive disorder?

  • Insel T
  • 298


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 258


    Citations of this article.


There is a considerable literature on the neurobiology of reward, based largely on studies of addiction or substance abuse. This review considers the possibility that the neural circuits that mediate reward evolved for ethologically relevant cues, such as social attachment. Specifically, mesocorticolimbic dopamine appears important for maternal behavior in rats and pair bonding in monogamous voles. It is not yet clear that dopamine in this pathway mediates the hedonic properties of social bond formation or whether dopamine's role is more relevant to developing associative networks or assigning salience to social stimuli. The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) appear to be critical for linking social signals to the mesocorticolimbic circuit.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Affiliation
  • Attachment
  • Dopamine
  • Oxytocin
  • Reward

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Thomas R. Insel

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free