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Amygdala: Involved in signaling the cortex of motivationally significant stimuli such as those related to reward and fear in addition to social functions such as mating.
Monkey mothers who had amygdala damage showed a reduction in maternal behaviors towards their infants, often physically abusing or neglecting them.
Long-term bonding between mates is rare in mammals. It may be regulated by the same brain mechanisms as those involved in maternal bonding. For instance, pair bonding in the female monogamous prairie vole is stimulated by oxytocin released in the brain during mating. A female prairie vole rapidly becomes attached to the nearest male if her brain is infused with oxytocin. The hormone interacts with the reward and reinforcement system driven by the neurotransmitter dopamine The notion that pair bonding in humans may have evolved through a tweaking of the brain mechanisms underlying maternal bonding could explain certain unique characteristics of human sexuality