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Pathways to PeaceThe Transformative Power of Children and Families$
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James F. Leckman, Catherine Panter-Brick, and Rima Salah

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027984

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027984.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

Peptide Pathways to Peace

Peptide Pathways to Peace

(p.43) 4 Peptide Pathways to Peace
Pathways to Peace

C. Sue Carter

Stephen W. Porges

The MIT Press

This chapter examines specific neuroendocrine pathways that may influence the positive social behaviors necessary for peace (where peace is defined as social safety within a society). This definition emphasizes the enabling power of social safety in promoting positive "states" associated with individuals interacting, socially connecting, and being mutually responsible for each other. Peptide pathways, including those reliant on oxytocin and vasopressin and their receptors, function as an integrated system mediating states of social safety. These endocrine and genetic pathways are at the center of a network that permitted the evolution of the human nervous system and allowed the expression of contemporary human sociality. Affiliation, pair bonds, and other forms of prosocial behaviors are not simply the absence of aggression. As reviewed here, we now understand that the prerequisites for peace, including prosocial behaviors and social safety, are built on active peptide systems. Knowledge of neurobiological mechanisms that form the foundations of social bonds and restorative behaviors offers a rational perspective for understanding, preventing, or intervening in the aftermath of adversity, and for enabling the emergence of peace in human societies. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.

Keywords:   peace, neurobiological mechanisms, bonding, attachment, oxytocin, vasopressin, prosociality

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