The Effects of Oxytocin in the Brain

This study is sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health

Several studies have shown that oxytocin is thought to help with social behaviors, so this study is looking at the effects of oxytocin on the brain.  Oxytocin is an investigational medication and we are currently seeking children and adolescents with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder to participate in this research study. This study is looking specifically at the effects of oxytocin vs. placebo (fake medicine) on various brain activities that relate to social behaviors. Participants will take the study medication or placebo (both are in the form of a nasal spray) and then complete a brain scan (MRI) and behavioral assessments.

Participants will be provided with free and convenient parking. Study medication and research related services will be free of charge, and participants will be compensated per study visit that they complete.

For more information call 919-636-4734 or email

Click here to download a study brochure.


Children ages 10-17 with an autism spectrum disorder who can sit through an MRI scan can participate in this study.
Enrollment status