Oxytocin is a powerful hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. Sometimes we refer to it as the cuddle hormone or the love hormone, because it’s released when people bond socially.
Oxytocin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. As such, it has a part to play in regulating sexual reproduction and in social interaction. For instance, it plays an important role in behaviors from maternal-infant bonding and milk release to empathy, generosity and orgasm.