Associations between oxytocin receptor genotypes and social cognitive performance in individuals with schizophrenia

Michael C. Davis, William P. Horan, Erika L. Nurmi, Shemra Rizzo, Wendy Li, Catherine A. Sugar, Michael F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Individuals with schizophrenia often show substantial deficits in social cognitive abilities, which are strongly associated with social functioning. To advance our understanding of the genetic variation that is associated with social cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, we genotyped 74 schizophrenia outpatients who completed social cognitive performance measures assessing mentalizing, social perception, and emotional intelligence, as well as clinical symptoms. We assessed seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) previously found to show replicable associations with socio-emotional processes. For one of the seven SNPs, rs2268493, the 'T' allele was significantly associated with poorer performance on a composite social cognition index, as well as specific tests of mentalizing and social perception. None of the SNPs were associated with clinical symptoms. Though the sample size is small, these findings provide initial support for the involvement of genetic variants of the OXTR in social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH MH043292 to MFG; NIH MH094613-01 to ELN; and the VA Desert Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014.


  • Oxytocin
  • Oxytocin receptor
  • Schizophrenia
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism
  • Social cognition


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