A hormone thought to encourage bonding between mothers and babies may foster social behaviour in some adults with autism, say researchers. They found patients who inhaled the hormone oxytocin paid more attention to expressions when looking at pictures of faces and were more likely to understand social cues in a game simulation, the researchers said in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Angela Sirigu of the Centre of Cognitive Neuroscience in Lyon, who led the study, said the hormone has a therapeutic potential in adults as well as in children with autism.

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