Apparently, the simple act of calling your mother can trigger the release of oxytocin, the “cuddle” or “love” hormone, released during physical contact with people we care about. That’s right, it’s a phone hug of sorts. Oh, but wait, that’s just for daughters, according to psychologist Seth Pollak’s research.
Pollak’s latest study at the University of Wisconsin at Madison explored the role of words in shaping healthy bonds between mothers and daughters.
“We’re asking an evolutionary question here,” said Pollak, who published the research in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. “Is it possible that our evolution of language is connected to oxytocin?”
He stressed out 61 girls ages 7 to 12 by having them speak in front of a crowd and work math problems for a panel of judges. After this trying ordeal, some of the girls received a hug from their mothers and others received a phone call. Urine samples from both groups of girls showed a general drop in stress hormone levels and an increase in oxytocin.
Girls who enjoyed the afternoon watching the film “March of the Penguins,” on the other hand, showed no change in hormone levels when contacted by Mom.