Woolley awarded grant to study the role of oxytocin in team cohesion in military settings
P.I. Josh Woolley, MD, PhD, and colleagues were recently awarded a grant from the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, a branch of the Department of Defense, to explore the potential benefits of oxytocin administration to unit cohesion and group dynamics in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and healthy civilians.
The 3-year study, entitled "The Psychobiological Assessment and Enhancement of Team Cohesion and Psychobiological Resilience using a Virtual Team Cohesion Test,” builds upon an existing body of research demonstrating that unit cohesion is a protective factor against many of the psychiatric conditions that result from combat exposure including PTSD, depression, suicidality, and substance abuse. The prosocial neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to enhance social functioning and bonding in both healthy and clinical populations and may have the ability to facilitate unit cohesion and teamwork in military settings, and ultimately help prevent and treat the psychological trauma experienced by veterans returning from combat.
Dr. Woolley will work alongside co-investigators Sophia Vinogradov, MD, Thomas Neylan, MD, and Wendy Mendes, PhD, at UCSF, and collaborators Michael Kraus, PhD, of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagin and Dean Carson, PhD, of Stanford University.
To find more updates about the progress of this study, visit our Current Studies page.