To celebrate our graduating friends’ success and for more bonding, UPeepz goes to Boracay to celebrate friendship, dance, and
awkwardness. Kidding. I love you guys, no matter what, always. :)
New friends from Epic! :)
Just a road trip to Zambales with the Esquivels + Marijoe. It was an awesome retreat in a place with no electricity, no cellphone service, and no rooms. Just nature and the 4 of us, especially since there were no people during those days, so we had the whole beach to ourselves! It was a first camping with friends and this won’t definitely be the last one!
Pictures taken with Canon 550D 18-55mm
This year’s first of summer is a trip with my med school friends! One of my group mates live in Dumaguete, so we just had to go there after showing us a powerpoint of why we should visit the place. Amazing beaches, plus I got to swim with whale sharks (butanding) and sea turtles (pawikan)! It was one hell of an adventure and there would definitely be a next one with these people.
Pictures taken with a Canon 550D 18-55mm, pictures of me were most likely not taken by me. Haha.
DAY 1: Arrival, The Forest Camp, Gabby’s Bistro, Watever KTV
DAY 2: Oslob, Cebu; Sumilon Island; Royal State Inn; Rizal Boulevard
Whale Shark / Butanding!
Sizzling pochero. YUM.
Famous Dumaguete “tempura” and squidballs
DAY 3: Sandbar, Hotspring, Tierra Alta, City Burger
DAY 4: Apo Island, Parish of Bacong, Lab-as, Qyosko Cafe
It is a lovely afternoon and I have time to spare to take pictures.
Taken with a Canon EOS 550D 50mm
Well, here’s something I wrote back in May 2011 for my summer class, Psych 160 (Biopsychology). This was our final project, a T-shirt about our favorite hormone. Look, I chose Arginine Vasopressin, also commonly known as the Anti-Diuretic Hormone (come to think about it, my last paper ever in college was about Vasopressin as well… in teleosts). I remembered about this because we are currently studying about the endocrine system in school right now. Do take a look at this interesting phenomenon though!
My relationship with my boyfriend of 4 months (to date) seems to be going strong as of the moment. Despite him being miles away from me right now, we are able to keep in touch from time to time despite my busy schedule, and continue our relationship as if he were here. Some couples are not so lucky, with their relationships plagued with problems with lack of time, misunderstanding, or infidelity. Since some neurotransmitters are known to be involved with pair-bonding, I became interested in this phenomenon, and decided to look further into it.
Vasopressin (particularly Arginine Vasopressin (AVP)), along with Oxytocin, are the neurotransmitters being pointed at when the topic of pair-bonding comes along. While oxytocin is related to maternal behavior, trust, and attachment, AVP is usually associated with monogamous behaviors and male fidelity—something that has sparked much interest in me. Who knew that a neurotransmitter can account for such things!
Arginine vasopressin is a peptide, consisting of nine amino acids (Cys-Tyr-Phe-Gln-Asn-Cys-Pro-Arg-Gly). Its structure is very similar to oxytocin, since they only differ at 2 amino acid sequences. It is synthesized in the supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus, and stored in the posterior pituitary gland, to be released into the bloodstream for homeostatic functions, or into the brain, where it is reported to play its role in social behavior and pair-bonding.
So, how does arginine vasopressin work its magic? Our brain has around 3 receptors for it, but the vasopressin 1A receptor (V1aR), which is widely distributed in the brain, has been considered to take the predominant role in male social behavior (Keverne & Curley, 2004). AVP seems to have an influence on the activity of dopamine, which controls the brain’s reward circuits (which are responsible for the feelings of pleasure and reinforcement in response to food, sex, and social interaction). This may facilitate and coordinate the reward circuits during partner preference and pair-bond formation. Gonadal hormones, particularly testosterone, is also known to enhance vasopressin levels in the medial amygdala, lateral hypothalamus, and the preoptical medial area, which are involved in aggressive behaviors (Esch & Stefano, 2005). A study showed that there is high activity in the ventral tegmental area and the posterior dorsal caudate, parts of the brain that are centers for reward and motivation when photos of the participants’ significant other were shown. In addition to that, the parts of the prefrontal cortex that are wired with dopamine pathways were mobilized, while the fear-associated amygdala showed less activity (Fisher, 2002).
This phenomenon on monogamy and fidelity has been demonstrated in prairie voles. Prairie voles are socially monogamous and show biparental care, just like most humans (Keverne & Curley, 2004). Research has shown that when male prairie voles were given drugs that suppress the effect of vasopressin, their bond with their partners deteriorated as they lost their devotion and failed to protect their partners from new suitors.
In humans, they have found a gene coding for a vasopressin receptor, RS3 334, that is linked with how men bond with their partners. It seems that the more number of copies a man has, the worse they scored on a measure of pair bonding. Data also showed that men with two copies of the RS3 334 are more unlikely to be married, and if they are, they are more prone to having marital problems (Wallum, 2008 as cited in Shetty, P.). It is then very possible to correlate levels of vasopressin and monogamous behavior in humans. Today, more and more researches on the connection between AVP and monogamy & fidelity show much promise in this field.
Again, as much as biological processes in our bodies greatly affect our lives, we always have to consider that environment still plays a big role. For one, it’s still up to the both of you if you want to make things work with your partner. With or without vasopressin, I love my current partner, who makes me feel special, motivated, and happy. Hopefully, if he does carry more than one copy of the gene that codes for vasopressin receptors, this environment with me will make him better, rather than the opposite. May it be him or not, I would like to marry someone who will stay loyal and value fidelity, so hopefully, he’s got some vasopressin in his body!
WORD COUNT: 716
Arun, A. The science of love. In Your Amazing Brain. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://www.youramazingbrain.org.uk/lovesex/sciencelove.htm.
Keverne, E. & Curley, J. (2004). Vasopressin, oxytocin and social behaviour. Retrieved May 19, 2011, from http://infolib.hua.edu.vn/Fulltext/ChuyenDe/ChuyenDe07/CDe53/53.pdf.
Shetty, P. (2008). Monogamy gene found in people. In New Scientist. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14641-monogamy-gene-found-in-people.html.
I mean, I hug you and my brain produces oxytocin and then I get a rush of feelings that make me feel like I like you because oxytocin is called the love hormone after all and my brain will remember that the next time I do hug or kiss someone else and my brain does the same thing and I will feel the same way and I’m not even sure if the body gets desensitized to it but I don’t think so so I think I will continue to blame hormones for how I feel because after all maybe it’s all just in my head.