Daniel S. Quintana is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. He leads a lab investigating biological systems that link psychological and social factors to health, with a focus on neuroendocrine systems (e.g., oxytocin) and the autonomic nervous system. His lab uses various research approaches, including intranasal oxytocin trials, large-scale genetics studies, neuroimaging, and the collection of autonomic nervous system data (e.g., heart rate variability).
Daniel is the Principal Investigator of externally-funded projects investigating the role of the oxytocin system in mental traits and physical health (Research Council of Norway), the role of oxytocin in behavioral flexibility (Research Council of Norway), and an oxytocin treatment trial to improve social skills and behavioral flexibility in youth with autism (Kavli Trust). In December 2022 he will begin a project uncovering the role of oxytocin in neural plasticity and learning in autism (South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority).
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PhD in Psychology, 2013
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), 2007
Macquarie University, Sydney
We demonstrate distinct patterns of OXTR gene expression in the developing brain, with increasing oxytocin receptor (OXTR) expression along the course of the prenatal period culminating in a peak during early childhood. We also show that a network of genes with strong spatiotemporal couplings with OXTR is enriched in several psychiatric illness and body composition phenotypes. Taken together, these results demonstrate that oxytocin signaling plays an important role in a diverse set of psychological and somatic processes across the lifespan.
This article proposes that oxytocin is most accurately described as an allostatic hormone that modulates both social and non-social behavior by maintaining stability through changing environments
Using voxel-by-voxel gene expression brain maps generated via human post-mortem tissue, this analysis revealed expression of critical oxytocin pathway genes (OXTR, OXT, CD38) are enriched in subcortical and olfactory regions. fMRI meta-analysis revealed that these oxytocin pathway gene maps correspond with the processing of anticipatory, appetitive, and aversive cognitive states.