Experts at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women are recruiting volunteers for a study on how the natural hormone oxytocin affects the relationship between mothers and their infants.

Mothers over the age of 21 who have been diagnosed with postpartum depression and have a baby less than 6 months old are needed for the study, which will explore what happens in a mother’s brain as she sees her baby’s face after receiving a nasal spray of oxytocin compared to a placebo water-based spray.

The study will be divided into two separate visits during the first six months of the baby’s life. The first visit will include mother and baby and will include the following:

  • Mom and baby will be videotaped while they play and interact
  • Mom will complete some questionnaires while pictures of baby are taken
  • Mom will receive a DVD copy of the playtime session

The second visit will take place one to two weeks after the first and will be for the mother only. It will include the following:

  • Mom will receive a nasal spray containing oxytocin or water
  • Mom’s brain activity will be monitored using functional MRI while she is shown pictures of her baby
  • Mom will be given a copy of her fMRI scan

Study participants will be compensated for their time and parking will be provided.

For more information or to participate, contact Leah Hardy at (713) 798-0388 or