The 1970s saw a growing interest in the vasopressin−memory hypothesis, proposed by David de Wied and his collaborators in Utrecht. This rose to a peak in the 1980s that saw a flurry of papers published from diverse sources critical of the experimental foundations of this idea. In subsequent years, interest in this hypothesis declined markedly as shortcomings were recognized. Here, we study this debate using citation network analysis to identify the influential papers in this debate and the citation links between them. The issues raised have contemporary relevance to the current controversy about the interpretation of studies using intranasal oxytocin.