Oxytocin is important for social interactions and maternal behavior. However, little is known about when, where, and how oxytocin modulates neural circuits to improve social cognition. Here I will discuss new data from our lab on how oxytocin enables maternal behavior in new mother mice. I will focus on experience-dependent plasticity in auditory cortex related to recognizing the significance of pup distress calls, which are important for mother mice retrieving lost pups back to the nest. Surprisingly, this behavior, neural responses, and oxytocin receptor expression were all lateralized to the left side of the auditory cortex. Our results describe fundamental synaptic mechanisms by which oxytocin increases the salience of acoustic social stimuli. Furthermore, oxytocin-induced plasticity provides a biological basis for lateralization of auditory cortical processing.