- Romeo and Juliet have nothing on this:
- You've heard it before, but now science proves it: Love really is just a chemical reaction in your brain.
"Love is a drug," says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love." "The ventral tegmental area is a clump of cells that make dopamine, a natural stimulant, and sends it out to many brain regions" when one is in love. "It's the same region affected when you feel the rush of cocaine."
Actually, it's two different reactions:
Scientists then wondered: Does a brain in love look much like a sexually stimulated brain? After all, we associate love and sex and sometimes confuse them.
The answer is: Brains in love and brains in lust don't look too much alike.
In studies when researchers showed erotic photos to people as they underwent brain scans, they found activity in the hypothalamus and amygdala areas of the brain. The hypothalamus controls drives like hunger and thirst and the amygdala handles arousal, among other things.
In the studies of people in love, "we didn't find activity in either," according to Dr. Fisher, an anthropologist and author of "Why We Love -- the Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love."
"We now have physiological data that suggests there are different brain systems for sex and love," says Dr. Fisher.
At some point, the two do become linked. People in love have elevated levels of dopamine. Lots of dopamine, in turn, triggers the production of testosterone, which is responsible for the sex drive in both men and women.
This helps explain why falling in love can make someone all of a sudden seem sexy.
- And finally, an inspirational quote from The Bachelorette:
I'd rather be happily single forever than in an unhappy relationship.
Of course, if she really feels that way, then why she did she bother going on
a dating showtwo dating shows?
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
For your Valentine's Day amusement
The romantic, the scientific, and the cynical: