When love is a many-splendored thing Ever fallen madly in love?Researcher Helen Fisher has spent her academic life trying to figure out what's going on in the brains of those who are in the heady, butterflies-in-the-stomach throes of passionate romantic love.In the book, “Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget”, author Marianne Legato discusses a study that examined the brain patterns of people who had recently fallen in love.The study showed that a part of the brain that was activated has a lot of receptors of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter associated with motivation, reward and pleasure.Let’s not forget the chemical cocktail that’s also brewing in the background.First, presenting Phenyethylamine (PEA) – a natural amphetamine that elevates your mood and is strongly associated with pleasure (it’s one of the chemicals released when we eat chocolate).
When Tracy confronted Tom he said the relationship was going too fast. Tracy thought that they were moving toward a committed relationship. I worked with Tracy to reflect on how much she really knew Tom.
The study shows that there is a great deal of overlap between the activity in the brain when in love and when doing drugs or smoking cigarettes.
“The toleration for sleeplessness, lack of appetite, feelings of exhilaration and focus – all these characterize the first phase of infatuation, but they’re also very similar to what happens when you do a line of cocaine.” Label it love or lust, but one thing’s for certain, it sure is addictive stuff.
These hormones regulate the reproductive system and activate when you find someone attractive.
(This is why birth control pills can affect your sex drive.
As expected, she also saw the brain areas associated with dopamine and norepinephrine production light up.