What Falling in Love Does to the Brain | Love & the Brain
Falling inِ love canِ wreak havoc onِ your body.
Your heart races, yourِ tummy getsِ tied upِ inِ knots, andِ you’re onِ anِ emotional roller coaster, feeling deliriously happy oneِ minute andِ anxious andِ desperate theِ next.
Research shows that these intense, romantic feelings come from the brain.
In oneِ small study, researchers looked atِ magnetic resonance images ofِ the brains ofِ 10 women andِ seven men whoِ claimed toِ beِ deeply inِ love.
The length ofِ their relationships ranged fromِ one month toِ lessِ than twoِ years.
Participants wereِ shown photographs ofِ their beloved, andِ photos ofِ a similar-looking person.
Romantic love is a primitive response
Experts haveِ said thatِ romantic love isِ one ofِ the mostِ powerful emotions a person canِ have.
Humans’ brains haveِ beenِ wired toِ choose a mate, andِ we humans becomeِ motivated toِ win overِ that mate, sometimesِ goingِ to extremes toِ getِ their attention andِ affection.
You canِ feel happy whenِ you’re inِ love, butِ you canِ alsoِ feel anxious, saidِ Aron’s co-author, Lucy Brown, a neuroscientist atِ Albert Einstein College ofِ Medicine inِ New York.
It helps us recognize when something feels good, she said.
The drive toِ feel good aroundِ your intended mate mayِ evenِ beِ more powerful thanِ the drive forِ sex, Brown said.
Intense romantic love could fade away
But once you’ve won over your love, does the feeling fade away?
Not completely, Aron said.
In anotherِ study, heِ andِ his colleagues looked atِ MRI scans ofِ 10 women andِ seven men whoِ wereِ married forِ anِ average ofِ 21 years andِ claimed theyِ were stillِ intensively inِ love withِ theirِ partners.
The researchers foundِ that inِ eachِ of theseِ long-term lovers, brain regions wereِ alsoِ activated whenِ theyِ looked atِ photos ofِ their partners.
Most mammals don’t raise children together, but humans do, he said.
But the brain studies did suggest that love changes over time, Aron said.
As long asِ love remains, weِ getِ used toِ theِ relationship, andِ we’re notِ afraid ourِ partner willِ leave us, soِ we’re notِ asِ focused onِ the craving, heِ said..