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From philosophers and historians, to poets and scientists alike, love has captured our imagination
and curiosity for centuries. Many have experienced the rush of falling in
love for the first time. Or the deep feelings of love for your children,
family and friends. But what is love from a biological perspective? No doubt it's
intertwined with the evolutionary survival of our species. After all, you
come from an unbroken line of organisms reproducing from the very first microbe
that split in two, to your ancestors who have all successfully mated since the dawn of
time.
Sadly, if you fail to have children, this perfect streak comes to a halt.
But while we're driven to reproduce, we're also driven to make sure our offspring
survive.
Though we often associate love with the heart, the true magic can be seen
inside the brain.
It may not be entirely surprising to find out that the brain of somebody in
love looks awfully similar to one on cocaine. Cocaine acts on the pleasure
centers in the brain by lowering the threshold at which they fire. This means
that you feel really good a lot easier.
We see the same thing in the brains of those in love, but it's not just the
cocaine or the love that makes you feel good. It's the fact that anything you
experience will now more easily set off pleasure centers and make you feel good.
Because of this you not only fall in love with the person, but begin to build a
romanticized view of the world around you. Interestingly, nearby pain and
aversion centers begin to fire less, so you become less bothered by things.
Simply put we love being in love.
So what chemicals are at work to make all of this happen? Both during orgasm or by
simply looking at photos of a loved one, there is a surge of dopamine and
norepinephrine from the ventral tegmental area.
This not only triggers sexual arousal in your racing heart, but gives you the
motivation, craving and desire to be with a person more and more. You see romantic
love is not simply an emotion, it is a drive from the motor of the mind. And this
motor brings about intense energy focused attention and elation. The
pleasure centers are part of the brains reward system. The mesolimbic dopamine
system. If you stimulate this region while learning, learning becomes much
easier because it's pleasurable and perceived as a reward.
We also see a surge in the neuromodulator oxytocin from the
nucleus accumbens. Sometimes called the
"commitment neuromodulator" because in mammals it helps to reinforce bonding or
attachment. When prairie voles are injected with either oxytocin or
vasopressin, they will instantly find a mate to pair a bond with. Finally, studies have
shown that people in love have low levels of serotonin.
Which is similar to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
This is likely the cause of our obsession and infatuation during early love.
Amazingly, these areas associated with intense romantic love can remain active
for decades, and more there are many other physiological and psychological
components that add to the mix, the truth is, science still knows very little about
exactly why or how love works. And yet somehow, we all seem to know it only (when we)
feel it.
Got a burning question you want answered? Ask it in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.
And subscribe for more weekly science videos.
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

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愛の科学原理 (The Science of Love)

109164 タグ追加 保存
Why Why 2017 年 8 月 16 日 に公開
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