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The Science of Love

January 31, 2013

Based on the previous articles that I’ve read, I can say that I’m fairly convinced that scientists can study “love”, even though love is an emotion. Despite it seeing unreasonable, scientists confirm that hormones are released by our bodies whenever we feel love. MRI tests show how these hormones travel through our body, and ultimately make love easy to study by science.

 

One thing I did not know prior to reading these articles is that our body secretes chemicals such as oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, norepinephrine (adrenaline), or serotonin, all playing a role with making a person feel excited, nervous, high, insane, and the like. Being biased towards how love is an emotion, I did not know about a “scientific” explanation to why a person would feel this way. I thought that being in love is a spontaneous feeling, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, messing with people’s lives. Based on the articles, these hormones are the main reason why one can feel addicted, obsessed, or attached to something, be it passionate or companionate love.

 

From: http://www.youramazingbrain.org/lovesex/sciencelove.htm , http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/08/health/la-he-love8-2010feb08 

 

Another aspect about science and love that I did not know about is that scientists has found a way to check the reactions of people when they see the person they “love”, or “like”. The Caudate, and the Ventral Tegmental areas of a human’s brain is where scientists gather information about the physiological reasons why a person falls in love. Lucy Brown, a professor in the department of neurology and neuroscience, did MRI scans to a group of college students who were in love. When shown pictures of the people they want, the caudates of these students suddenly became active, due to their craving and wanting of that person. Craving for something can mean that one’s addicted to it, leading to the fact that being in love with a person tells us that one is addicted to the person he/she’s in love with. 

 

From: http://edition.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/14/love.science/index.html , http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200802/love-in-the-age-neuroscience

 

Looking at the various options to choose from, I can say that doing brain scans are the most reliable and effective way to gather information and knowledge regarding love. Knowing what the chemicals and hormones in our body can do, performing MRI scans can be the best way to monitor the movement and effects of these chemicals when someone’s in love. Even though surveys and interviews can help, the people might be influenced to answer the questions that others would want to see. Through MRI scans, though expensive, the people cannot control the flow of their hormones, giving us more honest information. 

 

If I were to understand my own relationship, I won’t turn to science to understand it. I prefer to let my own thinking and emotions lead the path I’ll take, and only involve myself through the things I’ll be experiencing. 

 http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/01/28/love-2-0-barbara-fredrickson/

 

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