Love and lust are, like hunger and thirst, hormone-induced states that our brains reward us for lest we forget to have sex, eat and drink. Love, feeling madly in love, is different from hunger or fear, though:

[T]he brain areas active in love are different from the areas activated in other emotional states, such as fear and anger. Parts of the brain that are love-bitten include the one responsible for gut feelings, and the ones which generate the euphoria induced by drugs such as cocaine. So the brains of people deeply in love do not look like those of people experiencing strong emotions, but instead like those of people snorting coke.

Prairie voles – and presumably humans – have a lot of variation in their vasopressin receptors though. That’s why some love more constantly than others.

Oh, you might be able to supress love using drugs like Prozac, because crazy-in-love-with-you is characterised by low levels of serotonin, but, the experts say, you’d only stand a chance of fighting love in its early stages, or perhaps when healing after a bad breakup. Love is a more powerful drive than hunger.

Soon we’ll have DNA tests along with the prenup.

2 thoughts on “love explained

  1. Norman

    I fear “The Brave New World” cometh more rapidly than we sometimes realise.

  2. the sum of my parts

    knew it all along
    all this time i have thought that i have been experiencing one weird, crazy emotional trip not just full of ups and downs, but more like mountains and valleys. this has been the strangest emotional ride i have ever taken,…

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