Skip to comments.Watching New Love as It Sears the Brain
Posted on 05/30/2005 6:28:18 PM PDT by neverdem
New love can look for all the world like mental illness, a blend of mania, dementia and obsession that cuts people off from friends and family and prompts out-of-character behavior - compulsive phone calling, serenades, yelling from rooftops - that could almost be mistaken for psychosis.
Now for the first time, neuroscientists have produced brain scan images of this fevered activity, before it settles into the wine and roses phase of romance or the joint holiday card routines of long-term commitment.
In an analysis of the images appearing today in The Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers in New York and New Jersey argue that romantic love is a biological urge distinct from sexual arousal.
It is closer in its neural profile to drives like hunger, thirst or drug craving, the researchers assert, than to emotional states like excitement or affection. As a relationship deepens, the brain scans suggest, the neural activity associated with romantic love alters slightly, and in some cases primes areas deep in the primitive brain that are involved in long-term attachment.
The research helps explain why love produces such disparate emotions, from euphoria to anger to anxiety, and why it seems to become even more intense when it is withdrawn. In a separate, continuing experiment, the researchers are analyzing brain images from people who have been rejected by their lovers.
"When you're in the throes of this romantic love it's overwhelming, you're out of control, you're irrational, you're going to the gym at 6 a.m. every day - why? Because she's there," said Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and the co-author of the analysis. "And when rejected, some people contemplate stalking, homicide, suicide. This drive for romantic love can be stronger than the will to live."
Brain imaging technology cannot read people's minds, experts caution...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Yes he is. Whenever I look at his facial hair I don't think of a woman's pubic area. That's really special.
"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:..."
Several years ago I saw an "Army film" about how cocaine affected the brain. This fits with that.
Erm ....Cy, you know I like you don't you? But that statement really worries me a lot. Maybe i can recommend a nice vitamin regimen to get those allusions out. LOL.
Just think about it. You know those trendy metrosexual liberal men with the little billygoat moustache? I hate that. I really hate that. I don't need to feel like I'm looking at myself naked. Now you'll never think of a man's beard the same way again thanks to me :o)
LOL. That's one for the records.
You've just made living in Hollywood, CA a living hell.
Oh no! I'm sorry :-)
I just dropped my beer!
Oops! :-) I cause trouble whenever I think out loud :grin:
Not very ladylike post but oh well...I had just had to get that off my chest :-)
I love Moulin Rouge. I made my now husband watch it on our second date (we stayed home and watched movies.) He must have been insane in-love then to watch it with me, because he won't even consider watching it now.
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