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Watching New Love as It Sears the Brain
NY Times ^ | May 31, 2005 | BENEDICT CAREY

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such disparate emotions, from euphoria to anger to anxiety, and why it seems to become even more intense when it is withdrawn.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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts; US: New Jersey; US: New York; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: brain; health; medicine; mentaldisorders; mentalhealth; romance

Susan Farley, top; Michael Falco for The New York Times
Dr. Lucy Brown, above, and Dr. Helen Fisher, left, analyzed 2,500 brain images from 17 college students in the throes of new love - a drive, Dr. Fisher said, that "can be stronger than the will to live."

American Psychological Society
A new study suggests that an area of the brain known as the caudate is associated with passion.

1 posted on 05/30/2005 6:28:21 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
That's what happened to all the dems that love hillary....
2 posted on 05/30/2005 6:31:22 PM PDT by b4its2late (It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.)
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To: El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; ..

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.


3 posted on 05/30/2005 6:32:35 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: b4its2late; neverdem

Lovers: wine and roses
Clintons: swine and ruses.


4 posted on 05/30/2005 6:34:12 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (SAVE THE BRAINFOREST! Boycott the RED Dead Tree Media & NUKE the DNC Class Action Temper Tantrum!)
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To: neverdem

So, that explains everything! I was insane when I fell in love with a liberal and dated him for 3 years. ;-)


5 posted on 05/30/2005 6:38:11 PM PDT by Nataku X (I want to be a great masochist so I can learn to be a great sadist someday!)
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To: neverdem; cyborg; nuconvert
Love is very interesting. And yes, it does seem akin to madness ....in fact it seems exactly like madness. A rabid giggling raving singing soaring euphoric ecstasy of madness. And I love it.

(Now, let me go watch Moulon Rouge for the umpteenth time ...erm, cough cough.... I mean let me go watch illegal no-holds barred Vietnamese dirt-pit fighting LOL).

6 posted on 05/30/2005 6:39:06 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear tipped ICBMs: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol.)
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To: neverdem
Romeo, oh Romeo!

Whereforth art thy brainscans?

7 posted on 05/30/2005 6:39:54 PM PDT by xJones
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To: spetznaz
(Now, let me go watch Moulon Rouge for the umpteenth time ...erm, cough cough.... I mean let me go watch illegal no-holds barred Vietnamese dirt-pit fighting LOL).

I'm glad you clarified that...we might have had to toss you out of the FR He-Man Guild had you let the original assertion stand. ;)

8 posted on 05/30/2005 6:42:44 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Violence never settles anything." Genghis Khan, 1162-1227)
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To: Blurblogger

(laughing)


9 posted on 05/30/2005 6:46:46 PM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: cyborg

It burns...it burns!



:OP


10 posted on 05/30/2005 6:47:32 PM PDT by Petronski (A champion of dance, my moves will put you in a trance, and I never leave the disco alone.)
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To: snarks_when_bored

When they say "first-love", are they talking about infatuation or lust?


11 posted on 05/30/2005 6:49:46 PM PDT by DeweyCA
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To: Mr. Jeeves

lol


12 posted on 05/30/2005 6:50:47 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear tipped ICBMs: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol.)
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To: b4its2late

You had to ruin this, didn't you?


13 posted on 05/30/2005 6:51:49 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (If you can think 180-degrees apart from reality, you might be a Democrat.)
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To: Tall_Texan
I guess.....
14 posted on 05/30/2005 6:59:23 PM PDT by b4its2late (It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.)
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To: Tall_Texan
But I made up for it here....
15 posted on 05/30/2005 7:00:30 PM PDT by b4its2late (It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.)
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To: spetznaz

Wow I actually like that movie. It grows on you like a cute fungus. Awwwww you have a crush on Nicole Kidman? She looks good in Bewitched.


16 posted on 05/30/2005 7:10:56 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: neverdem

Unbeknowst to me I was dating a married man. When I found out, we parted ways but I was really crushhed to find out it was all a lie. I had a really bad facial acne condition for two years and since I've found someone who really does love me and isn't a pathological liar, it's disappeared. Glad I didn't spend the $1000 a doctor was going to charge me to clean up my face.


17 posted on 05/30/2005 7:13:00 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: Petronski

Put some ice on that :-)


18 posted on 05/30/2005 7:13:19 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: cyborg

He must be a really great guy!


19 posted on 05/30/2005 7:18:13 PM PDT by Petronski (A champion of dance, my moves will put you in a trance, and I never leave the disco alone.)
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To: neverdem
New love can look for all the world like mental illness.....

All the world loves a lover mental illness?
Hmmm......

20 posted on 05/30/2005 7:20:01 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Petronski

Yes he is. Whenever I look at his facial hair I don't think of a woman's pubic area. That's really special.


21 posted on 05/30/2005 7:20:10 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: neverdem

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:..."


22 posted on 05/30/2005 7:21:29 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: neverdem
It is closer in its neural profile to drives like hunger, thirst or drug craving...

Several years ago I saw an "Army film" about how cocaine affected the brain. This fits with that.

23 posted on 05/30/2005 7:21:37 PM PDT by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: cyborg
Yes he is. Whenever I look at his facial hair I don't think of a woman's pubic area. That's really special.


24 posted on 05/30/2005 7:23:05 PM PDT by Petronski (A champion of dance, my moves will put you in a trance, and I never leave the disco alone.)
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To: cyborg
Whenever I look at his facial hair I don't think of a woman's pubic area. That's really special.

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.

25 posted on 05/30/2005 7:24:57 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear tipped ICBMs: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol.)
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To: spetznaz

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)


26 posted on 05/30/2005 7:28:18 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: cyborg

LOL. That's one for the records.


27 posted on 05/30/2005 7:30:31 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear tipped ICBMs: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol.)
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To: cyborg

You've just made living in Hollywood, CA a living hell.


28 posted on 05/30/2005 7:51:40 PM PDT by ECM
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To: ECM

Oh no! I'm sorry :-)


29 posted on 05/30/2005 7:54:48 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: cyborg

I just dropped my beer!


30 posted on 05/30/2005 8:25:49 PM PDT by Toliy
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To: Toliy

Oops! :-) I cause trouble whenever I think out loud :grin:


31 posted on 05/30/2005 8:27:13 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: cyborg
"Whenever I look at his facial hair I don't think of a woman's pubic area. That's really special."

GULP! (lol)

32 posted on 05/30/2005 8:33:05 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Not very ladylike post but oh well...I had just had to get that off my chest :-)


33 posted on 05/30/2005 8:35:45 PM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: cyborg
Where does one find a special guy like this? Ye gods, the facial hair thing, though. I don't know about that. I can't get that thought out of my mind. Arghhh.
34 posted on 05/30/2005 8:44:45 PM PDT by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: neverdem
... Ms. Katz said she became hyperactive to distract herself after the split, but said she also had moments of almost physical withdrawal, as if weaning herself from a drug...years and years ago one of the best professors of Psychology I ever encountered, Dr. Richard Solomon, shocked one of his classes including a naive young me by hypothesizing that love is in fact an "addiction" - he'd find evidence provided in studies such as this amusing and validating, but unfortunately he passed away a decade ago.......
35 posted on 05/30/2005 9:10:25 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: spetznaz

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.


36 posted on 05/30/2005 9:20:34 PM PDT by conservative cat
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