Delight, ecstasy, attraction, romantic affection, butterflies in the stomach or crazy passion - we are all talking about her, about love. Regardless of race, gender, age and era, men and women around the world are subject to the power of this irresistible force. They live and create in the name of love, and sometimes they even kill and die because of it. What is the reason?
To answer this question for sure, an American scientist, doctor of anthropology Helen Fisher, undertook a full-scale study of all the actions, motives and internal signals of a person in love. What came of this - read in her book “Why we love. The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love”by Alpina Publisher. In the meantime, AnySports opens the veil of secrecy and tells how love begins to dictate its rules to us.
Love is one for all
People have been wondering what love is since time immemorial. This is confirmed by numerous material and non-material evidence, which researchers continue to find when studying a variety of eras and nationalities.
Thousands of romantic poems, songs, legends for centuries have been passed down from generation to generation in Europe, the Middle East, China, India - in every country and civilization that has left behind any written sources. But even where there were no written chronicles, we find evidence of raging passions. So, having studied 166 different cultures, anthropologists found that romantic love was known in 147 of them, that is, in more than 90%.
As shown by research by Helen Fisher herself, people of all ages and races respond to love attraction in the same or very similar way. It's all about the compounds of chemicals and the processes taking place in our brain.
The chemistry of love
In her book, Helen focuses on three hormones: dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.
The decision to study these three substances was due to two reasons. First, the sympathy that living things feel for a particular partner is associated with an increase in the level of dopamine and / or norepinephrine in the brain. And secondly, and most importantly, these three chemicals underlie many of the sensations that relate to human love.
Dopamine explains a variety of love manifestations. For example, full concentration of attention on the object of love sighs. The fact is that the hormone is responsible for increasing motivation and focus on achieving goals. Frenzied delight is also associated with dopamine, as are increased energy, hyperactivity, insomnia, loss of appetite, tremors, and heart palpitations in someone in love. Finally, the addiction and compulsive attraction that we have for the object of love is also "turned on" under the influence of dopamine.
When the feeling is not mutual, the brain cells responsible for the production of dopamine begin to work at an increased rate, releasing more and more of this natural stimulant. It provides the brain with extra energy, makes us focus and strive even harder to win the heart of a loved one. Dopamine, persistence is your middle name!
Norepinephrine is a dopamine derivative. It is also responsible for energy, joy, and hyperactivity in lovers.
An increased level of norepinephrine can also explain the lover's ability to remember the smallest details of the beloved's behavior, literally every precious moment spent together: after all, it is this stimulant that is responsible for the memory's ability to assimilate something new.
A vivid symptom of falling in love is incessant thoughts about the object of adoration.Scientists believe that serotonin, or rather, its low content in the body, has a great influence on the formation of this thinking behavior. The fact is that dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin are produced by the body according to the principle of inverse proportion. Therefore, if the level of the first two hormones increases (which indicates falling in love), then the level of serotonin is steadily decreasing.
That is why the more a person loves, the more he is prone to dreams, fantasies, reverie, reflections, obsessive thoughts about his beloved.
Having found out that the feeling of falling in love is formed under the influence of three hormones, Helen decided to find out in which areas of the brain the main action takes place - the formation of a feeling of love. To do this, her research team scanned the brains of the volunteers using an MRI machine. Two main departments have been identified that are responsible for love experiences. The first zone is the so-called caudate nucleus, which developed in the human body more than 65 million years ago. It is associated with the processes of attention and learning, is part of the motivation system - it helps to choose the most profitable reward and plan the steps to receive it. Interestingly, the more passionate the subject's passion turned out to be, the more active this area of the brain was.
The second area of the brain that showed the most activity was the ventral area. It is here that stores of the notorious dopamine are stored in a larger volume, which gives the lover strength and energy.
Love is the fundamental incentive
Helen and her team came to the conclusion that love is one of the basic aspirations of a person, which is practically impossible to erase from life consciously. It's like feeling hungry and fearful. Love drives us and forces us to make decisions, take steps to find a partner with whom we will need to leave offspring.
Like basic incentives, love forces a person to achieve a very specific goal - a beloved, just as a hungry person is only interested in food. Emotions, on the other hand, such as disgust, can refer to a myriad of objects and phenomena. At the same time, romantic passion evokes in us a wide variety of emotions, depending on whether the beloved shares our feelings or they do not find a response in him.
The secret of the emergence and development of love lies in our brain. And although the behavior of a person in love may not always be rational and even not logical, this is due to nothing more than the activity of the brain. He guides us on the path to achieving emotional, spiritual and physical union with our beloved. That is, even at the moment of "mind-blowing" romantic euphoria, everything goes according to a clearly planned scenario of the brain. Relax and have fun!