Brain activity in lovers

Ah love! Timeless and true, that thing we desperately seek or have already found, that can make us so happy or hurt us so deeply. We've all known love like this, right? But often we have a hard time understanding it. Understanding is the work of scientists who observe the brain of you, the lovers, to finally understand the biology of love. What are the characteristics of a brain in love? Scientists have begun to answer the question…

If you're in love, you feel energetic, motivated, and remarkably confident. And you feel this unique energy even in ordinary situations, even when you're not in the company of your lover. It's as if you've been transformed. You could perhaps have observed this feeling of internal change if you had participated in the experiment conducted by Professor Xiaochu Zhang of the University of Science and Technology in China.

The aim of the study was to find out if there is a specific pattern of brain activity that is characteristic to lovers. The hundred volunteers were separated into three distinct groups: the first was composed of participants who reported being “in love,” the second group had recently experienced a breakup, and the third had never been in love. The scientists then observed brain activity in the three groups using an MRI and compared the three results. The researchers weren't interested in what happens when we think about our lover, but rather wanted to evaluate the impact of love on our brain, much like one might study the effect of red wine or physical exercise. To do so, we record brain activity at rest, when the subjects aren't thinking about anything in particular.

The reward circuits, the areas involved in motivation, emotion and social relations: these regions of the brain are all more active in lovers. And the extent of the activity depends on how long we've been in love. The longer we're in love, the better it is for our brains!

In conclusion, it's best to go with your emotions and giving your heart away easily might just be good for your brain.
Source: Song H., Zou Z., Kou J., Liu Y., Yang L., Zilverstand A., d'Oleire Uquillas F., Zhang X. Love-related changes in the brain: a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Front. Hum. Neurosci.. 2015 Jan 13;9:71. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00071. eCollection 2015.

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