Love Chemistry Is All Brain Chemistry
14th February, Valentine’s Day, is the time of the year when everyone thinks about their heart or thinks with their heart for the one whom they love with all their hearts. When we say ‘I love you with all my heart,’ are we actually loving with our heart or with our brain? Is chemistry the spark between two individuals that they feel when their hearts skip a beat or is it literally brain chemistry?
The first look of love
In all the books and movies that we read and see, we observe that the guy and girl smile at each other across a room and they experience an attraction that turns into infatuation and finally, to love. We want what they have and experience so bad that we start believing in it. We are so strong in our opinion that our hearts will lead us to our perfect match.
However, in reality, when we see our potential mate and smile at them, our brain is at work. The neurons in our orbit frontal cortex become activated. This part of the brain is responsible for interpreting facial expressions. When two people look at each other and feel attraction and smile at each other, both of their orbit frontal cortex get activated together, like a switch flipping together.
Brains of the people in love
Researchers have tested the magnetic resonance imaging brain scans of people who have been in love with someone for at least seven months. The experiment was such that the person was shown two pictures, one of a stranger and one of their loved ones. When they saw the stranger’s picture, there wasn’t any noteworthy change in their brain chemistry. However, when they saw their beloved’s image, the researchers noticed that the participant’s dopamine levels went up.
Dopamine is related to a part of the brain that is associated with a person’s feeling of reward and pleasure. Neurotransmitters, norepinephrine, and serotonin also contribute to a person’s feeling that he or she ‘is in love.’
What happens after dopamine wears off?
There has been a study in Sweden that has had some promising results related to the ‘phasing out of love’ phenomenon for couples who have been together for some time. Oxytocin receptors and Vasopressin receptors are related to a man being monogamous in a relation. It is found that males who have a gene that makes them less responsive to vasopressin have trouble in their relations far more often than others.
Women who are with them are often unsatisfied with their relationship or find their bond to be ‘lacking something.’ There hasn’t been a claim that this is the absolute truth with all men, but this research gives us some hints of the type of relationship we will experience with certain partners due to their brain chemistry.
For all those who are ready for Valentine’s Day with heart balloons and heart-shaped chocolates, might want to know that although it’s a matter of the heart- it’s mostly the matter of the brain. Though you might want your hearts to connect, it’s essential that your brain connects as well!