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Study: Love Affects Brain Like Drug Addiction

Love Affects Brain

  • Scientific studies have proven that love has the same effects on the brain as an addiction or certain mental disorders.
  • Research studies using MRI pictures have shown that love can activate some areas of the brain while deactivating others.
  • Love affects the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, and serotonin levels drop significantly during the early stages.

Love can be a wonderful thing, but this is not always true. Scientific studies have shown that love can act like a drug, and people in love can show signs similar to drug addiction. Love can lead to obsession and depression in some individuals, especially if they feel the love is not returned. Love has several stages, and physical and emotional changes take place in each phase. Love has also become big business, with providers like eHarmony and others performing and using research on love. Dr. Helen Fisher, who works at Rutgers University as an evolutionary scientist, has done research on the subject of the effects of love, using MRI scans and other tests to determine what physical changes take place in the brain during love. Dr. Fisher classifies love as an addiction, because the same chemical changes occur in the brain with love as they do with drug use. The first stages of love can produce a high, and this can result in certain brain areas acting unusual. Risk taking is increased, a feeling of euphoria takes over, and the lovers can think of little else except each other. All of these reactions are caused by the limbic system in the brain, which changes the neurotransmitter levels. This area is what helps govern behavior, preventing obsession and reckless behavior, and love has the opposite effect and can increase this activity instead.

According to the research on love performed by Dr. Arthur Aron, who is associated with the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is a psychologist, the first passionate response will fade and another type of love will replace it. This is called companionate love according to Dr. Aron, and it is the stable bonding of a pair. This love is more stable, without many of the extremes that is seen in earlier stages of love. It can also be classified as an addiction as well though, according to Dr. Fisher, because it is also a drive which can be significant. One of the most basic human needs is to find the ideal mating partner so that the human species continues. MRI pictures studies by Dr. Fisher and other scientists show that the areas of the brain associated with reward is active during love. This is the same part of the brain that is active for addicts, whether the addiction is drugs, gambling, alcohol, or some other substance or activity.

Scientific studies on love have also been done by Dr. Lucy Brown, who is a neuroscience professor associated with Albert Einstein College of Medicine. These studies also involved MRI tests for individuals who are in love at the beginning. She published a study in the Journal of Neurophysiology in the July of 2005 issue detailing the results. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain becomes active, and this is the same part of the brain that is active during a cocaine high or high from some other drug or activity. According to Dr. Brown, this area of the brain is associated with the high feeling, or reward, and not the craving. In addition, other areas become less active, and these areas of the brain control impulses and behavior, as well as fear and other negative emotions. One study published in the Psychological Medicine Journal in 1999 showed that chemicals in the brain of people in the beginning stages of love actually are similar to the same chemicals present for individuals who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorders. Serotonin levels in love struck people are slightly more than half of the levels found in normal individuals, showing that the drop in serotonin may be partly responsible for the obsession with the other person.

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12 Responses to “Study: Love Affects Brain Like Drug Addiction”

  1. Notes from the Underbelly » Blog Archive » Let’s Play A Love Game says:

    […] http://www.invigorate360.com/reviews/study-love-affects-brain-like-drug-addiction/ Share and Enjoy: […]

  2. Stan says:

    Hard to argue with some of the facts about how some people act when they’re in love. Why do you think they came up with the term “love drunk”? But I still think love is bigger than any scientific study or even our capacity to understand what it is. Call me a hopeless romantic, I guess.

  3. […] Científicos han descubierto que durante esa etapa el amor produce un efecto en el cerebro similar al de la drogas.  Su estudio concluye que estar enamorado puede llevar a las personas al borde de la obsesión y depresión, en aquellos individuos que sienten que sus sentimientos no son correspondidos, añade el sitio ConditioNutrition.com. […]

  4. Harry says:

    I can see how this study can make sense. Nobody has ever known how this love thing works. I have a tendency to sort of raise an eyebrow when I see so much scientific study about things like human emotions. I don’t have anything against trying to understand what makes us tick. I just think some things maybe should stay in the realm of mystery. It gives the poets something to do.

  5. Veta Schoeck says:

    If you suffer from anxiousness or a terrible fright, you are not solo; this is a part of the human condition. But we don’t have to endure ceaselessly because anxiety has an inner construction in the form of negative thought processes and beliefs powered by emotional energy that has grown frozen in place. Uncover these patterns of negative ideas and you are on the mode to stimulating significant change.

  6. magia negra says:

    Ya mismo estoy agregando este blog a mis favoritos. lo recomendare

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  8. AnDg says:

    Yes I like it, I am pleased to visit your blog and would often visit him because of what you serve is very interesting and provide a solution for me and everything. Where in the content of your blog articles containing the terms of neurotransmitters in the Brain, serotonin and dopamine. Thank you for informations……………….

  9. I impressed, I must say. Actually rarely do I encounter a weblog that both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the problem is something that not enough persons are talking intelligently about. I’m very comfortable that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for something regarding this.

  10. […] brain areas that control impulses, fear and negativity become less active. Obsession and reckless behavior increase. As Dr. Fisher put it, “Infatuation can overtake […]

  11. akash says:

    i want to know that love can effect our study or exam?

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