Study digs into why love makes us crazy

Study digs into why love makes us crazy

Love makes us all a little loopy.

Even the expressions we use to describe romantic love evoke a special kind of madness. It’s blind. We’re head over heels. We fall in love. Two people are “crazy” about each other.

It’s been long known that our brains change when we’re in the first flush of romantic love. The hormone oxytocin [ox-ee-toe-sin] is released, causing the goofy euphoria that defines early romance.

Now, a team of Australian researchers has measured how a part of the brain is responsible for putting our new lover on a pedestal.

When we love someone or interact with loved ones, the so-called love hormone oxytocin circulates through the body’s nervous system and bloodstream.

But when romantic love is involved, our brains up the ante by adding the chemical dopamine. The dopamine and oxytocin pack a double punch, activating pathways in the brain associated with positive feelings.

The two-ingredient cocktail is responsible for the way those in love tend to put their romantic partner on a pedestal, and how that significant other often becomes the center of a person’s life.

Study participants included more than 1,550 young adults from around the world who described themselves as being in love. The adults were surveyed about their emotional reactions to their partner, their behavior related to their partner and the focus put on their partner.

The scientific study of love is in its infancy, but the Australian scientists’ next step is to investigate male and female approaches to love. Also in the works: A global survey identifying four types of romantic lovers.

Seems scientists, like the rest of us, love a lover.


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