The Science of Romance: Why We Love

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http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1704672-1,00.htmlpsychpic.jpg
My boyfriend and I recently broke up, so I'm stuck in this pathetic, broken stage and wondered, "Why does this happen?" I decided to do a little research, since I'm in college now, and I needed something to write about in my blog. I googled love article and this was the first one to come up. I couldn't stop reading!

This article (a must read, by the way), answered a plethora of questions, but then again left me with a million more. The most interesting answered question however was why, first of all do we feel the need to stay with a partner when we were literally built to mate randomly and competitively, and secondly, why does it hurt so much when they are gone. Also, if you doubted the whole, "psychology is science" thing, this sets everything straight.

In this article, I learned that scientists do these things called fMRI scans of people. These scans measure the different chemical levels in the brain. This includes dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Oxytocin is the one to note here. It was my understanding from reading the article that oxytocin is the chemical that is more closely related to addictions. When you're in early stages of relationships with a boyfriend, girlfriend, new child, etc., large amounts of this chemical are produced, in turn creating a chemical bond.

My second question: "why does it hurt so much when they're gone?" The simplest, scientific answer: when you are with a person for a long period of time, there is activity in the caudate nucleus. This is the place that is adjacent to the part of the brain that is related to addiction. So, when you're first going through your break up and you feel like you're experiencing withdrawals, it may actually be true. This has not yet been scientifically proven, but many scientists have hypothesized and theorized about this.

All in all, I'm sure my "addiction" to my ex-boyfriend will pass, and I will find another man with opposite MHC levels. I will continue to believe that there is more than just this, though. For example, why does a man with a better personality suddenly become more attractive to me?

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This page contains a single entry by schu2851 published on October 2, 2011 10:34 PM.

Plasticity, Synesthesia, and Extremes was the previous entry in this blog.

Behavioral Adaptation is the next entry in this blog.

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