labors found...deep in the brain
Love may be blind,
but scientists now say that they have identified the regions of
the brain responsible for those deep romantic feelings. British
researchers presented the findings at the annual Society for Neuroscience
meeting in New Orleans.
goal was to find out what region of the brain actually makes a
person fall in love or makes them feel like they are in love,"
Dr. Andreas Bartels of University College London stated. "We tried
to get people who were head-over-heels in love...these people
were, on average, in relationships for about 2 years."
team of researchers enlisted 17 study participants who reported
being "truly and madly" in love.
relied on the (participants) to tell us that they were deeply
in love and they also filled out a psychological questionnaire
that assesses if a person is in love or not," Bartels said.
While looking at photographs of their boyfriend or girlfriend
and of three close friends, the volunteers were subjected to brain
scans that detect regions of activity.
found that the emotional response was greater--an increase in
blood flow to specific regions of the brain--when they looked
at photos of the person they were in love with," Bartels explained.
Specifically, four regions, found in the part of the brain known
as the limbic region, were activated. The measurements also showed
that looking at a picture of the loved-one reduced activity in
other regions, such as the neocortex, an area associated with
feelings of depression.
So does this mean that we can all hope for a drug that will rekindle
dying flames of love? Bartels is doubtful. However, future research
by the team will include the identification of brain regions associated
with the love mothers feel for their children, he told Reuters