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March 17, 2006

We Are Shocked

Well imagine that...

Sex and romance may seem inextricably linked, but the human brain clearly distinguishes between the two, according to a new study. The upshot: Love is the more powerful emotion.

Romance seems to steep in parts of the brain that are rich in dopamine, a chemical known to affect emotions. These brain regions are also linked by other studies to the motivation for rewards.

"To our surprise, the activation regions associated with intense romantic love were mostly on the right side of the brain, while the activation regions associated with facial attractiveness were mostly on the left," said Lucy Brown of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The study also revealed that as a romance matures, so does the mind.

"We found several brain areas where the strength of neural activity changed with the length of the romance," Brown said. "Everyone knows that relationships are dynamic over time, but we are beginning to track what happens in the brain as a love relationship matures."

"Romantic love is one of the most powerful of all human experiences," said study member Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University. "It is definitely more powerful than the sex drive."

What would we do without scientists? Stay tuned for more groundbreaking news...

If only they could solve the more enduring mysteries of the universe.

Posted by Cassandra at March 17, 2006 08:13 AM

Comments

"We found several brain areas where the strength of neural activity changed with the length of the romance," Brown said. "Everyone knows that relationships are dynamic over time, but we are beginning to track what happens in the brain as a love relationship matures."

I'd like to see this developed a little more--what does happen as a relationship matures? I imagine we've all felt the intensity of a crush, but it would be interesting to see the changes of neural activity after several years.

Posted by: April [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 03:41 PM

what does happen as a relationship matures...

That's easy:

Randomus surfidensis, the area of the male brain associated with maintaining exclusive possession of the TV remote, experiences exponential growth with the centers of the cranium devoted to small talk and absorbing the mid-ranges of the human voice spectrum most commonly associated with adult female speech often atrophy at an alarming rate :)

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 03:52 PM

Now I must run away before OBH comes after me.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 03:54 PM

Yeah, OBH is gonna let you have it. Wait, no...he can't hear you.

Posted by: April [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 04:25 PM

Well that's OK. If you believe my husband, women never really listen to anything a man says anyway. We just let it roll off our backs...

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 05:32 PM

"Quality males...suffer higher costs", "Females on a higher protein diet lived longer", In any species, a cannibal culture is a half step higher on the food chain. But what a way to go.

Posted by: sonar [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 06:59 PM

Yes, but is there a connection between response to rock-n-roll and sex, in the brain, that is? :)

But you notice that the romantic love centers are in the right brain, so that would mean that left-handers are more romantic???

What say ye to that??

Posted by: Don Brouhaha [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 08:36 PM

Well Don, I can't speak for all of us, but this southpaw never passed up the chance to buy a purty girl a 12 pack and talk all sweet to her.

Posted by: Pile On [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 09:26 PM

See that?

I'm a lefty, Cass is a lefty, Pile On is a lefty, and Bill Clinton is a lefty....

Well, analogies only go so far. :)

Posted by: Don Brouhaha [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2006 11:20 PM

That would be an interesting study, Don.

Supposedly creative types have more sexual partners (another study) and creative types are right-brained, so perhaps there is something to that.

As for romantic? I would describe myself as a very affectionate and loving person, but I'm not sure that I am terribly romantic. My husband is actually far more romantic than I am. He will plan vacations or getaways or dinners for me in advance - he's wonderful at that. I'm more spur of the moment - I might put some music on, throw a log on the fire and dim the lights, but it's not going to be a Hallmark moment :)

I'm not big into cards and flowers and jewelry and things like that or sentimental stuff for the most part. I'm thrilled when he does things like that for me, because I know he's thinking of me, but a lot of times it means just as much to get an email in the middle of the work day. I do like poetry.

I guess I may be a bit weird (for a female) in that I'm more likely to show my affection in some tangible way like cooking a special dinner or doing something I know he likes. So I guess it depends on what you mean by romantic.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2006 07:06 AM

Nothing says "Romance" like a good forum on Neural Synapsis.....

oh, and btw Cass.....if Cable TV would drop "Lifetime Network", then men would gladly share the remote.

Posted by: WildBlueYonder at March 19, 2006 06:48 PM

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