It’s Valentine’s Day – so we thought we’d take this series of blog posts on love and romance out of the archives (with a few updates). Enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day, all! Since February 14th has rolled around yet again, we would like to offer some highlights covering the latest in neuroscience research as it relates to love, affection, romance, and (almost) everything in between.
“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.”
What happens when you first fall in love? What’s going on in your brain after years of marriage? And how can neuroscience help you redefine your date nights to improve your relationship? You may want to start with our 5-part series of articles about your brain in love:
- Part 1: When Love is a Many-Splendored Thing
- Part 2: Love and Marriage
- Part 3: The Neuroscience of Date Night
- Part 4: Oxytocin, the Love/Hate Hormone
- Part 5: No Room for Romance? Try Music Instead… but not Junk Food
“Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?”
“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house you can never tell.”
Can a brain scan predict whether you and your new squeeze will stay together forever? A research team fron Stonybrook University thinks they have found the answers using MRI technology. Find out how it works.
“Chemistry can be a good and bad thing. Chemistry is good when you make love with it. Chemistry is bad when you make crack with it.”
Does Cupid’s arrow actually hit the gut, and not the heart? New research (on fruit flies) shows that after eating, the gut releases a molecule that switches its goal from eating to mating. It’s a fresh look on gut-brain communication that could play out in other animals.
“The four most important words in any marriage…’I’ll do the dishes.'”
“People say you can’t live without love. But I think oxygen is more important.”
If you’re stressed out, falling in love will only make it worse, but being in love (i.e., in a long-term relationship) can help balance you out and reduce stress levels. The caveat, of course, is that it has to be a healthy, positive relationship or it won’t work too well. But you probably could have guessed that.
“Forget love, I’d rather fall in chocolate.”
-Sandra J. Dykes
“Think size matters? That’s just the preoptic area of your hypothalamaus talking.”
I would be remiss not to at least mention your brain’s involvement in sex. Luckily Liz Langley of Salon has written a great article called “10 Ways the Brain Dictates Sex” so I think she’s pretty much got that topic covered.
“An archeologist is the best husband any woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.”