Brain scans shed light on the nature of love

Researchers Arthur Aron (Psychology, State University of New York, Stony Brook) and Helen Fisher (Antropology, Rutgers University) discuss the implications of a study they conducted and published in June's Journal of Neurophysiology in which they studied fMRI results from 17 young people newly in love.

According to Fisher, the areas they found stimulated when the subjects were presented images of the loved one where in two areas that are "...part of the reward system in the brain -- the dopaminergic system associated with very focused attention, elation, energy, craving, motivation... we feel now that romantic love is a drive, not an emotion. It's a basic mating drive."

The article goes on to discuss the similarities between early love and addiction, including withdrawal symptoms after a breakup! This is a must-read that may clarify some of the physiological ramifications of the love process. I must wonder if there could be implications for helping people get over a lost love. Hypnotists and NLPers are always cautioned against helping someone to forget about a love from the past because it's an unecological change with all the problems that can present, but what if instead the protocol is to be addressed like a set of withdrawal symptoms?

Source: Local 6

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