A friend posted a link to this article on facebook. It's the results of a study (a "meta-analysis", which means the data from many many research studies) which, when boiled down, indicated that, "falling in love can elicit not only the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine, but also affects intellectual areas of the brain. Researchers also found falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second" (Sciencedaily, 2010). It's what's called a top-down, and bottom-up process, which means the brain activates the heart and gut and the gut and heart can affect the brain. Falling in love feels a lot like doing cocaine...and it happens quickly. Good luck with those teenagers. But that's the fun stuff, the romantic stuff, the lets-go-to-Vegas-stuff.
But the research didn't stop there. It found deeper, more meaningful data. Different areas of the brain fall in different kinds of love (thank goodness). The article said, "For example, unconditional love, such as that between a mother and a child, is sparked by the common and different brain areas, including the middle of the brain. Passionate love is sparked by the reward part of the brain, and also associative cognitive brain areas that have higher-order cognitive functions, such as body image" (Sciencedaily, 2010).
So...it appears that love is in the lab.
We're screwed people.
Love is powerful. It makes us take bullets for people. It's makes us look at ugly babies and think,
"Good Heavens, this is one perfect human specimen", except in my family, they really are. :)
Love makes us wipe the drool off of our baby's teething chin, as well as our aging parents' shirt.
It compels us to leave divorce court and buy new make-up (after a time...or is that just me?)
Love takes us back to the cemetery and lay flowers at the stone while rubbing our fingers over the top of it to remember the texture...
Different parts of the brain? Perhaps. Same emotion? Feels like it. Screwed? Probably. Blessed? Most Definitely.
Syracuse University (2010, October 25). Falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second, research reveals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/10/101022184957.htm