Home
Advice

Comics

Animation

Goodies

Big To Do
MORE...
About Us

Archive
“Saving Love Lives The World Over!” e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

November 10, 2010

Love is a lot like a drug

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Kristine @ 10:58 am

When scientists — arguably the most logical of humans — try to make sense of love, interesting things are bound to happen. As Albert Einstein concluded: “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” (No one’s ruled out inertia, entropy, or nuclear fusion.) Traditionally, of course — metaphorically or otherwise — we trace the origin of love to our hearts. Thankfully, though, Syracuse University Professor Stephanie Ortigue suggests that our head has something to do with it, too — and not just when it’s over our heels.

In the new study “The Neuroimaging of Love,” Ortigue reveals that “12 areas of the brain work in tandem to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopression.” Basically, “falling in love can elicit not only the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine, but also affects intellectual areas of the brain.” Apparently, when it comes to love, we can go from zero to sixty in 1/5th of a second — meaning that euphoria can enter our system as quickly, if not faster, than a controlled substance.

So falling in love is like being on cocaine. It happens real fast, you’re on this crazy high — and then you come down. Interestingly enough, cocaine was once an ingredient in Coca Cola. Coca Cola was first introduced as a patent medicine “for all that ails you.” Since cocaine isn’t legal and has long been removed from Coca Cola, maybe all we need is love?

Dr. Sean Mackey, chair of the pain management division of Stanford University, might agree. Writing recently in Time, Alice Park explores Mackey’s research into to what degree love might “influence how we experience physical pain.” Mackey discovered that when people who reported being in the first stages of “new and passionate love”  were shown pictures of their various pumpkins and pookies, they could withstand greater amounts of pain — even more so than when occupied by mental tests or when shown photos of equally attractive friends.

While I am all for love as a potential wonder-drug, one of my questions is: why only romantic love? Would throwing a different kind of love — say parent/child — into the pain equation garner the same results? Isn’t that love just as mind-altering? Nope, turns out. Well, not in the same way.

Ortigue’s study found that the reason parent-child love would likely not have the same effects on pain is that different parts of the brain are stimulated by different kinds of love: “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.”

Parent-child love wouldn’t reduce pain physically because it doesn’t stimulate the reward center. However, that’s not to say that a parent wouldn’t be able to endure more pain should their child be in danger. In essence, Mackey’s study is strengthened by Ortigue’s assertion that the brain releases chemicals akin to cocaine to stimulate romantic love, because like cocaine, love works back and forth with the brain as it heightens certain things and dulls others. Love engages “our very deep, old and primitive reptilian system that involves basic needs, wants, and cravings.”

Since romantic love allows us to withstand more pain, perhaps it is the reason humans survive. While the end of love can hurt, to the point of making people lovesick, the euphoria of being in love keeps us coming back, much like cocaine keeps an addict coming back — all ensuring that we continue the species. From an evolutionary standpoint, the emergence of romantic love in humans may be all about survival of the fittest – rewarding us for the formation of potentially strong alliances with our mates and, as shown by Mackey allowing us to withstand greater amounts of pain, which from a primitive standpoint would have been useful in a fight with that mastodon.

Be thankful. Biology is looking out for us in more ways than one.

4 Comments »

  1. I must show some thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this issue. After looking out throughout the internet and seeing concepts that were not beneficial, I thought my entire life was well over. Existing without the approaches to the issues you’ve sorted out by way of your good review is a critical case, as well as the kind that might have badly affected my entire career if I had not noticed your blog post. Your actual expertise and kindness in taking care of all the things was valuable. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a thing like this. I can also at this time look forward to my future. Thank you so much for this high quality and result oriented guide. I will not hesitate to refer the sites to anyone who should have guidance on this problem.

    Comment by adidas yeezy — March 2, 2018 @ 3:18 am

  2. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with a very splendid possiblity to discover important secrets from here. It can be so beneficial and as well , stuffed with fun for me and my office mates to visit your blog really thrice in 7 days to read the fresh items you will have. And definitely, I am just usually amazed with your very good opinions you serve. Certain 1 ideas in this post are really the most effective we have ever had.

    Comment by westbrook shoes — March 18, 2018 @ 1:54 am

  3. I’d recommend crawl area restore to anybody.

    Comment by crawl space repair companies — April 16, 2018 @ 1:53 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

**Mean or otherwise out-of-line comments will be deleted. That’s just how we roll.

[breakupgirl.net]

blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2008 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez

MORE COMICS...

Powered by WordPress