Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Affair of the Head - Love is a Drug ?


By Neely Tucker Washington Post Staff Writer
They say that love is actually all about brain chemistry. In that case, will you be dopamine? Better known by its street name, romantic love. Also, norepinephrine. Street name, infatuation.

"Love is a drug," says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love." "The ventral tegmental area is a clump of cells that make dopamine, a natural stimulant, and sends it out to many brain regions" when one is in love. "It's the same region affected when you feel the rush of cocaine."

Passion! Sex! Narcotics!

Why do we suspect this isn't going to end well?

Because these things are hard-wired not to last, all of them. Short shelf lives. The passion you fulfill is the passion you kill. The most wonderful, soaring feeling known to all mankind . . . amounts to no more than a narcotic high, a temporal state of mania.

"Being in love, having a crush on someone is wonderful . . . but our bodies can't be in that state all the time," says Pamela C. Regan, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and author of "Mind Games: A Primer on Love, Sex and Marriage." "Your body would fizzle out. As a species, we'd die."

With St.Valentines Day coming up this article made me laugh, and I think it's appropriate to know how some people in the scientific community have it all figured out.

1 comment:

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