Glenn Wilson PhD, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College,University of London. IS THERE SUCH A THING?. FOUR MAIN AREAS. Attraction Arousal Romantic love Relationship stability. IS THIS AN ATTRACTIVE FACE?. WHY?. SOME PRINCIPLES OF ATTRACTION.
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King’s College,University of London
IS THERE SUCH A THING?
Cross-fostering studies reveal importance of mother-image. Lambs raised by a goat mother (left) and kids raised by a sheep mother (right) fancy the “wrong” species when grown up (effect esp. obvious for males, who depend more on “targets”.)
Female fMRI (BOLD) responses to attractive males (Star 18/1/88)
Brain areas activated as a young woman views eligible male faces & bodies (those linking cortical pattern processing with limbic emotional areas).
Male rated most desirable to date
fMRI has also been used to find areas of brain active when love is experienced.
e.g. Brain responses to pictures of a loved partner are compared with responses to pictures of friends.
Or, brain responses to romantic pictures are compared with responses to explicit erotica.
Brain areas concerned with love are the emotional/social areas such as the amygdala and insula; those concerned with lust are more “animal” (e.g brain stem and hypothalamus).
“DON JUAN” GENES (Star 18/1/88)
promiscuous, but a gene that
increases production of a
hormone in the brain called
vasopressin, transferred from
the monogamous prairie vole,
renders it faithful to one partner
meadow vole is normally
Asked “Ever wished you weren’t married?”, 1 in 5 wives said “yes”, and 1 in 7 husbands. Peak discontent occurs 6-9 years after marrying, though actual divorce peaks later (11-14 years).
How important to you is sexual fidelity?
1. Absolutely essential
2. Very important
3. Odd lapse forgivable
4. You have to expect affairs
5. Would want an open, swinging, relationship