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Love - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Love. Theory of Love: R.J. Sternberg . &. Chemistry of Love:.

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theory of love r j sternberg
Theory of Love: R.J. Sternberg

chemistry of love
Chemistry of Love:
  • Helen Fisher, research professor of anthropology at Rutgers University and author of Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, documents basic chemical principals about love/loving:
  • The neurotransmitter Dopamine is central to love:
  • “If you have higher activity of ­dopamine in the brain, your susceptibility to falling in love may even go up,” Fisher says. “We’ve put over 50 people who were madly in love in the brain scanner [MRI], and one of the brain regions most activated is the area where dopamine is produced, the ventral tegmental area, or VTA.” Just about anything that gives you pleasure will elevate dopamine activity—from eating a box of chocolates to hitting a hole in one.”
  • Oh and too much Dopamine is associated with schizophrenia
chemistry of love1
Chemistry of Love:
  • Serotonin:
    • Deals with mood, hunger, sleep and arousal.
    • “This may go a long way toward explaining that state of anxiety and obsessive thinking that characterizes love in its initial phase,” Fisher says. There is unquestionably a relationship between love and emotions like anxiety and fear. In 2004, researchers from ­Italy’s University of Pisa released a study that measured hormonal activity in 24 young people who reported having recently fallen in love. The newly smitten had higher l­evels of the stress ­hormone cortisol than their workaday counterparts. The study also found that men in love had less testosterone than their single brethren; ­women in love, on the other hand, had more. This lends at least some biological credence to the popular idea that men in love are tamed and women in love are a little wilder and freer.”
chemistry of love2
Chemistry of Love:
  • Norepinephrine: both a hormone and a neurotransmitter
    • Impacts alertness, attention and heart rate
    • “It can produce sleeplessness, elation, loss of appetite, butterflies in the stomach … in short, the whole megillah of nuttiness that comes with romantic love.”
chemistry of love3
Chemistry of Love:
  • The role of scent/smell?
  • Pheromones are chemical messengers that may or may not influence the behavior and mood of others (still controversial).
  • In one study “men who smelled the T-shirts of ovulating ­women had greater levels of testosterone and were more likely to use ­sexual ­language (describing the females) than men who smelled the ­T-shirts of non-ovulating women.”
  • “Some studies have shown that during ovulation, women are more ­attentive to sexual messages from the outside world, dress more provocatively, and stare more at handsome men.”
chemistry of love4
Chemistry of Love
  • Still in love but less anxious
    • “Bianca Acevedo of Cornell Medical College and Arthur Aron of Stony Brook University compared the brain scans of couples who had just fallen in love with those of men and ­women who had been married an average of 21 years and said they were still intensely in love with their spouses. Those in long-term relationships were shown images of their partners, as well as of close friends and neutral acquaintances. Guess what? When subjects saw their beloved’s image, their dopamine-rich VTA lit up like a pinball machine.”
    • But the older couples had higher levels of Serotonin— possible more secure/less anxious
cure for the broken heart
Cure for the broken heart

“A recent brain-scan study ­examined the ­newly dumped. When subjects stared at photos of the person who rejected them, their scans resembled those of people withdrawing from drugs. So how to ease the pain? “If someone is camping out in your head, treat it as an addiction.” So to feel better:

1. CUT OFF COMMUNICATIONPlace letters and pictures of your ex in a lockbox; take her number off your cell, her email address out of your contacts, and her IM name off your buddy list. 2. GET ACTIVE.Exercise. By increasing the stores of dopamine in the brain, you drive up optimism and get ­renewed hope. 3. CALL THE SPA.Get a massage and hug your friends. Both increase oxytocin levels. 4. TRY SOMETHING NEW.Do novel things. “Whether it’s travel, new restaurants, new hobbies, or seeing people you haven’t seen in a while,” Fisher says, “novelty significantly elevates activity of ­dopamine in the brain.”