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  • The personality.

  • Nice haircut.

  • I usually check out the hips first.

  • Honesty and passion.

  • Hips.

  • Eyes.

  • The eyes.

  • His hands.

  • His height.

  • Lips.

  • Hips.

  • Her humor.

  • And the smile.

  • The curves. Charisma. Energy.

  • And the smile.

  • Smile. Her lips.

  • And the hair

  • The whole thing.

  • What makes us drawn to a particular person?

  • Well, if you ask that question to a thousand people

  • you may get a thousand different answers.

  • But being in love is actually one of the strongest feelings possible,

  • and even though we typically think of love being in our heart,

  • the chemistry of love has actually a lot more to do with this, our brain.

  • Our brain..

  • And the reason we start to act all funny when we find someone special

  • can actually be explained chemically.

  • Let’s look at three different molecules that play a big role in human attraction,

  • adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.

  • If youve ever wondered why people act so goofy when they bump in to someone

  • they are attracted to, it’s not entirely their fault.

  • When this happens adrenaline is released in the body by signals from the brain.

  • This is actually the body activating a stress response

  • and we feel our heart rate increase and we begin to sweat.

  • Even if sweating may not be something we really wish to do

  • when trying to impress someone we like.

  • Well, another molecule related to adrenaline is dopamine,

  • a natural feel-good substance released in the brain as we fall in love.

  • Dopamine is the reward-molecule, it makes us want to repeat things

  • that have made us feel good, but high dopamine concentrations are also connected to

  • focused attention, obsessive thinking, sleeplessness and loss of appetite.

  • Does this sound familiar?

  • When we fall in love there seems to not be a thing in the world

  • that could bring us down.

  • Life is just great and we can’t stop thinking of that special one...

  • Well, we can partly thank our third chemical for that, serotonin.

  • But what is really happening in our body when these molecules are released?

  • Well, I know just the person to ask.

  • I’m meeting up with Andrew Ewing, who is a professor in analytical chemistry.

  • These molecules, dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline,

  • they are neurotransmitters in the brain.

  • Neurotransmitters are molecules that signal between two nerve cells,

  • whether it's in the brain or in the nerve system in the body.

  • When a nerve signal is sent in the body, the neurotransmitters transfer the signal

  • across small gaps between the nerve cells.

  • Neurotransmitters then have specific receptors on the receiving nerve cells,

  • making sure that only the right nerve signal is passed on.

  • Kind of like a lock and key.

  • Only the right key will open the right door and continue the signal.

  • But what really happens in our body when we fall in love?

  • Well, that’s when your brain sends all the signals to your body for action.

  • And so that’s why you have the adrenaline rush.

  • Adrenaline comes out and your palms get sweaty

  • and your heart rate increases, you get tunnel vision and you zero in on that person.

  • That’s who youre looking at.

  • And then after a little while you get this euphoria and that’s serotonin,

  • and that's also rewarding so you have some dopamine involved.

  • It's probably more a time again reward with dopamine.

  • Well, it turns out that the effects of these little chemicals in our brain

  • could be so strong that some scientists even recommend that we avoid

  • making big decisions during this stage!

  • We could be acting under the influence of love chemicals!

  • But these molecules are not just important in explaining

  • why we act and feel the way we do when we fall in love.

  • They also provide insight in many other physiological effects.

  • A rapid increase in adrenaline for example is our bodiesway to prepare for

  • a fight-or-flight situation.

  • That is why our heart rate increases and we feel knee weak when doing something scary!

  • Hey, falling in love is pretty scary, isn’t it?

  • Understanding the effects of adrenaline has now lead to its use in treating

  • severe allergic reactions, asthma, and restoring the heartbeat of patients

  • suffering cardiac arrest!

  • And understanding the biochemistry of dopamine has improved treatment methods

  • for diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

  • The discovery of dopamine’s role as a neurotransmitter gave Arvid Carlsson

  • from Gothenburg in Sweden the Nobel Prize in 2000.

  • And get this, serotonin has now been used to help treat for example depression.

  • Well, even though chemistry might not explain why we fall in love,

  • we have learned that being in love depends a lot more on chemistry than you may have thought.

  • So we have seen how the molecules of love have a lot more to do with this, than this.

  • And understanding how these molecules work in the brain is helping scientists

  • in many ways, such as treating certain diseases.

  • And remember,

  • Chemistry is all around You!

The personality.

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B1 dopamine adrenaline serotonin nerve brain chemistry

What is love? Chemistry Calendar, May: Love

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    QAM Chen posted on 2014/01/11
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