B2 High-Intermediate US 1544 Folder Collection
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I’m Abby Marsh, I’m a professor of psychology
at Georgetown University.
I describe it as an emotion that is
particular response to one person,
you love being around that person,
you take a lot of pleasure from being
in their company, and you’re very distressed
when you’re separated from them.
Some of the reasons love feels good is
because of a lot of feel good hormones
that are involved like dopamine, there’s
the sort of reward seeking, it’s energized,
excited, and neurotransmitter.
And the statum, that is definitely
involved in feeling in love.
The hormone that is most specific to
feeling in love that is most specific to
social response is oxytocin, and then a
closely related, neuropeptide called vasopressin.
Nature really wants love to feel good, right?
Nature is imperative is that we reproduce
and love is one of the mechanisms nature
has put in place to make sure that we do that.
This piece is the tender pair bonds and
the ones whose babies require a lot of work.
We know that the offspring you have two
parents who are taking care of them do
better on average than offspring who don’t.
Um, and it’s again because they are so much
work, especially if there’s more one of them.
And so we think the nature set us up
to form long-term pair bonds to ensure
that our offspring would have the best
chance at survival in the long term.
Why Prairie Voles Love And Their Cousins the Montane Voles Do Not.
Prairie Voles are really unique in that,
one male and female prairie vole meet
it seems to sort of solidify the very
long-term bond between them.
And as compared to a lot of other mammals, the
male doesn’t just disappear after they mate.
He sticks around and helps raise the babies
and he stays with the mom usually
for the rest of their lives.
There’s a fairly closely related cousin
called the Montane vole that works
more or less like a Prairie Vole,
and it’s similar in a lot of ways,
but it forms no pair bonds,
they’re what’s called promiscuous.
As soon as they’re made dads, you know
“peace out” that’s the last the mom
will probably see of him. What seems
to be the case is that in Prairie Voles,
they have really dense oxytocin receptors
in regions like Nucleus accumbrens,
when they mate they trigger a flood of
oxytocin to be released, that triggers a
flood of dopamine to be released.
And then you have the Acumbens,
which causes, for example, the female
to find that particular male
really rewarding to be around.
“I like that dude and I would stick with him,”
and… they do.
And you can actually mimic this response,
really wow if you inject oxytocin into
female Prairie Vole, she’ll just seek
to form a bond with any other male
Prairie Vole in the vicinity.
And then if you block oxytocin receptors, you
can total cut off that pair bonding response.
And you’re basically turning Prairie Voles
into Montane Voles, that would be
uninteresting in forming pair bonds,
if you just block the oxytocin receptors.
I think our best guess is that humans
are probably built similar.
It’s that people who excite romantic
feelings in us, probably also trigger
increases in oxytocin, which results in this
increase in dopamine and we find that person
as someone whom we want to stick with.
Love is a Drug
Uh.. there’s absolutely a lot of research,
comparing romantic love to addiction, and
the way that people can be addicted to a
specific drug, romantic love is almost like
being addicted to a specific person.
There are lots of similar neurotransmitters
involved, dopamine being the most prominent,
but there are other ones as well.
There are things about being in love that
are sort of like being addicted,
you are sort obsessed with thinking
about that thing all the time.
When you are away from it you want more.
Your capacity for risk taking to get that
thing you crave so much is increased, and
the main hormone that comes into play is
something called corticotrophin – releasing
factor (CRF). And this is a compound that
seems to spike in the brain, either when you
are separated from the object of love, or if
you’re separated again from your drug of choice.
And this is a hormone that definitely
regulates the stress system, and it seems to be
involved in the acute stress that you feel right
after separating from a loved one and the
depression that seems to think in long terms.
We’re nowhere near knowing enough about love
to take the mystery out of it.
I think that if we really what people
are worried about is that knowing about
neurotransmitters like oxytocin
will take the mystery out of love.
That day is a long, long way into the future,
I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
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The Chemistry of Love - Reactions

1544 Folder Collection
Eating published on February 3, 2015
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