Attraction & Ithimacy: A Cross-Cultural Review
EXAM: dec. 4 7pm-9pm in ROZH 104
120 questions: 60 from the textbook chapters 5, 10 (second half), 11, 12, 13 & 14 ; 60
questions from the 8 lectures.
Chemistry of Love
- What are the characteristics of someone in love?
People who are in love have similar brain chemical inbalances as those who are
- Romantic love is associated with specific chemicals & networks in the brain
- Dopamine: associated with focused attention (notice detail), foal oriented
behaviours, excessive energy, dependency, & sexual desire.
- Norepinephrine: associated with excessive energy, sleeplessness, loss of
appetite, increased memory for new stimuli (details).
- Lower seratonin: associated with obsession
Chemicals become more out of balance
EXPERIMENT: Scanning the Brain in Love
- “Have you just fallen madly in love?”
- The brain activity of 20 participants who were “madly & happily in love” were scanned
Picture of loved one is shown for 10s, then participant asked to count backwards 7
numbers from a random large number (to stop you from thinking about that person).
Then flash picture of neutral person & do the counting exercise again. Repeat 3 times.
- Findings: high activity in the Caudate Nucleus – primitive part of our brain &
associated with reward system (dopamine).
High activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) was found: produces
dopamine-making cells & distributes dopamine to many brain regions.
Rejection in Love
- Study by Fisher, Brown, Aron, et al. (2010)
- 40 volunteers who were recently rejected by partners
- Using fMRI, the researchers found that when participants looked at pictures of their
exes, their brains engaged in the same pain circuits that lit up that is associated with
Love hurts & the hurt isn’t entirely in your head.
Why Do We Choose?
Why does one person ignite these primitive brain circuits while another perfectly lovely
human being leaves us totally unmoved? Why him/her?
- Timing: people who are emotionally aroused have agitated mental states & have
elevated levels of stress hormones. Both systems increase