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Chapter 3

FRHD 1020 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Sympathetic Nervous System, Vasopressin, Limbic System

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 1020
Shayna Sparling

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Why Love Makes Us Act So Irrationally: The Chemistry Behind a Fool
In Love
- Both love and addiction tend to release the same chemicals
- The neurotransmitter dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin are all attributed to the
feeling of love at first sight
- Also released when taking narcotics
- Attraction or that romantic, more passionate love that usually occurs in the first stage of
a relationship is characterized by ;
- obsessive behaviour, focused attention, intense craving as well as the
experience of euphoria when things are going well but terrible mood swings when
they aren't.
- Due to extremely high dopamine, PEA and norepinephrine with plenty of
adrenaline but low serotonin levels
- Stage of love where people act the most irrational, impulsive and emotional
- Similar qualities to the emotional mindframe of addiction
Dopamine: “Desire and reward chemical,” triggering an immense rush of pleasure as a reward
when it’s released.
- Dopamine is released as a “reward” that our brain treats us with so we know to keep
repeating the action.
Adrenaline: Increases HR, contracts blood vessels and dilates air passages.
- Causes “Fight or flight” mode of sympathetic nervous system.
- Makes us impulsive and irrational because it tells our body to “act quick or we’ll lose
- Can cause us to become bored in a relationship, which is why some people have
commitment issues because we crave the feeling of falling in love.
Norepinephrine: Similar to adrenaline with sympathetic nervous system
- Causes us to act more inappropriately when jealous, jumping to conclusions or
becoming overly-anxious.
PEA: Speeds up the flow of information between nervous cells
- Released in limbic system
- Controls basic needs, emotions and desires such as hunger, thirst, sleep, joy
sadness and sex
- Feeling a bond with someone is due to oxytocin and vasopressin, which are also
produced during childbirth, milk production and orgasms.
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