Love Really Is a Drug, Say Scientists

love drugArthur Aron, a psychologist at the State University of New York, studied such strong feelings as love and passion and came to interesting conclusions.

Many of us are addicted to different things. Our habits include a variety of things and events: from the daily routine habits to our favorite activities and places. We begin to feel uncomfortable when we do not get enough of our familiar things. We get used and feel the need of these things, just like in drug addiction. According to the latest research, an emotional expression like love can be attributed to drugs.

This is confirmed by the fact the same brain center receives and processes the feelings caused by a romantic relationship and those triggered by the use of drugs. That is, our brain perceives love as a drug! The gray matter in this case is an emotional response associated with reward and motivation. In other words we can say that when we are in love, our brain gets such motivation that we begin to create, work hard and do absolutely unexpected things.

Even when speaking of painting, poetry, music and other arts, most masterpieces were created at the peak of the emotional state of their authors. Thus we unconsciously try to perform a feat in order to satisfy our object of adoration. According to Lucy Brown, a scientist of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “an in-love person can be completely happy, but often this feeling is accompanied by anxiety”. She also claims that adequate stimulation of this part of the brain prompts us to have sex.

According to Arthur Aron, “love and passion, as well as drugs, activate the same area of the brain.” Such statement was made by the psychologist on the basis of an experiment that included magnetic resonance imaging of the brain of ten women and seven men who claimed to be in a state of love. All the participants were in a relationship from one month to two years, and during the experiment they were shown some pictures of their loved ones.

The result of the experiment showed that love is the strongest feeling that human is capable of and the intensity of feelings changes depending on the duration of a relationship. An interesting fact is that the brain of the participants responded similarly to the photos of their beloved ones and to face-to-face meetings with them, causing a large burst of activity in the brain region responsible for pleasure. As for the decrease of intensity of feelings over the years, the scientist answered like this: “After some time, most people experience a slow decrease of passionate love and a growth of affection.”

The affection of two people who stay together for a long time allows them to bear and raise children. Moreover, a feeling of affection and a decrease of passion occurs at a moment when a fear losing one’s loved one disappears.

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Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

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Love Really Is a Drug, Say Scientists