Just fell in love and want to know if your love will last forever? Brain scanner will give the answer. This is stated by researchers who believe they have discovered the “footprint” of the true love in our brains.
Studying the brains of in-love volunteers, scientists found different patterns of activity which seemed to “lead” to a different outcome of the love story that had just begun: one seemed to be associated with “unshakable” feelings and stability in the relationship while the other was a quite bad omen predicting that the passion will soon blow over.
The scan of fierce love
Professor Arthur Aron, a social psychologist at the University in Brook on Long Island in New York, together with his colleagues examined 12 volunteers with the technique of functional magnetic resonance imaging. All the volunteers claimed to be intensely in love and had a relationship for about a year.
The researchers showed the volunteers some pictures of their partners and asked them to bring to mind memories of them. They also showed them pictures of other acquaintances whom they did not have a relationship with and recorded their brain activity.
Three years later, the experts analyzed the brain scans of the volunteers based on the outcome of the sexual relationship of each of them. Half of the volunteers had broken up, the other half were still together with their partners.
The pattern of true love
The analysis of the data revealed two distinct patterns of brain activity that appeared to be linked to a different outcome of relationships. The most “intense” feature for those who stayed in relationship with their partner three years after being together was that in the course of the experiment there was a strong activity in the caudate nucleus, a region associated with emotional reactions to visual stimuli of beauty.
Moreover, the ‘stable’ volunteers had lower levels of activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, an area that is associated with the criticism, which, according to the researchers, means that they were less critical of their partners. The activity levels of these volunteers were also lower in the pleasure centers of the brain, associated with addiction and reward. In fact, these centers are ‘off’ when we feel satisfied and “full”.
“Everyone who participated in the study felt very in love with their partners and it was reflected in brain scans, but there were also some subtle clues that showed how constant their feelings were,” said Professor Aron.