Elizabeth Cohen at CNN:
Her beautiful eyes. His strong shoulders. We’ll stop there, but you go right ahead and think about all the body parts you want.
Bet you didn’t think about the caudate and the ventral tegmental areas, did you?
These areas of the brain, while little known to most people, are helping scientists explain the physiological reasons behind why we feel what we feel when we fall in love.
By studying MRI brain scans of people newly in love, scientists are learning a lot about the science of love: Why love is so powerful, and why being rejected is so horribly painful.
In a group of experiments, Dr. Lucy Brown, a professor in the department of neurology and neuroscience at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and her colleagues did MRI brain scans on college students who were in the throes of new love.
While being scanned, the students looked at a photo of their beloved. The scientists found that the caudate area of the brain — which is involved in cravings — became very active. Another area that lit up: the ventral tegmental, which produces dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter that affects pleasure and motivation.