From The Independent:
Love and hate are intimately linked within the human brain, according to a study that has discovered the biological basis for the two most intense emotions. Scientists studying the physical nature of hate have found that some of the nervous circuits in the brain responsible for it are the same as those that are used during the feeling of romantic love – although love and hate appear to be polar opposites. A study using a brain scanner to investigate the neural circuits that become active when people look at a photograph of someone they say they hate has found that the “hate circuit” shares something in common with the love circuit.
The findings could explain why both hate and romantic love can result in similar acts of extreme behaviour – both heroic and evil – said Professor Semir Zeki of University College London, who led the study published in the on-line journal PloS ONE. “Hate is often considered to be an evil passion that should, in a better world, be tamed, controlled and eradicated. Yet to the biologist, hate is a passion that is of equal interest to love,” Professor Zeki said. “Like love, it is often seemingly irrational and can lead individual to heroic and evil deeds. How can two opposite sentiments lead to the same behaviour?”
The study advertised for volunteers to take part in the study and 17 people were chosen who professed a deep hatred for one individual. Most chose an ex-lover or a competitor at work, although one woman expressed an intense hatred for a famous political figure.
(Picture: Michael Douglas and KathleenTurner played a couple with a stormy relationship in the 1989 film War Of The Roses).