Charles holds a bachelor's degree in Analytical Chemistry and Social Sciences. He has been writing online for 3 years.
Biology and Chemistry of Love
For decades, researchers in various domains, from anthropology to neuroscience, have pondered the same subject. There's more to the science of love than we'd previously thought.
In a biological sense, love is inseparable from the body. Its power has inspired many works of art. In addition, love has a significant impact on our mental and physical health. Many people suffer from the effects of 'broken hearts' or a broken relationship, and mourning can even lead to death in some cases. It doesn't matter how well-supplied our other fundamental needs are if we lack meaningful connections with others who care about us.
A biological mechanism rather than an emotional response is undoubtedly at work for love, which is dynamic and bidirectional in many ways. For example, social interactions trigger cognitive and physiological processes that influence emotional and mental states. These alterations impact future social interactions will. Constant feedback from sensory and cognitive systems is required to maintain romantic relationships in the same way; the body desires love and responds continually to interactions with loved ones or a lack thereof.
Human love is more nuanced than a series of basic feedback loops. The emotional core of the human nerve system, which originated long before the cerebral cortex, is where the biology of love begins. The vagus nerve, which transmits sensations to the brain of a 'loving' person, plays a significant role in forming most of what we perceive as emotion. Rather than responding to reality, the modern cortex creates a story around arriving gut experiences to make sense of the fundamental messages of love.
Biological components that have been reused or co-opted during mammalian evolution enable mammalian social behavior and thus allow for long-term connections to form between adults. The neuropeptide oxytocin is a constant in the biochemistry of love. By assisting in evacuating the big-brained infant from the uterus and then ejecting milk, oxytocin plays an essential function in reproduction in large mammals. Mammalian babies rely heavily on their mother's milk for the first several weeks of their lives. When a human baby is born, the mother and baby create a solid and permanent attachment critical to the baby's survival during this crucial phase. Even if a woman chooses not to breastfeed or has a cesarean section, she still has a strong emotional relationship with her kid. In addition, fathers, grandparents, and adoptive parents develop lifetime bonds with their offspring. According to preliminary research, adults' brains release oxytocin just by being around a baby. We can't help but be fascinated with the little one.
People can create strong emotional attachments during times of intense stress, primarily when their existence depends on the support and presence of others. Evidence suggests that the release of stress hormone oxytocin may serve as a form of "hormonal insurance" against severe stress. Parents and others' willingness to interact and care for infants may be influenced by the neurotransmitter oxytocin, which may also assist in maintaining love connections and increase our ability to reach out for help when we need it.
The need for sexual satisfaction is at the heart of lust. This is because all living things have a fundamental need to reproduce. The ability of creatures to reproduce and pass on their genes ensures the survival of their species.
The brain's hypothalamus plays an essential role in this, which causes the testes and ovaries to produce more testosterone and estrogen. Men and women are affected by both of these substances, despite the gender stereotypes that suggest one is more important than the other. Testosterone, it turns out, boosts desire in nearly everyone. When estrogen levels are at their maximum during ovulation, some women report feeling more sexually motivated than usual.
Neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin (love hormones) flood your brain when you're in love. The reason you feel as though your SO takes your breath away and makes your heart go pitter-patter is that to this very reason.
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Dopamine and norepinephrine, a related hormone, are released in large quantities during the attraction process. It is possible to be so "in love" with someone that you cannot eat or sleep because of the euphoria and euphoria caused by these substances. Aside from its role in the fight-or-flight response, norepinephrine, also known as noradrenalin, may seem familiar.
However, oxytocin's involvement in love is well-established, but most of our understanding was derived from animal studies of parental or social behavior until recently. The intranasal release of oxytocin in humans, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to facilitate social behaviors such as eye contact and social cognition, which are at the core of love.
Our "happy hormones" include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Your brain releases dopamine, your serotonin levels rise, and oxytocin is generated when you're attracted to another person. As a result, you experience an upsurge in good feelings.
What Causes Jealousy in Us
University of Haifa researchers have discovered that the "love hormone," oxytocin, which affects behaviors such as trust and empathy, also influences negative behaviors, such as envy and gloating.
When the person's association with oxytocin is positive, oxytocin enhances pro-social activities; when it is negative, the hormone boosts negative sentiments such as jealousy.
How Your Brain Falls in Love
Davis, J., & Damron, K. (2018). Stress and stress hormones. The Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society, 349.
Majdic, G. (2021). Man and Woman Madly in Love. In Soul Mate Biology (pp. 183-191). Springer, Cham.
Odorčák, J. (2020). Love, Biotechnology and Ethics/Iubire, biotehnologie și etică/3-20. Revista de Filosofie Aplicată 3 (4). Chicago.
Sankeshwari, S., & Mulgund, A. A. (2020). Physiological basis of love – This is our brain on love: Physiology of Love and its basis. International Journal of Current Research in Physiology and Pharmacology, 5-8.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.