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Google the phrase “biology of love” and you’ll get answers that run the gamut of accuracy.
Needless to say, the scientific basis of love is often sensationalized, and as with most science, we don’t know enough to draw firm conclusions about every piece of the puzzle.
In fact, norepinephrine, also known as noradrenalin, may sound familiar because it plays a large role in the fight or flight response, which kicks into high gear when we’re stressed and keeps us alert.
Brain scans of people in love have actually shown that the primary “reward” centers of the brain, including the and the caudate nucleus (Figure 1), fire like crazy when people are shown a photo of someone they are intensely attracted to, compared to when they are shown someone they feel neutral towards (like an old high school acquaintance).
As it turns out, testosterone increases libido in just about everyone.
Think of the last time you ran into someone you find attractive.
You may have stammered, your palms may have sweated; you may have said something incredibly asinine and tripped spectacularly while trying to saunter away (or is that just me? And chances are, your heart was thudding in your chest.
What we do know, however, is that much of love be explained by chemistry.
So, if there’s really a “formula” for love, what is it, and what does it mean?