Being in love

Science explains what our hearts feel

Love for all!

Yesterday, I posted an article based on a lecture given by Dr Helen Fisher presented to the TED Conference in 2006.  It included some fascinating evidence about the nature of love and why it is such a powerful human emotion.

Then in 2008, Dr Fisher gave a second lecture, again at the TED Conference, that continued to reveal more amazing findings about how the brain functions when in love.  As the presentation summary says:

Why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped.

Included in the lecture is something that I had wondered about and was delighted to see confirmed – animals fall in love as well.  Here’s the extract from that part of the presentation (min:sec 50:50):

I would also like to tell the world that animals love. There’s not an animal on this planet that will copulate with anything that comes along. Too old, too young, too scruffy, too stupid, and they won’t do it. Unless you’re stuck in a laboratory cage –and you know, if you spend your entire life in a little box,you’re not going to be as picky about who you have sex with –but I’ve looked in a hundred species,and everywhere in the wild, animals have favorites.

As a matter of fact ethologists know this. There’s over eight words for what they call animal favoritism:  selective proceptivity, mate choice, female choice, sexual choice. And indeed, there are three academic articlesin which they’ve looked at this attraction, which may only last for a second, but it’s a definite attraction, and either this same brain region, this reward system, or the chemicals of that reward system are involved. In fact, I think animal attraction can be instant — you can see an elephant instantly go for another elephant. And I think that this is really the origins of what you and I call, “love at first sight.”

Do watch it.

And a quote to conclude this post.

True happiness and a fullness of joy can be found only in the tender and intimate relationships of the family. However earnestly we may seek success and happiness outside the home through work, leisure activities, or large bank accounts, we will never be fully satisfied emotionally until we develop deep and loving relationships.
~ by James J. Jones Ph.D. ~

By Paul Handover

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