Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Søstrene Grene Christmas 2021 collection drops tomorrow and it’s all our cosy winter dreams come true
Søstrene Grene Christmas 2021 collection drops tomorrow and it’s all our cosy winter dreams come...

Megan Burns

Convenient, reusable cleansing cloths that will make you ditch make-up wipes for good
Convenient, reusable cleansing cloths that will make you ditch make-up wipes for good

Holly O'Neill

4 easy ways to support your brain function
4 easy ways to support your brain function

IMAGE

Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list
Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list

Sarah Finnan

These 4 key products will save your dry skin this winter
These 4 key products will save your dry skin this winter

Jennifer McShane

Toastie of the town: 9 of the best, meltiest cheese toasties in Dublin
Toastie of the town: 9 of the best, meltiest cheese toasties in Dublin

Ali Dunworth

How to create an eco-friendly winter flower arrangement (that doesn’t look dead)
How to create an eco-friendly winter flower arrangement (that doesn’t look dead)

Lauren Heskin

The trailer for Paul Mescal’s new movie with Olivia Colman is here and it looks creepy good
The trailer for Paul Mescal’s new movie with Olivia Colman is here and it looks...

Lauren Heskin

‘I was raised by a single mam. Everything that she did was for us’: Singer Soulé on who inspired her new music
‘I was raised by a single mam. Everything that she did was for us’: Singer...

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love


by IMAGE
16th Mar 2015
What Your Brain Looks Like in Love

We all know that falling in love brings with it a very real, tangible feeling. Sometimes it’s a fuzzy feeling in your tummy, sometimes you fear that your heart might actually burst out of your chest, but most of what’s going on occurs up there in that beautiful brain of yours. It’s long been understood that fancying someone and falling in love with them produces a surge of feel-good hormones into your body, but did you know that a brain in love looks vastly different to a brain that’s never loved at all?

According to Elite Daily, Chinese scientists have recently uncovered 12 key areas of brain activity associated with he or she who’s fallen in love. These love-curious researchers from?Southwest University in Chongqing studied the brains of 100 students, dividing them into three groups: those who were currently in love and in relationships, those who had recently broken up with someone and those who claimed they had never been in love at all. By use of functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques, the researchers were able to map out the differences between an in-love brain and an out-of-love brain. The circulation of blood flow showed significant changes between the three groups, as did the levels of dopamine.

A brain in love

Interestingly, this study and various others concluded that a brain in love looks rather similar to a brain on cocaine, which is why you might feel like you’re a euphoria addict at times.?Love, we are learning, uses the very same neural mechanisms that are activated during the process of addiction, which is enough of an endorsement to stay away from drugs if love is the healthier alternative. ?We are literally addicted to love,? Dr Larry Young, a researcher into social attachment at Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia said back in 2004.

A brain out of love

On a chemical level, this kind of research reassures us that there is a very real difference between a brain in lust and a brain in a long-lasting loving relationship. The activity produced during that dizzying, butterfly-filled phase simply cannot last, but it’s good to know that as far as our brains are concerned, this is entirely normal and to be expected. For those who doubt the existence of longer lasting love, other such research has also shown the brain’s capacity for maintaining such feelings.If you work at it, your brain is more than happy to remain in love.

Though we may be a while off the point when research like this becomes practically useful, at least we know that love is real. Photographic evidence, ‘n all.

@CarolineForan

Also Read

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

What Your Brain Looks Like in Love
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer