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The neurobiology of Love

The neurobiology of Love

I will then report the results of the first two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies on human love, showing that both romantic and maternal love involve the same brain regions that mediate attachment in animals, therefore bridging the gap between human and animal research. I will finally review the most recent evidence obtained from genetic studies in humans, that show how an allele of a single gene can double the probability of a man to divorce or not, or that children who experience a lack of love show a reduction of the neurohormone mediating attachment in animals.
All in all, love appears to be mediated by a tightly controlled biological mechanism that can be manipulated in animals, and potentially also in the human. Human attachment seems thus to employ a push–pull mechanism that overcomes social distance by deactivating networks used for critical social assessment and negative emotions, and while it bonds individuals through the involvement of the reward circuitry, explaining the power of love to motivate and exhilarate.

Speakers: Andreas Bartels
Conference: Demo