The American Physiological Society Press Release

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APS Contact: Donna Krupa

Email: dkrupa@the-aps.org

Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @Phyziochick

Tip Sheet for Valentine's Day: Love is in the Brain

Find out more in the latest episode of Life Lines

BETHESDA, Md. (Feb. 11, 2009) − Love is usually associated with the heart: Valentine's Day chocolates, for example, often come in a (stylized) heart-shaped box. But recent studies by neuroscientists show that love is actually very much in our heads.

Dr. Lucy Brown, a neuroscientist at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, has studied the brain during various stages of romantic love using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). She describes these studies in the most recent episode of the APS podcast, Life Lines (www.lifelines.tv).

The episode is entitled Where Love Begins: In the Brain and can be found by clicking on Episode 18 at www.lifelines.tv.

This audio podcast recounts the portions of the brain that are active for people who are:

  • newly in love

  • recently been rejected by a lover (unhappily in love)

  • in a longterm romantic relationship

Among Dr. Brown's findings that you can hear in this interview:

  • romantic love appears to be a drive, rather than an emotion

  • chocolate activates the same area of the brain that is activated during romantic love

  • the areas of the brain that are activated by romantic love overlap with areas of the brain that are active when people feel the rush of cocaine

  • people in longterm relationships who report they are still very much in love showed activity in the same area of the brain activated during early-stage romantic love

There is also some research that suggests that couples that do new and challenging things together tend to keep their relationships fresher and more exciting. Please listen to this and other episodes at www.lifelines.tv.


NOTE TO EDITORS: To arrange an interview with Dr. Brown, please contact Donna Krupa, dkrup@the-aps.org.
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Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.