Dating Over 40: MRI Tracks Love in the Brain

Can evidence for love be found in brain chemistry? A resounding YES is the answer as reported in the Wall Street Journal’s article today entitled, Keeping Love Alive. Not only that, but it has been established that while many long-term couples do experience a slow decline in satisfaction over time, there are certain people who have managed to maintain that fabulous new love feeling even after 11 years of marriage! 

Meet Mrs. Tucker who is one of the subjects whose brain scans proved earlier theories that love doesn’t last wrong. Thank you Mrs. Tucker for your wonderful MRI results. This is very exciting work and as studies continue, new findings show that the results aren’t culturally related. A study in China had very similar results.

A study conducted in 2005 by Dr. Helen Fischer of Rutgers University, along Drs. Aron and Brown, looked at 17 college volunteers who had recently fallen in love and established a link between romantic love and reward-seeking brain circuitry  thought to be linked to deep motivations like thirst or drug addiction.  You may have actually heard of Doc Helen because of her connection to Chemistry, Match.com’s answer to e-Harmony.

Ever heard of dopamine? Well that’s what showed up in this newest study – the brain chemical related to pleasure also happens to be connected to love. Seems like love is the drug you’ve been thinking of.  Gee, that might make for good song lyrics…

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