The Science of Love
The ancient Greeks called it â€œthe madness of the godsâ€; the author Sherwood Anderson dubbed it â€œthe divine Âaccident of life.â€ But as it turns out, love is neither Âmadness nor an accident. The more we understand how the brain works, the more it seems we are programmed for love, just as weâ€™re programmed to eat and breathe.
It turns out that love truly is a chemical reaction. Researchers using MRIs to look at the brain activity of the smitten have found that an interplay of Âhormones and neurotransmitters create the state we call love. Four compoundsâ€”dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and serotoninâ€”are likely to be particularly critical, says Helen Fisher, research professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. Although the way various chemicals interact in the brain is complex and still largely unknown, data suggests that each plays a different role.