New love is like our hunger for food and craving for drugs, finds study

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1. The experience called new love

Sometimes we cannot string enough words to explain the experience called love, particularly new love. The world seems like a perfect place, the heart skips a beat at everything beautiful, the air smells nice, the food tastes better and what not. But have you ever wondered what makes you feel so? Is it magic or is it just hormones? A team of experts had found an answer to that and it links new love to the hunger we have for food or cravings for drugs.

2. What is new love?

We all know the difference between the first phase of being in love and the phase that comes much later—in a long-term relationship or being settled for life. According to a study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, a team of scientists argued that romantic love is somewhat like the biological urge of hunger for food rather than just sexual needs.

3. The study

A team led by Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University, Dr. Lucy Brown from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Dr. Arthur Aron, a psychologist at the State University of New York, studied around 2,500 brain images of 17 college students who were in the early stages of being in love.

4. How the study was conducted

The students were made to watch the pictures of the person they were in love with while their brains were being scanned by an MRI machine. Then they also scanned the participants’ brains while they were looking at the picture of acquaintances. The researchers then compared the images and came at a few important conclusions.

5. What it is similar to

After comparing the scanned images the researchers found that the neural profile of the brain of people in new love is similar to the neural profile of brains when people are hungry, thirsty or when someone craves for drugs. However, as the relationship grows and has covered a few years, the neural activities also change from what they were earlier.

6. Romantic love can be stronger than the will to live

According to what the researcher Dr. Fisher said to The New York Times, “When you’re in the throes of this romantic love it’s overwhelming, you’re out of control, you’re irrational, you’re going to the gym at 6 a.m. every day—why? Because she’s there. And when rejected, some people contemplate stalking, homicide, suicide. This drive for romantic love can be stronger than the will to live.”

7.What critics believe

According to critics, such analysis cannot be trusted because not all results from MRI scans are reliable. However, there are also believers who think romantic love, when in the initial days, can be quite exhilarating, unreasonable and heady. So, it’s up to you to decide what you want to believe in.

Source: TNN/timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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