New brain imaging research finds love really *is* blind (in a manner of speaking)

PhysOrg.com reports:

There are no differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals or between women and men in terms of the brain systems regulating romantic love, according to new [University College London] research published in the latest issue of PLoS One.

The study, by Professor Semir Zeki and John Romaya from the Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology at UCL, is a continuation of earlier work from the same lab which described brain activity in terms of romantic and maternal love.

In this latest study, 24 subjects were asked to view pictures of their romantic partners, as well as pictures of friends of the same sex as their partners but to whom they were romantically indifferent, while the activity in their brains was scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)…

The fMRI results showed a very similar pattern of activity between the different groups and involved activation of both cortical and sub-cortical areas, mainly in areas that are rich in dopaminergic (“feel good”) neurotransmitter activity…

The studies also showed that there is extensive de-activation of large parts of the cerebral cortex when lovers – whether heterosexual or homosexual or whether female or male – view pictures of their romantic partners. The de-activated areas involve parts of the temporal, parietal and frontal cortex and include cortical areas thought to be critical in judgment. This may account for why we are often less judgmental about our lovers and lends credence to the old adage “love is blind”.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.