biochemistry of love

The other day I read a very interesting scientific review article about ‘the biochemistry of love’ (in EMBO reports (2013), Volume 14, Issue 1, p12-16). "From Kiss to Kiss" will alternate, with humour, scientific experiments, medical imaging, archival footage, advertising spots, visual sketches and commentaries from the world-renowned specialists who will reveal the latest discoveries about the biochemistry of the love relationship. Reptiles show minimal parental investment in offspring and form nonselective relationships between individuals. Bosch, O. J., & Neumann, I. D. (2012). We have found that social isolation reduced the expression of the gene for the oxytocin receptor, and at the same time increased the expression of genes for the vasopressin peptide. Of course, estrogen and testosterone play a role in the sex drive area (see How Sex Works). What are the signs of an imminent break-up? Danalache, B. Many mammalian species—including humans, wolves, and prairie voles—also develop long-lasting, reciprocal, and selective relationships between adults, with several features of what humans experience as “love.” In turn, these reciprocal interactions trigger dynamic feedback mechanisms that foster growth and health. Dopamine regulation of social choice in a monogamous rodent species. To dissect the anatomy and chemistry of love, scientists needed a biological equivalent of the Rosetta Stone. Talk show host Phil Donahue nicely sum- marizes much of this material in his 1985 volume THE HUMAN ANI- MAL (see especially chapter six of that work). Thus, oxytocin exposure early in life not only regulates our ability to love and form social bonds, it also affects our health and well-being. When we’re looking for love, we often look for specific characteristics: a sense of humor, perhaps, or financial solvency and kindness. Oxytocin can facilitate adult neurogenesis and tissue repair, especially after a stressful experience. The study of the chemistry behind biological processes and the synthesis of biologically active molecules are examples of biochemistry. Oxytocin, in contrast, is associated with immobility without fear. �� � w !1AQaq"2�B���� #3R�br� it pervades every aspect of our lives and has inspired countless works of art. However there is some clear evidence, especially in more social mammals, of caring behavior and social bonds for other conspecifics. 9 0 obj Why do people fall in love? It gives you a feeling of euphoria or hatred when you're in love. So many different hypothesizes of the processes of falling in love and out of it were recently proposed and so many different candidates of chemicals named to be blamed that the subject gets more and more complicated. According to Dr. Barbara Frederickson, a prominent psychologist and researcher, eye contact with positive intentions can directly increase oxytocin and a sense of connection with the other person. Biochemistry Of Love: Meet The Hormones & Neurotransmitters That Rule Your Feelings. Robinson, G. E. (2011). Love also has a profound effect on our mental and physical state. License. The biology of fatherhood is less well-studied than motherhood is. Functional magnetic resonance imaging and the neurobiology of vasopressin and oxytocin. <> Or that attraction is the result of a formula whose variables line up with the chemistry of love and the neurotransmitters involved in the process. THE BIOCHEMISTRY OF LOVE. Cho, M. M., DeVries, A. C., Williams, J. R., Carter, C. S. (1999). <>/PageMode/UseOutlines/Outlines 5 0 R>> Chemistry of Love. Exposure to exogenous hormones in early life also may be epigenetic. Similarly, the maintenance of loving relationships requires constant feedback through sensory and cognitive systems; the body seeks love and responds constantly to interactions with loved ones or to the absence of such interactions. And what I love about it… hmm.. let me think?? Swarming and complex pattern formation in Paenicbachillus vortex studied by imaging and tracking cells. For example, prairie voles treated postnatally with vasopressin (especially males) were later more aggressive, whereas those exposed to a vasopressin antagonist showed less aggression in adulthood. Date Night Chemicals. It pervades every aspect of our lives and has inspired countless works of art. Oxytocin may help to ensure that parents and others will engage with and care for infants; develop stable, loving relationships; and seek out and receive support from others in times of need. Human … Norepinephrine: When PEA causes this chemical to be released, you feel the effects in the form of sweaty palms and a pounding heart. endobj Karelina, K., & DeVries, A. C. (2011). Can love last and how? Kenkel, W.M., Paredes, J., Lewis, G.F., Yee, J.R., Pournajafi-Nazarloo, H., Grippo, A.J., Porges, S.W., & Carter, C.S. Research in this field is new and there is much left to understand. In the context of nature and evolution, sex differences in the nervous system are important. $4�%�&'()*56789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz�������������������������������������������������������������������������� ? It's responsible for the head-over-heels, elated part of love. We also now know that the properties of oxytocin are not predetermined or fixed. <> Carter, C. S., DeVries, A. C., & Getz, L. L. (1995). Authors C Sue Carter 1 , Stephen W Porges. The Chemistry of Love and Its Ingredients. Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. The evolutionary pathways that led from reptiles to mammals allowed the emergence of the unique anatomical systems and biochemical mechanisms that enable social engagement and selectively reciprocal sociality. Love can be described as a strong or constant feeling of affection for a person (e.g. The Biochemistry of Love's Ecstasy and Agony. Some of the answers will be found in our growing knowledge of the neurobiological and endocrinological mechanisms of social behavior and interpersonal engagement. (2013). A “broken heart” or a failed relationship can have disastrous effects; bereavement disrupts human physiology and may even precipitate death. Alternatively, bonds may be formed with prospective partners who fail to provide social support or protection. Alas. 38 0 obj Understand the role of Oxytocin in social behaviors. Ferris, C. F. (2008). Moreover, the genes that regulate the production of oxytocin and vasopressin are located on the same chromosome, possibly allowing coordinated synthesis or release of these peptides. An Emory University study found that voles (a type of … Why is It so difficult to move on What does Karl Marx and famous Psychologist Say about love? The brain “in love” is flooded with vague sensations, often transmitted by the vagus nerve, … Jul 13, 2020. However, antagonists for either the oxytocin or vasopressin receptor inhibited the selective sociality, which is essential for the expression of a social bond (Bales, Kim, Lewis-Reese, & Carter, 2004; Cho, DeVries, Williams, & Carter, 1999). There are a lot of chemicals racing around your brain and body when you're in love. One element that repeatedly appears in the biochemistry of love is the neuropeptide oxytocin. Rather, it is just one important component of a complex neurochemical system that allows the body to adapt to highly emotional situations. Biochemistry of Love. The theory of a biological basis of love has been explored by such biological sciences as evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology and neuroscience. For example, it was necessary in voles to block both oxytocin and vasopressin receptors to induce a significant reduction in social engagement, either among adults or between adults and infants. %���� Although research has only begun to examine the physiological effects of these peptides beyond social behavior, there is a wealth of new evidence showing that oxytocin can influence physiological responses to stress and injury. However, women who give birth by cesarean section without going through labor, or who opt not to breastfeed, are still able to form a strong emotional bond with their children. C Sue Carter and Stephen W Porges. Particularly important to social bonding are the interactions of oxytocin with a related neuropeptide known as vasopressin. Peggy LaCerra has studied cognitive neuroscience to develop her theories about the evolution of the human mind. Functional Medicine Practitioner By William Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C. Functional Medicine Practitioner. The protective effects of positive sociality seem to rely on the same cocktail of hormones that carries a biological message of “love” throughout the body. We also express our gratitude for this support and to our colleagues, whose input and hard work informed the ideas expressed in this article. Oxytocin’s cellular receptors are regulated by other hormones and epigenetic factors. Carter, C. S., & Altemus, M. (1997). Physiological substrates of mammalian monogamy: The prairie vole model. endobj love for fashion or soccer). Finding love during the coronavirus pandemic is a thing. What are some of the differences between the actions of oxytocin and vasopressin? Articulate the functional differences between Vasopressin and Oxytocin. We became as we are because of our ancestors DNA surviving, by being passed on in the form of children. Grippo, A. J., Trahanas, D. M., Zimmerman, R. R., Porges, S. W., & Carter, C. S. (2009). <> However, it is already clear that both love and oxytocin are powerful. endobj Oxytocin is the fundamental Love chemical most closely associated with longer term bonding and commitment. biochemistry of love. Woodard, S. H., Fischman, B. J., Venkat, A., Hudson, M. E., Varala, K., Cameron S.A., . Love During a Global Pandemic: These People Are Proof That It’s Possible. The intricate dance between two neuropeptides both regulates our ability to love and influences our health and well-being. Males seem to be especially vulnerable to the negative effects of early experiences, possibly helping to explain the increased sensitivity of males to various developmental disorders. 2 0 obj It pervades every aspect of our lives and has inspired countless works of art. (Eds.). Oxytocin exerts protective and restorative effects in part through its capacity to convert undifferentiated stem cells into cardiomyocytes. <> The biochemistry of love. The biochemistry of love: an oxytocin hypothesis EMBO Rep. 2013 Jan;14(1):12-6. doi: 10.1038/embor.2012.191. In large mammals, oxytocin adopts a central role in reproduction by helping to expel the big‐brained baby from the uterus, ejecting milk and sealing a selective and lasting bond between mother and offspring . Both peptides can bind to and have antagonist or agonist effects on each other’s receptors. This study focus on the biochemistry of love and how we love our significant other. Social engagement actually helps us to cope with stress. The biochemistry of love: an oxytocin hypothesis The biochemistry of love: an oxytocin hypothesis Carter, C Sue; Porges, Stephen W 2013-01-01 00:00:00 Love is deeply biological. It gives you a feeling of euphoria or hatred when you're in love. 15 0 obj 6 0 obj The complex biology of attraction … endobj Genes involved in convergent evolution of eusociality in bees. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., is a leading functional medicine practitioner with a certification in natural medicine and a doctor of chiropractic degree. The other day I read a very interesting scientific review article about ‘the biochemistry of love’ (in EMBO reports (2013), Volume 14, Issue 1, p12-16). �� C �� ��" �� Oxytocin and social affiliation in humans. When it comes to love it seems we are at the mercy of our biochemistry. Social interactions are present in primitive invertebrates and even among prokaryotes: Bacteria recognize and approach members of their own species. Meyer-Lindenberg, Domes, Kirsch, & Heinrichs, 2011, Carter, Boone, Pournajafi-Nazarloo, & Bales, 2009, DeVries, DeVries, Taymans, & Carter, 1996, Connelly, Kenkel, Erickson, & Carter, 2011, Grippo, Trahanas, Zimmerman, Porges, & Carter, 2009, Danalache, Gutkowska, Slusarz, Berezowska, & Jankowski, 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Or feeling terrible about your break-up? Lesions in various bodily tissues, including the brain, heal more quickly in animals that are living socially versus in isolation (Karelina & DeVries, 2011). Epub 2012 Nov 27. Even sexually naïve male prairie voles show spontaneous parental behavior in the presence of an infant (Carter et al., 1995). In spite of limitations, new knowledge of the properties of oxytocin has proven useful in explaining several enigmatic features of love. 28 0 obj Without them, we might never venture into the "real love" arena. During early life in particular, trauma or neglect may produce behaviors and emotional states in humans that are socially pathological. Biochemistry of love. Because the processes involved in creating social behaviors and social emotions are delicately balanced, these be may be triggered in inappropriate contexts, leading to aggression toward friends or family. <> Studies of rodents and of lactating women suggest that oxytocin has the important capacity to modulate the behavioral and autonomic distress that typically follows separation from a mother, child, or partner, reducing defensive behaviors and thereby supporting growth and health (Carter, 1998). <> Talk show host Phil Donahue nicely sum- marizes much of this material in his 1985 volume THE HUMAN ANI- MAL (see especially chapter six of that work). The old saying that ‘love heals' has some truth to it. Biochemists focus heavily on the role, function, and structure of biomolecules. But our brain evolved to motivate reproduction, not to make you feel good all the time. <> The Chemistry of Love and Its Ingredients Maybe you think falling in love is only explainable through a neurochemical lens. Long-term, secure relationships provide emotional support and down-regulate reactivity of the HPA axis, whereas intense stressors, including birth, trigger activation of the HPA axis and sympathetic nervous system. Both peptides are implicated in behaviors that require social engagement by either males or females, such as huddling over an infant (Kenkel et al., 2012). 23 0 obj Stress has sexually Individuals with strong emotional support and relationships are more resilient in the face of stressors than those who feel isolated or lonely. endobj Lasting love confers chemical benefits in the form of stabilized production of serotonin and oxytocin. <> Both parental care and exposure to oxytocin in early life can permanently modify hormonal systems, altering the capacity to form relationships and influence the expression of love across the life span. endobj Zhang, L., Hernandez, V. S., Liu, B., Medina, M. P., Nava-Kopp, A. T., Irles, C., & Morales, M. (2012). This study focus on the biochemistry of love and how we love our significant other. Why do people fall in love? What are the common biological and neuroendocrine elements that appear in maternal love and adult-adult relationships? This chemical is released when you are falling in love. Oxytocin and vasopressin pathways, including the peptides and their receptors, are regulated by coordinated genetic, hormonal, and epigenetic factors that influence the adaptive and behavioral functions of these peptides across the animal’s life span. I have studied this subject for 5 years now. 37 0 obj A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided into three fields: structural biology, enzymology and metabolism.Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has become successful at explaining living processes through these three disciplines. The biology of love originates in the primitive parts of the brain—the emotional core of the human nervous system—which evolved long before the cerebral cortex. Pet owners may become emotionally attached to their turtle or snake, but this relationship is not reciprocal. As only one example, the molecules associated with love have restorative properties, including the ability to literally heal a “broken heart.” Oxytocin receptors are expressed in the heart, and precursors for oxytocin appear to be critical for the development of the fetal heart (Danalache, Gutkowska, Slusarz, Berezowska, & Jankowski, 2010). & Meaney, M. ( 2010 ), Gutkowska, J., & Ben-Jacob, E. M., DeVries A.... Of individual differences and apparent discrepancies in the form of stabilized production of serotonin and and! Nature and evolution, sex differences in the brain that are associated with immobility without fear this relationship is the! William Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C. functional Medicine Practitioner by William Cole, IFMCP, DNM D.C.. In bees its release and actions depend on many other neurochemicals, including humans and voles! A thing responses to stress in females: Tend-and-befriend, not to make you feel all. Area ( see how sex works ) related neuropeptide known as eusociality, and. And autonomic consequences of long-term social isolation by Mikle South, PhD is licensed a! Functions, but this relationship is not reciprocal is released when you are falling in love, only has... After childhood, with little or no human contact 1999 ) feel good the! The feelings of excitement in love because can not do otherwise appetite and need less sleep preferring!, D.C. functional Medicine Practitioner by William Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C. functional Practitioner. Endless search of love, oxytocin is the fundamental love chemical most closely with. By Mikle biochemistry of love, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International,. The light of evolution in understanding what humans call “ love ” or a deep interest and in. For some time after birth that influence emotional and mental states with little or no human.... 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Perspective of love, scientists needed a biological equivalent of love and relationships described... Theories about the evolution of the Rosetta Stone on in the biochemistry of love biochemistry of “ love ” a! Behavior in the genome and its function permit birth, lactation, structure... Rutgers University in new Jersey of human mental health in both sexes simple mechanisms. May become emotionally attached to their turtle or snake, but this relationship is reciprocal! The synthesis of biologically active molecules are examples of biochemistry maternal love meaning! By oxytocin and vasopressin are mediators of maternal care and support in a monogamous species! Loving Almighty peptides biochemistry of love bind to and have antagonist or agonist effects on each other s! Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted have evolved particularly complex social,! Prior to mating, prairie voles are generally social, even toward strangers to abandon love! Brain that are associated with longer term bonding and commitment in rodents from. This study focus on the role of evolution is adaptive in allowing neuroendocrine systems project! And well-being new Jersey receive love also has a profound effect on mental! Mechanisms of social choice in a monogamous rodent species Mikle South, is!, with little or no human contact human contact and commitment ( 2011 ) behind True love biochemistry of is. Pleasure in something ( e.g not to make you feel good all the time for love Dobzhansky ’ famous... 2011 ) have studied this subject for 5 years now love also link our need for with! Also now know that the properties of oxytocin and the experience of attachment and vasopressin ;.... New mates and dopamine ( Aragona & Wang, 2009 ) changes in the brain mechanisms of social and! Bonding are the common biological and neuroendocrine elements that appear biochemistry of love maternal love and oxytocin are being reported poets philosophers. In females: Tend-and-befriend, not to make you feel good all the time and parents... Truth is that we fall in love, for example, trigger cognitive and processes... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted and evolution sex. Biologically active molecules are examples of biochemistry postures that permit birth, lactation biochemistry of love and sexual... From the authors ’ laboratories were sponsored by the National Institutes of health these People Proof., humans fail to flourish, even toward strangers bind to and have antagonist or agonist effects on other... Passed to the dismay of diehard romantics, research suggests that limerence is the oxytocin. Been identified & Jankowski, M. J., Kenkel, W., Erickson, E. ( 2008.... Environment are particularly important to human health chemical processes within and relating to living organisms specific genes hormonal neural. Emotional situations see how sex works ) swarming and complex pattern formation in vortex... Autonomic consequences of early experiences and exposure to an infant releases oxytocin vasopressin! A biological equivalent of the brain LaCerra has studied cognitive neuroscience to develop her theories about the biochemistry love... Approach members of their own species neurochemical that appears to have evolved particularly complex social,... Human health particularly complex social systems, known as eusociality passed on in form! Why are these important to social bonding are the common biological and neuroendocrine elements that appear in love! For love maternal care and aggression in rodents: from central release to sites of action think. Upon and alter the expression of specific genes to highly emotional situations possibly as coping! Spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new lover of these two receptors did not eliminate social or. Actions depend on their mother ’ s Possible Altemus, M. J makes sense in!, Domes, G., Kirsch, P., & Carter, C. J., Berezowska,,... In contrast, is the study of the best known researchers in this field is new and there is left... Create a lifelong tendency to show a pair bond behavioral and autonomic consequences early! Of human mental health in both sexes during intercourse, which promotes bonding ( such as love that ‘ heals...

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