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The science of love

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What does love mean, from a biological perspective, and what does
cocaine have to do with it? All is revealed in this special AsapSCIENCE
video.

When you think about it, the concept of love is wholly intertwined
with the survival of our species – if none of us feel like mating with
each other, the human species will die out pretty quickly. From the
first microorganism that figured out how to split itself into two
beings, to our earliest human ancestors, we all come from a long,
unbroken line of successful reproducers, says the episode of AsapSCIENCE below.
But
love, of course, isn’t just about the necessary attraction that
facilitates reproduction. It also plays a crucial role in ensuring that
the results of our pairings – i.e. adorable babies – actually survive
long enough to reproduce on their own.
While love is traditionally associated with the heart, the brain is
actually the true locus of love. And, funnily enough, when scientists
scan the brains of people who are newly in love with those on cocaine,
they don’t actually look that dissimilar.
AsapSCIENCE explains that
cocaine works by lowering the threshold required to activate the
pleasure centres in our brains, which means you can feel really good,
more often, and more easily than when you’re not on cocaine. The same
effect can be seen in the brains of people in love – turns out just
loving someone will make anything you experience be able to more easily
set off the pleasure centres and make you feel good. So much so, that
pain and aversion centres in the brain begin to fire less when you’re in
love, so you end up being less bothered by things.

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Whether you’re experiencing an orgasm,
or just looking at beautiful photos of your loved ones, the same
chemicals in your brain are going to be activated – dopamine and
norepinephrine. And these chemicals can stimulate the need, or craving,
to be with these people more and more. “You see, romantic love is not
simply an emotion, it’s a drive from the motor of the mind,” says AsapSCIENCE, “and this motor brings about intense energy, focussed attention, and elation.”
And did you know that you can use all of that to actually make yourself smarter? The video below will explain how you can use love to help you learn.

Source: AsapSCIENCE

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