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#BrainFactMonday – What Happens To Your Brain When You’re In Love?

Posted on 14th February 2023

What happens in your brain when you fall in love? ๐Ÿ’—

It turns out, it's a complex process involving a symphony of neurotransmitters and brain regions working together.

A small region deep in the brain, the ventral tegmental area (VTA) releases ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ, a neurotransmitter that travels through your bloodstream giving pleasure and a sense of reward. This flood of dopamine is what gives us that euphoric feeling when we're around our loved one. 

๐Ÿ˜ And why can't you stop thinking about your loved one and are driven to be near him/her? That is a courtesy of the caudate nucleus, which is involved in ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—น-๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ.

๐ŸŽฏ But the โ€œlove storyโ€ here is not just about the "feel-good" chemicals. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป-๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป, also plays a crucial role in the experience of love. How? Well.... without it, you wouldn't be able to navigate the complex social dynamics of relationships and make thoughtful decisions about your interactions with your loved one.

๐Ÿ’ And let's not forget about the role of other feel-good neurotransmitters such as ๐—ผ๐˜…๐˜†๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป, which make us feel good and connected. Oxytocin in particular is released when we experience a sense of belonging and connection. When you miss your loved one, it means your level of oxytocin has dropped and you feel the ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฝ-๐˜‚๐—ฝ!

So the next time you're feeling that head-over-heels sensation, remember, it's not just in your heart, ๐—ถ๐˜'๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป!

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