The Science of Love

| December 16, 2002 Issue

Author Cary Parker asks the question: If being in love is a good thing, then why do we say falling in love when the word falling has such a negative connotation? Refusing to be befuddled by such questions Professor Samir Zeki of University College London set out to deconstruct love from a scientific standpoint. Studies found that the sensation of being in love can be attributed to four parts of the brain and four different chemicals: phenylethylamine, dopamine, norepinephrine and the reduction of serotonin. Dr. Helen Fisher from SUNY Stonybrook on Long Island found that there is a strong correlation between feelings of love, drug addiction and mental illness. For those who haven't yet experienced the joy of being madly in love, the author of the article suggests eating a Whopper (animal protein reduces serotonin), downing some amphetamines, and getting a shot of adrenaline by driving real fast down the wrong side of the road. The combination would produce a chemical reaction more or less equal to the sensation of being madly in love.
--Nick Garafola

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