First we have a new way to get people to trust you, maybe even fall in love with you. Then when they fall in love with you, there brain shows the same patterns as someone with a mental illness. HMMM. The first is pretty new and interesting, but almost any single guy could have told you the latter part of the previous sentence was true. And accurate.
For now we have the answer to the life long question, why did we make those drunk calls to our girlfriends at 3 AM in the morning when we knew it would land us in hot water the next morning. And the answer is: We were mentally deranged, and that proves that we loved her.
From the New York Times
New love can look for all the world like mental illness, a blend of mania, dementia and obsession that cuts people off from friends and family and prompts out-of-character behavior – compulsive phone calling, serenades, yelling from rooftops – that could almost be mistaken for psychosis.
Now for the first time, neuroscientists have produced brain scan images of this fevered activity, before it settles into the wine and roses phase of romance or the joint holiday card routines of long-term commitment.
In an analysis of the images appearing today in The Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers in New York and New Jersey argue that romantic love is a biological urge distinct from sexual arousal.
It is closer in its neural profile to drives like hunger, thirst or drug craving, the researchers assert, than to emotional states like excitement or affection. As a relationship deepens, the brain scans suggest, the neural activity associated with romantic love alters slightly, and in some cases primes areas deep in the primitive brain that are involved in long-term attachment.
The research helps explain why love produces such disparate emotions, from euphoria to anger to anxiety, and why it seems to become even more intense when it is withdrawn. In a separate, continuing experiment, the researchers are analyzing brain images from people who have been rejected by their lovers.
“When you’re in the throes of this romantic love it’s overwhelming, you’re out of control, you’re irrational, you’re going to the gym at 6 a.m. every day – why? Because she’s there,” said Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and the co-author of the analysis. “And when rejected, some people contemplate stalking, homicide, suicide. This drive for romantic love can be stronger than the will to live.”