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yang berlainan jenis tidak terlepas dari peranan senyawa-senyawa kimia yang membentuk rasa cinta diantara keduanya. Salah satu senyawanya adalah senyawa feromon. Senyawa Feromon Istilah feromon (pheromone) berasal dari bahasa Yunani yaitu phero yang artinya â€œpembawaâ€ dan mone â€œsensasiâ€. Senyawa feromon sendiri didefinisikan sebagai suatu subtansi kimia yang berasal dari kelenjar endokrin dan digunakan oleh mahluk hidup untuk mengenali sesama jenis, individu lain, kelompok, dan untuk membantu proses reproduksi. Senyawa feromon pada manusia terutama dihasilkan oleh kalenjar endokrin pada ketiak, wajah (pada telinga, hidung, dan mulut), kulit, dan kemaluan dan akan aktif apabila yang bersangkutan telah cukup umur (baligh). Sifat dari senyawa feromon sendiri adalah tidak dapat dilihat oleh mata, volatil (mudah menguap), tidak dapat diukur, tetapi ada dan dapat dirasakan oleh manusia. Senyawa feromon ini biasa dikeluarkan oleh tubuh saat sedang berkeringat dan dapat tertahan dalam pakaian yang kita gunakan. Menurut para peneliti dan psikolog, senyawa feromon dapat mempengaruhi hormon-hormon dalam tubuh terutama otak kecil manusia dan diklaim mempunyai andil dalam menimbulkan rasa ketertarikan manusia pada manusia yang lain, baik itu perasaan cinta, suka, gairah seksual, siklus haid, atau bahkan saat memilih mana orang yang dapat dijadikan teman yang cocok. Cara Kerja Feromon Senyawa feromon dapat menimbulkan rasa ketertarikan antara dua orang berlainan jenis dengan bekerja layaknya inisiator/pemicu dalam reaksi-reaksi kimia. Prosesnya adalah ketika dua orang berdekatan dan bertatapan mata, maka feromon yang kasat mata dan volatil, akan tercium oleh organ tubuh manusia yang paling sensitif yaitu vomeronasalorgan (VNO) yaitu organ dalam lubang hidung yang mempunyai kepekaan ribuan kali lebih besar daripada indera penciuman. Organ VNO ini terhubung dengan hipotalamus pada bagian tengah otak melalui jaringan-jaringan syaraf. Setiap feromon berhembus dari tubuh, maka senyawa ini akan tercium oleh VNO dan selanjutnya sinyal ini akan diteruskan ke hipotalamus (yang mengatur emosi manusia) agar memberikan respon/tanggapan. Tanpa perlu menunggu lama hanya
maka akan ada respon dari otak melalui perubahan psikologis tubuh manusia baik itu perubahan pada detak jantung (berdetak lebih kencang). maka otak akan tetap berusaha untuk memproduksi senyawa oksitosin selama kedua pasangan berusaha untuk saling menyayangi dan setia. damai. Selanjutnya efek dari senyawa feromon dan senyawa-senyawa kimia lain terhadap tubuh manusia dapatlah disamakan dengan efek narkoba. Sedangkan senyawa oksitosin berperan dalam membuat rasa cinta itu rukun dan mesra diantara keduanya. kemampuan tubuh menghasilkan senyawa itu mulai berkurang setelah dua sampai empat tahun. dan nenopinephrine memberikan respon tersipu-sipu atau malu ketika berpandangan dengan orang yang dicintai. dopamine. peningkatan pada kalenjar hormon baik itu kalenjar keringat. pernafasan (beraturan atau tidak). Hal ini disebabkan produksi senyawa tersebut tidak berlangsung terus menerus. Nonverbal communication plays a big part in initial attraction and some of this communication may involve pheromones. Senyawa Endropin akan menimbulkan perasaan aman. senyawa endropin. maka selanjutnya hipotalamus akan merangsang pembentukan senyawa kimia lain yaitu senyawa phenyletilamine (PEA). Faktor Senyawa Kimia Lain Pada dasarnya proses pemberian respon dari hipotalamus untuk melakukan perubahan psikologis emosi saat berdekatan dengan orang yang dikasihi tidaklah sesederhana yang dibayangkan. Senyawa PEA. Disini setelah senyawa feromon bertindak sebagai inisiator. Question: Is There Really a Chemistry of Love? Answer: I don't think there are any magic love potions that you can use to make someone fall in love. Akibatnya. nafsu. a form of chemical communication. terutama ketika tubuh tidak lagi memenuhi kebutuhan PEA. temperatur tubuh (panas dingin). Senyawa-senyawa ini akan membuat seseorang kecanduan sehingga ingin melihat pasangannya atau orang idamannya sesering mungkin. dan tentram. dopamine. Pada saat rasa ketertarikan itu kian meluntur. First. Perasaan jatuh cinta ini selang beberapa waktu akan menghilang sedikit demi sedikit. dan kerja dari produksi hormon testoteron (pada laki-laki) atau hormon esterogen (pada wanita). Senyawa-senyawa inipun akan bertindak sesuai fungsinya masing-masing. nenopinephrine. dan senyawa oksitosin. but chemistry does play an important role in how a relationship progresses. rasa tertarik pada seseorang pun mulai meluntur. there's attraction.setiap sepersepuluh ribu detik. Did you know .
Though you might think of testosterone as a male hormone. Endorphins are like opiates. much like an amphetamine. this isn't all bad. It's responsible for the head-over-heels. endorphins . butterflies in your stomach.Dopamine is a neurochemical that appears to be associated with mate selection. around 18 months to 4 years into a relationship. However. both men and women produce it. such as chocolate. The honeymoon is over. testosterone .Your brain acquires a tolerance to the love stimulants and starts to release endorphins. It is a stimulant. When female voles were injected with dopamine in the presence of a male vole. Have you ever wondered exactly what chemicals are involved in feeling love? Here's a look at some of the key biochemical players: • • • • • • phenylethylamine or PEA . you feel the effects in the form of sweaty palms and a pounding heart. which is sometimes called the 'cuddle hormone'.Dopamine triggers the release of oxytocin. etc. anyway) to abandon their love nest and seek new mates. dopamine . Raw lust is accompanied by a surge in testosterone levels. norepinephrine . Endorphins are associated with feelings of attachment and comfort.When PEA causes this chemical to be released. Researchers are gradually learning more and more about the roles they play both when we are falling in love . they could select him from a group of voles later. In both genders. Researchers have found that suppression of vasopressin can cause males (voles. elated part of love. They calm anxiety. you gotta have chemistry! When you say you and a romantic partner 'have chemistry' you're right! There is a lot of chemistry involved in feeling attachment.that raw lust is characterized by high levels of testosterone? The sweaty palms and pounding heart of infatuation are caused by higher than normal levels of norepinepherine. oxytocin is released during touching. Lasting love confers chemical benefits in the form of stabilized production of serotonin and oxytocin. In women. oxytocin . that causes the release of norepinephrine and dopamine. All is not lost once the honeymoon is over. Can infidelity be blamed on chemistry? Perhaps in part. sweaty palms. Meanwhile. Hey. An Emory University study found that voles (a type of rodent) chose their mate based on dopamine release. the 'high' of being in love is due to a rush of phenylethylamine and dopamine.This is an amine that naturally occurs in the brain and also in some foods. This chemical is found when you are falling in love. oxytocin is released during labor and breast feeding. The Chemistry of Love There are a lot of chemicals racing around your brain and body when you're in love. relieve pain and reduce stress. chemically.
because of their more visual nature.. couples in this stage of love focus intently on the relationship and often on little else. short-term memory. possibly explaining why those in love "obsess" about their partner. estrogen and testosterone play a role in the sex drive area (see How Sex Works). we might never venture into the "real love" arena. a wellknown love researcher and an anthropologist at Rutgers University." Researchers are using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to watch people's brains when they look at a photograph of their object of affection. The scans showed increased blood flow in areas of the brain with high concentrations of receptors for dopamine -. Of course. Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline and produces the racing heart and excitement.and when we're in long-term relationships. which heightens attention. hyperactivity. men more readily produce it than women. According to Helen Fisher. That initial giddiness that comes when we're first falling in love includes a racing heart. She also says.associated with states of euphoria. sleeplessness. can't-think-of-anything-but stage of romance" -. sleeplessness and goal-oriented behavior." producing a feeling of bliss. High levels of dopamine are also associated with norepinephrine. Dopamine is thought to be the "pleasure chemical. loss of appetite and focused attention. Chemistry of Love . They discovered that people in love have lower levels of serotonin and also that neural circuits associated with the way we assess others are suppressed.is the biological drive to focus on one person. Without them. flushed skin and sweaty palms.. "The human body releases the cocktail of love rapture only when certain conditions are met and . These lower serotonin levels are the same as those found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders. intense energy. According to Helen Fisher. craving and addiction. together these two chemicals produce elation. anthropologist and well-known love researcher from Rutgers University. Researchers say this is due to the dopamine.the attraction stage -. what they see in those scans during that "crazed. In other words. craving. norepinephrine and phenylethylamine we're releasing. Another possible explanation for the intense focus and idealizing view that occurs in the attraction stage comes from researchers at University College London.
well. Lets take a more close look on the first three: . first "sparks" in the air followed by falling in love are caused by combination of three neurochemicals: phenylethylamine. passes them to other parts of the body. love and relationships are fueled by actual chemicals. but "in the head" it all gets started. That's our five candidates for today. First attraction. who hasn't heard that line nowadays? 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. The brain.Attraction. First let's define what we are talking about. norepinephrine and dopamine. Chemicals responsible for our behavior in love and relationships belong to the class of "neurochemicals". compounds forming largely in the brain and participating in neural activity. because with the modern level of science may be as soon as tomorrow another interesting piece of puzzle of the matter will be discovered. the term "chemicals" are by far too broad. Later stages of long relationships are guiding by another two: oxytocin and serotonin. Let's try to pull all of them together and get a clear picture for to date. in its turn.
exerts effects on large areas of the brain . which is tiny compared to the total amount of more than 100 billion neurons in the brain. as is clear from its other name Noradrenaline. phypothalamus. ever experienced that? 2. It also makes people more "talkative" and excitable. Norepinephrine performs its actions on the target cells by binding to and activating its adrenergic receptors. The noradrenaline system consists of just 1500 neurons on each side of the brain. the system plays major roles in the brain.etc. By this action we can call it a neurotransmitter system. It affects brain processes that control emotional response. The main targets of the norepinephrine system to "ignite " are receptors in spinal cord. by the influence of a good food  or reading a fascinating book. which makes our heart race. and the palms sweat. thalamus. The noradrenergic neurons in the brain form a sort of system. of course. High level of norepinephrine in the brain increases the experience of joy and reduces appetite . and thus norepinephrine has different actions on different cell types. when activated. and is actually its precursor . which are called noradrenergic neurons. stimulates the production of adrenaline. ability to express pleasure. Nevertheless. in its turn. movement. for instance. Dopamine is very similar in structure to the norepinephrine. What does that mean? There will be no adrenaline produced. but also pain. neocortex . Norepinephrine is getting released from neurons. which is. The target cell expression of different types of receptors determines the ultimate cellular effect. simply. nerve cells in the brain. . or. that.1. which causes the other nerve to fire and pass the message along the "chain". when activated. because its main function is the transmission of nerve impulse. Norepinephrine. Dopamine is a neurochemical that is getting released by the brain when we feel good. called norepinephrine system. no sweating and heart racing if the brain can not produce enough dopamine first.
nuts and egg whites. we can say. apathy. there is also a dopamine neurotransmitter system. Most of them are associated with the pleasure system of the brain. a precursor to dopamine. Sociability is also closely tied to dopamine neurotransmission. if you want to be more vulnerable. as well. are called "dopamine receptors".The natural sources fordopamine are proteins from such sources as meat. a vegetarian diet is not for you. dopamine makes us feel better and better by activating as many as five types of different receptors in the brain . At the same time? Or one role is getting activated after another? Still a mystery. This means that in addition to the norepinephrine system. is also credited to an increase in dopamine. So. Low dopamine receptorbinding is found in people with social anxiety. Arvid Carlsson was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for showing that dopamine is not just a precursor of norepinephrine but a neurotransmitter. they are getting broken down by the digestive system into amino acids such as l-tyrosine. which. of course. Dopamine is the most mysterious of these three neurochemicals. Traits common to negative schizophrenia (social withdrawal. providing feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement to motivate a person proactively to perform certain activities. that dopamine has a dual role: it can act as a neuromodulator and a neurotransmitter. So. A state of becoming hypersocial. Briefly.) are thought to be related to a hypodopaminergic state in certain areas of the brain. May be you will be the one to solve it? .
You've probably heard that eating chocolate makes you feel good and even happy. when you eat chocolate. which results in those dizzying feelings associated with romantic love. Large quantities of PEA increase both physical and emotional energy  and at the same time release more dopamine. it's role. and not the concentration of PEA in it. phenylethylamine levels are higher in cheese and sausages . but most probably. The mechanism for PEA "helping" is still not very clear.3. it would be fair to say. and as far as PEA is concerned. preventing significant concentrations from reaching the brain. that PEA is more of a "helper" for bighting up the action of the previous two players. it also modulates noradrenergic transmission (as we have called the ignition of norepinephrine system). So. when present in the brain. The last but not the least is phenylethylamine (PEA). therefore enhancing dopaminergic transmission. acts as a releasing agent of norepinephrine and dopamine . has been exaggerated. In other words. While increasing the extracellular levels of dopamine. . only when these three chemicals combine together. which are not associated with chemistry of love. The first attraction causes us to produce more PEA. Compare to the other two. PEA acts more as a neuromodulator rather than a neurotransmitter . And mostly. Now you know that it is mostly dopamine which makes us feel good from the tasty food. In fact. So. all sources are saying that it is because chocolate contains PEA . we feel the real "chemistry" of love. PEA is captured into the presynaptic vesicles and occupies the space normally taken by dopamine . Phenethylamine from chocolate is getting rapidly metabolized by the different enzymes of gastrointestinal tract. PEA deserves a special attention because it is famous for being found in chocolate. at least by now. well. you feel good from a sweet taste. This leads to an increase in dopamine free-circulating. unfortunately. . It is due to this combination that new lovers feel euphoric and energized and can talk days and nights long.
rely on an ability to create and maintain social ties. a close relative called the montane vole. But these days scientists are challenging that notion. love really is down to a chemical addiction between people OVER the course of history it has been artists. Romance has seemed as inexplicable as the beauty of a rainbow. has no interest in partnership beyond one-night-stand sex. they become affectionate and attentive parents. or workers with their colleagues. another vole. controversially. . They prefer to spend time with each other. After this. However.I get a kick out of you Scientists are finding that. All relationships. For a start. they bond for life. The two vole species are more than 99% alike. Mating between prairie voles is a tremendous 24-hour effort. as the serious depression that can result from rejection in love. some utopian fringe groups see such work as the doorway to a future where love is guaranteed because it will be provided chemically. after all. with voles. indeed. Defects can be disabling. And when their pups are born. and become apparent as disorders such as autism and schizophrenia — and. one of the only 3% of mammal species that appear to form monogamous relationships. genetically. Research is also shedding light on some of the more extreme forms of sexual behaviour. What is intriguing is that these vast differences in behaviour are the result of a mere handful of genes. Is this useful? The scientists think so. The scientific tale of love begins innocently enough. or even genetically engineered from conception. The male becomes an aggressive guard of the female. and they have rather a lot to say about how and why people love each other. spouses with their partners. whether they are those of parents with their children. understanding the neurochemical pathways that regulate social attachments may help to deal with defects in people's ability to form relationships. The prairie vole is a sociable creature. They avoid meeting other potential mates. groom each other for hours on end and nest together. poets and playwrights who have made the greatest progress in humanity's understanding of love. And.
A clue to what is happening — and how these results might bear on the human condition — was found when this magic juice was given to the montane vole: it made no difference. That animals continue to do these things is because they make them feel good. It turns out that the faithful prairie vole has receptors for oxytocin and vasopressin in brain regions associated with reward and reinforcement. And they feel good because of the release of a chemical called dopamine into the brain. As Larry Young. when a female prairie vole mates. at no time do rats learn to associate sex with a particular female. Furthermore. like that normally enjoyed by their rakish montane cousins. Georgia. If the gene for oxytocin is knocked out of a mouse before birth. Conversely. Sure enough. they suggest that the reward mechanism involved in this addiction has probably evolved in a similar way in other monogamous animals. Rats are not monogamous. there is a 50% increase in the level of dopamine in the reward centre of her brain. They are involved in parts of the brain that help to pick out the salient features used to identify individuals. and seeks out more of it based on how it happened the first time. two hormones called oxytocin and vasopressin are released. they might forget to eat. They argue that prairie voles become addicted to each other through a process of sexual imprinting mediated by odour. whereas the montane vole does not. in Atlanta. This is where the vasopressin and oxytocin come in. when a male rat has sex it feels good to him because of the dopamine. as it were — is a fascinating one. prairie-voles' sex becomes a fleeting affair. drink and have sex — with disastrous results. Could it be that prairie voles form an olfactory “image” of their partners — the rodent equivalent of remembering a personality — and this becomes linked with pleasure? Dr Young and his colleagues suggest this idea in an article published last month in the Journal of Comparative Neurology. to regulate pair-bonding in them as well.Why do voles fall in love? The details of what is going on — the vole story. But. Christie Fowler and her colleagues at Florida State University have found that exposure to the opposite sex generates new nerve cells in the brains of prairie voles — in particular in areas important to olfactory memory. Without it. Similarly. a researcher into social attachment at Emory University. do humans (another species in the 3% of allegedly monogamous mammals) have brains similar to prairie voles? To answer that question you need to dig a little deeper. but prevented from having sex. Rats. The question is. if prairie voles are given an injection of the hormones. When prairie voles have sex. they will still form a preference for their chosen partner. in contrast to the prairie vole. researchers can make prairie voles fall in love — or whatever the vole equivalent of this is — with an injection. He learns that sex is enjoyable. If the release of these hormones is blocked. explains. . The salient feature in this case is odour. In other words. the brain has a reward system designed to make voles (and people and other animals) do what they ought to. The same is true if the vasopressin gene is knocked out. that mouse will become a social amnesiac and have no memory of the other mice it meets. humans included. mice and voles recognise each other by smell.
” Dr Young observes. monogamous marmosets have higher levels of vasopressin bound in the reward centres of their brains than do non-monogamous rhesus macaques. compared with that involved in. Like the prairie voles. look at their promoter sequence. London. And this has interesting implications. the pair conclude. “We may be able to do things like look at their gene sequence. Steven Phelps. Evolution acts on the distribution of these receptors to generate social or non-social versions of a vole. They took students who said they were madly in love. It has already proved possible to tinker with this genetic inheritance. who works at Emory with Dr Young. then.” he muses. some voles will be more faithful than others. put them into a brain scanner.You might as well face it. smell-based map of their partners in the way that voles do. to genotype people and correlate that with their fidelity. such as fear and anger. And in 1999. there must be individual variation between mice. He suggests that this variation contributes to individual differences in social behaviour — in other words. Love. Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki of University College. a relatively small area of the human brain is active in love. For a start. but instead like those of people snorting coke. and society itself. So the brains of people deeply in love do not look like those of people experiencing strong emotions. In 2000.” The second surprise was that the brain areas active in love are different from the areas activated in other emotional states. and the ones which generate the euphoria induced by drugs such as cocaine. uses the neural mechanisms that are activated during the process of addiction. The transgenic mouse thus created was much more sociable to its mate.. The results were surprising. But for evolution to be able to act. and looked at their patterns of brain activity. “that the face that launched a thousand ships should have done so through such a limited expanse of cortex.. Dr Young says that he and his colleagues have found a lot of variation in the vasopressin-receptor gene in humans. located the areas of the brain activated by romantic love. Meanwhile. rely ultimately on these receptors. Other approaches are also shedding light on the question. and between men. It seems possible. in other words. though the role of these hormones in the human brain is not yet well understood. . “We are literally addicted to love. “It is fascinating to reflect”. there are strong hints that the hormone pair have something to reveal about the nature of human love: among those of Man's fellow primates that have been studied. But while it is unlikely that people have a mental. found great diversity in the distribution of vasopressin receptors between individual prairie voles. ordinary friendship. Dr Young led a team that took the prairie-vole receptor gene and inserted it into an ordinary (and therefore promiscuous) mouse. that animals which form strong social bonds do so because of the location of their receptors for vasopressin and oxytocin. say. The more receptors located in regions associated with reward. Scientists can increase the expression of the relevant receptors in prairie voles. as well as voles. Last year. Parts of the brain that are love-bitten include the one responsible for gut feelings. and thus strengthen the animals' ability to attach to partners. Social groups. Sex stimulates the release of vasopressin and oxytocin in people. with startling results. the more rewarding social interactions become.
induce pleasure and satiety. adultery and divorce — though also to the possibilities of promiscuity and polygamy. is characterised by feelings of calm. Then there is attraction. while you feel the sex drive in situations unrelated to either partner. but only at its early stages. says Dr Fisher. these are separate phenomena. while you feel romantic love for someone else. Some researchers suggest this mental state might share neurochemical characteristics with the manic phase of manic depression. Dr Fisher's work.Love. This state is characterised by feelings of exhilaration. Wonderful though it is. be possible to inhibit feelings of romantic love. a situation that leads to jealousy. so they might stave off romantic feelings. This state. But the final stage of love. Helen Fisher. a psychologist at Concordia University. “you can feel deep attachment for a long-term spouse. vasopressin and endogenous opioids (the body's natural equivalent of heroin). That raises the question of whether it is possible to “treat” this romantic state clinically. romantic love is unstable — not a good basis for child-rearing. (This also means that people taking anti-depressants may be jeopardising their ability to fall in love. security. to relax the body. long-term attachment. respectively. “This may serve many functions. A heady mix of chemical changes occurs. it is one of the strongest drives on Earth. and accompanying chemicals. Because they are independent. . with the likelihood of extra children. or the state of being in love (what is sometimes known as romantic or obsessive love). says the aftermath of lustful sex is similar to the state induced by taking opiates. including increases in the levels of serotonin. There is some overlap but. Drugs such as Prozac work by keeping serotonin hanging around in the brain for longer than normal. These systems have evolved to enable. Jim Pfaus. Dr Fisher says it seems to be more powerful than hunger. OCD is characterised by low levels of a chemical called serotonin. This is a refinement of mere lust that allows people to home in on a particular mate. Dr Fisher suggests it might. in Montreal. Lust. A little serotonin would be unlikely to stifle it. pair-bonding and parenting. suggests it comes in three flavours: lust. involves a craving for sex. romantic love and long-term attachment. suggests that the actual behavioural patterns of those in love — such as attempting to evoke reciprocal responses in one's loved one — resemble obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). these three systems can work simultaneously — with dangerous results. mating. allows parents to co-operate in raising children. obsessive thoughts about the object of one's affection. and intrusive.) But once romantic love begins in earnest. and the author of a new book on love*.” This independence means it is possible to love more than one person at a time. As Dr Fisher explains. The parents of any love-besotted teenager might want to know the answer to that. with their own emotional and motivational systems. oxytocin. indeed. as can be done with OCD. in essence. social comfort and emotional union. however. of course. love me do Scanning the brains of people in love is also helping to refine science's grasp of love's various forms. a researcher at Rutgers University. says Dr Pfaus. and perhaps induce bonding to the very features that one has just experienced all this with”.
a chemical state with genetic roots and environmental influences. Lust. such as lemon-scented members of the opposite sex. When an older. for example. smart and educated. dedicated to abolishing the “biological substrates of human suffering”. Researchers think humans develop a “love map” as they grow up—a blueprint that contains the many things that they have learnt are attractive. it seems. He says that even in animals that are not supposed to pair-bond. and are attracted to partners who are dependable.” The stages of love vary somewhat between the sexes. while women are more attracted to money. If scientists can make a more sociable mouse. Who and how a person has loved in the past are important determinants of his (or her) capacity to fall in love at any given moment in the future. Rats can be conditioned to prefer particular types of partner — for example by pairing sexual reward with some kind of cue. this may be the reason why some people tend to date the same “type” of partner over and over again. education and position. So love. The fetishist connects objects such as feet. these features may get fixed with the experience of sexual reward. love and attachment. chocolate and sweet words. kind. Yet the idea that humans are actually born with a particular type of “soul mate” wired into their desires is wrong. But these things are learnt. This is because animals — people included — learn from their sexual and social experiences. for example. in all its glory. such as rats. shoes. These foolish things Of course. Research on the choices of partner made by identical twins suggests that the development of love maps takes time. .and thus a bigger stake in the genetic future. ugly man is seen walking down the road arm-in-arm with a young and beautiful woman. there are some notable differences in their choices. stuffed toys and even balloons. develop early. But long-term success in mating requires a change from being naive about this state to knowing the precise factors that lead from arousal to the rewards of sex. This work may help the understanding of unusual sexual preferences. Human fetishes. If humans become conditioned by their experiences. healthy. Cultural and social factors. Arousal comes naturally. is aroused more easily in men by visual stimuli than is the case for women. Work on rats is leading researchers such as Dr Pfaus to wonder whether the template of features found attractive by an individual is formed during a critical period of sexualbehaviour development. to sexual gratification. This inner scorecard is something that people use to rate the suitability of mates. is just. and learning. For some humans. And although both men and women express romantic love with the same intensity. and has a strong random component. As Dr Fisher observes. that those behaviours bring. This is probably why visual pornography is more popular with men. is rather a good idea. But all this work leads to other questions. love is about more than just genes. play big roles. “We were not built to be happy but to reproduce. and are almost impossible to change. might it be possible to create a more sociable human? And what about a more loving one? A few people even think that “paradise-engineering”. that have a visual association with childhood sexual experiences. this may involve flowers. most people assume the man is rich or powerful. Men are more attracted to youth and beauty.
genetic and psychological checks. Romantics. drugs are unlikely to help either.As time goes by Progress in predicting the outcome of relationships. and information about the genetic roots of fidelity. And if a couple fall out of love. they might go from being research tools to something that anyone could use to find out how well they were loved. would insurers cover you for divorce? And as brain scanners become cheaper and more widely available. However. Henry Holt and Company. or perhaps fix broken relationships? Probably not. New York. by Helen Fisher. Dr Fisher does not believe that the brain could overlook distaste for someone — even if a couple in trouble could inject themselves with huge amounts of dopamine. might also make proposing marriage more like a job application — with associated medical. Despite Dr Fisher's reservations. This is why holidays can rekindle passion. Dr Pfaus says that drugs may enhance portions of the “love experience” but fall short of doing the whole job because of their specificity. Any arousing activity drives up the level of dopamine and can therefore trigger feelings of romance as a side effect. If it were reliable enough. Will the future bring answers to questions such as: Does your partner really love you? Is your husband lusting after the au pair? And then there are drugs. . She also suggests it is possible to trick the brain into feeling romantic love in a long-term relationship by doing novel things with your partner. Scientists are now beginning to show how true this is. * “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love”. she does think that administering serotonin can help someone get over a bad love affair faster. might they also help people to fall in love. of course. have always known that love is a special sort of chemistry.
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