Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cupid's Arrow May Cause More Than Just Sparks To Fly This Valentine's Day

Date:
February 14, 2009
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Getting struck by Cupid's arrow may very well take your breath away and make your heart go pitter patter this Valentine's Day, reports an expert. Dopamine creates feelings of euphoria while adrenaline and norepinephrine are responsible for the pitter patter of the heart, restlessness and overall preoccupation that go along with experiencing love.

Getting struck by Cupid's arrow may very well take your breath away and make your heart go pitter patter this Valentine's Day.
Credit: iStockphoto/Sean Locke

Getting struck by Cupid's arrow may very well take your breath away and make your heart go pitter patter this Valentine's Day, reports Loyola University Health System love guru Domeena Renshaw, MD.

"Falling in love causes our body to release a flood of feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions," said Domeena Renshaw, MD, author, Seven Weeks to Better Sex, director, Loyola University Health System Sex Clinic and professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "This internal elixir of love is responsible for making our cheeks flush, our palms sweat and our hearts race."

Levels of these substances, which include dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine, increase when two people fall in love. Dopamine creates feelings of euphoria while adrenaline and norepinephrine are responsible for the pitter patter of the heart, restlessness and overall preoccupation that go along with experiencing love.

MRI scans indicate that love lights up the pleasure center of the brain. When we fall in love, blood flow increases in this area, which is the same part of the brain responsible for drug addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders.

"Love lowers serotonin levels, which is common in people with obsessive compulsive disorders," said Renshaw. "This may explain why we concentrate on little other than our partner during the early stages of a relationship."

Renshaw cautions that these physical responses to love may work to our disadvantage.

"The phrase 'love is blind' is a valid notion, because we tend to idealize our partner and see only things that we want to see in the early stages of the relationship," said Renshaw. "Outsiders have a much more objective and rational perspective on the partnership than the two people involved do."

There are three phases of love, which include lust, attraction and attachment. Lust is a hormone-driven phase where we experience desire. Blood flow to the pleasure center of the brain happens during the attraction phase, when we feel an overwhelming fixation with our partner. This behavior fades during the attachment phase, when the body develops a tolerance to the pleasure stimulants. Endorphins and hormones vasopressin and oxytocin also flood the body at this point creating an overall sense of well-being and security that is conducive to a lasting relationship.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Cupid's Arrow May Cause More Than Just Sparks To Fly This Valentine's Day." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090214104322.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2009, February 14). Cupid's Arrow May Cause More Than Just Sparks To Fly This Valentine's Day. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090214104322.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Cupid's Arrow May Cause More Than Just Sparks To Fly This Valentine's Day." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090214104322.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins