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This is what happens to your brain and body when you fall in love

Published on:6 August 2020, 18:20pm IST
Do you also feel butterflies in your stomach when you’re falling in love? If you said yes, then read the science behind it.
Shreya Gupta
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Your brain has a huge part to play in the way you feel when you’re in love. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Falling in love is a beautiful feeling that most of us have felt at some point in our lives. But have you ever thought why you feel the way you feel about a person when you’re in love? 

The reason why many people feel euphoria when they fall in love has actually nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with hormones! Yup, the chemicals in your brain are responsible for making you fall in love. In fact…

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This is what happens to your brain and body when you’re in love
The science behind love is actually more complex than we think. In simple words, when you’re in love, neurochemicals like dopamine (happy hormones) and oxytocin (love hormone) overtake your brain. This is the reason why you feel that your SO is taking your breath away and making your heart go pitter-patter.

Also, read: Want your relationship to last forever? Listen to these neuroscientists

Your brain also releases chemicals like vasopressin and adrenaline that trigger your neural receptors, making you feel pleasure and enrapture.

falling in love
Love can make you go crazy with all those hormones! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Love makes your brain light up!
In a study, researchers at Syracuse University in New York worked with other scientists in West Virginia and Switzerland to study how love affects your brain. The researches used functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI) to study the brain. Researchers found that 12 areas of the brain work together to release chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin and adrenaline which induces a euphoric sense of purpose.

MRI scans also indicated that the reward circuit—the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex—which is very sensitive to behaviours that induce pleasure, lights up on brain scans when talking about a loved one because of increased blood flow in these areas.

In fact, two professors—Richard Schwartz and Jacqueline Olds—from Harvard Medical School (HMS) studied how love evolves and collapses. According to Olds, “Being love-struck also releases high levels of dopamine, a chemical that gets the reward system going” 

falling in love
Love can actually make your brain light up! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As mentioned above, dopamine is the happy hormone that is also associated with the reward circuit which makes love a pleasurable experience. Along with all the positive and pleasurable feelings love brings, it also deactivates the neural pathways responsible for negative emotions like perceiving pain and fear. 

We’ve always known why love makes you feel so happy and on top of the world! But now we know why!

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Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.