Love, Pair-Bonding, and Prairie Voles
Doctor Larry Young explains that the experience of being in love activates pleasure centers in the brain, and comments that bonding in prairie voles may be similar to humans.
Of course we don’t know how well the neurochemistry in vole pair-bonding translates to human bonding; we can only speculate at this point. But certainly we know that when people look at images of a loved one or think about a loved one and we do brain scans to look at what parts of the brain are activated, we also see those same reward and reinforcement circuitry activated. I think it’s probably pretty clear to anyone who has been in love that being around that individual activates pleasure centers in the brain. So, I think that there’s a lot of evidence that there is at least some commonality between what we see in voles and what may be going on in our own species.
pair, bonding, love, neurochemistry, pleasure, prairie, vole, reward, reinforcement, larry, young
Doctor Larry Young discusses his research with prairie voles and suggests that the same neurobiological processes may underlie drug addiction and bonding.
Doctor Larry Young discusses that he believes there is a biological basis to love.
Doctor Larry Young discusses how vasopressin and oxytocin contribute to the reward system, which can promote behavior such as bonding and drug addiction.
Doctor Larry Young explains that social personality traits are influenced by levels of oxytocin and vasopressin in the brain.
Doctor Larry Young discusses how dopamine and oxytocin interact in the reward and reinforcement parts of the brain to help form social bonds.
Doctor Larry Young explains that the genes that encode for vasopressin receptors can predict social behaviors. This intriguing finding makes the link between genes, the brain and behavior.
Doctor Larry Young discusses the proposition that, although different in intensity, the bonds between friends, relations, and lovers have the same underlying biochemistry.
Doctor Larry Young describes the prairie vole as an excellent model species because it forms social bonds similar to humans.
Doctor Thomas Insel continues his discussion of the two neuropeptides, vasopressin and oxytocin.
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses the importance of two neuropeptides - oxytocin and vasopressin - in relation to attachment and social bonding.