The Neurobiology of Love
Doctor Larry Young discusses that he believes there is a biological basis to love.
So many people ask is there a chemical or genetic basis to human love, and I certainly believe there is. The reason I believe so is from the work that weâ€™ve done in prairie voles on pair bonding, which Iâ€™m not going to say that pair bonding is love, but the behavioral outcome is very similar. It involves the reward circuitry as I said in prairie voles. People have done brain imaging in humans thinking about their loved ones, and you have very similar circuits activated. In many cases, studies in animals have shown that processes that occur in animals also occur in humans using parallel systems. For example, cocaine acts the same in a rat as it does in a human. So, I really believe that the mechanisms that weâ€™re tapping into in voles, many of those may also be responsible for those feeling that we have when weâ€™re with a loved one; the elation, the excitement, dopamine is going to be involved there and we know that dopamine is released in the brain during interactions like that. So Iâ€™m very confident that emotions such as love are really the byproduct of chemical reactions that happen in our brain where certain neurotransmitter molecules activating receptors in certain brain circuits that activate an emotional feeling. One of those emotional feelings that we know to be very human is love. Love happens between partners, but also between parents and their offspring, offspring and their parents and I think that thereâ€™s surely a biological mechanism to that.
love, biology, dopamine, bonding, bond, oxytocin, social, receptor, reinforcement, larry, young,
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 discusses his research with prairie voles and suggests that the same neurobiological processes may underlie drug addiction and bonding.
Doctor Larry Young explains that social personality traits are influenced by levels of oxytocin and vasopressin in the brain.
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 the experience of being in love activates pleasure centers in the brain, and comments that bonding in prairie voles may be similar to humans.
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 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 Thomas Insel continues his discussion of the two neuropeptides, vasopressin and oxytocin.
Doctor Larry Young discusses evidence of a relationship between oxytocin and autism, speculating that oxytocin may be used to treat autism.
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses the importance of two neuropeptides - oxytocin and vasopressin - in relation to attachment and social bonding.