The Hormonal Mechanism of Love

Topics: Hypothalamus, Love, Brain Pages: 9 (2939 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Attachment, commitment, intimacy, passion, grief from separation, and jealousy are but a few of the emotionally-loaded terms used by Dianne Santorelli’s article for the educational research to describe that feeling of which love represents. On the contrary, Maskowitz and Orgel states in the book, General Psychology, that love, hate, fear , and anger are just some of the amazing varieties of feelings which appear to be related to the differential actions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of our autonomic nervous system. Love is a dynamic process that represents the results of different components of the body in a given situation at a given time. As what Joseph Chilton Pierce quoted, close to a century ago, Rudolph Steiner said that the greatest discoveries of the twentieth century science would be: to be able to prove that the heart is merely not just an organ to pump blood, but something vastly more. His statement just proves to us that since we are past the twentieth century, we can now say that our modern science is starting to discover the wonders of the heart which is mainly controlled by the brain. Love and its different emotions and behaviours are hardly ever investigated by scientific means. Probably, artists and poets have dominated the subject matter on love and experimental science had not been considered yet. However, nowadays, scientists have been curious enough to go deeper to what really happens in the body of a person in that emotional state. And so the researchers gained such interest in this topic and would then further explain such phenomena as the reader continues.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders of Stroke, the brain is the most complex part of the human body. Although this organ only weighs three pounds, it controls a lot heavier organs in the body since it is the seat of intelligence, interpreter of the senses and emotions, initiator of the body movement, and the controller of behaviour. It is like a committee of experts that work together, but each part has its own special properties. It is the source of all the qualities that define the humanity. And therefore, the brain is the crown jewel of the human body. Part of the forebrain is the diencephalon, which is also included in the limbic system. It is located beneath the cerebral hemisphere and contains the thalamus and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus plays a major role in regulating hormones, the pituitary gland, body temperature, the adrenal glands, and many other vital activities that concerns emotion. It is also an important emotional centre because it controls the molecules that make us happy, excited, angry, or sad. It is the control centre for most of the body’s hormonal systems. The hypothalamus secretes CRF (Corticotrophin Releasing Factor) which in turn binds to specific receptors or pituitary cells which produces ACTH (AdrinoCorticoTrophic Hormones). While the thalamus relays the sensations felt, some special senses, and movement, to the cerebral cortex. It is also the one responsible for the regulation of consciousness, sleep and alertness. Another fold in the brain that is involved with sensory input concerning emotions and the regulation of aggressive behaviour is the Cingulate Gyrus.

People in love often, if not most of the time remember the face of their lovers. The one responsible for this are the two large limbic systems structures, since the amygdale and the hippocampus play important roles in memory. The fornix, a C-shaped bundle of fibres in the brain, is the one connecting the hippocampus to the hypothalamus. The amygdale is responsible for determining what memories are stored in the brain while the hippocampus sends those memories to the cerebral hemisphere for long-term storage and retrieves them whenever desired.

When people are seriously in love, this is when their five major senses become very sensitive. This is the time that all their sense from their sense of sight...
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