The Science of Love
There are three phases to falling in love and different hormones are involved at each stage. •
Events occurring in the brain when we are in love have similarities with mental illness. •
When we are attracted to somebody, it could be because subconsciously we like their genes. •
Smell could be as important as looks when it comes to the fanciability factor. We like the look and smell of people who are most like our parents. •
Science can help determine whether a relationship will last. Flushed cheeks, a racing heart beat and clammy hands are some of the outward signs of being in love. But inside the body there are definite chemical signs that cupid has fired his arrow. When it comes to love it seems we are at the mercy of our biochemistry. One of the best known researchers in this area is Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in New Jersey. She has proposed that we fall in love in three stages. Each involving a different set of chemicals. Three Stages of Falling in Love
Stage 1: Lust
Lust is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Testosterone is not confined only to men. It has also been shown to play a major role in the sex drive of women. These hormones as Helen Fisher says "get you out looking for anything". Stage 2: Attraction
This is the truly love-struck phase. When people fall in love they can think of nothing else. They might even lose their appetite and need less sleep, preferring to spend hours at a time daydreaming about their new lover. In the attraction stage, a group of neuro-transmitters called 'monoamines' play an important role: •
Dopamine - Also activated by cocaine and nicotine.
Norepinephrine - Otherwise known as adrenalin. Starts us sweating and gets the heart racing. •
Serotonin - One of love's most important chemicals and one that may actually send us temporarily insane. Discover which type of partner you're attracted to by taking our face perception test. Stage 3: Attachment
This is what takes...
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