Love transforms the architecture of your brain and produces changes in it oriented towards bliss, motivation and emotional regulation. It changes you!
Dr. Arthur Janov is known to be the creator of a form of psychotherapy based on the primal scream. But, in addition, he is the author of a beautiful book entitled Biology of Love , in which he explores how at a neurological level love determines the cerebral and bodily structure of the human being.
He studied especially the neural pathways that the brain develops in response to stimuli of love from the moment of birth and the prenatal and perinatal periods.
He noted that lack of affect in the early stages of life , lack of loving care, caress and attention, represent a real catastrophe in the physical, immune and emotional development, which determines the vital course of the person.
Brain: the importance of love in its evolution
The brain represents the map where our evolutionary history is captured . According to Dr. McLean’s proposal of the triune brain, it is composed of:
- A first series of ancient structures or reptilian , which include the mechanisms of control of the instincts.
- A second emotional brain or mammal , with the ability to process feelings.
- And, finally, a human brain, the most evolved, where the circuits of regulation, understanding and reasoning are based.
The latter constitutes the cerebral cortex , while we refer to the first two as subcortical structures, because they are buried in the depths of the brain.
The right hemisphere is the hemisphere of love . It is larger than the left and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions.
Its limbic system is more developed than the left one and matures much earlier, having completed its development almost entirely towards the second year of life.
In this process, the love received in early childhood , which literally structures the brain and drives its development, is decisive . In early childhood, the experience of love is directly related to the satisfaction of basic needs, physical contact, crucial in the first years of life and also in the adult.
The absence of the loving experience prevents both the body and the brain from developing properly
That is why love constitutes a literal chemical event , reflected in the cerebral architecture that supports emotions and feelings.
The mechanism of neuroplasticity allows to modify the brain structure, integrate the lived experiences and promote the basic functioning of growth and evolution.
The power of love is that this feeling is not just an idea, but is written about cells, tissues and systems. Very especially about the nervous system, but also about the immune and endocrine systems.
It is the radiation of love that vibrates the information molecules of those systems, cytokines, hormones and neurotransmitters, designed to spread the joy of love throughout the body, its tissues and emotions.
Romantic love is a motivational state associated with the desire to maintain a close relationship with another person and share life with her. Its effect is of such magnitude that it has the capacity to induce brain changes both in the one who gives it and in the person who receives it.
Science explains falling in love
Magnetic resonance studies allow us to investigate the processing of emotional regulation, motivation and reward. When lovers see photographs of their partners, it is possible to observe live the changes that occur in the brain architecture as a result of the state of falling in love.
Through this technique, a group of Chinese researchers has managed to identify the brain structures involved in the state of joy of lovers.
Their findings confirm the participation of the limbic system, whose structures increase in size and function significantly in the study group of lovers.
The changes are related to the duration of falling in love and the loss of the love state. Other areas of the prefrontal cerebral cortex involved in emotional regulation, as well as the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens, which is related to happiness and pleasure, show a special receptivity to the state of love.
Brain changes related to love include two different areas:
- Cortical areas: are those that are responsible for mediating the reward and the state of joy, the motivation and regulation of emotion.
- Subcortical areas: are those that mainly direct social cognition, attention, memory, mental associations and self-image.
Love sculpts brain architecture through changes associated with what some consider a state of transient psychosis.
Under its effect, there are alterations in cognition and behavior, in the focus of attention, euphoria, obsession, distortion of reality, emotional dependence, changes in personality and the assumption of risks.
The pattern of neural activity of the lovers ignites brain regions such as the hippocampus, the nucleus accumbens, the caudate nucleus and the hypothalamus, involved in the perception of feelings and the regulation of emotions.
At the same time, decreased activation of the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobes , structures more related to fear and caution.
Harmonizing our emotional state with that of the couple
Studies indicate that lovers and their brain make frequent efforts to activate the parts of the brain that are responsible for monitoring their own emotional state, as well as the emotional state of the couple.
With this, conflicts can be harmonized, consciously or unconsciously, and cognitive strategies are used to solve possible pitfalls and thus maintain the immune relationship to the problems.
The activation of these areas also manages to alleviate the symptoms related to the anxiety and stress of the state of love.
In conclusion, love modifies brain architecture and produces changes in the brain’s functional activity oriented towards bliss and emotional regulation, which allow this great experience …