Scientist: Love's Just Brain Chemicals

...that could someday be reproduced in a lab
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 8:10 AM CST
A neurologist at Emory University believes love can be explained by a cocktail of chemicals in the brain.   (©Will Foster)
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(Newser) – An American neurologist is determined to prove wrong the poets who say love is beyond understanding, reports the BBC. The Emory professor argues that neurochemical reactions in certain parts of the brain can explain love, raising the possibility that scientists could someday create drugs to bring love back to dying relationships—or even make somebody fall in love with the first person he or she sees.

"My belief is that our emotions have evolved from behaviors and emotions that are in the animal kingdom," said Larry Young. The same brain chemicals in humans have been shown to spur long-term bonding in prairie voles, the neurologist writes in an essay published in the journal Nature. Young concedes that upbringing and personal experiences also play a huge role in a person's ability to form loving relationships, but argues that those factors all ultimately rely on neurochemistry.