Love Is ... an Addiction

Our brains get hooked on romance, say researchers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2010 6:39 PM CDT
Updated Jul 10, 2010 7:00 PM CDT
Love is a 'wonderful,' and potentially dangerous dangerous addiction, say researchers.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Researchers have figured out what pop songs have always known: Love is an addiction. Scientists gathered a group of recently broken-up men and women, hooked them up to brain scans, and showed them photos of the people they still pined for. Sure enough, the photos triggered areas of the brain associated with cravings, rewards, and the like, suggesting that getting over a loved one is like kicking an addiction, reports LiveScience.

"Romantic love is an addiction," says the Rutgers author. "It’s a very powerfully wonderful addiction when things are going well and a perfectly horrible addiction when things are going poorly." This gut reaction probably served an evolutionary purpose, to help our ancestors find and keep mates, and to try to win them back when things went wrong.

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