Check out this interesting article by Diane Ackerman in the New York Times entitled, “The Brain on Love” (find it here). It discusses the way that loving relationships can affect the brain’s wiring, and what the brain’s response to love looks like. It takes a look at the way that love can ease stress, reduce the experience of pain, and lower blood pressure while also noting that interpersonal loss or rejection stimulates the same parts of the brain associated with physical pain.
For a fun look at what people’s brain’s do when they are experiencing love, check out “The Love Competition.” A video made at the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging where participants were interviewed about people in their life that they love and then given five minutes in an fMRI to “love as hard as they can.” Participants were then compared on whose brains showed the most activity in areas associated with loving feelings. The video does not go into detail about the neuroscience associated with love, but does provide an overview of the brain pathways involved and includes some touching stories from participants on how they have experienced love in their lives. Can you guess who will win the love competition?