From the Archives: Love and Lust in the Brain

Since love is on the brain today, it seemed the perfect opportunity to look back at Dana’s articles on love, lust, and attraction. The selected articles span more than a decade, and included in the mix is a Cerebrum piece from Rutgers’ anthropologist Helen Fisher, who is something of a go-to love expert for the media and is sure to be quoted in numerous articles today.

Brains Do It: Lust, Attraction, and Attachment
By Helen E. Fisher
January 01, 2000  

With classic understatement, anthropologist Helen Fisher suggests that the three emotional systems—lust, attraction, and attachment—“are somewhat disconnected in human beings…” But the situation is not hopeless, Fisher argues; the role of the prefrontal cortex in humans is to control and direct these emotions—if we so choose.

Neurobiology Affects Love and Attraction
By Kathlyn Stone
January 02, 2009  

Research presented at the 2008 Society for Neuroscience meeting revealed aspects of what happens in the brain of someone feeling intense love, as well as the sensory and molecular processes involved in love and mating.

The Chemistry of Love: In Search of the Elusive Human Pheromones
By Brenda Patoine
February, 2009

Chemical messages wafting off other people’s bodies clearly influence sexual attraction and mating behavior in humans. Just don’t call them pheromones – yet. 

The Brain Signature of Love
By Kayt Sukel
February 10, 2011

Neuroscientists are demonstrating that romantic love is represented by a unique pattern of activation in the brain.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Ann L. Whitman

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