Jan 6, 2009 | 7
Make fun, if you must, but it turns out that love may not fade with time, after all — and leaves a lasting impression in our brains as well as our hearts, according to a recent study.
Researchers from Stony Brook University in New York scanned the brains of 10 women and seven men who had been married an average of 21 years and insisted they were still madly in love with their spouses. When the scientists showed the subjects photos of their partners, the fMRIs detected intense activity in the ventral tegmental area of their brains, a region that produces the pleasure-giving neurotransmitter dopamine. A previous study of 17 people in the early, lustful months of relationships showed similar activity in the same brain area, a core component of our motivation and reward network.
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