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Special Report

Love, Explained: The Science of Romance

Sex, speed dating, monogamy--for Valentine's Day, we look at the science behind the mating game

  • February 13, 2012

Your Brain in Love

Cupid's arrows, laced with neurotransmitters, find their marks

February 1, 2011 — Mark Fischetti

Your love is my drug: How passion sparks the same painkilling pathways as drugs

Who says love hurts? New research shows that strong romantic feelings actually ease physical pain via the same neural pathways as powerful drugs.

By simply gazing at a picture of their beloved, undergraduates in a recent study were able to substantially reduce their experience of pain.

October 14, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Learning the Look of Love: That Sly "Come Hither" Stare

Series IntroWhile it might not be witchcraft, the formula for ‘love at first sight’ remains a mystery. However, if you pop the following ingredients into a kettle: large pupils, long glances, and a lovely, attentive smile, you may not have concocted a bona fide love potion but your witch’s brew could contain some insight into the laws of attraction.Being an optometrist and all around eye aficionado, I have a deep interest in the connection between the eyes and love.

October 17, 2011 — Cheryl Murphy

My lust: A Valentine's Day confession and the psychology of infatuation

Author’s Note: The following was originally posted at The Psychologist Web site as part of their "Sin Week." Once you've read my confession on the sin of lust, be sure to check out my colleagues' shameful confessions about their own gluttony, sloth, pride, wrath, envy and greed at the BPS Research Digest .

February 14, 2011 — Jesse Bering

The Illusions of Love

How do we fool thee? Let us count the ways that illusions play with our hearts and minds

January 1, 2011 — Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde

The Science of Staying in Love; and Scientists as Communicators--and Heroes

Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and psychology researcher Robert Epstein, a contributing editor to Scientific American MIND magazine, talk about falling in love and staying that way. And science communicator Dennis Meredith discusses his book Explaining Research, and the importance for scientists of reaching the public. Web sites related to this episode include

April 7, 2010 — Steve Mirsky

Love Lessens Pain

Contemplating a new love can reduce pain by activating the same brain region that processes addictions and analgesic drugs. Cynthia Graber reports

October 14, 2010

Arranged Marriages Can Be Real Love Connection

Speaking March 10th at the 92nd Street Y's Tribeca site in New York City, Scientific American MIND contributing editor Robert Epstein discussed how arranged marriages can surpass love matches for long-term contentment. Steve Mirsky reports

March 11, 2010

Fall in Love and Stay That Way

Nothing is more fulfilling than being in a successful love relationship. Yet we leave our love lives entirely to chance. Maybe we don't have to anymore

January 1, 2010 — Robert Epstein

Scientific tricks for staying in love

A friend once told me how, as a child visiting a zoo, his eyes focused  on one of the many monkeys in an enclosed exhibit. The monkey, in turn, began looking back.

April 7, 2010 — Philip Yam
True Love: How to Find It

True Love: How to Find It

Combing through your social network is the most fruitful—and most common—way of finding the love of your life

November 1, 2009 — Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler