Scientist doing research funded by the American Physiological Society have recently revealed the aspects of your brain that experience love. Through examining people at different stages of the love experience and using a magnetic resonance imaging system, they looked at the brain to see which parts of it ‘lit up’ when they were experiencing romantic love and long term relationship as well as sexual attraction.
The remarkable findings showed that each of these different levels of love showed up in different parts of the brain. Romance was linked with those areas of the brain associated with ‘reward’ and ‘drive’. Two areas that only slightly overlapped were shown to be linked with sex and romance. They also found that love was not based on looks. Romantic love was experience on the right side of the brain and facial attractiveness on the left. It would be fascinating to see a test which monitored the brain when someone was feeling unconditional love to see where that was felt!
So what does it all mean? Is love just a biological function? I would say the fact that love, sex and romance are not found in one place in the brain has obviously now proven that something other than sex is our drive to love. If the face is not our main attraction then something else is sparking our initial attraction – a spiritual dimension perhaps – where we are attracted to the people who help us on our soul journey. In the words of Lucy L Brown of the Albert Einstein School of medicine “We humans are built to experience magical feelings like love, but our findings don’t diminish the magic in any way. In fact, for some, it enhances the experience.”
Understanding the science of love further show us that love has the deepest of meaning and is one of our greatest soul teachers. Love is the magic dust with endless mystery which reminds us of our true nature and how to become whole. As Plato said, “Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods.”
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