• https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009856982302


An Interdisciplinary Journal on Sexual Health

Aktif Ziyaretçi1
Bugün Toplam16
Toplam Ziyaret582135
Web Site Map
Member's Pages


Brain Chemistry of Love and Sex

Sultan Tarlacı


 No one knows when the story of love began in the history of mankind, though from a religious point of view it started with Adam and Eve and the Forbidden Fruit. Scientifically speaking, love probably made its appearance with H. neanderthalensis between 350 and 30 thousand years ago. Neanderthal graves have yielded the pollen of brightly colored flowers brought from different regions, and these have been associated with some kind of loving relationship between the living and the dead. If love started with the Neanderthals, anthropological studies have shown that today, 147 out of 166 societies in the world have a word for love or at least the concept of love, while for the other nineteen, it has been suggested that not enough questions of the right kind have been asked to discover whether it exists or not. For this reason, love is accepted as a universal or near universal feeling.

KEY WORDS: Love, romantic love, maternal love, neurobiology, fMRI, passion, dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin


SexuS Journal ● 2017 ● 2 (5): 189-200

Atzil S, Hendler T, Zagoory-Sharon O, Winetraub Y,  Feldman R. Synchrony and specificity in the maternal     and the paternal brain: relations to oxytocin and  vasopressin. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry  2012; 51(8):798-811. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2012.06.008.

Bartels A, Zeki S. The neural basis of romantic love.  Neuroreport 2000; 27;11:3829-34.

Bartels A, Zeki S. The neural correlates of maternal and  romantic love. Neuroimage 2004; 21(3):1155-66.

Beery AK, Zucker I. Oxytocin and same-sex social  behavior in female meadow voles. Neuroscience  2010; 25; 169(2):665-73.

Burkett JP, Young LJ. The behavioral, anatomical and  pharmacological parallels between social attachment,  love and addiction. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2012;  224(1):1-26.

Emanuele E. NGF and romantic love. Archives Italiennes  de Biologie 2011; 149: 265-268.

Emanuele E. Of love and death: the emerging role of  romantic disruption in suicidal behavior. Suicide Life  Threat Behav 2009; 39: 240.

Emanuele E, Politi P, Bianchi M, Minoretti P, Bertona M,  Geroldi D. Raised plasma nerve growth factor levels  associated with early-stage romantic love.  Psychoneuroendocrinology 2006; 31: 288-294.

Esch T and Stefano G.B. The neurobiology of love. Neuro  Endocrinol Lett 2005; 26: 175-192.

Fisher HE, Aron A, Brown LL. Romantic love: a  mammalian brain system for mate choice. Philos  Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2006; 361: 2173-2186. 

Fisher HE, Brown LL, Aron A, Strong G, Mashek D.  Reward, addiction, and emotion regulation systems  associated with rejection in love. J Neurophysiol  2010; 104: 51-60.

FXu X, Aron A, Brown L, Cao G, Feng T, Weng X.  Reward and motivation systems: a brain mapping  study of early-stage intense romantic love in Chinese  participants. Hum Brain Mapp 2011;32(2):249-57.

Ferguson J, Young LJ, Hearn EF et al., Social amnesia in  mice lacking the oxytocine gene. Nature Genetics  2000; 25: 284-288.

Kawabata H, Zeki S. Neural correlates of beauty. J  Neurophysiol 2004;91(4):1699-705.

Kendrick K.M. The neurobiology of social bonds. J  Neuroendocrinol 2004; 16: 1007-1008.

Kumsta R, Heinrichs M. Oxytocin, stress and social  behavior: neurogenetics of the human oxytocin  system. Curr Opin Neurobiol 2012 Oct 3. doi:pii:  S0959-4388(12)00146-8. 0.1016/j.conb.2012.09.004.

Langeslag SJ, Muris P, Franken IH. Measuring Romantic  Love: Psychometric Properties of the Infatuation and  Attachment Scales. J Sex Res 2012 Oct 25. [Epub  ahead of print]

Levi-Montalcini R, Skaper SD, Dal Toso R, Petrelli L   Leon A. Nerve growth factor: from neurotrophin to neurokine. Trends Neurosci 1996; 19: 514-520.

Lim MM, Young LJ. Neuropeptidergic regulation ofaffiliative behavior and social bonding in animals.  Horm Behav 2006;50(4): 506-17.

Marazziti D, Akiskal HS, Rossi A et al., Alteration of the  platelet serotonin transporter in romantic love.  Psychol Med 1999; 29:741–5.

Marazziti D, Canale D. Hormonal changes when falling in  love. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2004; 29 (7): 931–6.

Marazziti D, Consoli G, Albanese F, Laquidara E, Baroni  S, Catena Dell'osso M. Romantic attachment and  subtypes/dimensions of jealousy. Clin Pract  Epidemiol Ment Health 2010; 8(6):53-8.

Marazziti D and Canale D. Hormonal changes when  falling in love. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2004; 29:  931-936.  Marazziti D and Cassano G.B. The neurobiology of    attraction. J Endocrinol Invest 2003; 26:58-60.

Martin-Du Pan RC. Oxytocin: the hormone of love, trust  and social bond. Clinical use in autism and social  phobia. Rev Med Suisse 2012; 21;8:627-30.

Master SL, Eisenberger NI, Taylor SE, Naliboff BD,  Shirinyan D, Lieberman MD. A Picture’s Worth:  Partner Photographs Reduce Experimentally Induced  Pain. Psychological Science 2009; 20: 1316-1318

Ortigue S, Bianchi-Demicheli F, Patel N, Frum C, Lewis  JW. Neuroimaging of love: fMRI meta-analysis  evidence toward new perspectives in sexual medicine.  J Sex Med 2010; 7(11):3541-52.

Ross HE, Freeman SM, Spiegel LL, Ren X, Terwilliger  EF, Young LJ. Variation in oxytocin receptor density  in the nucleus accumbens has differential effects on  affiliative behaviors in monogamous and polygamous  voles. J Neurosci 2009;29(5):1312-8.doi:  10.1523/ JNEUROSCI.5039-08.2009.

Scheele D, Striepens N, Güntürkün O, Deutschländer S,  Maier W, Kendrick KM, Hurlemann R. Oxytocin  Modulates Social Distance between Males and  Females. J Neurosci 2012;32(46):16074-9.

Weisman O, Zagoory-Sharon O, Feldman R. Oxytocin  administration to parent enhances infant  physiological and behavioral readiness for social  engagement. Biol Psychiatry 2012;72(12):982-9. doi:  10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.06.011.

Younger J, Aron A, Parke S, Chatterjee N, Mackey S.  Viewing Pictures of a Romantic Partner Reduces  Experimental Pain: Involvement of Neural Reward  Systems. PLoS ONE 2010; 5(10): e13309.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013309

Zeki S, Romaya JP. The brain reaction to viewing faces of  opposite- and same-sex romantic partners. PLoS  One. 2010;5(12):e15802.
Zeki S. Neurobiology of love. FEBS Letters 2007; 581:  2575-2579