Where in the Brain Does Love Come From?

brain-love-come Credit: PASIEKA/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

According to neuroscientist Bianca Acevedo, a researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, love is a chemical response in the raphe nucleus, ventral pallidum, nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental regions of the brain. These four small areas of the brain, along with hormones and genetics, are where neuroscientists believe the feeling of love forms.

Neuroscientists believe that it is the ventral tegmental, which is teardrop-shaped, that is the main central processing unit for feelings of love. During a study of people who were newly in love, the ventral tegmental area of the brain lit up when the subjects were shown pictures of their lovers. The same was also true for people who were still in love after years of marriage.

According to Helen Fisher, a researcher at Rutgers University, love causes a chemical release in the brain. This chemical reaction in the brain is thought to work in much the same way as a drug addiction. Fisher says that love is just like an addiction. If it goes well, it makes people feel great, but if it goes wrong, everything seems horrible. She believes this is why there are so many stories throughout history in which people have killed or even died in the name of love. These are stories of a craving that people will do anything to satisfy.