April 6, 2006

love issue

things i learned from "love," an article in this february's national geographic:

1 everyone knows passionate love only goes for a few years before you lose that honey honey sugar high. simplified, the infatuation period is suffused with dopamine, and the more mellow, bonding period that potentially follows, the oxytocin period.

2 novelty triggers dopamine in the brain, which stimulates feelings of attraction. the article suggests making first dates really exciting to keep the relationship going. i am interested in this NOVELTY-DOPAMINE-ATTRACTION correlation. especially how it works outside of relationships, and into personal interests, activities.

3 oxytocin is a hormone that promotes a feeling of connection, bonding. when scientists block oxytocin receptors in test rodents that usually form monogamous bonds, the animals start roaming. in experiments, oxytocin has been used to treat autism.

4 dang, it's pretty fun to fall in love. but i am starting to hear a lot about marriage and babies from friends. i'd say 80% of them. really guys? is it that time?

i am really feeling the flow of the years -- a serious meditation on mortality, i've spent a lot more time thinking about years ahead, my old age -- a real shift from frenetically living by the minute. i kind of like it.


jean said...

talking to a mr heyer, i also learned oxytocin injections can induce breasts to lactate in women!

andrea said...

i thought oxytocin WAS the hormone that induces lactation.. you know.. women's bodies are kind of like well-programmed, clock-bound machines.. especially if they're pregnant. once the hormones are deployed.... All Systems Go!

have you seen woody allen's "everything you ever wanted to know about sex* *but were too afraid to ask?" and remember "gozu"?

andrea said...

it's really fascinating to hear that oxytocin has been used to treat autism.

sitting on a plane a couple days ago, i grabbed a magazine from the seat pocket and read about the autism research center that grew out of U.C. Davis a few years ago. it said that so little is known about autism.. only recently was it still believed that autism was an effect of "a Refrigerator Mother"- i.e., a cold, uncaring mom!!

jean said...

how recently?

a said...

the website of the "autistic society" has an article that says as recently as 40-60 years ago. not too recent, not too long ago, i guess.