|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Why do humans (and animals?) feel this emotion of love? What purpose does that serve? Literally, what is love? I read this one article in Science Magazine the other day that basically says that "love" is just a bunch of hormones and chemicals running through the brain. It said that oxytocin is released in the brain, which (for example) causes a human mother to take care of her baby instead of leaving it since it can't take care of itself. The oxytocin receptors happened to overlap with dopamine receptors in the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens (generally regarded as one of the brain's essential pleasure centers) (at least, this last statement is true in the case of the monogamous prairie voles). So I think that means that basically, every time a human being engages in an act of love, their brains reward them by feeling good, which encourages love. Is that right? If so, why is that so? I mean, why love when we could have instead just been able to survive independantly at birth? What purpose do prairie voles have for love, anyway?? Thanx!
Re: What is love (the emotion)?
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