Falling in Love Takes Less Than A Second… ish

Nov 06, 2010 • News, Research

The BBC says it takes about half a second. US News says it takes a fifth of a second.

They’re talking about the same study, which makes us weary considering scientifically, there is a significant difference between half a second and a fifth of a second, but we’ll let a science writer dispense the spankings on their blog and get to the meat of the study.

Essentially, according to Syracuse University professor Stephanie Ortigue, who led this study, falling in love is quite like using cocaine. (Uh, no. Though it certainly explains the rambling…)

Oh, sorry, where were we? OK, so love creates this really euphoric feeling associated with drugs that seem to do the same, only — according to this study — it also affects intellectual areas of the brain (paging Ortega y Gasset…) involving mental representation and body image.

The study wanted to answer the question about whether love occurs in the brain or the heart. Um, OK.

Ortigue was careful in suggesting it was all in our heads, not the pump in our chests.

Per US News:

The study also shows different parts of the brain fall for love. For example, unconditional love, such as that between a mother and a child, is sparked by the common and different brain areas, including the middle of the brain. Passionate love is sparked by the reward part of the brain, and also associative cognitive brain areas that have higher-order cognitive functions, such as body image.

The study is published is in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Image by Gabriela Camerotti. Information from US News and the BBC.

  • http://www.swingersattic.com/ Mrs Mira

    Sounds like they are confusing love for something else entirely.