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Our Better Health

By Professor Kimberly Resnick Anderson

The chemicals of a hopeless romantic.

Love is a many-splendored thing. And falling in love is certainly one of life’s most exquisite experiences.

Falling in love makes people feel optimistic, energetic, and euphoric. All good stuff. But it also clouds our judgment, causing us to make impulsive, something risky decisions. So, what’s really happening to our brains when we fall in love?

Many neurochemical changes unfold as soon as we think we’ve met our “soul mate.” It all begins with Dopamine.

Dopamine activates the “reward center” in the brain and is highly associated with pleasure. The awesomeness of chocolate cake or finding the perfect pair of shoes — Dopamine. The thrill of gambling, using cocaine, playing video games, all Dopamine.

Dopamine — The Pleasure Center

All basic drives are associated with increased levels of Dopamine, including sex. Here’s an interesting fact — Dopamine is activated…

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