In 2006, Helen Fisher, in her "Love the Chemical Reaction", argued that love is a chemical reaction in the brain, associated with the ventral tegmental area and the caudate nucleus, the reward and pleasure centers of the brain, the latter of which home to a dense region of dopamine receptors, dopamine being the neurotransmitter responsible for intense energy, exhilaration, focused attention, and motivation. The neurochemical dopamine, in short, is responsible for the desire or pursuit of any pleasure.
The following are quotes:
- “There are ‘pleasure centers’ as well as ‘punishment centers’. When a wire electrode is implanted into such a center in a rat, for example, and a sort of telegraph key is provided whereby the animal can self-administer pulses of electricity to its brain, it will quickly learn to pound away at the key thousands of times an hour. In such experiments animals have continued to such incessant self-stimulation for 24 to 48 hours, stopping only when physical exhaustion made further operation impossible. And on being put back in the cage after a few hours of sleep, with food in one corner and the key and the other, the hungry animal has been observed to ignore the food, dash to the key, and indulge in another orgy of self-stimulation!”
- “DHA deficiency significantly alters mesocorticolimbic dopamine neurotransmission.”
- — Akhlaq Farooqui (2009), Beneficial Effects of Fish Oil on the Human Brain (pg. 203)
- Fisher, Helen. (2006). “Love: the Chemical Reaction”, National Geographic, Feb.
- Neurochemistry – Hmolpedia 2020.
- Wooldridge, Dean. (1968). Mechanical Man: the Physical Basis of Intelligent Life (pg. 147). McGraw-Hill.
- Farooqui, Akhlaq. (2009). Beneficial Effects of Fish Oil on the Human Brain (pg. 203). Springer.
- Pleasure center (redirect) – Wikipedia.