Romantic Love: An fMRI Study of a Neural Mechanism for Mate Choice

H. Fisher, A Aron and LL Brown (2005)
Journal of Comparative Neurology, 493:58-62.

Scientists have described myriad traits in mammalian and avian species that evolved to attract mates. But the brain mechanisms by which conspecifics become attracted to these traits is largely unknown. Yet mammals and birds express mate preferences and make mate choices, and data suggest that this “attraction system” is associated with the dopaminergic reward system. It has been proposed that intense romantic love, a cross-cultural universal, is a developed form of this attraction system. To determine the neural mechanisms associated with romantic love we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and studied 17 people who were intensely “in love” (Aron et al. [2005] J Neurophysiol 94:327-337).

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