love and neurotransmitters

Greg Stevens stevens at prodigal.psych.rochester.edu
Thu Dec 8 19:01:56 EST 1994


Between mof2n at fermi.clas.Virginia.EDU (Milton Omar Faison)'s comment that:

>I was watching that BRAIN show on the Discovery channel and
>heard some information that I find hard to swallow.  They
>attributed love to a release of dopamine, norepi, and epi
>which, beyond the fluttery heart and sweaty palms, also leads
>to a loss of logic or "love."  I'm only in my first semester in
>a neuroscience grad program, but i haven't heard anything that
>justifies this, and I was wondering if anyone could provide
>some kind of justification to this.

and pcook at umich.edu (P.B.Cook)'s comment that: 

>Skip the LUST and head for LUV - take Beta-blockers!


I'd have to say that no, there's no justification, simpy because "love"
is such a cognitive/associatively based phenomenon.  If you're going for
the feeling, then sure, go for P. Cook's idea.  Or better yet, do what 
people have been doing for decades to simulate those feelings: it's
called a speedball, and it's a very simple way of altering neurochemistry:
inject a mixture of heroin and cocaine.  This simulates both the rush in
the autonomic nervous system associated with the "giddiness" of love 
and the comfortable "high" of feeling close to comeone (both neurochemical
and psycholinguistic studies indicate that heroin gives subjective feelings
akin to those of attachment).

But that physiological response still isn't "love" because there isn't
a cognitively identified attachment object (i.e. person).

An interesting thought -- borderline personalities, who make strong
attachment, followed by strong separations, are addicted to the same
process of the speedball: attachment provides them neurochemically
with heroin, and te anxiety of separation provides them with the coke.

Hmmm...

Greg Stevens

stevens at prodigal.psych.rochetser.edu
 



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