love and neurotransmitters

stdjbr01 at stdjbr01 at
Sun Dec 18 12:15:23 EST 1994

In article <1994Dec9.000156.11848 at>, stevens at (Greg Stevens) writes:
>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 (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.
>Greg Stevens
>stevens at

Personally, I think the idea of neurotrans. being the source of "love" is 
almost logical when you consider the two factor theory of emotion. The 
release of dopamine or NE for ex. creates a physiological state of arousal
which is then interpreted by the individual based on context. If the context
is a job interview, the interpretation may be anxiousness. If the state occurs
in the presence of an attractive individual it may be interpreted as more than
just mere physical attraction. I am not saying that sniffing a little cocaine
in the presence of a model will result in "love"; I am saying that neurotrans
action in conjunction with individual interpretation of the resulting physio.
state, *can* result in the label of "love". I think we all need to be careful
of making the idea of "love" somewhat different than any other part of human
cognition. If chemical, electrical, etc. stimulation in the brain can produce
fear, anger, compassion, etc. than the experience of "love" for whatever 
reason, must also be bound by the same mechanisms. However, we all may be 
controlled by aliens who have inplanted devices in our brains but that is a 
topic for the paranoia group. --Johnny Russell  SHSU

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