Looking for love
How science is revealing the roots of romance and debunking myths
As anyone who has fallen in - or out of - love knows, love is a complex emotion. It can make us dreamy and obsessive, bathe us in peace, and shake us with protective anger. It can blind us to the smell of diapers and inure us to the quirks of adults.
Researchers have searched in vain for a love “spot’’ in the brain, a single area that lights up in a scanner when someone imagines his or her beloved. Instead, what little we know suggests that love involves many parts of the brain and a complex interplay of hormones.
Surveys also show that whom we fall in love with is largely influenced by who we are; our personality traits and values drive our choices.
Here are some facts scientists have recently uncovered about love, a few hunches about how it works, and some new survey data that may help you see your selection of a mate in a different light.