Love, Joy, and our BrainsCreated By Joanna Hendrickson
Limbic System• The limbic system consists of a donut shape structure that is wrapped around the brain stem in the middle of the brain.• This is the main part of the brain that deals with emotional matters
Emotional Development• The first circuits the • Early emotional brain constructs are experiences form the the ones that process layout for how later emotion. These are emotional experiences laid down before birth. are organized.
Emotional Development Cont…• Around 2 months the despair and contentment that infants feel develops into different, more complex emotions.• As experiences are repeated, they become more ingrained in a child’s emotional development.
Attachment in Children• Children need to feel loved • Children are pre- and emotionally secure programed to fall in love with their caregivers. A loving response from their caregiver results in secure attachment. • Children need to have a nurturing relationship with the SAME caregivers in order to keep that emotional security.
The Power of LoveThe emotion of love • Love also deactivatesactivates parts of the parts of the brainbrain such as the: such as: Caudate • The amygdala which nucleus, Putamen, and plays an important role the Insula in the response to fear Anterior cingulate and and terror. cerebellum • Areas that are linked to depression, anxiety, an Hippocampus in both d sadness. hemispheres
Chemicals and RomanceHormones and neurotransmitters involved with how the body acts when we fall in loveName DescriptionEstrogen, testosterone Responsible for sexual driveDopamine The brain releases this chemical as a “reward” system. Responsible for feelings of blissNorepinephrine Responsible for racing heart and flushed skinSerotonin Lower levels may contribute to feeling of obsession with another person.Oxytocin A hormone that helps build trust and form social bondsArginine vasopressin (AVP) Activated by romantic love in both sexes and orgasm in menPhenylethylamine (PEA) Releases dopamine into the limbic system causing happinessSex Pheromones Chemical messages passed between males and females to encourage mating
Types of Love Attraction• A sexually loaded form of communication for the body to determine candidacy for reproduction.• Helps assist in mating between couple that would produce health offspring.
Types of Love Cont… Lust• The need to reproduce through intercourse• The hypothalamus stimulates the creation and release of testosterone in males and estrogen in females creating our sexual drive
Types of Love Cont… Attachment • Couples bond over the “high” feeling of early love due to heightened levels Phenylethylamine (PEA) which can last up to three years. • After a period of time the brain becomes accustom to the higher levels of PEA and couples tend to settle into a period of calm confidence also know as attachment.
What is Happiness?• Joyful or happy states are often associated with calmness, clarity of thought, warmth, relaxation, and ease in deciding how to act.• What bring happiness varies from person to person
Happiness in the Brain• Some of the regions in the brain responsible for happiness are the hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, and septum.• These “pleasure” regions of the brain release neurotransmitters, endorphins, and dopamine that result in the feelings we know as happiness and joy.
Fun Facts• Phenylethylamine (PEA), which occurs naturally in the brain stimulating happiness, can also be found in chocolate.• Levels of testosterone in women increase when they are in love but decreases in men.• Most changes in the tissues of the brain are in implicit (emotions, body sensations, relationship paradigms, and our sense of the world) memory.• Falling in love appears to reduce serotonin levels in the blood in a similar way to obsessive-compulsive disorders• MRI scans have shown that love lights up parts of the brain linked to the reward system that can cause drug addiction
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