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Love Under a Microscope


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smooth wombat writes "As today is one of the top five marketing-induced spending days, the obvious question is, what is love? Anthropologist Helen Fisher studied the brain's circuitry and found that the brain sees romantic love as a reward similar to chocolate, money or drugs. Does this mean that the mystery of love is less magical now that science has studied it under the microscope? According to Dr Fisher: 'You can know every ingredient in a piece of chocolate cake, and you still sit down and eat that chocolate cake and it's wonderful,' she said. 'In the same way, you can know all the ingredients of romantic love and still feel that passion.'"slashdot?g=3697

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Even when you are aware of certain errors that people tend to make like illusory correlations, behavioral confirmation, and the fundamental attribution error, you still tend to make them yourself. More basic psychophysiological processes like romantic love and attachment are even more difficult to exert cognitive control over. For example: if you know a whole lot of technical details about why and how people sleep, it doesn't mean that it will affect the quality or quantity of your own sleep. :huh:

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I think that Dr. Fisher was only making an analogy when she mentioned chocolate cake. Apparently, some people were criticizing her detailed study of the brain systems involved in romantic love. Their concern was that perhaps by knowing the gritty details of how the experience of love looks when translated into brain processes, it makes it more difficult to experience and enjoy love. Fisher's reply was that just because one knows the what ingredients go into a chocolate cake, it doesn't mean that they can't enjoy chocolate cake on the same level as everyone else.

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