Posted October 24, 2012
The neuroscience of sexual attractions
"A recent edition of radio programme KERA Think has a fantastic discussion on development and the neuroscience of sexual attraction in its many forms.
The programme is a discussion with Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist who raised a lot of eyebrows by finding differences in the brain structure of gay and straight men in a 1991 study.
The science has massively advanced since then and LeVay gives a fascinating and lucid account of what know about the biology of the rainbow of sexual attraction – and where the mysteries still lie.
Link to programme page with streamed audio. mp3 of podcast."
October 26, 2012
Neurotransmitters linked to mating behavior are shared by mammals and worms
"When it comes to sex, animals of all shapes and sizes tend behave in predictable ways. There may be a chemical reason for that. New research from Rockefeller University has shown that chemicals in the brain—neuropeptides known as vasopressin and oxytocin—play a role in coordinating mating and reproductive behavior in animals ranging from humans to fish to invertebrates."
Nov. 09, 2012
Neuroscientist Larry Young on Sex, Drugs & Love Among Voles
"He doesn’t claim to have the answer for why fools fall in love, but psychiatrist Larry Young hopes studying prairie voles will help.
The Emory University professor studies the differences between species of voles with very different sexual preferences: the montane voles are the serial daters and cheaters of their world, engaging primarily in promiscuous relationships, while prairie voles are more monogamous.
By studying their brain chemistry, Young is hoping to expose the biology of fidelity and cheating, and the role that the so-called love hormone oxytocin plays in the way the voles make and break romantic relationships. TIME talked with him about his new book, The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex and the Science of Attraction."
Securing Real Love: Three Chemicals That Make Us Feel We’re In Love, 1 of 3
"The science of couples love is a fascinating study of human nature – perhaps at its best and worst.
Human beings get unhinged about a lot of things, yet nothing seems to compare to the actions of desperation, and the emotional roller coasters in the dance of romance."
October 19, 2013
Love and lust have distinct but interlocking brain signatures
">Brain imaging is revealing the distinct but interlocking patterns of neural activation associated with lust and love.
>Lust is most likely grounded in the concrete sensations of the given moment. Love is a more abstract gloss on our experiences with another person.
>Imaging is also helping to decipher the disorders of lust, including anorgasmia. Dozens of discrete regions across the brain fire at the point of orgasm—suggesting many different ways to develop anorgasmia.
People often think of love and lust as polar opposites—love exalted as the binder of two souls, lust the transient devil on our shoulders, disturbing and disruptive. Now neuroscientists are discovering that lust and love work together more closely than we think. Indeed, the strongest relationships have elements of both."