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THE BRAIN ON LOVE

Neuroscience and Love
First of all, I have to admit to being a rather lazy blogger.  Maybe one day I should blog about blogger's block.
 In any case, another interesting article in the NYTimes has prompted me to write about this topic.  There have been more and more studies of how the brain responds to various stimuli and we are beginning to actually understand so much more about how the brain works.  Many people don't realize that this is what Freud predicted and hoped for in his writings.  And some of the findings that are coming out of this research are answering age-old questions like "Nature or Nurture"?  The short answer being "Both".
 
So here are some ideas that are floating around these days that I think are really exciting.
- experiences, particularly traumatic ones, have a direct impact on the brain's wiring
 
- the brain can be re-wired through experiences and through various kinds of therapies.

- emotional pain triggers the same parts of the brain as physical pain

- a secure relationship can mitigate anxiety

- the cingular cortex - or what some call the "mammalian brain" controls our emotions and is irrational and primitive - always on the lookout for danger
 
- the pre-frontal cortex controls our thinking and rational decision making but is often slower to react than the cingular cortex which is why when we get triggered emotionally by our partners we react before we can stop and think about it and be "rational".
 
-attachment needs are primary in humans and can affect our entire equilibrium when disrupted
- happy relationships can be therapeutic, both mentally and physically

For those of you who'd like to read more on the subject an interesting book is "Wired For Love:How understanding your partner's brain and attachment style can help you defuse conflict and build a secure relationship" by Stan Tatkin, PsyD. Stan is one of the leading people in the field of attachment theory neuropsychology and it's usefulness in helping couples.  

 

Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 02:51PM by Registered CommenterLee Crespi, LCSW | CommentsPost a Comment | References2 References

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