Semir Zeki

When you look at someone you are passionate about, some areas of the brain become active. But a large part is de-activated, the part that plays a role in judgment.
Brain scans have also shown the area of the brain that controls fear, and another region involved in negative emotions, close down.

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2 Responses to Semir Zeki

  1. shinichi says:

    Crazy in love: What happens in your brain when you really do have chemistry

    by Victoria Fletcher

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2230969/Crazy-love-What-happens-brain-really-chemistry.html

    You may wonder why anyone in the throes of an illicit affair would risk their marriage, family and career for the sake of a what may seem like an irrational crush.

    But doctors have begun to unravel the mystery of why love can make us giddy, irrational and even ridiculous.

    Scanning technology allows neurologists to unearth incredible images of what happens in our brains when we fall in love.

    They have mapped the chemical changes that occur and discovered the parts of the brain that activate – and more importantly, the parts that shut down – during the heady days of courtship.

    And far from being blissful, they have discovered how it can make us nervous and unstable.

    They hope it may also one day reveal why a few of us might overstep the mark when dealing with the object of our affections.

    THE BRAIN IN LOVE

    The frontal cortex, vital to judgment, shuts down when we fall in love. MRI scans show this de-activation occurs only when someone is shown a photo of the person they adore, causing them to suspend all criticism or doubt.

    Semir Zeki, professor of neuro-aesthetics at University College London, says: ‘When you look at someone you are passionate about, some areas of the brain become active,’ he says. ‘But a large part is de-activated, the part that plays a role in judgment.’


    Prof Zeki believes the brain may behave in this way for ‘higher biological purposes’ – it makes reproduction more likely. If judgment is suspended, the most unlikely pair can get together and reproduce. Someone in love will still be capable of making other major decisions in their lives, from striking a business deal to choosing a new mortgage.

    And this sanity makes it harder for friends to convince them ‘they have taken leave of their senses’ when it comes to an ill-advised affair.

    Brain scans have also shown the area of the brain that controls fear, and another region involved in negative emotions, close down, explaining why people feel so happy with the world – and unafraid of what might go wrong – when they fall head over heels.

    LOVE IS THE DRUG

    Studies have shown brain chemical dopamine is at higher levels in those in love. Dopamine is key to our experiences of pleasure and pain, linked to desire, addiction, euphoria, and a surge may cause such acute feelings of reward that it makes love hard to give up.

    Tests show that taking opioid drugs such as cocaine have a similar effect on dopamine as love.

    A side effect of rising dopamine levels is a reduction in another chemical, serotonin, a key hormone in our moods and appetite.

    Serotonin levels may fall in a similar way to those seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, explaining why love can make us feel anxious and jittery.

    The love chemical we are most familiar with is adrenaline. This hormone is why our heart races, palms sweat and mouth goes dry when we see the person we like.

    The same hormone is also released when we are frightened. This means that two people only vaguely attracted to one another can fall madly in love if they go through an exciting or scary experience together. It may also explain the lure of forbidden love.

    OUT OF CONTROL LOVE

    Psychologists are still trying to understand why some become dangerously obsessed and risk everything for love. Dr David Nias is a psychologist and author on love, and a specialist in stalkers. Although an extreme end of the ‘love spectrum’, stalkers do shed light on why people do inconceivable things when in love.

    ‘The emotion of love snowballs for stalkers. It becomes a mental disorder and leads them to be delusional. Sadly we don’t know much more about its causes.’

    But if someone gets treatment in which they learn to think differently and often more positively, they can recover from their obsession and look back in amazement at how they behaved.

    Dr Nias says there is a distinct personality type involved in this one-sided love: the over-emotional and highly imaginative.

  2. shinichi says:

    「恋は盲目」「恋は麻薬」は本当だった! 最新研究で恋がおよぼす影響が明らかに

    ロケットニュース24

    https://rocketnews24.com/2012/11/19/266596/

    その昔から、恋にまつわる名言は無数に存在します。そのなかでも「恋は盲目」や「恋は麻薬」はよく聞く言葉ではないでしょうか。はたして、恋は本当に周りを見えなくさせ、心を麻痺させるのでしょうか。最新の科学研究で、どうやらこれらが本当であることが明らかになったようです。胸を焦がすような恋に落ちると、人は冷静ではいられなくなるようですね。

    ・恋は盲目

    人は恋に落ちるときに冷静な判断をできなくなります。これは心が奪われるから、というロマンチックな理由ではありません。判断に不可欠な脳の前頭葉の機能が停止してしまうために起きるものです。神経科医の研究グループは、ある被験者の脳の動きをMRI(核磁気共鳴画像法)でスキャンしました。その際に好意を抱いている相手の写真を見せたところ、「批判」と「疑い」に関する脳の機能を停止したことを確認したそうです。

    ロンドン大学の研究者は、「人は恋心を抱く誰かを見ると、脳の一部の領域が活発になります。しかし、「判断」を含む多くの部分の機能を緩めてしまいます」と、説明しています。その理由については「脳がより生殖活動に集中するために、判断能力を鈍らせるのかもしれない」としています。

    ・恋は麻薬

    恋に落ちると脳内麻薬といわれる「ドーパミン」というホルモンの分泌が活発になります。ドーパミンは我々の経験の「喜び」と「痛み」の鍵になっています。欲求・中毒・多幸感とも関連があり、恋愛に立ち向かうときの報酬でもあります。恋におぼれるような感覚が生まれるのは、ドーパミンによるものです。

    ドーパミンの分泌が促されると、「セロトニン」と呼ばれるホルモンが抑えられます。これは生体リズムや体温調整に深く関わっています。セロトニンが抑えられることによって、不安に感じたり、神経質になる人もいるようです。さらに「アドレナリン」が分泌され、好きな人を前にして鼓動が早くなったり、手汗をかいたりします。恋心が麻薬のように作用するのは、これらホルモンの影響です。

    ・見えざる恋の姿

    脳科学的な側面からは、恋がもたらす人体の影響についてわかり始めています。しかし心理学的な側面の研究は、いまだゴールの見えない旅を続けているようです。恋愛に関する心理学の専門家デビッド・ナイアス博士は「恋の感情が雪だるま式に暴走した結果、ストーカー行為を生じることがある。残念ながらその原因を突き止めるにはいたっていない」と話しています。

    まだまだ、恋の本当の姿は見えないようです。これからさらに研究が進めば、恋愛の真実が見えるようになるのかもしれませんね。

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