The Chemistry Of Love - How It's Like An Addictive Drug
The subject of the latest episode of the American Chemical Society's YouTube series is how neurotransmitters like dopamine and oxytocin help create pair bondings in humans, maintaining monogamy for most couples.
But, says Dr. Abigail Marsh, "If you block oxytocin receptors, you can totally cut off that pair-bonding response." Marsh is an associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University.
"People who excite romantic feelings in us also probably trigger increases in oxytocin, which results in an increase in dopamine, and then we find that person to be someone we want to stick with," she says.
In the video, Marsh contends addictive drugs affect the brain in ways similar to love, which may explain the painful, withdrawal-like symptoms of heartbreak when couples separate.