With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air. According to a new study, it is deep in your brain as well.
Scientists are now able to look at the brain patterns of people who have recently fallen in love in an effort to predict whether their relationships are going to stand the test of time, reports The Daily Mail.
Volunteers for a research project were shown photographs of their partners and asked to think of memories of them while their brains were scanned. The results of the study indicated that when volunteers' brains showed more activity in the caudate tail area — which reacts emotionally to visual beauty — but less in the medial orbitofrontal cortex — the area linked to criticism and judgment — their relationships tended to last.
“All of those involved in the study felt very intensely in love with their partner and this was reflected in their scans, but there were some subtle indicators that showed how stable those feeling were,” said Professor Arthur Aron, a social psychologist at Stony Brook University in Long Island, N.Y. “If that strong feeling was combined with signs that they could regulate emotions, to see the partner positively and deal with conflict, then it seems to be really productive in staying with the person."
“Factors present early in the early stages of romantic love seem to play a major role in the development and longevity of the relationship,” said Xiaomeng Xu, the lead author of the study. “Our data provides preliminary evidence that neural responses in the early stages of romantic love can predict relationship stability and quality up to 40 months later.”
Of the 12 participants studied, half of them remained with their partner at the end of the three-year period.
Source: The Daily Mail