Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12/30/09 - three kinds of love

12/28/09 to 1/1/10: The
Week of

In today's encore excerpt - three kinds of love;
attachment love, caregiver's love, and sex:

"In the terrain of the human heart, scientists tell us, at
least three independent but interrelated brain systems
are at play, all moving us in their own way. To untangle
love's mysteries, neuroscience distinguishes
between neural networks for attachment, for
caregiving, and for sex. Each is fueled by a differing
set of brain chemicals and hormones, and each runs
through a disparate neuronal circuit. Each adds its
own chemical spice to the many varieties of

"Attachment determines who we turn to for succor;
these are the people we miss the most when they are
absent. Caregiving gives us the urge to nurture the
people for whom we feel most concern. When we are
attached, we cling; when we are caregiving we
provide. And sex is, well, sex. ...

"The forces of affection that bind us to each other
preceded the rise of the rational brain. Love's reasons
have always been subcortical, though love's execution
may require careful plotting. ... The three major
systems for loving - attachment, caregiving, and
sexuality - all follow their own complex rules. At a given
moment any one of these three can be
ascendant - say, as a couple feels a warm
togetherness, or when
they cuddle their own baby, or while they make love.
When all three of these love systems are operating,
they feed romance at its richest: a relaxed,
affectionate, and sensual connection where rapport
blossoms. ...

"Neuroscientist Jaak Pansepp ... finds a neural
corollary between the dynamics of opiate addiction
and the dependence on the people for whom we feel
our strongest attachments. All positive interactions
with people, he proposes, owe [at least] part of their
pleasure to the opioid system, the very circuitry that
links with heroin and other addictive substances. ...
Even animals, he finds, prefer to spend time with
those in whose presence they have secreted oxytocin
and natural opioids, which induce a relaxed
serenity - suggesting that these brain chemicals
cement our
family ties and friendships as well as our love

Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence, Bantam,
Copyright 2006 by Daniel Goleman, pp. 189-193.


Post a Comment

<< Home