In honor of Valentines Day, here’s a little info on the ‘love’ drug (with apologies to science).

The butterfly feelings associated with falling in love are physical reactions to a rush of dopamine and associated chemical changes. The neurotransmitter plays roles in behavior and learning, motivation, punishment and reward, sexual enjoyment, sleep, mood enjoyment, attention,and working memory. One theory is that dopamine is the key neurotransmitter for communicating reward; providing feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement that motivate a person to do certain things. Cocaine, nicotine and amphetamines all lead to an increase of dopamine in the reward pathway of the brain. Dopamine is also key to creativity- it increases general arousal and goal-directed behaviors, and decreases inhibition- increasing the creative drive of idea generation.

Some believe that dopamine is actually associated with anticipatory desire of “wanting” as opposed to “having”. It is also responsible for fruit going brown.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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