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How Brain Responding to Broken Heart

Brain Responding Broken HeartBelieve it or not, it turns out that feelings of affection or love we have towards our partner can lead into addiction, like drugs that cause addiction effects when it comes that the love should end. This conclusion is derived from research conducted at Stony Brook University.

The research was co-chaired by Helen Fisher, a professor who was also a member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies. Together with his team, Fisher found a connection between the rejections of love with the sensation of addiction. When broken hearted, our brains react as if demanding the sensation of romanticism that is felt before. Fisher even analogized this situation with cocaine addicts who experienced withdrawal symptoms when they couldn’t get that addictive substance.

“It is because the feeling of love that had been perceived makes us feel stronger, more focused, and makes us to look after each other. And when it all stopped, the brain interprets it as a signal loss that causes the effect of addiction, “said Fisher.

In his research, Fisher used magnetic resonance imaging, or IMR to monitor brain activity towards 15 respondents. The respondents consisted of men and women who had been broken up by their partners. They admitted that they still keep the feeling and still like to muse about their former partner. “In fact they still hope to re-establish the love with their ex.”

And what did Fisher do to those respondents who were broken hearted? The respondents were then asked to look at photos of former partners. After that, they were asked to solve math problems that had been prepared. After working on the problems, respondents were asked to look at photos of other people. This research has been already published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, revealing that when respondents looked at photos of former spouse, it occurred that:

  1. We are as if to turn the key on in the brains in its middle or the ventral segmental in which it controls motivation and makes us playing a role as a romantic partner.
  2. But at the same time part of the brain called nucleus accumbency and prefrontal cortex that trigger the sensation of addiction is also simulated.
  3. Not only that, the brain part called the insular cortex and anterior cingulated that produce the sensation of physical pain and deep sadness is as well active.

This situation, according to the researchers, would explain why the fluctuations of our emotions and attitudes when broken hearted are very difficult to control, since it will encourage us to stalk the ex-partner, feeling depressed, even thought about suicide.

“The feeling of being out of control will make us choose an extreme action too and all is associated with a passionate desire,” said Fisher. Fisher also added that people who were really in love their partner felt their love would become perfect only if their partner loved them back too.

“That perception is one that makes us feel complete. So when everything is not as ideal as when the relationship is still fine, a lot of extreme emotions and actions coming up to the surface.”

Ultimately, this research also notices that over time the extreme emotion will become weak by itself for the time will also reduce the activity of the brain work addiction. “Love is indeed causing an effect of addiction and heartbreak will confirm it.”

But until recently, Fisher and his team still can not explain whether similar effects will be felt in general love or is it just a feeling on love relationship between lovers. “In essence, through this study, it does seem that a broken heart can cause a destructive reaction obsession.”

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