The Brain In Love: The Neurobiology of Attraction and Attachment
July 2-6, 2012
No single subject has inspired more art, literature or music than love. No phenomenon has caused more joy or pain. Now, using new medical techniques that allow unprecedented analysis of brain function, including CT and MRI scans of subjects in love, science begins to reveal what has previously been shrouded in mystery: the true nature of love. Understanding the neurobiology of romantic love and attachment can provide insight into our own motives and light the path towards healthy attachment and relationship renewal. The workshop begins by providing an overview of the parts of the brain and chemical systems that are involved in the creation and perception of emotion. This presentation is very visual and includes many full-color, animated slides videos and film clips including CT, PET, MRI, TEN- SOR, fMRI, and SPECT data reflecting current research on how and why we love. Participants will then use this knowledge to understand the specific neurobiology underlying the emotions of love, attraction and attachment. We will also look at loss, grief and the chemistry of a broken heart and why men as well as women often feel compelled toward behaviors they know to be hurtful. We will end with the neurobiology of emotional healing and the development of the readiness to love again.
“People who do not respect the laws of acceleration and momentum break bones; those who do not grasp the principles of love waste their lives and break their hearts” Thomas Lewis, MD, A General Theory of Love.
Neuroanatomy for Lovers
Why A Brain?: A Window on Realiy; Our Three Brains: Brain- stem, Midbrain & Cortex; The 4 Lobes and their Functions;The Limbic System: Home of Emotion and Feeling/ How Neurons Communicate: Axon and Synapse; Neurotransmitters, Neuro- peptides and the Creation of Emotion; Up & Down Regulation; The Serotonin System; How Prozac Really Works/ Nanoimaging: A First Look at Living Neurons
The Evolution of Desire
The Evolution of the Emotions; What Are Emotions and Why Do We Have Them? Limbic Resonance/ Ancient Brain - Ancient Mind? What Darwin Saw/ Peacock’s Tails & Ferraris; Mate selection: Why Men & women Make Different Choices; Women & Jewels; The Bower Bird: Nature’s Gift Giving Romantic; Fight or Flight v. Tend and Defend; The True Purposes of Love
The Neurobiology of Attraction
Development of Romance; Attraction & Novelty; Obsession Exclusivity & Impermanence; Is Sex A Drug? How SSRI’s May Interfere with the Capacity to Love; Science Measures Love; fMRI’s of Love; Gender Differences in Brain Responses/ Brain and the Perception of Beauty; Gonna Have to Face It: Love & Addiction
The Neurobiology of Attachment
The Development of the Pairbond/Marriage: A History; What Is Monogamy? Oxytocin and Vasopressin/ Chemically Induced Monogamy; Oxytocin, Vasopressin & Autism/ SSRI’s & Emotional Attachmen; MRI’s of Maternal Love v Romantic Love; The Chemistry of Maternal Love; A Gene for Mothering? Post partum Depression and the Loss of Bonding
Understanding Love and Loss
Love and Loss/ Why Romantic Passion Recedes With Time; I Love You But I Am Not In Love With You; The Six Stages of A Relationship; The Neurochemistry of a Broken Heart/ MRI Scans of the Grief Reaction; Attachment Suicide: Who Tries Who Dies; Jealousy and Aggression; Abuse Tolerance: Why They Stay; Heartache & Healing: The Neurochemistry of Recovery; Forging Intimacy; Developing Love in Late Life