gary's blog

"The Evolution of Love" (it's that time of the year)

Submitted by gary on

The Evolution of Love
By Rick Hanson, Ph.D. (Psychology today blog)
Created Feb 15 2010

How did we evolve the most loving brain on the planet? Humans are the most sociable species on earth - for better and for worse.

On the one hand, we have the greatest capacities for empathy, communication, friendship, romance, complex social structures, and altruism. On the other, we have the greatest capacities for shaming, emotional cruelty, sadism, envy, jealousy, discrimination and other forms of dehumanization, and wholesale slaughter of our fellow humans.

The science of lust (article)

Submitted by gary on

Note the bold sentence on the amygdala - our "inner guardian". It greatly influences dopamine and oxytocin, which are necessary for love.
The neurochemicals are probably circular:
Behavior/intentions>>>release oxytocin>>>> act on amygdala>>> reduces fear>>amygdala causes dopamine to release in reward circuit>>>> leads to I'm attracted to him/her>>>more oxytocin released feeding back to amygdala. Bonding behaviors are the beginning of the cycle, as they calm the amygdala, saying "this person is safe"

The science of lust
Feb 14, 2010

Exercise For Healthy Relationship (biological balance)

Submitted by gary on

I'm putting this up mainly because of the statement in bold, about the capacity for relationship depending on biological balance.

Exercise For Healthy Relationship

Maintaining a healthy relationship can be strenuous exercise in itself. The mantra to be successful at is to understand the development of one's own love history.
According to Dr. Mark Beitel, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychotherapist at Greenwich Hospital's Center for Integrative Medicine in Cos Cob, CT, the way to overcome negative romantic outcome is to break the pattern.

Oxytocin Shows Promise in Autism

Submitted by gary on

MY COMMENTS: Keep in mind that long-term use of oxytocin is associated with many side-effects. Flooding the brain, and the blood with oxytocin is quite different than the precise manner in which the body and brain regulate oxytocin.

Oxytocin Shows Promise in Autism
Nasal Spray of Chemical Seems to Help Autistic Kids' Social Functioning

Feb. 15, 2010—
Social function improved in autism-spectrum patients treated with the hormone oxytocin, according to a small study.

Conclusions before evidence

Submitted by gary on

Below is an email I sent to a friend. Marnia encouraged me to post it. The point of the email is that science is always overturning old scientific dogmas, and that stating "there is no research on something" is not the same as saying "there is no evidence" or "that can't be true."

When I started teaching physiology, I noticed that huge sections of the physiology texts were devoted to certain subjects - like the function of hemoglobin, and very little about other subjects - like cortisol’s actual function in the stress response.

Bell Curves: Hangover and the outliers

Submitted by gary on

THE OUTLIERS (wasn't that an 80's movie?)
We are often asked - “ if a hangover exists. how do you explain couples that stay together for 50 years, and seem to be madly in love?”
Another common statement is “I never feel a hangover”

As for “I never feel a hangover” – I addressed that a bit in my previous blog. The hangover is often reflected in changed perception between partners – which is usually subconscious. So look to your relationships.

clarification of the orgasm "hangover"

Submitted by gary on

Many forum discussions center on the effects of orgasm on the individual.
I’d like to clarify the two main concepts proposed in our books, and this site:
1) Orgasm has a hidden 2-week or longer cycle that can alter your perceptions of your partner, AND how your partner perceives you.
2) That daily non-goal oriented bonding behaviors have a powerful effect on how partners experience and perceive one another.

Social Support and Dopamine Receptors (significant to everything we do on this site)

Submitted by gary on

NOTE: Below is a very significant study.
In general, low density of dopamine receptors are associated with addictions, cravings, ADD, drug and orgasm hangovers, depression, social anxiety, and so much more. High density of dopamine receptors are associated with feeling good, positive attitude, less desire for mood altering experiences/drugs, joy in the little things, etc.

How junk food diet 'can give you depression'

Submitted by gary on

How junk food diet 'can give you depression'

By Jenny Hope
Last updated at 8:10 AM on 02nd November 2009

Eating junk food can make you depressed, doctors have warned.
Those who regularly eat high-fat foods, processed meals, desserts and sweets are almost 60 per cent more likely to suffer depression than those who choose fruit, vegetables and fish.
Researchers claim their study is the first to investigate the link between overall diet and mental health, rather than the effects of individual foods.