Different Types of Love Involve Different Parts of the Brain

Stephanie Ortigue of Syracuse University conducted a study about the neurochemical reactions involved in falling in love. She found that different types of love are addressed by different parts of the brain.

For example, unconditional love, such as that between a mother and a child, is sparked by the common and different brain areas, including the middle of the brain. Passionate love is sparked by the reward part of the brain, and also associative cognitive brain areas that have higher-order cognitive functions, such as body image.

Ortigue also said (or at least the article about her study said) that falling in love takes one fifth of a second. That part of the article didn't make a lot of sense to me, but perhaps Neatoramanauts more literate in biochemistry can explain.

Link via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo by Flickr user Garry Knight used under Creative Commons license

It's actually quite simple. The optical nerve sends a signal to the occipital cortex, and LOVE happens through a series of awesome synapses. LOVE is all you need, and yes I believe in a LOVE at first sight... certain that it happens all the time.
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Perhaps we should reconsider our use of the word love. Are filial love and romantic love really two subsets of the same emotion, or are they entirely different emotions? That they use different parts of the brain could suggest this.

I don't mean this to be an anti-religious comment, but what about so-called "Christian love"? - You know how the Bible and Christians often speak about "loving everyone". What exactly are they referring to? I find this particular use of the word love to be too ambiguous or abstract to be meaningful.

As for the speed of falling in love? I tried to look up the meta-analysis the article was discussing by searching for the journal in my university journal database, but unsurprisingly The Journal of Sexual Medicine isn't included. The free abstract of the meta-analysis does not mention anything of the time it takes to fall in love. From what I read in the linked article though, it seems incredibly improbable that fMRIs were conducted on a large enough sample size of people at the exact moment they "fell in love", and that they were able to accurately time the time it took to be "not in love" to "in love".

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@Johnny: I do think so. I've fallen in love with my current boyfriend just 5 seconds since I met him. That's so sweet that you can meet someone and deep in you heart, you know that "it's him I've been looking for".
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I find it a rather odd idea that love between a mother and child is unconditional. At least as the child understands it, it's highly conditional: if he or she misbehaves, mother will be cross.

Surely love is only unconditional when both parties understand that they get love no matter what they do?

Unconditional love is pretty rare. As a kid I got it from my grandmother; I have it from a couple of friends as an adult. I consider myself lucky.
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Of course not. But that's not how the child sees it. The child only gets love from the parent if he behaves. That's conditional. How many parents can tell their child off for doing something naughty and show love at the same time? I know I can't.

Unconditional love is asking: "I crashed the car again. Can I have a hug?" and getting the answer "yes". That's not an appropriate parent-child relationship, unfortunately.
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@ shadowfirebird - Being loved and perceiving love are not the same thing. Even if the child doesn't perceive love from their parents, it doesn't mean that their parent doesn't love them at that moment. Love also doesn't have to be expressed at the time to be present.
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@Jessss, doesn't that kind of go back to shadowfirebird's original question? With the premise of unconditional love between mother and child: is unconditional love still unconditional when one party doesn't recognize it as so?

Personally, I never perceived that relationship as being regarded as reciprocal, anyway, i.e. a mother's love for her child is unconditional, not necessarily her child's love for her. (And where is fathers' unconditional love in all this, eh?)
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They should differentiate between Lust and Attraction in there also.

The high-speed falling in love they refer to is most-likely a woman being quickly ATTRACTED to someone when she sees them,

and then just rewriting history after the relationship worked out.
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SO when people say they weren't thinking when they fell for a certain girl, the actual correct saying would just be that hey weren't using the right side of their brain.
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