Vole love helps scientists pinpoint romantic brain activity

Vole love helps scientists pinpoint romantic brain activity

Vole love helps scientists pinpoint romantic brain activity 150 150 icnagency

By: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent | Vole love helps scientists pinpoint romantic brain activity | Neuroscience | The Guardian

As a species, voles have almost perfected monogamy – so scientists have turned to the tiny mammals to study the neuroscience of love

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind,” Shakespeare wrote. Now scientists have pinpointed the specific patterns of brain activity that accompany romance, offering a new explanation for why love sends our judgement haywire.

As a relationship takes root, the study found, the brain’s reward circuit goes into overdrive, rapidly increasing the value placed on spending time with one’s love interest. This, at least, was the case in the prairie vole, scientists’ animal model of choice for studying the neuroscience of love.

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