2. Limbic System
• The limbic system
consists of a donut
shape structure that
is wrapped around
the brain stem in the
middle of the brain.
• This is the main part
of the brain that
deals with emotional
3. Emotional Development
• The first circuits the • Early emotional
brain constructs are experiences form the
the ones that process layout for how later
emotion. These are emotional experiences
laid down before birth. are organized.
4. Emotional Development Cont…
• Around 2 months
the despair and
• As experiences are repeated, they become more
ingrained in a child’s emotional development.
5. Attachment in Children
• Children need to feel loved • Children are pre-
and emotionally secure programed to fall in love
with their caregivers. A
loving response from their
caregiver results in secure
• Children need to have a
with the SAME caregivers
in order to keep that
6. The Power of Love
The emotion of love • Love also deactivates
activates parts of the parts of the brain
brain such as the: such as:
Caudate • The amygdala which
nucleus, Putamen, and plays an important role
the Insula in the response to fear
Anterior cingulate and and terror.
cerebellum • Areas that are linked to
depression, anxiety, an
Hippocampus in both
7. Chemicals and Romance
Hormones and neurotransmitters involved with how the body acts when we fall in love
Estrogen, testosterone Responsible for sexual drive
Dopamine The brain releases this chemical as a “reward”
system. Responsible for feelings of bliss
Norepinephrine Responsible for racing heart and flushed skin
Serotonin Lower levels may contribute to feeling of
obsession with another person.
Oxytocin A hormone that helps build trust and form
Arginine vasopressin (AVP) Activated by romantic love in both sexes and
orgasm in men
Phenylethylamine (PEA) Releases dopamine into the limbic system
Sex Pheromones Chemical messages passed between males
and females to encourage mating
8. Types of Love
• A sexually loaded form
of communication for
the body to determine
• Helps assist in mating
between couple that
would produce health
9. Types of Love Cont…
• The need to reproduce through intercourse
• The hypothalamus stimulates the creation
and release of testosterone in males and
estrogen in females creating our sexual drive
10. Types of Love Cont…
• Couples bond over the
“high” feeling of early love
due to heightened levels
which can last up to three
• After a period of time the
brain becomes accustom
to the higher levels of PEA
and couples tend to settle
into a period of calm
confidence also know as
11. What is Happiness?
• Joyful or happy states are often associated
with calmness, clarity of
thought, warmth, relaxation, and ease in
deciding how to act.
• What bring happiness varies from person to
12. Happiness in the Brain
• Some of the regions in
the brain responsible
for happiness are the
• These “pleasure” regions of the brain release
neurotransmitters, endorphins, and dopamine that
result in the feelings we know as happiness and joy.
13. Fun Facts
• Phenylethylamine (PEA), which occurs naturally in the brain
stimulating happiness, can also be found in chocolate.
• Levels of testosterone in women increase when they are in
love but decreases in men.
• Most changes in the tissues of the brain are in implicit
(emotions, body sensations, relationship paradigms, and
our sense of the world) memory.
• Falling in love appears to reduce serotonin levels in the
blood in a similar way to obsessive-compulsive disorders
• MRI scans have shown that love lights up parts of the brain
linked to the reward system that can cause drug addiction
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York, New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
• Neely Tucker - Washington Post,Staff Writer. (2007, Feb 13). An affair of the head; they
say love is all about brain chemistry. will you be dopamine? The Washington Post, pp.
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