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By Jenifer GoodwinFRIDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) Remember the intensity of falling madly in love? Ever feel like the passing years, the never ending housework and the demands of raising a family and working have quashed your infatuation for your spouse?
Long term, madly in love participants also showed more activation in regions of the brain associated with maternal attachment and Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit All Black
in love with their partners lit up similarly to scans of newly in love couples. These were spouses who couldn't keep their hands off each other even though they'd been married for more than 21 years, on average.
"We don't know whether those people were continuously, intensely in love," Epstein said. "What often happens in relationships is people are intensely in love, then things go downhill. Then the kids grow up, they have a second honeymoon and they can re experience that same intense love. It's not a continuation of those new feelings, it's a re enactment of them."
Brain scans showed the ventral tegmental area and dorsal striatum lit up when participants looked at their spouse's photo. Prior studies have shown those dopamine rich regions of the brain, which are associated with reward and motivation, also light up in Nike Air Vapormax Mens White couples when they first fall in love, as well as when people snort cocaine.
"They told us things like, 'We drive our friends crazy. We're physically all over each other,'" Aron said. "We're talking about people who have this intense connection, huge amounts of physical liveliness and passion. This is the sort of thing people thought was impossible or crazy. Our data suggest it's real."
Relationships can go through phases, he said. Happiness tends to dip when couples have children. As the children grow up and leave the nest, some couples experience a relationship rebirth, which may be what's happening with the couples in the study, he said.
Brain Scans Show Married Love Can Last
Robert Epstein, a research psychologist in San Diego, Calif., who specializes in love and relationships, expressed some skepticism about the findings. The study involved only a small number of participants, and researchers may have overreached in their conclusions, he said.
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When gazing at a photo of their beloved, the brains of couples married 10 or more years who considered themselves "intensely" Nike Air Vapormax Black Mens
Yet long term marrieds differed in at least one substantial way from the newly married. Areas of the brain associated with obsession and anxiety lit up less than in scans of new couples. Instead, brain areas associated with calmness were more active, Aron said.
pair bonding, Aron said. Sexual frequency was associated with increased activity of the posterior hippocampus, an area implicated in hunger and craving.
New research using brain scans suggests some married couples hold on to that passion and romance for decades or more.
The 10 women and seven men then underwent functional MRI while looking at a series of photos that included the object of their affection; a close, long term friend; a long term acquaintance; and a shorter term acquaintance.
The study was published online recently in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
"These people are not just kidding themselves. They seem to be having the same experience as newly in love people," Aron said.
an ad that asked: "Are you still madly in love with your long term partner?" Researchers screened them using several questionnaires that asked about their sexual frequency (an average of 2.2 times a week) and to what degree their spouse was the most important person in their life and how their body responds when they're close to their spouse.
Because participants were measured at a single point in time, the study may suggest that it's possible to fall in love again, rather than show it's possible to maintain that "new love" for years and years.
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