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Addicted to Love? Part of Brain Responsible for Drug Addiction Also Linked to Love

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Ahhh…love, it gives you that feeling of euphoria that is so enjoyable. It probably isn't a big surprise then that the same part of the brain that responds to love is also the one responsible for drug addiction. Scientists were recently able to isolate the two parts of the brain affected by love and drug addiction and uncovering new and exciting findings about the nature of love.

Scientists discovered the link between love, drug addiction and the brain by looking at studies that analyzed people when they viewed erotic pictures or pictures of their partners or spouses. By compiling information from the 20 studies, the scientists found that two parts of the brain–the insula and the striatum–are responsible for sexual desire and love. Interestingly, sexual desire stimulated the same reward system that responds to anything pleasurable, including food or drugs. The same mechanism compels drug users to take another hit of their drug of choice. In comparison, the love area of the brain was much more complex but that it is a habit that stems from sexual desire because of the rewards associated with it. .

It's also important to note that love is not a "bad habit" simply because it occurs in the same parts of the brain as drug addiction or sexual desire. Love also activated other neuropathways responsible for monogamy and pair bonding and much of what makes love so pleasurable remains a mystery to scientists.