How Your Brain Falls In Love | Dawn Maslar | TEDxBocaRaton


Translator: Paola Benedetti
Reviewer: Denise RQ How does your brain fall in love? Is it something magical
that happens to your brain, or is there something biological
that happens to your brain that causes us to fall in love? That was my question. This is what we know about love: we know some neurotransmitters
increase and some drop. Your cortisol level, the stress hormone,
increases causing you to feel nervous, while your oxytocin level increases
causing you to feel amorous. A woman’s testosterone goes up
causing her to be more aggressive, while a man’s drops
causing him to be more passive. And in both, their serotonin level drops
causing them to be a little more obsessed. And, although we know what happens,
we don’t know how you get there. There are certain chemical
processes tjat happen, including the tipping point,
where you have an increase; and also an enzymatic reaction,
where you have a subsequent decrease. Either of these would fit nicely
into that missing section. So I was pondering this,
and I just happened to be on vacation. I was visiting my family, and I have a cousin
who is a PhD in biochemistry, so I decided to use
the opportunity to pick his brain. I told him what I knew about love. I said, “Certain neurotransmitters go up,
certain ones go down. I think it may be biochemical.” I looked at him, and he gave
this expression of, “Plausible.” I said, “Some may have
a tipping point reaction.” He said, “Plausible,” or looked plausible. And then, I said, “Others may be
enzymatic with a subsequent decrease.” Again, he gave me
the facial expression of plausible. He’s not a big talker, so I thought
this was going really well. (Laughter) But before I could formulate
my next question, my then 95-year-old grandmother
spoke up, and she said, “You, youngsters, don’t know
anything about love.” I was shocked, and I said, “Yeah, I know.
That’s why we’re talking about this.” She said, “Your problem is you,
young girls, jump into bed too quick. (Laughter) You fall in love, but a boy
doesn’t fall in love that way.” And I kind of looked at her, and I said, “OK, let’s talk a little bit more.
How does a boy fall in love?” And she said, “Back in my day, a girl knew if she wanted a boy
to fall in love with her, she couldn’t sleep with him right away.” Now, I had heard that stuff before:
there was things like the three-date rule, there’s the 90-day rule
from Steve Harvey’s book, “Act like a lady, think like a man,” but I always thought those were anecdotal. I didn’t think there was
any science behind it, so I looked over at my cousin. His face no longer said plausible. I decided to continue with my grandmother because of the date;
the question was the date. I said, “How long do you need
to wait before you have sex?” She says, “Ah, you wait
to have sex until he falls in love.” “OK. Well, Granny, how
do I know when he falls in love?” She says, “Oh, that’s easy, you know
he’s in love when he commits.” I looked over at my cousin,
and I was like, “What do you think?” and he hung his head,
and he just shook it. (Laughter) He said, “OK, Granny,
it’s time to go home.” I realized he was not buying any of this, and my research had to
continue on another day. I returned home,
and I hit the research library. The problem is there’s not a lot of research out
on how humans fall in love, primarily, because of the way
we do research. Imagine a guy saying, “Oh, I love you.” He falls in love, and a researcher
walks up saying, “Congratulations! Can I inject this into
your brain to see if it has an effect?” You’re not going to get many volunteers. So we had to rely on
the next best thing: animal studies. But what animals fall in love? Well, we know when humans fall in love,
they show exclusiveness to one person, so they started looking at
other creatures that mated exclusively. And they ended up settling on these guys:
the monogamous prairie vole. When a prairie vole finds a mate
that they’re interested in, they will, basically, mate for life. So they started looking at
the neurotransmitters to see what was going on, and what they discovered was one of the first things
that increases is dopamine. And if they block the dopamine,
they would lose the loving feeling. So they thought, “Oh, dopamine,”
but they knew there was a problem. Dopamine couldn’t be it
with human romantic love because dopamine goes up
with a lot of things. It goes up with gambling,
chocolate, playing Candy Crush (Laughter) so it couldn’t possibly be dopamine. So they said, “Well, we know
there’s another one that’s involved in bonding;
it’s called oxytocin.” And oxytocin goes up with mothers
and children, that causes them to bond. So they said, “Let’s take a look at that,”
so they looked at that. They found that when a female
finds a man she’s interested in, her oxytocin goes up by 51%, and then if they block it,
she loses that loving feeling. So they said, “Ah, it must be
dopamine and oxytocin,” but there was a problem. It can’t be oxytocin for a man,
because of testosterone. Testosterone blocks
the effects of oxytocin. So they said, “It’s got to be
something different.” They looked at another one
that had a similar formula to oxytocin, and that is vasopressin. So they did the study again. The voles would meet.
They’d have the vasopressin. They’d inject an antagonist,
a chemical block to the vasopressin; he would lose that loving feeling. So they said, “Oh, then it’s got to be
dopamine and vasopressin for males, and possibly some testosterone
because we know that it goes up.” So they said, “Ah, perfect.” What does that mean for us?
Is this applicable? To find that out, I wrote to one of the Head of Studies
at Florida State University, and I asked, “Is the vole study applicable to humans?” His response is a little embarrassing;
he wrote back, “Of course, Dawn!” The exclamation point is his. I didn’t want to write back
for further clarification. That was a little embarrassing,
so I didn’t have to. Fortunately for me, Tiffany Love,
from the the University of Michigan, came out publicly,
and she said that she believed that the vole studies
and human romantic love were similar. So, great. Now what does that mean? Well, if we look back at the mechanism,
we can see that for females that would mean dopamine increases
and oxytocin increases. Dopamine increases when we’re dating,
when we’re going to win; we are excited: we’re going to win
the grand prize of love. As long as you’re dating and you’re happy,
your dopamine is going up. Oxytocin goes up; it’s called
the cuddle hormone, or the trust hormone, so when you’re kissing, cuddling,
having a good time, oxytocin increases. And as you’re dating a man
and you’re learning to trust him, your oxytocin increases. But there’s a catch. Oxytocin slowly builds up that way,
but it skyrockets at orgasm. In other words, my grandmother
might have been on to something. Remember what she said? “You girls, jump into bed
too quick; you fall in love.” It was starting to look like the science was panning out
from what my grandmother said. So I looked at the other part:
how does a man fall in love? If we look at it, dopamine… If he is having a good time,
his dopamine is going up, but how does his vasopressin go up? Vasopressin goes up
when a man is sexually stimulated. So if he’s dating a woman
he’s sexually interested in, the vasopressin increases. But here’s the catch: unlike oxytocin, vasopressin
drops when he has sex. So how important is that? Well, I looked into it further;
Florida State University ran a study, and they said it’s not just
the neurotransmitters that are important. You have to have the receptors.
And how do you get the receptors? You get the receptors with the presence
of the neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters tell your body
to build the receptors, so you have to have
the neurotransmitters high enough to build the receptors
to, then, get them filled. So that means it takes some time. But there was one other thing
my grandmother said, you remember? “You know a man’s in love with you
when he commits.” Could commitment
have anything to do with this? To find that out, I found a study
from the United States Air Force. The Air Force followed over
2,000 servicemen for more than a decade taking various tests. One of test that they took
was for testosterone. What they found is, when a guy
comes in, and he is single, his testosterone is relatively high,
but as soon as he gets married, it drops. Remember what I told you
about testosterone? It blocks the effects of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a bonding hormone, so it was kind of looking like
it could have something to do with it, but it needed further clarification. Was it marriage? Was it
actually commitment? They did a study at Harvard University. They took married men, single men,
and men in committed relationships. They tested their testosterone. This is what they discovered: like the Air Force study, the single men had high testosterone, where the men that were married
had lower testosterone. And here’s the catch:
in the men that were married, and in the men that were
in committed relationships, the testosterone level did not differ. That means that the testosterone
didn’t drop when he got married, it dropped prior, when he committed. So that means my grandmother
looks like she was right. Women take a bigger risk
and tend to fall in love when she has sex, and men tend to fall in love
when he has commitment. So that confirmed something for me
that I’d always suspected, not just that women
tend to fall in love with sex and men with commitment, something even more important, and that is: my grandmother is brilliant. (Laughter) (Applause)

100 thoughts on “How Your Brain Falls In Love | Dawn Maslar | TEDxBocaRaton

  1. I guess i am highly successful at blocking my oxytocin?!

  2. I fell in love, I think about her every single day and second… shes perfect, gorgeous, lovely… shes like the dream girl of every men… I think. Maybe not? but I know that I dont deserve her.. its really annoying that i always think about her every second but she doesnt event think about me for once.. or does she? I dont know.. this is why i hate fallin in love… I cant sleep… I cant think… is this suppose to be beautiful or th ther way around… i dont get it… shes really nice to everyone, her attitude and personality is just soooo cute and perfect. I dont think anybody deserves her, or is it just my ego? I cant get over her… so this is what drunk in love is. I wish her the best of luck. I can never have the gut to tell her that i fell in love with her. Never. I know that I will never be with her but at least she introduces me of what love is. so this is love.

  3. If the man masterbates, does that clear the slate (break down the buildup of neurotransmitters) and negate the whole theory that by "waiting" he will commit?

  4. w how my life is going I don't think I would even get to experience this aaaah

  5. Mind stimulating , I love it even if not totally correct !

  6. and if a woman masturbates? is she than folling in love with her self??? 😛

  7. My central processor does not fall in "love" because I'm made of robots.

  8. Isn't there a study of woman having trouble orgasming, so doesn't that mean woman aren't really getting that extra oxytocin?? I'm just wondering.

  9. This is some eye opening crucial research that is useful in making wise relationship decisions. Applaudable.. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

  10. So the whole study is intended to point out: male is manly when they are single, and they become more feminine as they enter a committed relationship…

  11. Boys fall in love when they commit, what bigger commitment than marriage?

  12. Well, looks like I'm never going to fall in love, I like my testosterone high and I don't like needles.

  13. Its a human nature we fall in love but we don't know how or when it happen .its matter of heart .i think older men tend to be more romantic

  14. “How does your brain fall in love? Is it something magical? Or is it something biological?” Are you telling me that something magical was even a possibility?
    She certainly lost alot credibility there..

  15. "How Your Brain Falls In Love" Easy with a female. Just show her your bank account.

  16. "How Your Brain Falls In Love" Easy with a female. Just show her your bank account.

  17. Yeah so that is the reason huh as a man, this made me understand my past relationships. I'll commit more intelligently, it should be fun 😉

  18. Within the first minute i learned that women are bad for gainz. Say no more.

  19. Of course this pops up when I meet the girl who I’m slowly falling for

  20. The Headbones connected to dickbone,the dickbones connected to the nutbone.

  21. To this day the absurdity of love as anything other than chemicals is the most appalling. If those chemicals weren't there, you couldn't fall in love.

  22. 'Love was invented by guys like me to sell you nylons'
    – Don Draper

  23. That's why dad bods exist! Testosterone helps with muscle tone and, if it goes down, then their muscle will reciprocally!

  24. I guess this would support the theory that marriages where both parties have never slept with anyone other than their partner are something like 40% less likely to end in divorce than couples which have slept with upwards of four people? (idk I can't remember the study)

  25. But she said that testosterone and oxytocin levels increase in a woman after falling in love and she also said testosterone cancels the effect of oxytocin. So apparently, the effect of these hormones should be negligible?

  26. Also, me and my boyfriend didn't get physical in the bed for almost 2.5 years after getting into the relationship, however, i still loved him alot. I started to have deep feelings for him when he told me that he wants to carry 'us' in the future i.e. When he showed commitment. So this talk doesn't really explain to me.

  27. I've been able to tune out whatever makes you fall in love. It feels so much better seeing someone attractive and not being attracted to them.

  28. Weak, self indulgent way to tell a story about her nana…….. Would hardly call it "research".

  29. So to conclude,
    Don't sleep with men too early, if you want to fall him head over heals!!

  30. i saw this video just becoz someone says to me that "you can't defeat your enemy without knowing them"

  31. LOL this is 100% wrong, my 1st ex made me orgasm all the time and I had zero feels for him. My current ex has never made me orgasm from anything and I can’t stop loving him so you and your grandma are both wrong!

  32. In other words… It's Nature. For both male and female. Serving Nature's purposes. Who would have guessed?

  33. And that's why marriages don't last! A man's testosterone drops while a woman's desire most probably rises. For men to have consistently high testosterone they need to be single.

  34. Very interesting. How many times can she say, “ Here’s the catch.”

  35. If you just listen to her speak, she kind of sounds like Michael Jackson and I love it. 🙂

  36. All these complications…mathematically impossible formulas…deep questions and theoretical hypotheses..when it just takes 1+1to equal 2…Instead all you did was change the formula by its symbol…which leads to the outcome of the solution…1×1 =1…

    Translation….

    Let's face it…dating and long term relationships are over. Impossible to initiate and even more difficult to maintain.

  37. How to get your crush to like you
    1. Her oxytocin needs to increase ( build trust – it will take time but this will take time)

  38. I remember being young and everyone telling me “you’re too young to fall in love!”. Then I got old and realized that was the only time you could truly fall in love .😑

  39. I did'nt even know that there was a scientific explaination of emotional activities too

  40. love is a myth a trick women play on men to keep them inline…"dont you love me anymore"you will do this is you love me"…ect…ect.

  41. BS. Explain to me why unrequited love is a sad reality for so many young men then.

  42. Your brain THINKS and your heart FEELS … therefore, your brain doesn't fall in love your heart does.

  43. When he commits huh? Nowadays that would be considered stalking, creepy, pervy.

  44. So… what are you saying is that if I want a girl to fall in love with me I have to f*** her asap???
    Man… I did it all wrong…

  45. Really k but what you tell about one side love of boys & broken boys still thinking about her & still waiting for her ,
    There is no guarantee

    Love , I think love is cinematic thing not going to happen in real life as you wish

    Afterall she leaves you leave your everything & going to the bar having raw sukka drinking limitless ,,but still thinking about her that she will come & love me

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