We often hear it said that when a person is in love, in one way or another, they lose their mind. However, according to researchers in neuroscience, this would be a mistaken idea! Indeed, loving would make us smarter. Of course, this intelligence does not apply exactly to the loved one (as the saying goes, love makes you blind), but many other aspects.
There are many things that change in the brain and in the physiology of someone in love. In principle, this experience is very special, precisely for this reason.
Anyone who loves, especially in the first stage of a relationship, feels more awake, more emotionally connected to the world. He is also more empathetic and compassionate.
In fact, love makes us better human beings. However, neuroscience has discovered that love also makes us smarter. Why ? The chemistry of love resides primarily in the brain, and this transformation that accompanies the onset of love also reaches areas that perform cognitive functions.
Loving makes us smarter
To prove that love makes us smarter, a group of researchers at the University of Chicago scanned lovers’ brains. This observation and some evidence have shown that those who like to think faster, perceive the behaviors and ideas of others more clearly, and are also more creative.
To reach these conclusions, the researchers used electrodes. Once placed on the heads of the subjects participating in the study, they were shown a series of photographs including one of their partner. Likewise, they were told different names, including that of their partner.
This is how the researchers were able to discover that when they saw the loved one or heard their name, 12 brain areas of the interviewee were activated. One of those areas where particularly intense activity has been recorded is the angular turn, one of the regions traditionally associated with abstract thinking and creativity. An activity that did not end when participants saw pictures of other people or heard other names.
“Losing the mind”
The results point in one direction. You don’t lose your mind falling in love. Or rather, you lose it, but at the same time you gain a lot. In short, loving makes us smarter.
Is researchers t compared the angular bend to a small robot which activates a complex neural network. Because this area is indeed closely connected to other areas of the brain.
Angular turn involves functions such as number and language processing, as well as very complex autobiographical data. This means that love also creates a special ability to better understand our behavior, on deeper levels than in normal situations.
Sharpening thought and activating perception makes lovers more able to understand the behavior of others, on a deeper level.
The characteristics of others are better perceived and their feelings are better recognized. Therefore, the researchers concluded that love also makes us better.
Beyond the beginnings of the relationship
All of these more intense brain activations and reactions were recorded during the first phase of the relationship. However, another study found that the same effects could be observed even a long time later. As long as the love was there, even if it wasn’t as effervescent as it started.
A University of California investigation confirmed this. On this occasion, a group of couples having been together for a period ranging from 4 to 21 years was studied. What had in common was the fact that they always pretended to feel in love with their respective partners. The researchers found that their brains reacted in the same way as that of the couples in the first study.
In particular, their brains were found to produce a greater amount of dopamine. A neurotransmitter that has significant effects on mood, but also influences cognitive activity. Basically, it helps to regulate and modulate the flow of information. A dopamine deficiency causes problems with memory, attention and problem solving.
Based on all of this evidence, it’s safe to say that actually loving makes us smarter. This intelligence applies not only to strictly cognitive matters, but it also encompasses the wide world of emotional intelligence. It is one more reason to love, without fear and without measure.