Here is the full transcript of love biologist Dawn Maslar’s TEDx Talk presentation: How Your Brain Falls In Love at TEDxBocaRaton conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: How Your Brain Falls In Love by Dawn Maslar at TEDxBocaRaton
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 that certain 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 leave a little more obsessed.
And although we know what happens, we don’t know how you get there. There are certain chemical processes that happen, including the tipping point where you have an increase in also a 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 we knew about — or what I knew about love, and 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.