The latest episode of Super Brain on The Chopra Well YouTube channel features a conversation between Deepak Chopra and neuroscientist Rudy Tanzi on love and the brain. If you’re alive and breathing, chances are you have experienced love in your life. Maybe you are in love as we speak. One of the most prevalent and least understood of human emotions, love has intrigued poets, philosophers, scientists, artists, and historians alike for centuries. At this point in our development we know more than ever about the chemistry of attachment and the psychology of affection. But are we any closer to understanding why we love certain people over others, how this experience affects us, and what it all means in the grand scheme? Let’s take a look. (Note: We’ll be limiting this article to an exploration of romantic love.)
There is something perversely unpredictable about love. If you have ever experienced love at first sight, unrequited love, heartbreak, rejection, or passion then you’ll know what we’re talking about. (And we suspect that will include almost everyone.) When a person walks into the room and stops you dead in your tracks, or looks in your eyes and shakes something up in the depths of your soul, the feeling may be intensely and inexplicably “right.” But what is “right” or “true” or “honest” about your love? Why this person over anyone else equally smart, beautiful, kind, or fill-in-the-blank? From an evolutionary perspective, romantic love stems from a mating impulse. We identify the most viable mates who will ensure our successful procreation. But honestly, would anyone in love give you that answer?