JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 1543
Friday, 12 December 2008 00:20

Science shows couples still madly in love after decades

U.S. research finds that some married couples were still romantically in love 21 years after first getting married. They discover the honeymoon never ends for some couples!

Researchers from the United States, lead by Bianca Acevedo from the College of Medicine at Albert Einstein College (New York City), began their study to decide if romantic love is long lasting--at least, longer than fifteen months or so.

They used the brain activity of human subjects who had been married various lengths of time, from only a few months to many years.

One person viewed pictures of their partner while being studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans. Scans of fMRI analyze brain activity by mapping changes in oxygen levels that correspond to activities within nerve cells.

Some of the couples (only a small percentage), who were married for a long time, claimed to still be in love (still excited after all those years), just like when they first dated.

The Acevedo-lead study found that couples who had intense love for each other—for an average of 21 years of marriage—had similar brain activity with couples who had been married only for a few months.

The part of the brain called the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been shown earlier in other studies to show increased activity when people are in early stages of being in love.

The researchers concentrated on this part of the brain during their fMRI scans, but also involved other regions, too.

Page two continues with the results.

The researchers found that the VTA parta of the brain within both the decades-long married couples and the months-long married couples were similar when partners were shown pictures of each other.

However, the researchers also found that the people in long-term relationships had higher levels of activity in another part of the brain that shows calmness and helps to minimize pain and suffering within the body.

On the other hand, people in short-term relationships had increased activities in still another brain area that is associated with feelings of anxiety, stress, and obsession.

The researchers contend that early marriages contain more obsessions, anxieties, and other such feelings, but that those feelings are (sometimes) replaced after many years with feelings of calm.

At least, they are replaced in those couples that feel they are still on their honeymoon.

Co-author Helen Fisher (anthropologist at Rutgers University, New Brunswick (campus), New Jersey) stated, “The difference is that in long-term love, the obsession, the mania, the anxiety has been replaced with calm.” [Science News: “Still love-struck after 20 years,” December 6, 2008, page 17]

The results of the study were presented on Sunday, December 7, 2008, at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, which was held in Washington, D.C.

Additional information on the study appears in the ABC News article “Proof's in the Brain Scan: Romance Doesn't Have to Fade, which states that this study "counters popular wisdom that romance ends within 12 to 15 months).”


26-27 February 2020 | Hilton Brisbane

Connecting the region’s leading data analytics professionals to drive and inspire your future strategy

Leading the data analytics division has never been easy, but now the challenge is on to remain ahead of the competition and reap the massive rewards as a strategic executive.

Do you want to leverage data governance as an enabler?Are you working at driving AI/ML implementation?

Want to stay abreast of data privacy and AI ethics requirements? Are you working hard to push predictive analytics to the limits?

With so much to keep on top of in such a rapidly changing technology space, collaboration is key to success. You don't need to struggle alone, network and share your struggles as well as your tips for success at CDAO Brisbane.

Discover how your peers have tackled the very same issues you face daily. Network with over 140 of your peers and hear from the leading professionals in your industry. Leverage this community of data and analytics enthusiasts to advance your strategy to the next level.

Download the Agenda to find out more




Recent Comments