Scientists have found that a brain scan can tell whether a person is in love, several areas of the brain show increased activity in those who are in love.
Using MRI scans, researchers from the universities in China and New York have obtained the first empirical evidence of love-related alterations in the brain.
AdvertisementThe study found that several areas of the brain showed increased activity in those who were in love, including in the parts of the brain linked to reward and motivation.
The researchers said the results of the study has shed light on the "underlying mechanisms of romantic love" and would pave the way for a brain scan that could act as a 'love test'.
The study involved 100 students from Southwest University in Chongqing, China. The students were categorized into three groups according to their relationship status: an 'in-love' group, comprised of those presently in love; an 'ended-love' group, those who had recently fallen out of love; and a 'single' group, those who had never been in love.
The participants were told not to think of anything while brains were scanned, so that researchers could monitor the differences between the brains of students in all three groups.
The students from 'in love' category showed increased activity in several areas of the brain, including in parts that deal with reward, motivation, and emotion regulation, as well as in the social cognition network.
The duration of love for the 'in love' group positively correlated with the amount of activity in some parts of the brain. The students in 'end love' category showed lower amount of activity in these areas of the brain.
The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.