ONLY IF YOU CARE TOO MUCH? –
Feb. 21, 2021 – “While a source of joy, these pathways in the brain also motivate us to engage in certain behaviours. And addiction is simply taking that to a maladaptive level – it’s where this circuitry hijacks the brain,” says Professor Zoe Donaldson, a behavioural neuroscientist.
Love normally does not reach this ‘maladaptive level’ – and it isn’t as detrimental to your health as many recreational drugs.
However, Dr Sandra Langeslag, a behavioural neuroscientist at the University of Missouri–St Louis has found a major neurological drawback of being in love: it distracts us. A lot. In fact, her findings indicate intense passionate love is associated with decreased cognitive control.
For instance, in one study she asked participants to perform a short-term memory task while presented with pictures of a beloved, friend or stranger. Those confronted with a picture of a loved one had poorer and slower task performance.