Neurosurgery and Brain Health Infographic: The Science of Love By Mental Health, February 14, 2014 This post was last updated on February 9, 2017 The average person falls in love seven times before marriage. Being “lovesick” can cause some pretty strong effects on the body. Discover the science behind one of the most thrilling human emotions. Love and Hormones Science tells us that attraction occurs when the brain chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin kick in. These chemicals can cause happiness, which leads to sweaty palms and faster beating hearts. Attachment is the release of the oxytocin and vasopressin hormones, which helps to form deep bonds. Six Parts of the Brain Affected Prefrontal Cortex Gives humans the ability to reason, which may lower when a person is in love Cingulate Gyrus Alerts one’s brain to an emotionally charged event Hippocampus Plays a role in emotion and memory regulation Ventral Tegmental Area Processes emotions related to the feeling new lovers may experience Amygdala Plays a role in processing emotions and expressing trust Hypothalamus Releases hormones that bring about rapid heartbeat and lightheadedness RELATED: Get to Know the Parts of Your Brain Dopamine is known as “the pleasure chemical.” Dopamine is found in the ventral tegmental area in the brain, where it floods the caudate nucleus. People who are in love often have elevated dopamine levels. Men in love show more activity in the visual part of the brain, while women show more activity in the memory portion of their brain when they are in love. A Real “Love Sickness” Broken Heart Syndrome – Broken heart syndrome, or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a sudden weakening of the myocardium, or the muscle of the heart. Highly stressful emotional situations, such as the death of a loved one or difficult breakup can trigger the weakening, leading to acute heart failure, lethal ventricular arrhythmias, and ventricular rupture. In rare cases, broken heart syndrome can be fatal.