Love, Meet Your Close Cousin, Aggression
The chemical, oxytocin, that makes us want to cuddle, also makes us very suspicious of out-groups, people who are not in our relationship.
What’s interesting is that many of the neuro-chemicals that are involved in love are also involved in aggression. So this chemical, oxytocin, that makes us want to cuddle, it also makes us very suspicious of out-groups, people who are not in our relationship. It’s involved with jealousy. It’s involved with protecting – wanting to protect your young or your partner. So, it would seem that maybe there is this really thin line between love and hate. And certainly anecdotally, anybody who’s been in a relationship and it ended very, very badly, knows how easily it could make that jump.
The one neuro-imaging study that’s been done to date was looking for a unique brain signature for hate. The problem was that most of the participants in this study claimed to hate a person that they were once in love with. They did find some overlap between romantic love and hate in this study, but again, was this just some kind of leftover from the previous relationship? Maybe they still felt a little something for that past partner and that’s why that showed up or is this actually showing an actual movement across that thin line? We don’t know.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Lumina Foundation is partnering with Big Think to unearth the next large-scale, rapid innovation in post-high school education. Enter the competition here!
Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?
- Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
- The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
- As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
Sometimes the basics really matter.
- Jordan Peterson believes that only by taking care of your immediate environment can you then move onto bigger challenges.
- The idea stems from millennials who want to change capitalist economic structures though can be applied broadly.
- In a distracted age, our inability to pay attention to our environment is leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.
- "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
- "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
- "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.