Love is really like a drug: Study
Intense spells of passion are as effective at blocking pain as cocaine and other illicit drugs, a team of neuroscientists say.world Updated: Oct 16, 2010 01:02 IST
Intense spells of passion are as effective at blocking pain as cocaine and other illicit drugs, a team of neuroscientists say.
Tests on 15 American students who admitted to being in the passionate early stages of a relationship showed that feelings for their partner reduced intense pain by 12 per cent and moderate pain by 45 per cent.
In the study, researchers at Stanford University showed eight women and seven men photos of their partners while delivering mild doses of pain with a hot probe. At the end of each test, the students were asked how much pain they felt.
Feelings of love, triggered by a photo of their partner, acted as a powerful painkiller. Brain scans revealed that these feelings caused more activity in parts of the brain that are also triggered by morphine and cocaine. Looking at an image of an attractive friend rather than their partner had only a mild analgesic effect.