I Love You With All of My Brain

  • Published9 Nov 2020
  • Author
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

A team of brain regions work together to create the experience of love.

This video is from the 2020 Brain Awareness Video Contest.

Created by Taylor Woodward

Content Provided By

BrainFacts/SfN

We often say, "I love you with all of my heart," but is that scientifically accurate? In actuality, the brain, and not the heart, plays a bigger role in what we experience as love.

Kissing and holding hands are common expressions of both romantic and non-romantic affection.

Touch signals from these actions are processed in a brain region called the somatosensory cortex, which dedicates over half of its precious space to processing information from just the hands and the face, which make up a small portion of the skin's total surface area.

Sensory information makes its way to the limbic system, which is heavily involved in emotional processing, and consists of brain regions including the hypothalamus, the amygdala, the striatum, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex, among other regions.

Oxytocin, often referred to as the "cuddle chemical," is released from the hypothalamus and decreases activity in the amygdala, which calms anxiety and fear. Oxytocin also stimulates neurons to release dopamine into the striatum, an event that is associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation.

Each time we have an experience with someone we love, our hippocampus works to form new memories, and consolidate these into long term memories. The prefrontal cortex helps us with our decision-making and planning skills, which are vital to maintain healthy relationship of any kind.

Without the help of a team of different brain regions what we experience as love would not be possible.

Song:

The heart is a muscle/We call it cardiac

It pumps blood through your body/when it relaxes and contracts

But if somebody gave you a magical love potion/your heart would not be the spot to process the emotion

Your brain is a blob/that’s floating in your skull

In cerebrospinal fluid/and makes love possible

Your brain has more to do/with your state of twitter-pation

So we should change the way we say/our words of admiration to

Something more scientifically accurate

I love you with all of my brain

I love you with all of my brain

I know sometimes love can make us feel insane

But I love you with all of my brain

I love you with all of my brain

There’s a part of the cortex called somatosensory/and every time we kiss this area receives

A multitude of signals coming from the face/because the lips and fingertips take up a lot of space

Oxytocin helps us feel close/when its released form the hypothalamus

The amygdala is calmed and dopamine released/butterflies and starry eyes our love will just increase

I love you will all of my brain

I love you with all of my brain

I know sometimes love can make us feel insane

But I love you with all of my brain

I love you with all of my brain

Your hippocampus stores your side of the story/So you can fill things in when my side gets blurry

We can tell the grandkids when we’re gray and old/decisions we make with our frontal lobes

We say I love you with all of my brain

I love you with all of my brain

We can thin and we can plan side by side hand and hand

Because I love you with all of my brain

I love you with all of my brain

I love you with all of my brain