Entries in brain (6)
A reader recently submitted the following question:
“I had a 9 month long-distance relationship (LDR) with a girl I met on an internship abroad. Toward the end of the LDR, I felt that she changed and became uninterested and less available. I admit that I made a mistake by having my life revolve around her, which little by little killed her attraction. I also jeopardized our relationship by being manipulative. She originally said she didn’t want to break up and assured me that she loved me, but a day later she told me she wanted to break up. I was shocked and devastated.
We stayed friends for 2-3 weeks, but I was still miserable and tried to get her to change her mind by hanging out with her day and night. A few weeks later, I told her I loved her to death, which only turned her off more. I then told her I would stop contacting her, hoping that this would be the way to get her back. She replied, saying she respected my decision and still wanted to be friends.
I haven’t replied yet. I still love her very much and still have hope that staying away from her for a while and then reconnecting will show her that I have changed and she will want to be with me again. I’m afraid that I’m not doing the right thing, though. What steps should I take? How should I approach her again? I don’t want to lose her.”
Some women, though not many, have reported that they can achieve an orgasm simply by having their breasts and nipples stimulated. The idea of a woman experiencing orgasm without any genital touching whatsoever might seem perplexing, but new research suggests that there is actually a sound biological basis for it.
To determine how the brain processes physical touch, researchers used a soft bristled brush to caress participants’ arms at either a quick or a slow pace. MRI scans of participants’ brains revealed activity in the insula, a region of the brain associated with emotional responses, during the slow, sensual strokes. Brain activity was similar when participants watched someone else receive slow strokes, but not when touch was directed toward inanimate objects.
Morrison, I., Björnsdotter, M., & Olausson, H. (2011). Vicarious responses to social touch in posterior insular cortex are tuned to pleasant caressing speeds. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(26), 9554-9562.
Amanda asked “Elvis once sang, ‘I can't help falling in love with you.’ So... is love a conscious, rational choice or is it a chemical addiction that is uncontrollable?"
Good question, and perhaps the answer depends on how you view “love.” If you conceptualize love like Brick Tamland, San Diego’s favorite weatherman, then perhaps the answer is that love is rather conscious and only requires looking at objects and declaring your love for them. In that case, I love Science of Relationships!
We here at SofR are fond of science. Two reasons we started this site are because we: (a) wanted to get the science of relationships 'out there,' and (b) find that science is undervalued if not outright ignored. A recent article by Chris Mooney addresses the latter. It’s worth the read.