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It stands to reason that the biochemical cascade involved when a person experiences love, gives a feeling of well-being and drive.

Studies in neuroscience have involved chemicals that are present in the brain and might be involved when people experience love. These chemicals include: nerve growth factor, testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin. Adequate brain levels of testosterone seem important for both human male and female sexual behavior. Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are more commonly found during the attraction phase of a relationship. Oxytocin and vasopressin seemed to be more closely linked to long term bonding and relationships characterized by strong attachments.


Romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences. Both are linked to the perpetuation of the species and therefore have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance. 1

There's a lot of research about romantic love and parent/child love. Apparently there are correlations, between the neurological patterns observed with romantic and maternal love.

I am wondering, do we know what the neurobiological differences are between romantic, maternal/paternal, platonic love and the love of non-human entities for example a pet?

1. The neurobiology of love S. Zeki* University College, Department of Anatomy, Gower Street, London WCIE 6BT, United Kingdom

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As a side note, I despise the fact that English only has one word for love. Sanskrit has 96 words for love, ancient Persian has 80, Greek had at least three, and English only one..... – user3433 Aug 25 '13 at 18:37
Lol no I wasn't going to answer - I was like..naaaa that question would require a LOT of research. I think I'll just post my little pessimism about our language. – user3433 Aug 25 '13 at 18:45

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