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Imaging the passionate stage of romantic love by dopamine dynamics.

Takahashi, K; Mizuno, K; Sasaki, AT; Wada, Y; Tanaka, M; Ishii, A; Tajima, K; ... Watanabe, Y; + view all (2015) Imaging the passionate stage of romantic love by dopamine dynamics. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience , 9 , Article 191. 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00191. Green open access

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Abstract

Using [(11)C]raclopride, a dopamine D2/D3 receptor antagonist, we undertook a positron emission tomography (PET) study to investigate the involvement of the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system when subjects viewed the pictures of partners to whom they were romantically attached. Ten subjects viewed pictures of their romantic partners and, as a control, of friends of the same sex for whom they had neutral feelings during the PET study. We administered [(11)C]raclopride to subjects using a timing for injecting the antagonist which had been determined in previous studies to be optimal for detecting increases in the amount of dopamine released by stimulation. The results demonstrated statistically significant activation of the dopaminergic system in two regions, the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) and medial prefrontal cortex, the former of which has been strongly implicated in a variety of rewarding experiences, including that of beauty and love. A positive correlation was obtained in mOFC between excitement levels and dopaminergic activation only in the love but not in the control condition.

Type: Article
Title: Imaging the passionate stage of romantic love by dopamine dynamics.
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00191
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00191
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 Takahashi, Mizuno, Sasaki, Wada, Tanaka, Ishii, Tajima, Tsuyuguchi, Watanabe, Zeki and Watanabe. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Dopamine, medial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, positron emission tomography (PET), romantic love
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470099
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