Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Genetics of Newly Wed Love

From UC Barbara:

For the first time, researchers have explored the neural and genetic connections to romantic love in newlyweds. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and genetic analysis of 19 first-time newlyweds, Bianca Acevedo and her collaborators showed that “romantic love maintenance is part of a broad mammalian strategy for reproduction and long-term attachment that is influenced by basic reward circuitry, complex cognitive processes and genetic factors.”

In short, we’re hard-wired to sustain romantic love to maintain a successful marriage and the family unit, thanks to neurotransmitters like dopamine and a suite of genetic mutations.

“This is the first study to examine the neural and genetic correlates of romantic love maintenance,” said Acevedo, a research scientist at UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences  and the lead author of “After the Honeymoon: Neural and Genetic Correlates of Romantic Love in Newlywed Marriages” in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Read more here.

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