Those Kids and Their Crazy Hormones
Imagine you’re on your first date and you and your partner are hitting it off big time. It’s probably his/her witty comments or good sense of humor, his/her intelligence or impeccably beautiful smile that makes you feel extremely attracted to your date. As time goes on, you look deeply into each other’s eyes and giggle. You wonder, “am I falling in love?” The answer is: probably not (you’re only on your first date here, come on). You may not be falling in love, but you are feeling a stronger and closer bond being formed; and you’re feeling this way with some help from the hormones norepinephrine, dopamine, and oxytocin.
That’s right, kids– everything your parents told you about your crazy hormones when you had “The Talk” is true. Your hormones really are going crazy, and they really are helping you feel the way you do. When in love, areas in the brain that are known for their dopamine and norepinephrine production light up.
What’s the deal with kissing?
It would make sense for kissing to be favorable for evolution if it led to increased arousal and consequently a greater inclination to have sex. When a (heterosexual) couple is kissing, testosterone can pass from the man’s mouth to the woman’s, which may make her more receptive to sex (and the passing on of their genes). But it turns out that though people certainly kiss when they’re aroused, there’s not much evidence to suggest that it works the other way around, where kissing causes arousal. And though some other species such as bonobo monkeys also kiss, it doesn’t have quite the same association with sex as it does for other humans. This suggests that there are other factors at play than just the initiation of play time.
Failing Relationship? Take Some Neurochemicals!
The one day of the year dreaded by the many people in, out of, and between relationships has come and passed. Being a huge neuroscience nerd, I spent much of February 14th searching for articles and scholarly papers about the neuroscience of love, sex, attraction, friend zones, what have you. But nothing really blew me away. In my third year of studying neuroscience, I have a relatively extensive knowledge of the brain. I certainly have heard all about neurochemicals being released during sex, when you’re constantly thinking (to the point of obsessing) about that special someone, and even when you just look at a photograph of them. And sure, it’s cool the first five times you read about how fascinating oxytocin and serotonin are. But I’m over hearing it. More
Are you and your significant other meant to be?
Well, no one truly knows the answer to that question until they're looking back on their life and reminiscing about the time they spent with their partner. However, a new theory suggests that certain subtleties in language style can determine compatibility between two people. This includes speaking as well as personal writing styles, from Facebook chat to an essay sample.
Researchers have postulated that the use of common words called "function words", including 'me', 'a', 'and', 'but', as well as a number of other prepositions, pronouns, adverbs, etc. can at least estimate the compatibility of a couple. These researchers have devised an equation using the basic-level function words to determine "language style matching" (LSM). A higher LSM means more compatible writing styles, and ergo, a more compatible couple.
A study that analyzed the writing styles of online chats of various couples over the course of ten days revealed much about this theory. According to an article about this study in The Daily Telegraph, "almost 80 percent of the couples whose writing style matched were still dating three months later, compared with approximately 54 percent of the couples who did not match as well."
An online LSM generator has been created by this team of researchers. You can go to this site and insert various writing samples from IM chats to poetry. But this is not solely to determine compatibility in a relationship; you are able to compare writing styles of strangers, friends, and even two of your own pieces. I've tried it and find it to be intriguing at least. In no way would I assert that this is a completely accurate way to determine personality similarity, but it seems to me that it has some logic to it and is not as absurd as I had originally expected.
Language Style Matching Predicts Relationship Initiation and Stability- Association for Psychological Science
Scientists find true language of love - The Telegraph