Helen Fisher-anthropologist.

redpepper

New member
http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat.html

Start at 16.30 minutes... three different brain systems and why we can love more than one... also why casual sex is not always so casual.

This whole clip is interesting to me, especially the part at 18.08, where she talks about what anti-depressants are doing to our ability to love!

At 3.30 she talks about how we become pocessive when we are in love. When we aren't so much we don't really care that much if they are sleeping with others....

Lots about NRE here!

This is worth a whole listen, but hopefully the times indicate some of the most valid points.

Comments?
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
At 1730 she does state that you can be in love with more than one person. She attributes this to the three brain systems, Lust, Romantic Love and Attachment. She points out that they are not always in sync but that they can be too. She says you can have Attachment for one while having Romantic Love for another. She doesn’t say you can have Attachment for more than one though..what message does this really imply? Does this mean she doesn’t think you can have all three for more than one person?

Her talk was about adult bonding relationships..not sibling or parental love just to clarify.
I've e-mailed her directly for some clarification and hopefully will get a response :)

I like the way she says "I think" for many of her theories as she is not claiming to be certain or that her way is the only way.

She also stated that the divorce rate in the U.S. has stabilized and is actually decreasing. Who would have thought?
 

EugenePoet

New member
Side note -- loved the story about the rickshaw ride. My new GF had never been backpacking, and I took her on a two-night pack trip into the Three Sisters Wilderness. But I think we was already fallin' inna luv before we went (well, I know it) so the trip wasn't a fair test of the novelty-as-aphrodisiac theory.
 

redpepper

New member
She attributes this to the three brain systems, Lust, Romantic Love and Attachment. She points out that they are not always in sync but that they can be too. She says you can have Attachment for one while having Romantic Love for another. She doesn’t say you can have Attachment for more than one though..what message does this really imply? Does this mean she doesn’t think you can have all three for more than one person?

I think you can have all three for one person, but I think it can change over time and then change again. If one is missing for a long time, we might seek it out in another.... especially lust!
 

redpepper

New member
I just listened to Helen again and noticed that she said that casual sex releases endorphins that make one think that they are in love, when really they just orgasmed. HA, new take on certain types of poly for me with that one... all good, it's different from me but all good. Feeling love is feeling love, even if it is only for a moment and you want to call it poly.
 

dragonflysky

New member
Yikes...even more reason to go off the things ASAP!

I didn't listen to the clip since I have no speakers with my computer. (Yes I know, I live in the dark ages! LOL) But....for someone who lived with depression for a long time and tried therapy, alone, to get better, finding anti-depressant medication that helped was a "love-life" saver. I sure as hell wasn't capable of loving much when I was so darned depressed! Meds aren't for everyone, but they were a necessity for me to get my life back on track and moving forward.
 

redpepper

New member
If I remember correctly dragonfly, she says that the prolonged us of them depletes ones ability to make serotonin and this can lead to not feeling the love feeling we get when we cum. Because we need to have three different parts to love in order to feel it completely it means the the circle is broken and we aren't able to love fully... something like that... it's her opinion and worry for our future.

Pharmaceuticals have a tight grasp on our cultures consumption of anti-depressants and she is saying that really they should be for short term use in conjunction with therapy... of course the thing is that our now culture has made it so there is no patience for process and no money to help people into therapy or through it successfully, so we are trapped... that's my thought anyways.

did you read the comments below the video?
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
She says you can have Attachment for one while having Romantic Love for another. She doesn’t say you can have Attachment for more than one though..what message does this really imply? Does this mean she doesn’t think you can have all three for more than one person?


I've e-mailed her directly for some clarification and hopefully will get a response :)

Hi every one. I got a response from Doctor Fisher and also her permission to share her comments. I also pointed her in the direction of Polyamory.com and she has been reading the forum.

Here is my email to her and her response.

Sent:

"I just watched a video of yours on Ted.com which spoke about why we love and cheat. It was very interesting and thought provoking. I am very curious about the idea of loving more than one as I am in a polyamorous relationship as a monogamous person. At 1730 you state that you can be in love with more than one person and attribute this to the three brain systems, Lust, Romantic Love and Attachment. You point out that they are not always in sync but that they can be in sync. You also say that a person can have Attachment for one while having Romantic Love for another. However you don¹t say that a person can have attachment for more than one though? Does this mean you don¹t think a person can have all three brain systems engaged for more than one person at a time?

I am merely curious and am not looking for an offical statement. You were sort of quoted on our Poly Board and I found it very intriguing."


Response:

"I apologize for being so slow to respond. I am overwhelmed with work. But to answer your question briefly. I certainly think you can feel deep attachment to more than one person at a time. We see this all the time. You can be attached to your work, your family, your children, and more than one lover. The attachment system doesn't seem to focus on just one person. Same with the sex drive. You can feel lust for several people at a time. But I don't think you can feel INTENSE romantic love for more than one person at a time. This particular brain system is associated with deep and intense focus on one individual, and people tend to get quite possessive too."

There's more info that she generously sent me and I will share it soon.
Peace and Love
MonoVCPHG
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Been Rejected? Read this!

STUDY FINDS ROMANTIC REJECTION STIMULATES
AREAS OF BRAIN INVOLVED IN MOTIVATION, REWARD AND ADDICTION

Is romantic rejection a specific form of addiction?

Bethesda, Md. – The pain and anguish of rejection by a romantic partner may be the result of activity in parts of the brain associated with motivation, reward and addiction cravings, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology (http://jn.physiology.org/).

Helen Fisher, a research professor and member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick, N.J., is the lead author, along with co-author Lucy L. Brown of the Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY.

The study’s findings could have implications for understanding why feelings related to romantic rejection can be hard to control, and may provide insight into extreme behaviors associated with rejection, such as stalking, homicide and suicide—behaviors that occur across many cultures throughout the world.

Study Design and Findings
In the study, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imagine (fMRI) to record brain activity in 15 college-age, heterosexual men and women who had recently been rejected by their partners but reported that they were still intensely “in love.” The average length of time since the initial rejection and the participants’ enrollment in the study was 63 days, and all participants scored high on a psychological test called the Passionate Love Scale, which determines the intensity of romantic feelings. All participants said they spent more than 85% of their waking hours thinking of the person who rejected them, they yearned for the person to return and they wanted to get back together.

Participants each viewed a photograph their former partners. Then they completed a simple math exercise, such as counting backwards from a random four-digit number by 7, to distract them from their romantic thoughts. Finally, they viewed a photograph of a familiar “neutral” person, such as a roommate’s friend.

The researchers found that looking at photographs of the participants’ former partners stimulated several key areas of the participants’ brains more than looking at photos of neutral persons did. The areas are:

· the ventral tegmental area in the mid-brain, which controls motivation and reward and is known to be involved in feelings of romantic love,

· the nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal/prefrontal cortex, which are associated with craving and addiction, specifically the dopaminergic reward system evident in cocaine addiction, and

· the insular cortex and the anterior cingulate, which are associated with physical pain and distress.

The researchers note that their findings supply evidence that “the passion of ‘romantic love’ is a goal-oriented motivation state rather than a specific emotion” and that their results are “consistent with the hypothesis that romantic rejection is a specific form of addiction.” Those who are coping with a romantic rejection may be fighting against a strong survival system that appears to be the basis of many addictions. The data help to explain why the beloved is so difficult to give up.

Hope for the Lovelorn
There is hope for the lovelorn, however: The researchers found that the greater the number of days since the rejection, the less activity there was in the area of the brain associated with attachment, the right ventral putamen/pallidum area, when the participants viewed photographs of their former partners. Also, areas associated with reappraising difficult emotional situations and assessing one's gains and losses were activated, suggesting that rejected individuals are trying to understand and learn from their difficult situation--what could be an adaptive response to rejection. If attachment responses decrease as the days go by and falling out of love is a learning process, there could very well be physiological evidence that time heals all wounds.

Research Team
The study, entitled Reward, Addiction and Emotion Regulation Systems Associated with Rejection in Love, was conducted by Helen E. Fisher, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Lucy L. Brown, Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, NY, Art Aron, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, and Greg Strong and Debra Mashek, the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The Journal of Neurophysiology is a publication of the American Physiological Society (www.The-APS.org).
 

MindfulAgony

New member
But I don't think you can feel INTENSE romantic love for more than one person at a time. This particular brain system is associated with deep and intense focus on one individual, and people tend to get quite possessive too."

Would be interested to see what sort of empirical evidence is available for this assertion. Particularly for intense romantic love that lasts beyond the early stages of a relationship. It seems better descriptive of the initial phases of bonding (what we call NRE and what everybody else seems to call infatuation) and less descriptive of longer-term romantic love that maintains a level of intensity.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
It seems better descriptive of the initial phases of bonding (what we call NRE and what everybody else seems to call infatuation) and less descriptive of longer-term romantic love that maintains a level of intensity.

I chatted to her about NRE today. I believe the "Intense" romantic love would be what we call that. Redpepper, Polynerdist and I had a talk about this and all agreed that it seemed unlikely to have heavy NRE for more than one at a time.
 

MindfulAgony

New member
I chatted to her about NRE today. I believe the "Intense" romantic love would be what we call that. Redpepper, Polynerdist and I had a talk about this and all agreed that it seemed unlikely to have heavy NRE for more than one at a time.

That makse sense. But, I would hope that there's an distinction in her theory between intense - NRE - romantic love and longer term romantic love. Or is she calling the latter attachment? I seem to view romantic love and attachment separately and both can exist beyond NRE.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
That makse sense. But, I would hope that there's an distinction in her theory between intense - NRE - romantic love and longer term romantic love. Or is she calling the latter attachment? I seem to view romantic love and attachment separately and both can exist beyond NRE.

I believe she supports long term romantic love. The intense part is considered brief. But it's not just her theory I believe. It's the result of a collective body of research I think.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
From her site
About Doctor Helen Fisher

Helen E. Fisher, PhD biological anthropologist, is a Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She has written five books on the evolution and future of human sexuality, monogamy, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain, the chemistry of romantic love, and most recently, human personality types and why we fall in love with one person rather than another.

Fisher maintains that humans have evolved three core brain systems for mating and reproduction:
Lust—the sex drive or libido
Romantic attraction—romantic love
Attachment—deep feelings of union with a long term partner.

“Love can start off with any of these three feelings,” Fisher maintains. “Some people have sex first and then fall in love. Some fall head over heels in love, then climb into bed. Some feel deeply attached to someone they have known for months or years; then circumstances change, they fall madly in love and have sex.” But the sex drive evolved to encourage you to seek a range of partners; romantic love evolved to enable you to focus your mating energy on just one at a time; and attachment evolved to enable you to feel deep union to this person long enough to rear your infants as a team.”

But these brain systems can be tricky. Having sex, Fisher says, can drive up dopamine in the brain and push you over the threshold toward falling in love. And with orgasm, you experience a flood of oxytocin and vasopressin--giving you feelings of attachment. “Casual sex isn’t always casual” Fisher reports, “it can trigger a host of powerful feelings.” In fact, Fisher believes that men and women often engage in “hooking up” to unconsciously trigger these feelings of romance and attachment.

What happens when you fall in love? Fisher says it begins when someone takes on “special meaning.” “The world has a new center,” Fisher says, “then you focus on him or her. You beloved’s car is different from every other car in the parking lot, for example. People can list what they don’t like about their sweetheart, but they sweep these things aside and focus on what they adore. Intense energy, elation, mood swings, emotional dependence, separation anxiety, possessiveness, a pounding heart and craving are all central to this madness. But most important is obsessive thinking.” As Fisher says, “Someone is camping in your head.”

Fisher and her colleagues have put 49 people into a brain scanner (fMRI) to study the brain circuitry of romantic love: 17 had just fallen madly in love; 15 had just been dumped; 17 reported they were still in love after an average of 21 years of marriage. One of her central ideas is that romantic love is a drive stronger than the sex drive. As she says, “After all, if you causally ask someone to go to bed with you and they refuse, you don’t slip into a depression, or commit suicide or homicide; but around the world people suffer terribly from rejection in love.”

Fisher also maintains that taking serotonin-enhancing antidepressants (SSRIs) can potentially dampen feelings of romantic love and attachment, as well as the sex drive.

Fisher has looked at marriage and divorce in 58 societies, adultery in 42 cultures, patterns of monogamy and desertion in birds and mammals, and gender differences in the brain and behavior. In her newest work, she reports on four biologically-based personality types, and using data on 28,000 people collected on the dating site Chemistry.com, she explores who you are and why you are chemically drawn to some types more than others.
 

PollyPocket

New member
Thanks for the post RP. Very good listen.

I also liked the part of the Orgasmic release of a NATURAL high, making you feel like you are in love! I think that this has been one of the things within our Triad that has been confusing....when everyone orgasms, all is right with the world and we love EACH other so much!

THEN, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded!! ;) lol.

She also mentions 'Romantic Love' - I think saying that you can ONLY have one 'Romantic Love' at a time....again, I think it is the Orgasms that make you feel this way more than anything else.

I will listen to her again and see if I can pick up some more helpful stuff. Thanks!!
 

Derbylicious

New member
I chatted to her about NRE today. I believe the "Intense" romantic love would be what we call that. Redpepper, Polynerdist and I had a talk about this and all agreed that it seemed unlikely to have heavy NRE for more than one at a time.

Not to mention exhausting!
 
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