To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Study explains why being in love 'scrambles' our brains

Study explains why being in love 'scrambles' our brains

Our brains basically go to mush when we fall in love.

People do all sorts of things when they're head over heels in love and now scientists are one step further in understanding why.

Up until now, researchers knew very little about love, or at least the feeling of being in love and how it impacts our behaviour.

But a new study has confirmed that when we fall in love, we act very differently. In fact, the brain operates in a totally different manner.

For the study, Adam Bode, a PhD student at The Australian National University and Dr Phil Kavanagh, of the University of Canberra and University of South Australia conducted a study of over 1,500 young adults who identified as being in love.

Researchers studied over 1,500 who identified as 'being in love'.

They then asked them questions about their relationships and how they behave towards their partners.

The scientists specifically looked at the behavioural activation system within the body (also known as the BAS) and how it responds when a person is in love.

The BAS is a mechanism believed to control how certain behaviours are motivated through reward and positive reinforcement.

The study, published in the journal Behavioural Sciences, found that the brain operates differently during a particularly loved-up period, with everyday thoughts centred around the person you're in love with.

In fact, they become the focus of our lives.

The study found that the brain operates differently during a particularly loved-up period.

“We actually know very little about the evolution of romantic love," said Bode in a statement.

“It is thought that romantic love first emerged some five million years ago after we split from our ancestors, the great apes.

"We know the ancient Greeks philosophised about it a lot, recognising it both as an amazing as well as traumatic experience.

"The oldest poem ever to be recovered was in fact a love poem dated to around 2000 [BCE]."

Dr Kavanagh believes the hormone oxytocin could be playing a role in the changes within the mind.

Up until now, scientists have known very little about the effects of falling in love.

“We know the role that oxytocin plays in romantic love, because we get waves of it circulating throughout our nervous system and blood stream when we interact with loved ones," he said.

"The way that loved ones take on special importance, however, is due to oxytocin combining with dopamine, a chemical that our brain releases during romantic love.

“Essentially, love activates pathways in the brain associated with positive feelings.”

Bode and Kavanagh want to go even further with their study with the next stage investigating how men and women approach love differently - as well as the four different types of romantic partner.

Featured Image Credit: Aleksandar Nakic/Jasenka Arbanas/Getty Images

Topics: Sex and Relationships