Love blows the mind, scans show

11 February 2013 - 02:07 By © Sunday Telegraph
Brain image
Brain image

It seems Shakespeare was right - love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.

Researchers have found that they can spot the signs of a true romance in people embarking on a relationship by looking at how much their brain lights up when they think about their new partner.

Using magnetic resonance imaging, the scientists scanned 12 volunteers who had been with their partner for about a year. They detected distinctive patterns of electrical activity in the brains of volunteers who believed that they had recently fallen in love and found that they could use the scans to predict whether a couple would stay together.

The findings could end the uncertainty of courting by revealing whether a couple are likely to have a long relationship. The scans indicated, even if someone believed he had fallen in love, the activity of his neurons indicated whether his feelings were strong enough for him to be with the other person three years later.

Professor Arthur Aron, a social psychologist at Stony Brook University, New York, said: "All of those involved in the study fell very intensely in love with their partner and this was reflected in their scans, but there were some subtle indicators that showed how stable those feeling were.