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The Scientific American: Book of Love, Sex and the Brain

The Scientific American: Book of Love, Sex and the Brain

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Judith Horstman

1. Love. 2. Sex (Psychology) 3. Sex (Biology) 4. Neurosciences.

- The Neuroscience of How, When, Why and Who We Love -


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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 251 p
 File Size 
 2,698 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 978-0-470-64778-3 (cloth)
 978-1-118-10951-9 (ebk.)
 978-1-118-10952-6 (ebk.)
 978-1-118-10953-3 (ebk.)
 Copyright©   
 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc  

About the Author
Judith Horstman is an award-winning journalist who specializes in writing
about health and medicine. Her work has appeared in hundreds of
publications worldwide and on the Internet.
A long-time print journalist, she was a Washington correspondent for the
Gannett News Service and USA Today, the recipient of a Knight Science
Journalism Fellowship at MIT, and a journalism professor at Oregon State
University and a lecturer at Keene (New Hampshire) State College and Santa
Clara (California) University. In addition, she was awarded two Fulbright
grants to establish a center to teach fact-based journalism in Budapest, Hungary.

She has edited and written for Web sites on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and lupus and for the Stanford
University Medical Center, the Harvard Health Letter, the Johns Hopkins
University White Papers, and Time Inc. Health publications. She was a
contributing editor for Arthritis Today, the magazine of the Arthritis
Foundation for which she wrote The Arthritis Foundation’s Guide Alternative
Therapies and is coauthor (with Paul Lam) of Overcoming Arthritis.
This is her third brain book in a series of four: Horstman is the author of
The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain (Jossey-Bass, 2009)
and The Scientific American Brave New Brain (Jossey-Bass, 2010). A
Scientific American book on the aging brain will be published by Jossey-Bass
in 2012. Visit her Web site at www.judithhorstman.com.

PREFACE: WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Why does some love die while
other love lasts? Is it really a mystery—or can science (specifically
neuroscience) shed some light on how, why, and who our brains love? Probably it can.
We’ve been learning more about sex every day, especially since Alfred
Kinsey began asking Americans exactly what we were doing sexually, where,
and with whom, and since William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson began
scrutinizing and categorizing what our genitals were doing while our brains were having sex.

Recently researchers have been studying what in our brains makes our
hearts go pitter-patter with lust and with lasting love—with the whole
smorgasbord of emotions, including the love of parent and child, the
affectionate love of companionship, the role that the love of animals can play
in our lives, and the love of God.

Scientists have learned that the brain in love and sex uses an entire
pharmacy of chemicals and chemical actions and reactions, calling forth a
tsunami of neurotransmitters and hormones. And now we are able to actually
look at a brain that’s in love, lust, or both. New imaging technology allows
scientists to peer inside our brains, our primary sex and love organ, to see
what’s happening in there. Brain scans, especially the functional magnetic
resonance imaging scans, allow scientists to see brain activity in real time in
a live, thinking, feeling, loving (or sexually excited) brain. They allow
scientists to watch as our brain experiences romance, sex, love, and loss, and
several emotions in between.

This book is structured around the way your brain encounters and
experiences various kinds of love, beginning with prenatal influences and
continuing through parental love, friendship, sex, romance, marriage,
religious love, and beyond. It is based on the indisputable evidence that we
are hardwired to connect to one another. Love is who we are.

Table of Contents
Cover
Series page
Title page
Copyright page
Dedication

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
PREFACE: WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Introduction: What Is This Thing Called Love?
So What Is Love?
Love Is a Many Splendored Thing—and the Greeks Had a
Word for All of the Types
The Basics of Your Brain in Love and Sex
I’ve Got You Under My Skull: Love in Your Brain
You Make Me Feel So Good: The Pleasure Center
The Very Thought of You
How Scientists Research Love and Sex in Your Brain

CHAPTER ONE: Born to Love
Do You See What I See? How Mirror Neurons Connect Us
The Dangers of Involuntary Mind Merging
The Chemistry of Love
Love Is Everywhere: Where Love Grows in the Brain
A Brain Unable to Love: Inside the Brain of a Psychopath
Baby Face, You’ve Got the Cutest Little Baby Face

CHAPTER TWO: Learning to Love
How Your Parents Affect Your Love Life
Love at First Sight: The Earliest Lessons in Love
If You Could Read My Mind: Moms Do
A Mother’s Everlasting Love
How Parenting Primes Your Brain for Love
Parenting Rewires the Daddy Brain as Well
How Father Love Feeds Both Brains
Postpartum Depression: Misery for Mom and Baby
Loving the One Who Hurts You: Why Children Cling to
Abusers
What If Things Went Wrong with That First Love?
In the End: Do Parents Matter?

CHAPTER THREE: His Brain, Her Brain, Gay
Brain, and Other Brains
How Real Are the Differences?
His Brain, Her Brain: The Geography
So What Does This Have to Do with Love?
Our Changeable Brains
Some Myths About Male and Female Brains: True or False?
Toujours Gay: The Gay Brain Is Born That Way
Can Animals Be Gay? Better to Call It Bisexual
I Am What I Am
The Third Gender: When Gender and Sex Do Not Align
Are There Asexuals Among Us? On the Possibility of a
Fourth Sexual Orientation

CHAPTER FOUR: That Old Black Magic
How Love and Sex Are Good for Your Brain
When Love Occupies Your Brain
Who Do You Love? And Who Loves Ya, Baby?
You’ve Got That Lovin’ Feelin’, But What Turns You On?
You Go to My Nose: The Power of Smell over Sex
A Kiss Is (More Than) Just a Kiss
You Light Up My Brain
What’s Love Got to Do with It? Plenty It Turns Out—for Women
Need Some Love Potion? Try a Bit of Oxytocin Spray
I’ll Have What She’s Having: What Makes a Better Female Orgasm?
Does the Penis Have a Brain of Its Own?
When Things Go Wrong: A Fine Romance

CHAPTER FIVE: Friendship, Such a Perfect Blendship
Is Friendship Declining?
Are You Lonesome Tonight? 60 Million Other Americans
Are You’ve Got a Friend—or You Should!
Widening the Social Circle
Imaginary Friends: TV Characters Can Ease Your Pain
Until the Real Thing Comes Along: Your Brain on Facebook
Work, the “Other Love” in Your Life
Can Animals Love? Yes, and More
How to Make Friends

CHAPTER SIX: Only You Can Make My Dreams
Come True
Grow Old Along with Me: The Marriage Benefits
You Make Me Feel So Good: Romance Lowers Stress
Finding That Special Someone: Looking for Love in All the
Wrong Places?
Falling and Staying in Love
I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face
My One and Only Love: Are We Monogamous?
Granny’s Got to Have It
Your Hormones May Drive You Apart: A Tough Pill to Swallow
Making Love Last: I Get a Kick Out of You
Can Pornography Help Your Love Life?
Love Will Keep Us Together: Lasting Romance Is Embossed in the Brain
Will You Still Need Me When I’m 64?

CHAPTER SEVEN: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: How Rejection Affects Your Brain
The Jilted Brain
After the Love Is Gone—You Ache and Ache
Can’t Live If Living Is Without You: The Widowhood Effect
Achy Breaky Heart: Can You Die of a Broken Heart?
Ain’t No Cure for Love—But Acetaminophen Could Help
Every Time You Say Good-Bye, I Die a Little: Why It Hurts
to Leave Your Lover
Broken Promises: Can the Brain Predict Betrayal?
Coping with a Breaking Heart

CHAPTER EIGHT: For the Love of God
Searching for God in Your Brain
Epilepsy, the Temporal Lobe, and God
Strokes of Insight: Brain Changes and Spiritual Awakening
Religious Ecstasy Is Like Romantic Love—in the Brain at Least
God on the Brain: What Brain Scans Show
Could Religion Shrink Your Brain?
The Evolutionary Roots of God Thought
God Neurons May Be Everywhere

CHAPTER NINE: Technology, Science, and the Future of Sex
The Wonderful World of Cybersex
Sex in Bits and Bytes: The Future of Virtual Sex Is Here
CHAPTER TEN: How Can Love Survive?
But What of Love?

GLOSSARY
SOURCES
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
About Scientific American
Index
Color Plates

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About Scientific American Scientific
American is at the heart of Nature
Publishing Group’s consumer media
division, meeting the needs of the general
public. Founded in 1845, Scientific
American is the oldest continuously
published magazine in the United States
and the leading authoritative publication
for science in the general media. Together
with scientificamerican.com and fourteen
local language editions around the world, it
reaches more than 5 million consumers and
scientists. Other titles include Scientific
American Mind and Spektrum der
Wissenschaft in Germany.

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