According to some scientific studies, the ability to see life on the right or wrong side is linked to the gene of happiness. This gene regulates in particular the circulation of serotonin the hormone of good humour. Why should you embrace your emotions?People with the long form of this gene are more predisposed to happiness…

via The gene of happiness — Topics with Passion

How Oxytocin Can Help Us Be More Neurologically Productive

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Invariably, a hoard of studies exploring the famously ambiguous hormone knows as oxytocin begin to pepper the internet around Valentine’s Day. What we do know about the pituitary function however-its profound effect on childbearing, empathy and social interaction, is more than enough to warrant its dubbing as “The Love Hormone.”Tend and defendThe endocrinology is simultaneously a punch to the gut and a pat on the back.On one hand, it’s a little underwhelming to know that all of the things that make us feel warm and husky can be traced to a gland residing in the rotting meat in our heads. But it’s somehow concurrently comforting to know why and how we love someone can be vividly sketched by neurology.

As it turns out love is encouraged and mediated by a temperate-mathematic entity; every kiss and hug funded by a network of hypothalamic animations. But oxytocin doesn’t retire once bonds have been successfully established between mates.

The neuropeptide is expressed primarily in women as it helps with increasing uterine contractions during labor and cervical dilation. It promotes the nurturing maternal link by surging in accordance with things like a child’s cry and suckling.

Oxytocin levels increase in recent father’s as well, though its stimulation belongs to different factors; arousing play, focus on joint exploration, and stimulatory touch specifically.

More grimly, the neurotransmitter has been proven to inspire intolerance. A study conducted back in 2014, examined two groups of Dutch men: one group given oxytocin, the other given placebos.

Both groups were tasked with choosing five men they would give lifeboats to. The ones on oxytocin were found to be more likely to reject Muslim or German-sounding names, while the placebo group’s decisions were notably less informed by superficial factors.

The hormone’s mission to tend and defend makes us more prone to form allegiances towards those with similar characteristics and just as well more readily aware of distinctions.

We are genetically presupposed to crumble in the presence of tribalism.

Neuroeconomics

There are less obvious by-products of the hypothalamus as well.  Because oxytocin impacts our ability to process social cues, it indirectly correlates to our productivity in the workplace.

In an attempt to better comprehend the effect neurology has on a healthy corporate community, neuroeconomist Paul J. Zak, successfully administered synthetic oxytocin into living brains during an experiment in the early 2000s.  His team of researchers found increased levels of the hormones to have a clear effect on the firm’s profitability and the feelings of fulfillment in those cohabiting it.

According to Zak, productivity lives and dies by one stipulation: a strong community composed of members that have a clear understanding of their purpose within it.

Being rewarded trust by another increases levels of oxytocin significantly. Individuals with higher levels of oxytocin are found to have lower levels of stress, depression and be more apt at social interaction.

The same tend and defend mechanic can apply to a corporation. Employers are biologically incentivized to work harder for those they feel bonded towards.

Zak remarks: “These laboratory studies showed that when trust between team members is high, oxytocin flows and work feels less like, well, work, and more like doing interesting things with friends. ”

Organic methods of raising oxytocin

The production of oxytocin is all about catering to all the things that bring you joy. Considering the intimate things that make us happy is sort heretical in the corporate world, but it has an undeniable affect on its ability to thrive. Pet a dog, listen to music, copulate, take a bubble bath, hug a baby, (your own baby please).

The great thing about oxytocin though is that it responds equally to feeling good as it does to making others feel good. Giving gifts has been studied to raise levels of the hormone. Perfect timing too. People that receive chocolate and flowers exhibit higher levels of oxytocin, as do people that bequeath them.

It’s an evolutionary mistake not to revel in love and empathy.

The Neuroscience of Romance: Your Brain on Love

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By Sabrina Stierwalt

The Neuroscience of Romance: Your Brain on Love

Falling in love seems to be a basic part of human nature. It’s universalwe all know what love is even if we have a hard time defining it or detailing its complexities. And love transcends cultural and societal differences: in a historical study of 166 societies, anthropologist Helen Fisher found evidence that feelings of love existed in 147 of them. Thus, it appears we are not taught that love is important to us, but rather may be born knowing it.

But anyone who has ever been in love knows that love is complicated. Being in love can calm you down but it can also make you anxious. In our attempts to understand how the human brain works, neuroscientists have studied for decades what the complex mix of emotions we call love does to our brain. Can love cause us to lose focus? Is being in love addicting? And can science weigh in on the question of whether or not love can last?

Let’s find out today.

Our Brains See Love as a Reward

In a 2005 study, researchers compared functional MRI images of the brains of 2,500 college students while looking at someone they love relative to looking at an acquaintance. Scientists were thus able to map which regions of the brain are active when a person is experiencing feelings of love. They saw the most activity in two regions associated with seeking and detecting rewards, namely the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area. These regions are also responsible for an increased production of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that pass information from one neuron to the next. In the case of dopamine, that information is a signal to the brain that the person is feeling happy and finds the current activity rewarding.

Love Can Be Addicting

The increase in dopamine levels can act as a high or even inspire a state of euphoria when around the object of affection. In an effort to continue that lover’s high, you may find yourself wanting to be around the other person all of the time.

The part of our brain that processes attraction, often a precursor to love, is known as the opioid center and is, as you may have guessed, the same region responsible for our response to certain addictive substances including opioids like morphine. For example, in one, albeit smaller, study, a group of 30 men were given either small doses of morphine or a dose of an opioid suppressor. Those given the opioid rated attractive faces more highly and spent more time looking at them, suggesting that our brains can be primed to find others attractive by first stimulating the right region of the brain.

Also running high in love-addled brains are adrenaline, which can make your heart beat faster and your palms sweaty, and vasopressin, which triggers territorial feelings of loyalty and the need to protect. However…