Friday, July 31, 2015

Here’s What Breaking Up Does to Your Brain

When the love of your life dumps you, you’re going to go a little nuts. But it’s a very specific form of crazy: There are actually conflicting neural systems active inside your brain. It’s like you’re falling in love all over again, only in reverse. Here’s how neuroscience explains it.
Addicted to Love

It doesn’t matter whether you were with your ex-lover for six months, four years, or more – a breakup throws your brain back into the obsession of early love. Everything that reminds you of that person – a photograph, places you used to go together, random thoughts – triggers activity in “reward” neurons inside the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area of the brain. These are the same parts of the brain that light up when scientists put people in the throes of that grossly cute can’t-think-about-anything-else stage of new love into an fMRI machine and ask them to look at photos of their beloved. As it happens, they’re also parts of the brain that respond to cocaine and nicotine.

Turning on the reward neurons releases repeated floods of the neurotransmitter dopamine. And the dopamine activates circuits inside the brain that create a craving for more. That craving gives you motivation, and encourages you to try out other behaviors that will help you get more of whatever it is you need. In the case of romance, the thing you need more of is your beloved.

As a romantic relationship develops into a long term partnership, that obsession fades away, even though thoughts of your partner still tickle the brain’s reward systems. But after a breakup, all those old can’t-get-enough feelings come flooding back. The brain’s reward systems are still expecting their romantic ‘fix’, but they’re not getting the responses they expect. And like someone in the depths of a drug addiction, they turn up the volume in an effort to get you to respond.
In this new context, the reward system is now the part of your brain that’s going to motivate you do something really dumb. Like drunk calling your ex, or initiating breakup sex.

Lucy Brown, a neuroscientist at Einstein College of Medicine who has studied romantic responses in the brain, explains that the motivation is more extreme than for other forms of social rejection because romance ties into more primal parts of the brain. “Other kinds of social rejection are much more cognitive,” she says. “[Romantic rejection] is a life changing thing, and involves systems that are at the same level as feeling hungry or thirsty.”
No wonder it hurts.


Corina Marinescu

BLUE MOON - Next Blue Moon is July 31


The moon was full on July 2, and it’ll be full again on July 31. The second of two full moons in a calendar month is often called a Blue Moon.

The Terminator (1984) movie mistake #6

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kate Upton Behind The Scenes Legends | Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

Scientists create tiny beating heart cells


The human heart is a complex organ that is quite challenging to study in the lab in real-time. So, you can see why researchers at UCSF and UC Berkeley are excited by the creation of tiny, 3D heart chambers with the ability to exist and even beat in a lab dish.

The resulting heart chambers may be miniscule — measuring no more than a couple of hair-widths across— but they hold huge potential for everything from improving our understanding of cardiac development to speeding up drug toxicity screening.

Source & further reading:

Paper Town (2015) Making of & Behind the Scenes (Full B-Roll)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gamma - ray raindrops


If gamma-rays were raindrops a flare from a supermassive black hole might look like this. Not so gently falling on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope from June 14 to June 16 the gamma-ray photons, with energies up to 50 billion electron volts, originated in active galaxy 3C 279 some 5 billion light-years away.

Each gamma-ray "drop" is an expanding circle in the timelapse visualization, the color and maximum size determined by the gamma-ray's measured energy. Starting with a background drizzle, the sudden downpour that then trails off is the intense, high energy flare. The creative and calming presentation of the historically bright flare covers a 5 degree wide region of the gamma-ray sky centered on 3C 279.


Video Credit: NASA, DOE, International Fermi LAT Collaboration
Explanation via APOD

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