The brain's love circuit or Something in the Way She Moves

A reader sent along this article from AOL News. There is some oversimplification but it is a good summary and good read.

WASHINGTON -Like any young woman in love, Bianca Acevedo has exchanged valentine hearts with her fiance. But the New York neuroscientist knows better. The source of love is in the head, not the heart. She’s one of the researchers in a relatively new field focused on explaining the biology of romantic love. And the unpoetic explanation is that love mostly can be understood through brain images, hormones and genetics.
That seems to be the case for the newly in love, the long in love and the brokenhearted.
“It has a biological basis. We know some of the key players,” said Larry Young of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta. There, he studies the brains of an unusual monogamous rodent to get a better clue about what goes on in the minds of people in love.
In humans, there are four tiny areas of the brain that some researchers say form a circuit of love. Acevedo, who works at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, is part of a team that has isolated those regions with the unromantic names of ventral tegmental area (VTA), the nucleus accumbens, the ventral pallidum and raphe nucleus.
The hot spot is the teardrop-shaped VTA. When people newly in love were put in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine and shown pictures of their beloved, the VTA lit up. Same for people still madly in love after 20 years.

Read the rest of it…
Honey, I love you with all my ventral tegmental area.
Or you could sing this to the significant O on VDay. Pretty much the same thing.

Divided Memories: Genesis Associates and Detachment

I have posted before about Genesis Associates and am now posting more of the documentary about their controversial techniques. This time detachment is the focus of the clip. I believe this documentary is so important as a cautionary tale regarding expressive therapies – such as recommended by Richard Cohen and the Mankind Project.
It is a long (over 8 minutes) but an important clip demonstrating that unfounded ideas can lead to harmful effects.

Oprah scores the Haggard interview

Today, Oprah and Mr. & Mrs. Ted Haggard on Oprah. If you can’t watch, check out the pics and narration on the Oprah website.
Not sure I’ll see it. Let’s make this an open forum on the program and all things Haggard…

Ted Haggard says sexuality labels "just don't work"

Ted Haggard could have been in my study last summer. Over 190 same-sex attracted men who are heterosexually married took my survey to describe their sexuality. Many of them said the same thing – that labels didn’t fully capture their experience.
Haggard told the Denver Post that labels don’t work. Read the rest at the link.
Haggard’s description is consistent with the results I found. I am still collecting data involving same-sex attracted women in straight marriages. Just a few points on the men:
-191 men completed the survey; referrals came from ex-gay ministries, bisexual groups, mixed orientation couple support groups and via this website.
-Regarding the labels issue, 33% of all respondents qualified their sexual orientation self-description because they felt the labels were not adequately descriptive.
-We found 6 groups of such men with different attaction patterns. Haggard may fit into the “spousosexual” group if his general attractions are for men, but he experiences attraction for his wife. We found 20% of the total group in that category.
-The smallest group was the “ex-gay” group. Just over 6% said they once were attracted to the same-sex primarily and are now primarily attracted to the opposite sex.
-The largest group (40%) were bisexual in their attraction patterns and about one-quarter of the men were primarily attracted to the same sex in the present.
There are many more interesting findings that I am saving for the paper on this research. It should be ready by the end of February for submission. Stay tuned…

Mankind Project on marriage: Is this good or bad advice?

Jim Belushi is a funny guy. He apparently is also into “the men’s movement.” He gave an interview to the Mankind Project’s journal (which normally is password protected) you can read via a link on the MKP website. The interview was conducted by MKPer Reid Baer and contains what is portrayed as wit and wisdom about true masculinity in the context of relationship with a woman. The title of Belushi’s book is “Real Men Don’t Apologize” and there are some rules he recommends:
Here are Belushi’s 5 Commandments for his wife:

Thou Shalt Not Shush Me
Thou Shalt Not Steal
Thou Shalt Never Banish Me to the Couch
Thou Shalt Not compete With me
Thou Shalt Not Expect an Apology for Something I am Not sorrieth For

There are many more tributes to the frat guy approach to masculinity. Here is another:

“Women say they want a man who is kind, gentle, compassionate, polite, considerate and nurturing,” Belushi intoned. “Bullshit! They just described a chick! Women really need a man who is mysterious, powerful, passionate, confident, unpredictable and a little dangerous. That’s the guy they will sleep with … the most interesting person in the world to a woman is someone they know nothing about. The stuff they come up with in their own head is a lot more interesting than you. That’s why so many women out there have a crush on Tony Soprano. He cheats on his wife, works in an illegal business and kills people.”

And then more specific to the masculinity work of MKP, Belushi advises:

“I’ve been doing men’s work for a long time because I’ve had to … to survive,” he said. “There’s a lot of healing that we men need because we’ve got some wounds to deal with. Women may want to fix them, but they can’t. We have to use the tribal approach and let the men work with the men.”

So women cannot help men be men. This is a common theme in the MKP stuff I have read. Women are of some other tribe and the coming together is apparently not for companionship or for mutual completion. In fact, I am not sure what (other) role women play for men when I read

“Love without sex is friendship, sex without love is spring break, and if you want companionship, get a dog.”

Ok, let me open it up. Does this look like a respectful, winning approach to heterosexual relationships? This is one of two featured interviews on the MKP page, so they must think this is good stuff. I am wondering what wives think reading this interview — (“Is that what my husband will come home expecting?”). Readers, chime in here…
PS – This is the thought for the day (7/23/08) on the MKP website:

Thought for the Day:
When a man finds his own heart, he outgrows his unreal romanticism about women, as well as the neurotic need to please them.

Call me neurotic but I like to make my wife happy. And besides, I do not know what that even means. To me, it sounds like, when a man gets self-centered, he puts himself first. Is the MKP vision of manhood a guy who finds some great thing to conquer and then puts that mission in first place?

Twins, separated at birth, later marry

Now here is a story that makes you go, “huh?”

Thanks to College Jay for headline correction. He pointed out that they were not identical twins. I was thinking of another case with a similar result. The reference is here: Eckert, E. D., Bouchard, T. J., Bohlen, J. & Heston, L. L. (1986). Homosexuality in monozygotic twins reared apart. British Journal of Psychiatry. 148, 421-425.