A conversation with Antonio Cerasa

Love has always been the most debatable topic since the first primitive man looked at a woman in a new way; reproduction was not the first need anymore, the desire of a family was the new aim.

“Problems” arose for every single individual since the importance given to love was fundamental to live in peace and happiness. This Global Conversation engaged a lot every GG student because Who did not suffer for love at least once in life ?

Our special guest started every part of the meeting with a question to students and a deep analysis of love implications linked to science.

Neuroscienziato-Antonio-Cerasa_2He is a researcher at the institute of “Biolmmagini and fisiologia molecolare” of Catanzaro. He is the Head of the Chair “Psicologia della Comunicazione” and he works with lots of important research center in the world.

“Starting thinking about love, is it an existing thing?”

 The majority of students affirmed that love exists and we can see it every second of our daily life: it can assume different forms and it is possible to split it in various moments (attraction, mental love).

“Does love exists at First Sight?”

The scientific implications of love are very interesting and give us hope for the possibility to have a chemical reaction in our life with someone. Love at first sight is chemically mediated by Phenethylamine (PEA), molecule synthesized in the body considered as the –Hormone of Love-; it is also the main component of chocolate. PEA contributes giving us joy and happiness and in other terms, we can say that a chocolate bar can give you same sensations of a kiss with your lover!

Love is visible in the sense that functional neuroimaging analysis of viewing partner revealed the activation of fundamental “brain nuclei” such as Ventral Tegmental Area and Nucleus Accumbens.

“Attachment or Love?”

After the first kisses in the previous months of a relationship, our “internal chemistry” transforms the physical manifestation of love into long-term relationshipscharacterized by secure attachment phase.The scientific part of attachment is explained by some love hormones(morphine) and the power of hugs release Oxytocin, a natural antidepressant that permits also the need to have another one because we see the person that give us one as the “savior of our sadness”.

In order to understand better this point, GG students had the possibility to see a video from Harry Harlow (a US psychologist) who demonstrated the powerful effects of love and the absence of it by showing young monkeys deprived by love: he revealed the importance of caregivers for childhood and the relevance of tactile sensations.

“Sacrifice has an important role in love?”

Reconciliation led to greater forgiveness, strengthening social capital: this is an example that comes from ancient villages and the wider social networks in which people lived. It is the same in a relationship and it resembles the hardest part to perform for both parties. It is an important stage and it depends on the kind of personalities of the two lovers: we can speak about “similarity” (nevrotic-nevrotic) and “complementarity” (extrovert-introvert).

“What is transcendence ?”

 It is the feeling of going beyond other’s body and living in a condition in which one no longer feels pain but only a state of continuous well-being. This feeling is located beyond the simple pleasure, becoming ECSTACY. Yoga and meditation can help in this sense, developing a sense of peace and soul richness.

We can achieve neural regeneration thanks to transcendence and the importance of this process is visible also during a long-term relationship.

All in all, love influences every action of our life: it can be studied, analysed through neuroscience and discussed among scientists but it will be a mystery for human beings and the energy that makes the world move till the end of life.

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