The science of love

Sukel

Science has told us so many definitive things about the way our world works, but matters of the heart are still largely a mystery, no matter how much study has been dedicated to figuring out how the human brain operates when in love. Just ask Kayt Sukel, author of “Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex and Relationships.” Sukel investigated a wealth of neurological studies meant to suss out our genetic tendencies when it comes to mating, but her inspiration to do so came from a very relatable place.

“I was looking for the same thing that anyone with a broken heart trolling the self-help aisle was,” she says. “I was looking for some actionable advice — something that sort of made sense and really explained what love was. That’s not exactly what I found. I didn’t find those ‘five ways to make him love you.’ I didn’t find any rules.”

Disappointing? Sure. Sukel says that so many factors can affect the brain’s behavior that it’s close to impossible to come up with any hard-and-fast rules of human behavior when love is involved.

“I found that our brains are plastic, love relationships are complicated even down to the cellular level and whenever you introduce all of these variables together, you get a different situation every time,” Sukel says.

But there is one bit of validation Sukel found that will be useful to any woman who has been the victim of infidelity.

“There’s this whole camp that says that men are built to cheat,” Sukel says. “That its just their evolutionary strategy, but we’ve evolved also with this huge frontal lobe and of course that’s the center of decision-making and morality. We’ve come a long way from the idea that our biology compels us. There’s always a choice.”

Q&A

Which animal is the closest to humans in terms of mating?
   
“A little rodent called the prairie vole,” Sukel says. “Not only do they pair-bond for life, but they’re also alloparentals — which means that both the moms and dads take care of the babies. They’re the best model we have to study these kinds of behaviors especially in terms of looking at the brain and what’s going on there in terms of neurochemical genetics.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…