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What happens in the brain when we have sex?

The symbol of love is a heart, but love does not actually lie in the heart. It lies in the brain and science has a pretty good idea about what happens to the body when we fall in love. It’s about hormones and parts of the brain we have no control over.

The brain has a huge impact over our love life, but we are often not aware of the important role the brain actually plays. Sex is necessary to carry on our species. Therefore, it is no wander that sex is high on the list of activities that your brain loves.

Hot and passionate sex with your partner increases your brain’s production of the hormone oxytocin – also called the love hormone. This hormone makes us feel confident in each other and brings us closer together. In addition, it strengthens intimacy – even that which is not sexually related. That way, you and your partner find it easier to communicate with each other and to deal with any problems you might have in your relationship.

One of the experiments which demonstrate that love lies in the brain was conducted by anthropologist Helen Fisher from Rutgers University in the United States. She performed brain scans on 17 young people, between the ages of 18-26, who were in love. When the test subjects looked at their loved ones, it caused areas in the brain to light up, including the primordial brain that helps us meet the body’s most basic needs, such as hunger, thirst and sleep.

In addition, research shows that sex can increase the cognitive capacity, like our ability to absorb, process and respond to sensory impressions. One study even found that we improve our analytical skills by simply remembering a previous sexual encounter.

Source: Journal of Philosophical Transactions, Royal Society, 2007.

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