Love — what does science know about it? | DW Documentary


What is love? Love is more than a feeling: it is a driving force that can influence both brain and body. Recent scientific studies show how much love can really change people’s lives.

Love is not only a topic in art, but also in science. Few other emotions can trump human reason like love. Love is an instinct like eating and drinking – primitive but vital. It is not romance but above all biology that brings two people together: we can identify the right partner for us by their scent, just as animals do. Recent research shows that the sense of smell, especially in women, has a significant influence on the choice of partner. Love can make wounds heal faster, lower your pulse rate and blood pressure and reduce anxiety and stress. But it can also make you sick and even kill you: „Broken Heart Syndrome” can be as dangerous as a heart attack. Love isn’t just about sex, but sex nurtures love between two people. Every touch causes the brain to release oxytocin, a hormone that triggers feelings of care and affection. And the love hormone isn’t just behind the passion of the newly smitten, but also behind the bond between parents and children and the affection for a pet. In fact, it makes social coexistence possible in the first place – for humans as well as for rats or ants. Love is above all a matter of biochemistry and scientists may one day even create a love pill in the laboratory. This science documentary shows in an entertaining way what love is, what it does to people – and how it stays alive.

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