In the News

Meds 'Made Him Gay'

meds symbol on DaVinci image of manHigh levels of dopamine can warp perception in all kinds of ways. This man's experience suggests that even sexual orientation can be distorted. For more on the potential dangers of drugs that mimic dopamine see "Super Size Orgasms?"

Parkinson's drugs 'made me gambler, thief and gay sex fiend'

A French court is set to award substantial damages to a 47-year-old father-of-two with Parkinson's disease who was ruled to have been turned into a gambler and thief, with compulsive homosexual urges, by the drugs he was being treated with.

Another Difference between the Sexes

Marital Spats, Taken to Heart

fight chartby Tara Parker-Pope of the NY Times

Recent studies show that how often couples fight or what they fight about usually doesn’t matter. Instead, it’s the nuanced interactions between men and women, and how they react to and resolve conflict, that appear to make a meaningful difference in the health of the marriage and the health of the couple.

Bathroom Sex and Brainchemistry

bathroom stallsAs this article reveals, the search for sexual thrills is often about an addictive quest for high dopamine and an altered state, rather than sexual orientation. This is in contrast to sex that strengthens neurochemical equilibrium.

...the transgression and fear of being caught add an extra thrill to the experience ... and no one cares about your "orientation" in a lavatory -- in there, it's all business.

The Effect of Mating Urges

chaosHere's an intriguing look at how men and women show off for potential mates. Men spend conspicuously; women sacrifice their time. Yet what we find most intriguing is how sexual excitement appears to affect judgment adversely, making extravagance and exhaustion seem appropriate. When dopamine is too high or too low, it alters our judgment.

This Is Your Brain on Food

Neuroimaging reveals a shared basis for chocoholia and drug addiction

brain image

This article explains clearly how "natural reinforcers" like food (and sex) can become addictive.

Mounting evidence shows that compulsive eating and drug abuse engage some of the same brain circuits in similar ways, offering a new angle for understanding and treating obesity. In an interview with Scientific American, Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a pioneer in the study of addiction, explains.

This is your brain on love

When you're attracted to someone, is your gray matter talking sense -- or just hooked? Scientists take a rational look.

romantic kiss
[Scientists are beginning to understand the problem of built-in biological decay in intimate relationships. Perhaps they will soon be willing to investigate the ancient solution for getting around it - making love differently.]

The Shelf Life of Bliss

marriage doubtsFORGET the proverbial seven-year itch.

Not to disillusion the half million or so June brides and bridegrooms who were just married, but new research suggests that the spark may fizzle within only three years.

Researchers analyzed responses from two sets of married or cohabitating couples: one group was together for one to three years, the other for four to six years.

Who Sleeps Around? Scientists Know

flirtingPeople who are socially dominant and either very friendly or very antagonistic tend to be more sexually promiscuous, according to a new study.

Friendly, warm people may enjoy sharing their warmth with others by sleeping with them, whereas antagonistic people may sleep around to avoid having a monogamous relationship. And having a dominant personality makes it easier to approach potential partners.

Past studies have suggested that people who are dominant tend to have more sexual partners than people who are submissive, but there has been little research into whether a person’s level of interpersonal warmth -- the way in which they interact with others -- affects their sexual actions.