facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Selfless love turns off brain's reward area, researchers say

Feb. 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine say selfless love turns off the area of the brain associated with reward.

While general feelings of love activate the same reward areas of the brain as cocaine, selfless love shuts that area down, CBS News reported.

"When we truly, selflessly wish for the well-being of others, we're not getting that same rush of excitement that comes with, say, a tweet from our romantic love interest, because it's not about us at all," Judson Brewer, adjunct professor of psychiatry at Yale, now at the University of Massachusetts, told the Yale News.

Brewer and his colleague Kathleen Garrison, postdoctoral researcher in Yale's Department of Psychiatry, say their study is focused on how a person can turn off the brain's reward center by silently repeating sayings during meditation -- a common practice in Buddhism.

"The intent of this practice is to specifically foster selfless love -- just putting it out there and not looking for or wanting anything in return," Brewer said. "If you're wondering where the reward is in being selfless, just reflect on how it feels when you see people out there helping others, or even when you hold the door for somebody the next time you are at Starbucks."

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Vast majority of oncologists admit to burnout Vast majority of oncologists admit to burnout
2
France considers plain cigarette packaging France considers plain cigarette packaging
3
Study: Drug cocktail for advanced breast cancer can extend life up to 16 months Study: Drug cocktail for advanced breast cancer can extend life up to 16 months
4
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
5
CDC: Diabetes rates leveling off CDC: Diabetes rates leveling off
Trending News
x
Feedback