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Breaking up is hard to do. Whether you’re doing the dumping or getting dumped, chances are you feel pretty upset. And there’s a scientific explanation for this, as the Bustle video above details. During a breakup, your brain gently reminds you of your love.
Neuroscientist Dr. Lucy Brown told Bustle about her famed 2010 experiment, in which her team looked at the brains of the recently jilted with the help of an MRI machine. Participants were shown photos of both a platonic pal and a recent ex, and the brains’ responses to each photo were then compared.
Brown found that a photo of an ex activated the same brain regions that are stimulated when someone’s going through cocaine withdrawal. In other words, she concluded, love is a drug and it’s really hard to quit. When a relationship is over, there’s still a part of the brain that keeps love alive.
“When we look at the picture of the person [we broke up with], there’s pain, but the main thing is you’re still in love with them. That’s really at a non-verbal level of the brain,” said Brown.
This can be helpful to know: When you’re feeling awful post-breakup, you’re not being “crazy,” you’re simply being human. Learn more about it in Bustle’s video. Understanding why you feel so bad might help make it better.
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