Helen Fisher - Why We Love

from the publisher:
Elation, mood swings, sleeplessness, and obsession—these are the tell-tale signs of someone in the throes of romantic passion. In this revealing new book, renowned anthropologist Helen Fisher explains why this experience—which cuts across time, geography, and gender—is a force as powerful as the need for food or sleep.

Why We Love begins by presenting the results of a scientific study in which Fisher scanned the brains of people who had just fallen madly in love. She proves, at last, what researchers had only suspected: when you fall in love, primordial areas of the brain “light up” with increased blood flow, creating romantic passion. Fisher uses this new research to show exactly what you experience when you fall in love, why you choose one person rather than another, and how romantic love affects your sex drive and your feelings of attachment to a partner. She argues that all animals feel romantic attraction, that love at first sight comes out of nature, and that human romance evolved for crucial reasons of survival. Lastly, she offers concrete suggestions on how to control this ancient passion, and she optimistically explores the future of romantic love in our chaotic modern world.

Provocative, enlightening, and persuasive, Why We Love offers radical new answers to the age-old question of what love is and thus provides invaluable new insights into keeping love alive.

"If you want flashes and particular experiences of romantic love, read novels. If you want to understand this central quality of human nature to its roots, read Why We Love." —E.O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University

"Why We Love is an amazing and wonderful book, a model for all work on important human questions. Using original neurophysiological research, surveying the literatures of the world, investigating tribal communities, compiling psychological data and many other resources and writing in accessible language, Dr. Fisher provides a definitive answer to the question of questions. I could not put it down. Anyone who has ever been curious about love should read this book. It will become a basic reference and a classic."—Harville Hendrix, Ph. D., author of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

"'Fools give you reasons. Wise men never try.'" If that's your take on love, then you must read Why We Love! In it, Helen Fisher gives lots of reasons, and she's no fool. The wealth of luscious quotations is itself worth the purchase price, but in addition, this book is the most comprehensive and comprehensible account I have ever read of the brain chemistry of attachment. Read it and learn some of the most important lessons anyone can achieve: how and why we—and other living things—love."—David P. Barash, professor of psychology, University of Washington, and author of The Survival Game and The Myth of Monogamy

“A fascinating tour of the science and art of love. Helen Fisher takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through the human passions and how they lead to the most euphoric highs and the most anguished lows. From sage poets to brain scans, Why We Love provides the most gripping and scientifically sound book yet written about this most bafflingly complex human experience."—David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

Helen Fisher, Ph.D., is one of this country’s most prominent anthropologists. Prior to becoming a research professor at Rutgers University, she was a research associate at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History. Fisher has conducted extensive research on the evolution, expression, and science of love, and her two most recent books, The First Sex and The Anatomy of Love, were New York Times Notable Books. She lives in New York City.