Summary: Affection; in psychiatry commonly refers to pleasure, particularly as it applies to gratifying experiences between individuals.

Top Publications

  1. Xu X, Aron A, Brown L, Cao G, Feng T, Weng X. Reward and motivation systems: a brain mapping study of early-stage intense romantic love in Chinese participants. Hum Brain Mapp. 2011;32:249-57 pubmed publisher
    Early-stage romantic love has been studied previously in the United States and United Kingdom (Aron et al. [2005]: J Neurophysiol 94:327–337; Bartels and Zeki [2000]: Neuroreport 11:3829–3834; Ortigue et al...
  2. De Groof G, Van der Linden A. Love songs, bird brains and diffusion tensor imaging. NMR Biomed. 2010;23:873-83 pubmed publisher
    ..DTI allows the demonstration, for the first time, that the songbird brain in its entirety exhibits an extreme seasonal plasticity which is not merely limited to the song control system as was generally believed. ..
  3. Ortigue S, Bianchi Demicheli F, Patel N, Frum C, Lewis J. Neuroimaging of love: fMRI meta-analysis evidence toward new perspectives in sexual medicine. J Sex Med. 2010;7:3541-52 pubmed publisher
    ..knowledge from lab bench to clinical models and ultimately to the patients suffering from disorders associated with love and couple relationships...
  4. Cotter K, Sherman A. Love hurts: the influence of social relations on exercise self-efficacy for older adults with osteoarthritis. J Aging Phys Act. 2008;16:465-83 pubmed
    ..64, p < .01; RMSEA = .04; CFI = .96; TLI = .95. Results support the negativity effect, suggesting that social strain might be the more potent aspect of social relations and should be the target of interventions. ..
  5. Bianchi Demicheli F, Grafton S, Ortigue S. The power of love on the human brain. Soc Neurosci. 2006;1:90-103 pubmed publisher
    Romantic love has been the source for some of the greatest achievements of mankind throughout the ages...
  6. Trumpeter N, Watson P, O Leary B, Weathington B. Self-functioning and perceived parenting: relations of parental empathy and love inconsistency with narcissism, depression, and self-esteem. J Genet Psychol. 2008;169:51-71 pubmed publisher
    ..In the present study, the authors examined the relations of perceived parental empathy and love inconsistency with measures of narcissism, self-esteem, and depression...
  7. Salvatore J, Kuo S, Steele R, Simpson J, Collins W. Recovering from conflict in romantic relationships: a developmental perspective. Psychol Sci. 2011;22:376-83 pubmed publisher
  8. Graber E, Laurenceau J, Miga E, Chango J, Coan J. Conflict and love: predicting newlywed marital outcomes from two interaction contexts. J Fam Psychol. 2011;25:541-50 pubmed publisher the literature by directly comparing newlywed behaviors from a conflict-resolution interaction with those from a love-paradigm interaction to predict relationship satisfaction and divorce proneness approximately 15 months later...
  9. Xu X, Wang J, Aron A, Lei W, Westmaas J, Weng X. Intense passionate love attenuates cigarette cue-reactivity in nicotine-deprived smokers: an FMRI study. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e42235 pubmed publisher
    Self-expanding experiences like falling in love or engaging in novel, exciting and interesting activities activate the same brain reward mechanism (mesolimbic dopamine pathway) that reinforces drug use and abuse, including tobacco smoking...

More Information


  1. Vico C, Guerra P, Robles H, Vila J, Anllo Vento L. Affective processing of loved faces: contributions from peripheral and central electrophysiology. Neuropsychologia. 2010;48:2894-902 pubmed publisher
    ..arousal) responses than parents, siblings, or friends, suggesting that looking at the image of someone we love evokes strong positive affect and emotional/cognitive arousal that go beyond a feeling of familiarity or simple ..
  2. Yaseen Z, Fisher K, Morales E, Galynker I. Love and suicide: the structure of the Affective Intensity Rating Scale (AIRS) and its relation to suicidal behavior. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e44069 pubmed publisher
    ..Only individual AIRS items associated significantly with suicide attempt status; strong 'feelings of love' associated positively with actual suicide attempt, while 'feelings of calm' and 'positive feelings towards self' ..
  3. Ortigue S, Bianchi Demicheli F. Why is your spouse so predictable? Connecting mirror neuron system and self-expansion model of love. Med Hypotheses. 2008;71:941-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Because social psychology admits that mutual intention's understanding grows in close relationship as love grows, we hypothesize that mirror mechanisms take place in love relationships...
  4. Huffmeijer R, Alink L, Tops M, Grewen K, Light K, Bakermans Kranenburg M, et al. The impact of oxytocin administration and maternal love withdrawal on event-related potential (ERP) responses to emotional faces with performance feedback. Horm Behav. 2013;63:399-410 pubmed publisher
    ..Participants also reported on the amount of love withdrawal they experienced from their mothers...
  5. Beauregard M, Courtemanche J, Paquette V, St Pierre E. The neural basis of unconditional love. Psychiatry Res. 2009;172:93-8 pubmed publisher
    Functional neuroimaging studies have shown that romantic love and maternal love are mediated by regions specific to each, as well as overlapping regions in the brain's reward system...
  6. de Irala J, Osorio A, Lopez del Burgo C, Belen V, de Guzman F, Calatrava M, et al. Relationships, love and sexuality: what the Filipino teens think and feel. BMC Public Health. 2009;9:282 pubmed publisher
    ..sexual behavior, an important step is to improve our knowledge about their opinions concerning relationships, love and sexuality...
  7. Root R, van Wyngaard A. Free love: a case study of church-run home-based caregivers in a high vulnerability setting. Glob Public Health. 2011;6 Suppl 2:S174-91 pubmed publisher
    ..Also salient was the importance of a Christian ethos, in the form of 'talk' and 'love', as critical culturally situated care practices...
  8. Dadds M, Allen J, Oliver B, Faulkner N, Legge K, Moul C, et al. Love, eye contact and the developmental origins of empathy v. psychopathy. Br J Psychiatry. 2012;200:191-6 pubmed publisher
    ..our hypothesis that psychopathic disorder begins as a failure to attend to the eyes of attachment figures, using a `love' scenario in young children...
  9. Fisher H, Brown L, Aron A, Strong G, Mashek D. Reward, addiction, and emotion regulation systems associated with rejection in love. J Neurophysiol. 2010;104:51-60 pubmed publisher
    ..10 women and 5 men who had recently been rejected by a partner but reported they were still intensely "in love." Participants alternately viewed a photograph of their rejecting beloved and a photograph of a familiar, ..
  10. Cheng Y, Chen C, Lin C, Chou K, Decety J. Love hurts: an fMRI study. Neuroimage. 2010;51:923-9 pubmed publisher
    ..These results demonstrate that intimacy affects the bottom-up information processing involved in empathy, as indicated by greater overlap between neural representations of the self and the other. ..
  11. Burkett J, Young L. The behavioral, anatomical and pharmacological parallels between social attachment, love and addiction. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012;224:1-26 pubmed publisher
    b>Love has long been referred to as an addiction in literature and poetry...
  12. Power J, Perlesz A, Schofield M, Pitts M, Brown R, McNair R, et al. Understanding resilience in same-sex parented families: the work, love, play study. BMC Public Health. 2010;10:115 pubmed publisher
    ..The Work, Love, Play study is a large longitudinal study of same-sex parents...
  13. Corbett A, Dickson Gomez J, Hilario H, Weeks M. A little thing called love: condom use in high-risk primary heterosexual relationships. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2009;41:218-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Many had unprotected intercourse while recognizing their risk of HIV and other STDs, placing their love for their partner and other emotional needs over concerns about their health...
  14. van Buren M, Massey E, Maasdam L, Zuidema W, Hilhorst M, Ijzermans J, et al. For love or money? Attitudes toward financial incentives among actual living kidney donors. Am J Transplant. 2010;10:2488-92 pubmed publisher
    ..The majority (78%) was not in favor of any kind of reward for themselves as they had donated out of love for the recipient or out of altruistic principles...
  15. Collins W, Welsh D, Furman W. Adolescent romantic relationships. Annu Rev Psychol. 2009;60:631-52 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, we characterize the growing evidence that adolescent romantic relationships are significant for individual adjustment and development, and we note promising directions for further research. ..
  16. Darbes L, Van Rooyen H, Hosegood V, Ngubane T, Johnson M, Fritz K, et al. Uthando Lwethu ('our love'): a protocol for a couples-based intervention to increase testing for HIV: a randomized controlled trial in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Trials. 2014;15:64 pubmed publisher
    ..The Uthando Lwethu ('our love') intervention is the first couples-based intervention to have CHCT as its outcome...
  17. Cacioppo S, Bianchi Demicheli F, Frum C, Pfaus J, Lewis J. The common neural bases between sexual desire and love: a multilevel kernel density fMRI analysis. J Sex Med. 2012;9:1048-54 pubmed publisher
    ..difficult dilemmas in relationship science and couple therapy concerns the interaction between sexual desire and love. As two mental states of intense longing for union with others, sexual desire and love are, in fact, often ..
  18. Halevy N, Bornstein G, Sagiv L. "In-group love" and "out-group hate" as motives for individual participation in intergroup conflict: a new game paradigm. Psychol Sci. 2008;19:405-11 pubmed publisher
    ..These results are compared with those observed in the intergroup prisoner's dilemma game, in which group members' contributions are restricted to the competitive, between-group pool. ..
  19. Belot M, Fidrmuc J. Anthropometry of love: height and gender asymmetries in interethnic marriages. Econ Hum Biol. 2010;8:361-72 pubmed publisher
    ..Specifically, we find that ethnic differences in propensity to intermarry with Whites shrink when we control for the proportion of suitable partners with respect to height. ..
  20. Davies A, Watson R, Mills R, Buckley C, Noble J. "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with": how individual habituation of agent interactions improves global utility. Artif Life. 2011;17:167-81 pubmed publisher
    ..This causes the system of selfish agents, each acting individually but habitually, to collectively identify configurations that maximize total utility. ..
  21. Clark J, Salvatierra J, Segura E, Salazar X, Konda K, Perez Brumer A, et al. Moderno love: sexual role-based identities and HIV/STI prevention among men who have sex with men in Lima, Peru. AIDS Behav. 2013;17:1313-28 pubmed publisher
    ..The concept of role-based sexual identities provides a framework for HIV prevention for Latin American MSM that integrates sexual identities, practices, partnerships, and networks. ..
  22. Hafner M, Ijzerman H. The face of love: spontaneous accommodation as social emotion regulation. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2011;37:1551-63 pubmed publisher
    ..The authors discuss their findings as spontaneous social emotion regulation. ..
  23. Bauermeister J, Ventuneac A, Pingel E, Parsons J. Spectrums of love: examining the relationship between romantic motivations and sexual risk among young gay and bisexual men. AIDS Behav. 2012;16:1549-59 pubmed publisher
    ..Conversely, we found a negative association between romantic ideation and number of partners for URAI and UIAI. Is love risky or protective? Our results indicate support for both perspectives...
  24. Acevedo B, Aron A, Fisher H, Brown L. Neural correlates of long-term intense romantic love. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2012;7:145-59 pubmed publisher
    The present study examined the neural correlates of long-term intense romantic love using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Ten women and 7 men married an average of 21...
  25. Stefano G, Kream R, Esch T. Revisiting tolerance from the endogenous morphine perspective. Med Sci Monit. 2009;15:RA189-98 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, love and/or pleasure, and satiety, are complex neurobiological phenomena linked to limbic brain reward circuitry...
  26. Esch T, Stefano G. The neurobiological link between compassion and love. Med Sci Monit. 2011;17:RA65-75 pubmed
    b>Love and compassion exert pleasant feelings and rewarding effects...
  27. Treer D, Van Bocxlaer I, Matthijs S, Du Four D, Janssenswillen S, Willaert B, et al. Love is blind: indiscriminate female mating responses to male courtship pheromones in newts (Salamandridae). PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e56538 pubmed publisher
    ..Interestingly, females exposed to male pheromones of their own species show indiscriminate mating responses to conspecific and heterospecific females, indicating that visual cues are subordinate to olfactory cues during courtship...
  28. Stoessel C, Stiller J, Bleich S, Bönsch D, Boensch D, Doerfler A, et al. Differences and similarities on neuronal activities of people being happily and unhappily in love: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Neuropsychobiology. 2011;64:52-60 pubmed publisher
    Brain activity was studied in grief following frustrated love compared to romantic love, and it was hypothesized that unhappy lovers compared to happy lovers would have decreased brain activity in regions specific to emotional and reward ..
  29. Guerra P, Campagnoli R, Vico C, Volchan E, Anllo Vento L, Vila J. Filial versus romantic love: contributions from peripheral and central electrophysiology. Biol Psychol. 2011;88:196-203 pubmed publisher
    ..familiar faces is the absence of evidence concerning the elicitation of a genuine positive emotional response (love). These studies have two confounds: familiarity and arousal...
  30. Lundstrom J, Jones Gotman M. Romantic love modulates women's identification of men's body odors. Horm Behav. 2009;55:280-4 pubmed publisher
    Romantic love is one of our most potent and powerful emotions, but very little is known with respect to the hormonal and psychological mechanisms in play...
  31. Anand K, Hall R. Love, pain, and intensive care. Pediatrics. 2008;121:825-7 pubmed publisher
  32. Sassen E. Love, hate, or indifference: how nurses really feel about the electronic health record system. Comput Inform Nurs. 2009;27:281-7 pubmed publisher
    ..This article examines how nurses feel about the electronic medical record, their reasons for adopting or rejecting it, and what thoughtful change management strategies can be used to stimulate acceptance. ..
  33. Carter C. Neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1998;23:779-818 pubmed
    The purpose of this paper is to review existing behavioral and neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love. Both love and social attachments function to facilitate reproduction, provide a sense of safety, and reduce anxiety ..
  34. Crews D. The evolutionary antecedents to love. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1998;23:751-64 pubmed
  35. Canetto S, Lester D. Love and achievement motives in women's and men's suicide notes. J Psychol. 2002;136:573-6 pubmed
    It is often assumed that women kill themselves because of love and men because of achievement problems. The authors evaluated the suicide notes of 56 U.S. adult women and men with regard to love and achievement motives...
  36. Paiva V, Filipe E, Santos N, Lima T, Segurado A. The right to love: the desire for parenthood among men living with HIV. Reprod Health Matters. 2003;11:91-100 pubmed
    ..We conclude that the rights of those with HIV to found a family depend as much on curing the ills of prejudice and discrimination, including among health professionals, as on medical interventions. ..
  37. Brown Schmidt S, Canseco Gonzalez E. Who do you love, your mother or your horse? An event-related brain potential analysis of tone processing in Mandarin Chinese. J Psycholinguist Res. 2004;33:103-35 pubmed
    ..Delayed detection of errors in this condition may be responsible for the apparent delay. Slight differences between syllable and tone conditions may be due to the relative timing of these acoustic cues. ..
  38. Val Laillet D, Simon M, Nowak R. A full belly and colostrum: two major determinants of filial love. Dev Psychobiol. 2004;45:163-73 pubmed
  39. Jones J, Pelham B, Carvallo M, Mirenberg M. How do I love thee? Let me count the Js: implicit egotism and interpersonal attraction. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004;87:665-83 pubmed
    ..Discussion focuses on implications for implicit egotism, similarity, and interpersonal attraction. ..
  40. Stefano G, Esch T. Love and stress. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2005;26:173-4 pubmed
  41. Porges S. Love: an emergent property of the mammalian autonomic nervous system. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1998;23:837-61 pubmed
  42. Brand S, Luethi M, von Planta A, Hatzinger M, Holsboer Trachsler E. Romantic love, hypomania, and sleep pattern in adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2007;41:69-76 pubmed
    To examine the impact of early-stage intense romantic love on sleep, daytime functioning and self-worth, adolescents in early-stage intense romantic love were compared to controls...
  43. Campbell W, Foster C, Finkel E. Does self-love lead to love for others? A story of narcissistic game playing. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002;83:340-354 pubmed publisher
    Five studies investigated the links among narcissism, self-esteem, and love. Across all studies, narcissism was associated primarily with a game-playing love style...
  44. Leckman J, Mayes L. Preoccupations and behaviors associated with romantic and parental love. Perspectives on the origin of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 1999;8:635-65 pubmed
    This article first examines the hypothesis that the early phases of romantic love and early parental love share phenomenologically an overlapping set of mental states and behaviors...
  45. Fisher H, Aron A, Mashek D, Li H, Brown L. Defining the brain systems of lust, romantic attraction, and attachment. Arch Sex Behav. 2002;31:413-9 pubmed
    ..Then it discusses an ongoing project using functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain to investigate the neural circuits associated with one of these emotion-motivation systems, romantic attraction. ..
  46. Marazziti D, Canale D. Hormonal changes when falling in love. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2004;29:931-6 pubmed
    To fall in love is the first step in pair formation in humans and is a complex process which only recently has become the object of neuroscientific investigation...
  47. Marazziti D, Cassano G. The neurobiology of attraction. J Endocrinol Invest. 2003;26:58-60 pubmed
    In these last years, emotions and feelings, such as attachment, couple and parental bonding and even love, typical of higher mammals, neglected for centuries by experimental sciences, have become the topic of extensive neuroscientific ..
  48. Seikkula J, Trimble D. Healing elements of therapeutic conversation: dialogue as an embodiment of love. Fam Process. 2005;44:461-75 pubmed
    ..We describe how feelings of love, manifesting powerful mutual emotional attunement in the conversation, signal moments of therapeutic change.
  49. Neumann I. Oxytocin: the neuropeptide of love reveals some of its secrets. Cell Metab. 2007;5:231-3 pubmed
    ..A recent study of CD38-/- mice (Jin et al., 2007) has demonstrated an essential role for the transmembrane receptor CD38 in secretion of oxytocin into the blood. ..
  50. Murray S, Holmes J, Griffin D. The self-fulfilling nature of positive illusions in romantic relationships: love is not blind, but prescient. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1996;71:1155-80 pubmed
    ..In summary, intimates who idealized one another appeared more prescient than blind, actually creating the relationships they wished for as romances progressed. ..
  51. Shamasundar C. Love, praxis, and desirable therapist qualities. Am J Psychother. 2001;55:273-82 pubmed
    Until recently, both love and praxis as therapist qualities have not enjoyed the attention they deserve...
  52. Zeki S. The neurobiology of love. FEBS Lett. 2007;581:2575-9 pubmed
    Romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences. Both are linked to the perpetuation of the species and therefore have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance...
  53. Erwin P. The effects of shyness on love styles and relationship status. Psychol Rep. 2007;101:670-2 pubmed
    ..relationships, this study examined the possible affect of shyness on one specific type of relationship, romantic love. Participants (N = 124) completed the Revised Cheek-Buss Shyness Scale and the Love Attitudes Scale, and provided ..