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The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain: The Neuroscience of How, When, Why and Who We Love

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Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Is love really a mystery, or can neuroscience offer some answers to these age-old questions? In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstman takes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organ and the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love-from the bonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Is love really a mystery, or can neuroscience offer some answers to these age-old questions? In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstman takes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organ and the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love-from the bonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic love, the affectionate love of companionship, the role of animals in our lives, and the love of God. Drawing on the latest neuroscience, she explores why and how we are born to love-how we're hardwired to crave the companionship of others, and how very badly things can go without love. Among the findings: parental love makes our brain bigger, sex and orgasm make it healthier, social isolation makes it miserable-and although the craving for romantic love can be described as an addiction, friendship may actually be the most important loving relationship of your life. Based on recent studies and articles culled from the prestigious Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex, and the Brain offers a fascinating look at how the brain controls our loving relationships, most intimate moments, and our deep and basic need for connection.


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Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Is love really a mystery, or can neuroscience offer some answers to these age-old questions? In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstman takes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organ and the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love-from the bonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Is love really a mystery, or can neuroscience offer some answers to these age-old questions? In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstman takes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organ and the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love-from the bonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic love, the affectionate love of companionship, the role of animals in our lives, and the love of God. Drawing on the latest neuroscience, she explores why and how we are born to love-how we're hardwired to crave the companionship of others, and how very badly things can go without love. Among the findings: parental love makes our brain bigger, sex and orgasm make it healthier, social isolation makes it miserable-and although the craving for romantic love can be described as an addiction, friendship may actually be the most important loving relationship of your life. Based on recent studies and articles culled from the prestigious Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex, and the Brain offers a fascinating look at how the brain controls our loving relationships, most intimate moments, and our deep and basic need for connection.

30 review for The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain: The Neuroscience of How, When, Why and Who We Love

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Gave up quickly--not very interesting. Some kindle highlights from before I gave up: Plato wrote, “At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet,” and later added, “Love is a serious mental disease.” - location 299 The character Hawkeye from the TV show M*A*S*H* said on one episode in 1973, “Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely.” - location 310 Agape. In ancient Greece, it meant loving in general. It then became used widely in Gave up quickly--not very interesting. Some kindle highlights from before I gave up: Plato wrote, “At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet,” and later added, “Love is a serious mental disease.” - location 299 The character Hawkeye from the TV show M*A*S*H* said on one episode in 1973, “Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents! Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely.” - location 310 Agape. In ancient Greece, it meant loving in general. It then became used widely in Christianity to describe what is considered the highest form of love: unconditional love, divine love, or even sacrificial love. In Greece today, it’s often used to say, “I love you,” but it implies a deeper, truer love—more than just eros. Philia (or Phileo). Brotherly love, generous love, affection. Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love, and philanthropy refers to the unselfish concern and efforts of goodwill to better or benefit others. Storge. Affection and family love, especially the love of parents for children and children for parents, but also love for other family members. Platonic. From the dialogues of the philosopher Plato and his descriptions of a chaste, nonsexual, but passionate love between two people, usually of the same sex (Plato liked young men). The term actually came about in the Renaissance and continues to mean a strong (or even passionate) but nonsexual relationship between persons of any gender or sexual preference. Eros. Passionate love, sensual desire, romantic love, and usually (but not always) sexual love. In ancient Greece, the god Eros was the spirit of love that arose from chaos. Later, Eros was depicted as a mischievous little god of love, and in Roman mythology, he became Cupid or Amor. - location 324 In 1965 fathers were spending 2.6 hours a week on child care; by 2000 that figure had reached 6.5 hours. Moreover, there are three times as many stay-at-home fathers today as there were at the start of the new century. - location 1058

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rin

    Why did you do this SciAm? This book is horrible. Pop neuroscience bullshit. I'm so tired of this bubblegum explanation of science. I'm all for making things for everyone to understand but to deliver science in an oversimplified manner, to where it isn't even science anymore? "There were studies that have been done by people who used animals to show why HUMANS do the things they do." Just stop it. Wow, make it stop please! This book was worse than a tabloid. Why did you do this SciAm? This book is horrible. Pop neuroscience bullshit. I'm so tired of this bubblegum explanation of science. I'm all for making things for everyone to understand but to deliver science in an oversimplified manner, to where it isn't even science anymore? "There were studies that have been done by people who used animals to show why HUMANS do the things they do." Just stop it. Wow, make it stop please! This book was worse than a tabloid.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shayne

    I love to read books about brain development so reading this book was a refreasher course. It is an easy read and I feel comfortable recommending the book to someone that does not have a science back ground. This goes further than a pop psyche book but if you are an active reader of science books about brain activity you might not want to buy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tom Sutton

    Interesting insight into the (limited) science of love and the human brain. Falls short in some places of explaining or extrapolating on certain studies of findings, and there's a bit too much repetition referencing the same studies. Still, very enlightening. For students or casual readers. Interesting insight into the (limited) science of love and the human brain. Falls short in some places of explaining or extrapolating on certain studies of findings, and there's a bit too much repetition referencing the same studies. Still, very enlightening. For students or casual readers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rhianon Visinsky

    Very understandable language and a good amount of detail. I was interested in learning about how our minds and bodies react to these emotions and this book did a good job of describing the science without getting too much into the studies.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leah Anderson

    More pop science and misinformation about sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, cross-dressing, and so on. You know, the topics this book is supposed to be discussing. I'm dumbfounded by the incompetence of the author. Please save your time and money. More pop science and misinformation about sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, cross-dressing, and so on. You know, the topics this book is supposed to be discussing. I'm dumbfounded by the incompetence of the author. Please save your time and money.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    A nice lil intro to the neuroscience of love.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    For my LJ review check out the following: Sex in Culture, Law & History For my LJ review check out the following: Sex in Culture, Law & History

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    Quick easy read. I enjoyed understanding what occurs in the brain during orgasm.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Assel

    To quote, "Drawing on the latest neuroscience ... friendship may actually be the most important loving relationship of your life". To quote, "Drawing on the latest neuroscience ... friendship may actually be the most important loving relationship of your life".

  11. 5 out of 5

    June

    An interesting and easy read that sheds some light on why we do the things we do for love.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    The title suggests it is a book of love, sex, and the brain. But it covers a wide range of topics too i.e. not exclusively focussed on the title's topics per se. The title suggests it is a book of love, sex, and the brain. But it covers a wide range of topics too i.e. not exclusively focussed on the title's topics per se.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Smith

    3.5 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Decent. Some really interesting info. A bit too general and superficial, but I think that's the intention of these Scientific American books. Also, neuroscience! Decent. Some really interesting info. A bit too general and superficial, but I think that's the intention of these Scientific American books. Also, neuroscience!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lara

  16. 5 out of 5

    Khurshid

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jason Beyer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anya Abel

  20. 4 out of 5

    Green Bilbo

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Achint Kumar

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daphiny

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Furton

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yasheve

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mauro

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jiwon Lee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mitch Hankins

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jen

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