limbic revision
July 21, 2012, 4:09 pm
Filed under: the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: , , ,

If you love me, don’t try to change me, is the instruction we get – and give – when beginning a new relationship.  And then we get together and slowly, inexorably change each other.

Why does this make me think of couples that wear matching Christmas sweaters, and owners that look like their dogs?

Here is the science – and poetry – of it from the Book A General Theory of Love:

In a relationship, one mind revises the other; one heart changes its partner. This astounding legacy of our combined status as mammals and neural beings is limbic revision: the power to remodel the emotional parts of the people we love, as our Attractors [coteries of ingrained information patterns] activate certain limbic pathways, and the brain’s inexorable memory mechanism reinforces them.

Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.

A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis; Fari Amini; Richard Lannon

“A primordial area of the brain creates both the capacity and the need for emotional intimacy that all humans share. A General Theory of Love describes the workings of this ancient, pivotal urge and reveals that our nervous systems are not self-contained. Instead, our brains link with those of the people close to us, in a silent rhythm that makes up the very life force of the body. These wordless and powerful ties determine our moods, stabilize and maintain our health and well-being, and change the structure of our brains.”

A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis; Fari Amini; Richard Lannon