Heartache Is All In Your Head

Broken Heart iStockphoto

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Zing went the strings of my heart. My heart skipped a beat.

You hear it all the time, but does something really happen inside of us when we fall in love?

Absolutely, say researchers.

And if our palms get a little sweaty, and the pace of our pulse picks up, you should see what goes on in the brain.

I spoke with Dr. Helen Fischer, an anthropologist who studies romantic love at Rutgers University. She said the first time she observed the brain activity of people deeply in love it was a "eureka!" moment.

And as it turns out, love and sex are two different things as far as the brain is concerned. They only briefly overlap. That's why when you fall head over heels for someone and they don't love you back, you get heartsick. It's a real problem.

Fischer says when someone's sexual advances are rejected, they usually move onto somebody else, whereas unrequited love can lead to depression and worse.

The heartache you feel is all in your head.

By Harry Smith
  • Harry Smith

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