Everyone gets a little flustered when they meet someone they are interested in, but do you know what’s really going on in your body during that encounter? Mayim Bialik, neuroscientist, star of “The Big Bang Theory,” and author of the new book “Girling Up,” explains the chemical process that causes you to feel all tingly inside.
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Following is a transcript of the video:
“Now before this goes any further, you should know that all forms of physical contact up to and including coitus are off the table.”
My name is Mayim Bialik, and I play Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory.”
Some people know me from “Blossom.” And I wrote a book called “Girling Up” that just came out.
“Girling Up” is basically an encyclopedia of all things about growing up female. Everything from chromosomes to sex and dating, how we learn, how we feed our bodies, how we cope with difficult things, and how we make an impact on the world. And I use my neuroscience background, so that it all has kind of a scientific flare to it.
One of the chapters in the book talks about, in particular, romantic intimacy, and what happens in our brains and in our bodies when we’re attracted to someone.
“I’m sorry, but this is a litigious society. I’m gonna need verbal consent.”
And part of what happens is that there are chemicals that your brain releases, that go through your body, and those chemicals can make you feel really, really good.
One of those is serotonin. That’s a really feel-good hormone, neurohormone. And another is oxytocin. And oxytocin is also important for labour and for orgasm. It’s also involved in breastfeeding.
It’s a hormone that makes you feel really bonded and connected to people.
And when you really like someone, and you feel some sort of sense of infatuation, there’s usually a dopamine circuit that is being activated. And dopamine is kind of a hormone and a chemical that works in a reward method. So when you’re addicted to drugs, or gambling, or the love of another human being, you activate dopamine, and it is a very powerful hormone.
When you see someone that you like, your body also sends out epinephrine and adrenaline. You get things like sweaty palms, sweaty armpits, and also blushing. As your body starts shunting blood to release some of the heat that’s being generated.
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