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It's also the brain region that becomes active when you're willing to take enormous risks for huge gains and huge losses.
Last but not least, we found activity in a brain region associated with deep attachment to another individual.
No wonder people suffer around the world, and we have so many crimes of passion.
As the poet Terence, the Roman poet once said, he said, "The less my hope, the hotter my love." And indeed, we now know why.
I and my colleagues Art Aron and Lucy Brown and others, have put 37 people who are madly in love into a functional MRI brain scanner.
17 who were happily in love, 15 who had just been dumped, and we're just starting our third experiment: studying people who report that they're still in love after 10 to 25 years of marriage. In the jungles of Guatemala, in Tikal, stands a temple. He lived into his 80s, and he was buried beneath this monument in 720 AD.
Moreover, this brain circuit for reward is working, and you're feeling intense energy, intense focus, intense motivation and the willingness to risk it all, to win life's greatest prize.
So, what have I learned from this experiment that I would like to tell the world?