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Gay, Straight, Bi…or Whatever?

By on January 15, 2011

Heterosexual or homosexual, male or female, it’s all the same as far as the brain is concerned. Passion and romantic feelings, according to a new study from University College London (UCL), among both straight and gay men and women revealed the brain reacts to same for straight men as it does for gay men when viewing pictures of their individual lovers. The same was true for the heterosexual women and lesbians who viewed images of their male and female partners. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans of volunteers, Drs. Semir Zeki and John Romaya extended published their findings last year.

Researchers explain that this study is a continuation of previous work on brain systems that appear to be critical for romantic love. Their inspiration came from reading world literature on love, both Western and Oriental, where characters in love appear to have the same sentiments, whether male or female, and regardless of sexual orientation. Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics at UCL, told the media that:

“Passionate romantic love is commonly triggered by a visual input and is an all-consuming and disorienting state.”

Researchers assessing participants response to the “sentiment of love”, claim they observed “no differences when females or males, or heterosexual or homosexual subjects, viewed the face of their loved partners”. The 2010 study published by PLoS ONE is called “The Brain Reaction to Viewing Faces of Opposite- and Same-Sex Romantic Partners.”

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