Dirty Minds

Dirty Minds

How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships

Why does love make us so crazy? This is a lively and funny examination of the big questions about love and sex from the perspective of the latest brain science.

Philosophers, theologians, artists, and boy bands have waxed poetic about the nature of love for centuries. But what does the brain have to say about the way we carry our hearts? As technology advances to allow us more focused examination of the intricate dance our brains do with our environment, we can use science to shed new light on humanity’s oldest question, “What is this thing called love?”

In each chapter of this lively, edgy adventure through the romantic brain, Kayt Sukel dives into the latest neuroscientific research concerning love and sex (even getting her brain scanned while having an orgasm) and what it really means for the way we approach our relationships. Dirty Minds asks age-old questions such as: What parts of the brain are involved with love? Is there really a “seven-year itch”? Why do good girls like bad boys? Is monogamy practical? How thin is that line between love and hate? Do mothers have a stronger bond with children than their fathers do? How do our childhood experiences affect our emotional control and who is at risk for love addiction? Yet this book offers an entirely fresh approach, explaining all the ways the brain can make or break us in love.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451611557 | 
  • January 2012
List Price $25.00
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Video

How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships

Kayt Sukel discusses the the chemical effects love and sex have on our brains.

Read an Excerpt

Dirty Minds Chapter 1

The Neuroscience of Love: A History (Theirs and Mine)
In 1994 a scientist named Sue Carter submitted a grant application to study a hormone called oxytocin (not to be confused with the narcotic Oxycontin, aka hillbilly heroin) in a small rodent called the prairie vole.

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About the Author

Kayt Sukel
Photograph by Dave Dillon

Kayt Sukel

Kayt Sukel’s work has appeared in myriad publications, including Atlantic Monthly, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, Continental, American Baby, and Cerebrum. She is a partner in the renowned family travel website, TravelSavvyMom.com, blogs about where neuroscience intersects with life at BigThink, and is also a frequent contributor to the Dana Foundation’s many science publications.

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