The differences in electrophysiological responses towards romantic, friendly, and familial displays of affection
Tan, Pei Yu
Date of Issue2017-05-02
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Many theories have cited the differences for the various kinds of love for one’s romantic partners, friends or family members. Research regarding the neurobiology of love have found evidence in the brain for humans’ responses towards affection. However, most studies were based on romantic or parental-infant affection. In the present study, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is employed to measure the brain activation, particularly in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) in response to displays of affection between romantic partners, friends and sibling. Our results suggest that one possible brain region for neurodifferentiation of love types may be the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) which is responsible for executive function particularly in response to environmental social stimuli. Overall, participants showed greater activation in the DLPFC in response to friendly displays of affection in comparison to that of sibling. A gender effect is also observed in response to romantic displays of affection in the DLPFC and the medial prefrontal cortex (MFC). These results suggest an importance in DLPFC’s role in differentiating the different love types on a neurological level.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University