The Daily Dose Loves Your Mom

The Daily Dose is a student-run, informal e-newsletter sent to students and faculty each day. On Sundays, a faculty member 'guests" as Dose author. Today's Dose was written by Science teacher Eva Shultis.

"Men are what their mothers made them." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
 
In basically every movie/sitcom with a psychotherapy scene, the stereotypical opener is "tell me about your mother..."
Freud's kinda pervy ideas notwithstanding, this question makes a lot of sense. Fundamentally, biologically, your mom is responsible for the way you interact with the world. Mostly because, she showed your tiny infant brain what it feels like to be connected to another human being.
When you fall in love, your brain goes chemically crazy (if this sounds familiar, maybe see here for a graphical rundown). Some of the most well-known changes involve levels of neurotransmitters like Dopamine, Oxytocin and Vasopressin skyrocketing, lighting up pathways for bonding and reward. And it's pretty telling that all of these signals converge on the Nucleus Accumbens, also known as the 'pleasure center' of the brain - which explains why love and addiction can have a lot in common.
Every significant relationship you have in your lifetime will physically rewire your brain - and your relationship with your mom laid down the neural circuitry that all the rest of them will tap into. This similarity is most striking when you look at fMRI comparisons of brain activity (nerdiest Picture of the Day in DOSE history? maybe)
 
So, if you love your girlfriend, or your boyfriend, or your group of best friends - thank your mom. And if somebody lovesyou, thank their mom. Most obviously, for bringing them into existence - but also, for teaching their brain what love feels like.
Happy Mother's Day.
, the DOSE.
Tip: Call your mom (or whoever takes care of you).
Pro tip: call your Grandma, too.

Moms of the Day:

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