Back in the summer, when news broke that Kristen Stewart reportedly cheated with her Snow White & the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, plenty of Twi-hards were heartbroken -- but also incredulous that she'd be unfaithful when, after all, she was in a relationship with Robert Pattinson! What was she -- out of her damn mind?! Now that we're all wrapped up in a similar scandal involving Gen. David Petraeus and his alleged mistress Paula Broadwell, a lot of people have the same question. With so much on the line -- his marriage, his career -- what the heck was he thinking?!
Well, neurologists say they have the answer to that question. Apparently, when we fall in love, we're not thinking. At least not the way we normally would. That's because love makes us completely unstable.
Long story short, there is such a thing as being "crazy in love." Brain scans reveal that the frontal cortex, vital to judgment, shuts down when we fall in love. MRI scans show this de-activation occurs only when someone is shown a photo of the person they adore, causing them to suspend all criticism or doubt.
Additionally, the area of the brain that controls fear and another region involved in negative emotions close down, which scientists say explains why we feel so happy and unafraid of what could go wrong when we first fall for someone.
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Whoa. So it's no wonder people find themselves acting completely out of character and cheating on their partners or spouses when they've fallen for someone else. We literally stop thinking straight, and on top of that, we become fearless and think we're invincible. Oy! Sadly, that doesn't excuse illicit behavior and poor choices when it comes to cheating ... But it certainly does explain why someone like KStew or Gen. Petraeus may have acted this way in spite of their better judgment -- if they were really in love.
What do you make of this science?
Image via Holly Lay/Flickr