THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE by

THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A psychiatrist's explanation of--and speculation about--the biochemical basis for our romantic drives: a little technical for the average reader, a little casual for professionals. Liebowitz reviews what is known and surmised about chemical substances in our brains: the fact that drugs like Valium, for example, lock into certain brain receptors so neatly that scientists think our brains must produce a similar substance. Then he describes the ""amphetaminelike"" highs of romance and the way certain people become addicted to them. He talks about depression (as when a romance ends) in terms of a shutdown of our brains' ""pleasure centers."" All this is interesting enough, in a somewhat tortuous way, if you're not averse to thinking that our attachments are based on biochemical needs that can be medically tampered with. And Liebowitz has all he can do, sometimes, to keep the biochemical-romance connection going. (See his descriptions of ""female hysteroid patients in the corporate world,"" where ""married male executives are always making passes at them"" and other marginally related issues.) Those not put off by the classification of such diverse behaviors as clinging, ""instant bonding,"" and ""delusional loving"" as equally the product of an overstimulated brain--or, by terms like MAO-inhibitors--will find this a palatable curiosity.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1982
Publisher: Little, Brown