The Effect of Weddings on the Brain

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Paul Zak, a neuroscientist whose work I cite in my book, gave a TED talk this past year in which he discusses the correlation between weddings and oxytocin, a molecule in the brain that is known to reduce anxiety and evoke feelings of trust and love.

The participants who had the highest increase of oxytocin during a wedding were (in order) the bride, the mother of the bride, the father of the groom, and the groom, followed by other family and friends. Zak explains briefly that, from an evolutionary standpoint, these types of life events produce an increase in oxytocin because the new couple needs their family and friends to be loyal and protect them in order to continue the human species.

The video is about 16 minutes long, and while the wedding-related section is near the end, it's worth watching in its entirety.

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