Valentine's Day around the world | As couples shower each other with love this Valentine's Day, researchers at Rutgers suggest that dopamine is at the heart of it. According to a trio of researchers at Rutgers University, dopamine levels in the brain are central to the feeling of love. But there are significant differences between feelings of romantic love and long-term love. Rutgers research professor Helen Fisher, a member of Human Evolutionary Studies in the anthropology department in New Brunswick and two colleagues scanned the brains of about 60 people in various stages of love; 17 people had just fallen madly in love, 15 had just been rejected in love, and 17 people in their 50s who were married an average of 21 years who said they were still in love with their partner. The scans show those people rejected in love had activity in the part of the brain associated with addiction. Those in short-term relationships showed activity in the brain region associated with anxiety. Fisher said people in long-term love relationships no longer felt the intense anxiety, but instead showed activity in the brain region associated with calm.
Sontaya Tiemjun, left, and Praputson Mahavong, right, swing out on rappelling ropes during their wedding ceremony Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 in Prachinburi province, Thailand. The mountainside ceremony has become a favorite of adventure seeking Thai couples looking to marry near or on Valentine's Day.
AP | Wason Wanichakorn
From the left, Queen witch Mihaela Minca, and apprentices Ana, Melisa, Esmeralda, Casanndra and Alice, perform a Valentine's Day ritual in Mogosoaia, Romania, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. Romanian witches performed a lovers' day ritual crafted to help people find true love.
AP | Vadim Ghirda
A couple waits for a Nile boat cruise on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Although not a traditional holiday in Egypt, globalization has made Valentine's Day increasingly popular with young urban Cairenes. For many Egyptians, life has slowly begun to return to normal, just days after the overthrow of former President Honsi Mubarak.
Getty Images | John Moore
Palestinians buy flowers for Valentine's Day in a shop in Gaza City, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.
AP | Adel Hana
An Indian couple share a moment as a boat passes by in river Brahamaputra, on Valentine's day in Gauhati, India, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.
AP | Altaf Qadri
A Chinese man sits on a bench next to a couple with a bouquet for celebrations of Valentine's Day at a shopping mall in Beijing Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.
AP | Andy Wong
Kelvin Kwong (R) and Ashley Tse share a French-fry during a Valentine's Day engagement party at a McDonald's fast food restaurant in Hong Kong on February 14, 2010. Thrown as a surprise by groom Kelvin, the function was the first of its kind for McDonald's.
AFP/Getty Images | Ed Jones
Newly-wed Filipino couples kiss during ceremonies at a mass wedding in the suburban city of Taguig, south of Manila, Philippines as they celebrate Valentine's day on Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. About 140 couples joined the mass wedding sponsored by local government officials.
AP | Aaron Favila
Pakistani vendors sell balloons from a motorcycle on Valentine's Day in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.
AP | Muhammed Muheisen
Pakistani women browse gifts at a roadside stall on Valentine's Day in Lahore on Feb. 14, 2011. In Pakistan some extremist groups see the increasing popularity of Valentine's Day among the affluent youth as immoral westernization.
AFP/Getty Images | Arif Ali
An English Cocker Spaniel dog called ''Blondie'' is greeted by a girl after her wedding ceremony with American Staffordshire Terrier dog called ''Katar'' (R) on Valentine's Day in Managua on Feb. 14, 2011. An organization that protects animals held the a wedding between two dogs of different breeds to promote the law of animal protection in Nicaragua.
AFP/Getty Images | Elmer Martinez
A woman sells balloons in a street of San Salvador on Saint Valentine's Day on Feb. 14, 2011.
AFP/Getty Images | Jose Cabezas
Krisy Plourde, center left, and Tom Golden, center right, kiss after they were married on the "Love Train," a SEPTA elevated train festively-decorated for Valentine's Day, on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 in Philadelphia. The train toured the Mural Arts Program's "Love Letter" project by artist Stephen Powers.
AP | David Maialetti
Latasha and Warren Bowling pose for formal photos amid the storefronts after being married in a public wedding ceremony at the fountain courtyard of Tower City in downtown Cleveland on Valentine's Day, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. The Bowlings of Cleveland were one of 26 couples married by a flight of five Cleveland Municipal Court judges in honor of the holiday. The couple thought the public marriage ceremony would be romantic and fun.
AP | Amy Sancetta
A lesbian couple hold a sign at a protest calling for the right for gays and lesbians to marry outside the County Clerk Office in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2011. Same-sex couple requested and were rejected for marriage licenses as part of a national Request Marriage action and call for the repeal of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The couples took the action on Valentine's Day to raise awareness of the impact of Proposition 8 and the inability for all same-sex couples to marry.
AFP PHOTO | Robyn Beck
Same-sex couple Aleyna Stroud (L) and Mandy Harris kiss after requesting and being rejected for a marriage license at the County Clerk Office in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2011. [The] couples in Los Angeles took part in a national Request Marriage action and call for the repeal of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The couples took the action on Valentine's Day to raise awareness of the impact of Proposition 8 and the inability for all same-sex couples to marry.
AFP PHOTO | Robyn Beck
A couple kisses on the Pont des Arts, on February 14, 2011 in Paris, during the Valentine's day, traditionally the annual celebration of love.
AFP PHOTO | FRED DUFOUR
An Iraq woman holds a placard with a large red heart in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on February 14, 2011, as she and others hold a Valentine's Day rally to call on their leaders to love the war-battered country rather than rob its resources, an organizer told AFP.
AFP PHOTO | AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
A young couple kisses by the fountain at Revolution Square in Mexico City during Valentine's Day on February 14, 2011.
AFP PHOTO | ALFREDO ESTRELLA
I Love Egypt Street Party in Hurghada, EgyptTo celebrate Valentine's Day a street party was held in Hurghada with an 'I Love Egypt' theme, to thank the tourists that have kept coming to Egypt throughout the recent political events. Hurghada, Egypt, 14/02/2011.
Demotix | James Dawson
A lesbian couple kisses at the location where a kissing contest was planning to hold on Valentine's Day at a business district in central Beijing February 14, 2011. Chinese homosexual groups seek for public support of same-sex marriage by organizing promotion campaigns on Valentine's Day. [The] couples were trying to take part in the kissing contest as part of their campaigns, but the contest was cancelled by the organizers claiming that the former participants dropped out.
REUTERS | Petar Kujundzic
Elaine Vardamis (C-left) of Nederland, Co. is embraced by her husband Dan Vardamis (C-right) as the couple renews their vows at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado at the 20th Annual Marry Me & Ski Free Mountaintop Matrimony on Valentine's Day, February 14th in Loveland, Colorado. The mass wedding ceremony was held at noon at 12,050 feet outside of the Ptarmigan Roost Cabin at Loveland. More than 75 couples were pre-registered to get married or renew their vows high on The Continental Divide in this yearly Loveland tradition. Following the ceremony couples were invited to a casual reception complete with a champagne toast, wedding cake and music. The couple was married about eight months ago at the County Clerks office in Boulder, Co. and this was their first official ceremony.
Marc Piscotty | Getty Images
Same-sex couple Nowlin Haltom (L) and Michael McKeon (R) hold as sign calling for the right to marry outside the County Clerk Office in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2011. Haltom and McKeon joined other same-sex couple who requested and were rejected for marriage licenses as part of a national Request Marriage action and call for the repeal of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The couples took the action on Valentine's Day to raise awareness of the impact of Proposition 8 and the inability for all same-sex couples to marry.
AFP PHOTO | Robyn Beck
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