Welcome to The Anatomy Of Love

Learn about Love from a team of neuroscientists.

Welcome to The Anatomy Of Love!

This is a learning website. What happens to you when you fall in love? Discover new things about attachment to another person, and yourself.

Thanks for visiting us. We're delighted to have you look around.

Learn the surprising results of our brain-mapping studies on romantic love Read more

What Is Love?

Is It Love? Take A Quiz to Find Out

Madly in love? Is it the real thing? What is the real thing? Take a quiz to find out.

Is your love self-expanding? Take a Quiz

Are you in a relationship for the long haul?
Take a quiz

Need help with Heartbreak?
Click here.

Know Thyself

Know Thyself

Helen Fisher's Personality Quiz has now been taken by over 14 million people in 40 countries. Helen created it to test the degree to which you express four broad styles of thinking and behaving, each associated with one of four basic brain systems: the dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen systems.

Take Helen Fisher's Personality Test

Know Thy Brain

Learn From Our Exclusive 3D Brain Tour

We wanted to make the anatomy of romantic love beautiful. We wanted to make it fun and understandable.

Start the Brain Tour


Anatomy Of Love: The Book

Helen's Book: The Anatomy Of Love

First published in 1992, Helen Fisher’s “fascinating” (New York Times) Anatomy of Love quickly became a classic. Since then, Fisher has conducted pioneering brain research on lust, romantic love, and attachment; gathered data on more than 80,000 people to explain why you love who you love; and collected information on more than 30,000 men and women on sexting, hooking up, friends with benefits, and other current trends in courtship and marriage. And she presents a new, scientifically based and optimistic perspective on relationships in our digital age―what she calls “slow love.”

This is a cutting-edge tour de force that traces human family life from its origins in Africa over 20 million years ago to the Internet dating sites and bedrooms of today. And it’s got it all: the copulatory gaze and other natural courting ploys; the who, when, where, and why of adultery; love addictions; her discovery of four broad chemically based personality styles and what each seeks in romance; the newest data on worldwide (biologically based) patterns of divorce; how and why men and women think differently; the real story of women, men, and power; the rise―and fall―of the sexual double standard; and what brain science tells us about how to make and keep a happy partnership.

Get it now on Amazon.com


What can this website do for me?

We are scientists, not astrologists, psychics, or kitchen witches. We don’t read tea leaves to tell you why you fall in love, whether a particular relationship will last forever, if your partner is cheating, or what phase the moon should be when you attempt a reconciliation. We’re not even love advisers, or wise friends giving advice. We’re not therapists, either. We help people manage love in a different way. We offer an educational and fun look at the surprising science behind romance and love. This will give you insights into yourself that will help you manage. We offer easy brain science, but we’re the “real deal.” We did the science. We give the TED talks about it, and we know the questions people need answered. We can help you understand why you feel the way you do, teach you how others in your situation tend to react, and give you some scientifically valid techniques and principles for maximizing your success in love. If you found your way here, you must be interested in love. And no wonder! Love is arguably the most powerful feeling of all. Yet it is also the most confusing. Whether you are currently in love, wondering if you will ever fall in love, losing the spark, or coping with heartbreak, we can help you understand and manage. You see, love is not just an emotion or feeling like euphoria and happiness. It is like hunger or thirst. That’s why it’s hard to control.

Who we are:

We are a pair of scientists, Lucy Brown and Helen Fisher, who are eager to help you. We want you to get to the root of your feelings, to understand and manage them. Lucy is a Clinical Professor in Neurology at New York’s Einstein College of Medicine. She holds a PhD in Experimental/Physiological Psychology from NYU. At Einstein, she spent more than 20 years as Director of the Laboratory for Functional Neuroanatomy and Movement Disorders, and has pioneered numerous groundbreaking studies on the neuroscience of romantic love.

Helen is a PhD Biological Anthropologist at Rutgers University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute. Her work focuses on the evolution, brain systems, and cross-cultural patterns of romantic love, marriage, divorce, and infidelity. She is considered one of the leading experts in the field of love, and serves as Chief Scientific Advisor for Match.com. She has received the prestigious “Distinguished Service Award” from the American Anthropological Association. She has published books titled Anatomy of Love, Why We Love, and Why Him Why Her? Her TED talks have been viewed by millions.

Learn More >

What is love?

There is a mother’s love, love of country, love of friends, brothers, sisters, even places and things. But we are talking about romantic love, and the love that brings partners-in-life together; the love that often brings partners together to raise children. In fact, we think that romantic love is just part of the whole human reproductive strategy, like sex. It is a survival strategy, too. We are protected by another’s strength and assets when we love each other. A definition of love we like is “The desire for emotional union with another person.” Or, “Love is a strong attraction that makes you want to spend time with someone else.” There is “companionate love,” too. That’s when the thrill is gone, but there is a deep, satisfying companionship and we still constantly seek the person who gives us this special companionship. For a quick, complete definition of romance that our science gives us, go here. It’s a 2 minute video. Or if you’d like to read more, go here. We actually don’t call love an emotion, like euphoria. Love is many emotions. We call love a motivation-- another person becomes a goal. It is a hunger or thirst.

Does love fade over time?

Romance can fade. When couples are together for 2-4 years, the novelty wears off. The butterflies disappear and many people worry that the romance is gone. Yet couples that stay together can enter an attachment phase, which is the basis for lifelong, comforting love, and they can keep some romance going. Are there are special brain systems for this? Yes! Thankfully, science teaches us that romance is a dopamine reaction in the brain. Newness and novelty increase the flow of dopamine, too, causing the rush of excited feelings that flood a new relationship. When that wears off, couples are at risk. So what’s the secret to success? Increasing your dopamine! As time goes on, it is great to take on new challenges as a couple. Even movies and TV shows can make you feel as if you had new and challenging experiences together just like the characters you watched. Thrillers raise your heart rate! All this can give you a shot of dopamine together and help you build relationship satisfaction. If you want a long-term relationship, we have things you can learn about long-term love.

What should I know about heartbreak?

As Emily Dickinson said, “Parting is all we need to know of hell.” Heartbreak is universal, and virtually every adult has been both its victim and its cause. Both men and women in the throes of heartbreak tend to do irrational things such as calling the beloved in the middle of the night, trying to seduce or convince that person to come back, and experiencing phases of fury in which they rant and shout about all the ways they were wronged. This is known as the protest phase. After it becomes clear that the relationship is over and the other person is not coming back, the heartbroken enter the resignation phase. This is the time when they appear to be carrying the weight of the world on their backs. They stop caring about the world around them, slip into sadness, and occasionally even develop symptoms of clinical mental health disorders. While most people do bounce back, it is interesting to look at why these reactions are so universal. It appears that through evolution, we were programmed to respond as if our social, economic, and genetic futures are at stake! Indeed, they are! No wonder we take romantic rejection so hard. But it’s totally natural, happens to everybody, and prepares you for your next relationship. Thank you for visiting TheAnatomyofLove.com. We hope to play an important role in your quest for long-lasting love.