2003;26(3 Suppl):58-60.

Marazziti D1, Cassano GB

1 Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmachology and Biotechnologies, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. [email protected]


In these last years, emotions and feelings, such as attachment, couple and parental bonding and even love, typical of higher mammals, neglected for centuries by experimental sciences, have become the topic of extensive neuroscientific research in order to elucidate their biological mechanisms. Several observations have highlighted the role of monoamines and of neuropeptides, in particular oxytocin, vasopressin and opioids, but this is only the beginning of the story. Love, the most typical human feeling, can be viewed as a dynamic process that represents the result of different components probably subserved by distinct neural substrates at different times. As such, some steps can be identified, in particular its beginning, which is the process of attraction, followed by the attachment process that, in some cases, can last forever. This paper will make some general speculations on the attraction process, in the light of the experience of the Authors.