Understanding love by taking a look at the brain is a bit like understanding a car's driver by looking under the hood of the car he's driving. Such an attempt at comprehending love would be ultimately futile. It's not cognizant of the human spirit. Not wise. Not accurate.
Unfortunately some conflict professionals are now reducing conflict to the brain, too. They say something like, "The brain does 'A' so you should counter with move 'B'." Conflict and love are not that simple; we are more than the organ in our skull. They are not like chess games played on the board of the brain.
I knew when I saw a deeply reductionist notion of love titled "the brain in love" (Delancyplace.com) that it would not sit well with my favorite non-reductionist neuroscientist Jeffrey Schwartz. Smiling to myself, I sent the over-the-top-materialist post to him. Here's what Jeff wrote:
Now if hearing all this makes you nauseous, that's related to activity in a small area of you brain called the area postrema. Interestingly, drugs that block dopamine will tend to decrease the nausea. And if you're left with a strong sense of "hey, there's got to be a LOT more to love than this," CONGRATS! You're part of the hopefully not-too-rapidly-diminishing remnant of sane people who realize YOU ARE NOT YOUR BRAIN.
To learn more about the difference between the mind and the brain and how we are so much more than our brain, read one of the books Jeff has written: You Are Not Your Brain or The Mind and the Brain. If you are tempted to believe that your romance is governed by your oxytocin, better read one of these books quickly, before February 14.
Love is more than just an emotion resulting from some chemicals your brain. To think love is brought to us by chemicals removes not only the romance but the poetry and the humanity. Let's make February 14th a day of deep appreciation, devotion, and affection, not of a bromidic and limited inner neuro-pharmacy.
Note (added February 8, 2012): Another person who thinks love arises from the brain: "Author Horstman draws on neuroscience to explore love" (Marin Independent Journal). Excerpt:
"Everything happens in the brain. It's your biggest and strongest sex and love organ," says [Judith] Horstman.