From Cosmos (13/1/24)…
Prairie voles and the science of love and loss
A new study of a small native North American rodent – that might break your heart – has shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine plays a crucial role in in keeping the love alive in intimate relationships.
By studying these tiny rodents, scientists aim to gain new insights into what happens inside human brains that allows us to form intimate social relationships, and how we can recover when those relationships end.
Prairie voles are one of the mere 3-5% of mammals that form monogamous pair bonds. They tend to form long-term partnerships in which they share a home and raise offspring together.
But the researchers had to break the intimate relationships to test their theories.