What is the meaning of "emotional attachment"?


"Emotional attachment" refers to the phenomenon of the feeling of a need for people to connect to one another. Psychologists associate emotional attachment to the emotion of love, and studies have shown that the insular cortex and the striatum are the two brain structures that generate love. People who are unable to form emotional attachments as adults have generally gone through some sort of emotional or psychological trauma as children, although therapy can make great headway in this area.

When it comes to romantic relationships, conventional thinking has long suggested that sex and love are two highly separate impulses. According to the old stereotype, sex makes women form immediate emotional attachments, while men are ready to run on to the next partner. However, the research indicating that the insular cortex and striatum lead to love as well as to lust means that the two impulses are closer in nature than people might think. Research from Montreal's Concordia University indicates that both lust and love turn on part of the striatum. While lust turns on the ventral striatum, love turns on the dorsal striatum. The first part activates motivation and emotion, while the second impacts the process of making decisions. This overlaps between lust and emotional attachment means that sex can ultimately become love.

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