Researchers have identified both genetic and neural mechanisms associated with romantic love and attachment. The maintenance of romantic love is not only associated with subcortical brain regions but also higher-order centers of the brain. The propensity to sustain romantic love appears to also be affected by genetic variability, specifically with genes associated with dopamine, vasopressin, and oxytocin.
Researchers examined the effects oxytocin and vasopressin had on perceptions of social dominance. Oxytocin increased perception of greater dominance. Neuroimaging revealed the findings were also reflected in changes in brain regions associated with social perception.