Is being in love like being drunk? / Rex

Scientists pooled data from separate studies examining effects of 'love hormone' and alcohol

It would appear Beyonce knew what she was singing about. Scientists have found evidence that suggests people in love behave similarly to drunk individuals. 

The research, published today by the Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, found similarities between the effect of alcohol and that of oxytocin – otherwise known as the ‘love hormone’.

Neuropeptide hormone oxytocin, sometimes also referred to as the ‘bonding hormone’, is produced in the hypothalamus and has long been linked to maternal bonding and childbirth – but recent studies have suggested the hormone can impact social interactions and potential romantic partners.

The effects of oxytocin – increased sociability and removal of social inhibitors such as fear, anxiety and stress – mirror the effects some people experience when drunk.

University of Birmingham researchers pulled their data from separate studies examining the effects of alcohol and oxytocin sprayed on individuals.

“We thought it was an area worth exploring, so we pooled existing research into the effects of both oxytocin and alcohol and were struck by the incredible similarities between the two compounds,” explained Dr Ian Mitchell, from the School of Psychology at the university.

Alongside the positive effects of oxytocin, researchers cautioned that – just like some drunk individuals – the hormone may also simulate increasingly aggressive, boastful, envious and insular behaviour.