Being in the throes of new, passionate love is exciting -- so exciting in fact, new research suggests it may affect a person's ability to focus and perform tasks that require attention.
Steenbergen analyzed how 43 participants in new relationships (meaning less than six months) performed specific tasks, including separating relevant and irrelevant information. His results indicated that "high levels of passionate love of individuals in the early stage of a romantic relationship are associated with reduced cognitive control." In other words, participants were so consumed by thoughts of their beloved, their ability to concentrate and perform the tasks was diminished.
Steenbergen says the phenomenon may be attributed to how the brain allocates its limited resources. "It could be that the obsessive nature of passionate love imposes important constraints on performing well in tasks that require self-control." Meaning, if your brain is on overdrive thinking about love, it's less able to focus on other things.
Watch the video above for more on the study, then check out the slideshow to see why people fall in love in the first place.