Here’s why I love 30 Rock: Amid the show’s caricatures, cartoons and buffoons, they still manage to slip in a Temple Grandin porno pun. They did go with the “rammed in” wordplay, and I would have riffed off “gangbang”… but each to their own poor taste.
The point is, it served to remind me of HBO’s The Temple Grandin Story, about the austic animal behaviorist, and also of a fascinating blog I read on www.WrongPlanet.net about Aspberger’s Syndrome — one of many neurological hues on the autism spectrum — and how it relates to love addiction.
My research leads me to believe that, biochemically, love addiction is closer to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder than what most people would characterize as love. If you read this blog, you already know that interaction of dopamine, oxcytocin and serotonin and what we think of as attraction, affection and attachment — or, for us slightly sicker souls, Lust, Limerence and Longing. If the blog isn’t enough, I also have a book on the topic.
Turns out, the same neurochemicals play a role in Asperger’s Syndrome.
“Research showed similarities between serotonin’s role in OCD and the role serotonin plays in neurochemical bonding, more commonly known as ‘love,’” wrote blogger Alexander Plank. “You could say that the lovestruck couple going to prom together for the first time have actually fallen into OCD with each other.
“Serontonin is the chemical that plays a role in causing aspies to pursue their special interests, and similarly causes people with OCD to be obsessive or anxious. Certain levels of serotonin are also linked with the autistic tendency of ‘stimming.’”
Plank continues by quoting the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology,which published a study in 2003 entitled Oxytocin Infusion Reduces Repetitive Behaviors in Adults with Autistic and Asperger’s Disorders. As the title indicates, researchers found that if you dose an autistic adult with oxytocin, he is less likely to do things like rocking, tapping, or counting, This is what Plank calls stimming, and which I contend is hiding somewhere behind the love addict’s obsessive text messaging, drive-bys, or writing “Mrs. Davey Jones” 100 times in your notebook.
I think it also explains why I find Freecell computer solitaire so damn soothing. All those lovely numbers piling up and floating off, mindless yet logical, click click click until that blessed mental dial tone… anyone with Asperger’s would recognize this as stimming behavior. It’s no wonder that the most basic digital game outside of Pong still resident on Microsoft computers. Observers have long surmised that Bill Gates has Asperger’s. I have no idea whether he also has (and successfully controls) love addiction.
If he has, I would like some hints. A research grant would also be nice; I’m dying to stick a bunch of love addicts in an fMRI. I would ask him for a new computer, as well, but I use a Mac.