The Science of Love, Desire and Attachment

Huberman Lab Podcast Episode 59 - "Desire Love & Attachment"

Listen: YouTube | Apple Podcasts | Spotify

In this episode, I discuss the psychology and biology of desire, love and attachment. I explain how childhood attachment types are thought to inform adult attachment styles to romantic partners, and I describe some of the major theories of human mate selection, relationships and infidelity. Additionally, I explore the neurobiology and proposed subconscious processing underlying desire, love and attachment, including the roles of empathy and “positive delusion”. I outline how self-awareness can shift one’s relationship attachment style towards securely bonded partnerships.  Finally, I describe specific tools and supplements that have been researched to increase libido and sex drive. Throughout the episode, I explain the science and key mechanisms underlying romantic love and outline tools for those seeking to find a strong, healthy relationship, or for those wanting to strengthen an existing relationship. 

Article Links

For additional links and resources on Maca, Tongkat Ali and Tribulus, also see links in “Human Effect Matrix” at


  • 00:00:00 Desire, Love & Attachment
  • 00:02:59 Odor, Perceived Attractiveness & Birth Control
  • 00:08:04 Thesis, AG1 (Athletic Greens), InsideTracker
  • 00:14:13 Romance: Balancing Love & Desire
  • 00:19:00 Animal Studies, Vasopressin & Monogamy
  • 00:22:06 Strange Situation Task, Childhood Attachment Styles
  • 00:32:52 Adult Attachment Styles
  • 00:38:50 Secure Attachment
  • 00:41:23 Autonomic Arousal: The “See-Saw”
  • 00:50:39 Tool: Self-Awareness, Healthy Interdependence
  • 00:53:11 Neurobiology of Desire, Love & Attachment
  • 00:58:02 Empathy & Mating & the Autonomic Nervous System
  • 01:10:02 Positive Delusion, Touch
  • 01:15:20 Relationship Stability
  • 01:21:22 Selecting Mates, Recognition of Autonomic Tone
  • 01:38:28 Neural Mechanisms of Romantic Attachment
  • 01:47:43 Autonomic Coordination in Relationships
  • 01:56:13 Infidelity & Cheating
  • 02:08:56 “Chemistry”, Subconscious Processes
  • 02:12:44 Tools: Libido & Sex Drive
  • 02:20:20 Maca (Maca root)
  • 02:25:58 Tongkat Ali (Longjack)
  • 02:28:56 Tribulus terrestris
  • 02:33:14 Zero-Cost Support, YouTube, Spotify/Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Patreon, Instagram, Twitter, Thorne