Skip Nav
Relationships
If These 30 Signs Sound Familiar, You Need to Get Out of Your Relationship ASAP
Easy Halloween Costumes
No Boys Allowed: 30+ Duo Costumes to Rock With Your BFF
Group Halloween Costumes
23 Group Disney Costume Ideas For Your Squad
What Is Your Financial Personality
New York Life
What's Your Financial Personality? Take Our Quiz to Find Out!

Cheating May Change Your Brain

Your Brain Reacts Differently When You're Not Monogamous, a Scientific Study Suggests

Wondering if your partner is cheating on you is one of the worst feelings in the world. Relationships are hard enough, but having to add on a conversation about infidelity? Yikes — hello, emotional roller coaster.

Many have gone through those hard moments of piecing together that gut-wrenching mystery, wondering whether your loved one is just stressed from a hard day or secretly lying to you with every passing moment. It would be so much easier if there was a scientific way to get the truth out. (And one that doesn't just involve guessing, even if there are some red flags to watch out for.)

It turns out, scientists hypothesize people who cheat actually have identifiably different brain chemistry than people who are being faithful to their partners. The scientific study, published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, compared brain activity in monogamous and nonmonogamous men by showing them images while scanning their brains with an fMRI machine. The researchers showed each group of men (one group who identified as monogamous, one group identifying as nonmonogamous) romantic and sexual pictures and recorded which areas of the brain were activated.

ADVERTISEMENT

When shown romantic images, the brains of the monogamous men lit up on the right sides, including their orbitofrontal cortex, which is associated with decision-making. However, the brains of all the subjects of both groups reacted similarly when shown sexual images, suggesting only feelings of romance are changed when a subject identifies as nonmonogamous. "Results indicated that monogamous men showed more reward-related neural activity when viewing romantic pictures compared to nonmonogamous men," the study says. "These results demonstrate that the neural processing of romantic images is different for monogamous and nonmonogamous men."

It's important to note that, as with any scientific study, more research is needed before the underlying hypothesis can be proven, and the study included 20 men, so the size of participation needs to be considered. The study also didn't account for polyamorous relationships and didn't ask whether the subjects were literally cheating, just that the nonmonogamous individuals weren't with only one partner.

It would be nice if there was a way to carry an fMRI machine to check for signs of cheating, but that's closer to an episode of Black Mirror than real-life tech. Instead, hopefully, open communication will help filter out some of the confusion, and if nothing else, perhaps your instincts can point you in the right direction.

From Our Partners
Can Having Sex Affect Your Period?
Sexy John Krasinski Pictures
Sexy Noah Centineo Pictures
Sexy Halle Berry Pictures
Sexy Jennifer Lawrence Pictures
Sexy Justin Theroux Pictures
Sexy Mila Kunis Pictures
Sexy Kristen Bell Pictures
How Your Period Influences the Type of Fragrances You Like
Sexy Rap Music Videos
Sharp Objects Sex Scenes
Should I Have an Open Marriage?
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds