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However, there was also an important difference. The areas of the frontal cortex associated with judgement and reasoning are typically less active when viewing a lover compared to someone more neutral, meaning they are less likely to feel critical of their partner.
The hate-filled subjects, though, only showed a reduction in one small part of this area, while the rest was still active.
We may use this area to judge the consequences of our actions and to predict the behaviour of our nemesis, Zeki says. “In love, you take leave of your senses and go wild for that person, but in hatred it seems you must be all there to calculate your next move,” he says.
The team found that the amount of brain activity corresponded with the level of hatred the subjects had previously admitted in the questionnaire.
[b[Zeki suggests similar brain scans could one day be used in court – for example, to assess whether a murder suspect felt a lot of hatred towards the victim.