I’m teaching a Learning Community this quarter with Catherine Crain pairing College Composition with Human Sexuality. Recently, while studying love and communication in intimate relationships, we watched a short film in class called The Love Competition.
Can you look inside the living brain and tell what someone is feeling? For the first time in history we have fMRI – a technology that promises to show the neurochemical traces of joy, rage, love and hate, as they cascade through the brain. Filmmaker Brent Hoff enlisted the Stanford Center for Cognitive Neurobiological Imaging to hold the world’s first ever ‘love competition’. Seven contestants had five minutes in an fMRI machine to love someone ‘as hard as they can’. The idea that love can be measured may seem deeply unromantic: the results were anything but.
Students really enjoyed the film. I encourage you to watch it via the link above, and when you do so, try to do two things: 1) after the contestants are introduced, take a moment to think about who you believe will “win” and why; and 2) if you were a contestant, who would you focus on?