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A study of people's ability to love

To celebrate Valentine's Day, quarterly DVD magazine Wholphin has released a short film documenting an experiment by Stanford neuroscientists to determine if it's possible for one person to love more than another person can.

In the film, titled The Love Competition, researchers at the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the brain activity of seven people as they ponder love. Bob Dougherty, PhD, research director at the center, helped develop the love test and Stanford psychology postdoctoral fellow Melina Uncapher, PhD, served as scientific director for the film.
Wired reports:

It turns out — based on the levels of activity in the dopamine, serotonin and ocytocin/vasopressin pathways — it is possible for one person to exhibit that they can love someone more deeply than another person can. But what’s amazing about The Love Competition is seeing the participants talk about their loves and the effects the fMRI tests had on them. Many come out almost giddy when the test is complete, and one woman tearily explains that she just feels lucky for the love she’s had in her life.

The film is definitely worth watching. Personally, my favorite contestant is 10-year-old Milo.

Previously: Ask Stanford Med: Neuroscientist taking questions on pain and love’s analgesic effects, Long-term love may dull pain, study shows and Love blocks pain, Stanford study shows

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