Everlasting love…Is it possible for one person to love more than another? In an attempt to find out, filmmaker Brent Hoff teamed with Stanford University neuroscientists to test lovers’ abilities, using an fMRI to monitor brain activity and measure whose adoration was the strongest.
The results can be seen in The Love Competition, a short film directed by Hoff (watch the whole thing below). The San Francisco director, who edits DVD magazine Wholphin, said he knows the idea of reducing love to a neurochemical blood sport might rub some people the wrong way, but he hopes people see the film in the good-natured way he intended.
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.
What they found was unique, Hoff said, because the player with the lowest score was actually the one who probably “won” in the long run. “The guy who lost, who came in dead last, was probably the happiest of anyone; he realized he wasn’t in love with his ex-girlfriend,” Hoff said. “He walks out of there with his arms raised, triumphant.”
If you have 15 minutes, this is for sure worth to watch. This isn’t about psychological evaluations, personalty tests, hundreds of questions, quizzes, behavioral matching and the rest of it. This is a short film about how some researchers are going right to the heart, er, brain, of the matter of love.
A competition were real people are thinking about true love, and the researchers are just measuring this.