Quantify My Love: Ranking the Neurochemistry of Feelings

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The Love Competition is an unusual hybrid of documentary film and scientific study. Brent Hoff, a filmmaker and editor of the video magazine Wholphin, teamed up with Stanford University's Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging to investigate the neurochemical nature of love, with a competitive twist. Human subjects (the contestants) focus on their deepest feelings of love while researchers measure their brain activity via fMRI scanner. Whoever has the highest levels of the neurotransmitters associated with romantic love, wins.

The beauty of the film, and the study, lies in how sincerely the research subjects tackle the task at hand. They share the stories of their greatest loves in amazingly heartfelt on-camera interviews. From a 10-year-old kid to a couple that has been happily married for over 50 years, everyone describes love (or lack of it) differently. For some, their time in the fMRI scanner has a transformative effect. In the end, of course, it isn't really about winning anyway. 


Stills from the film

For more information about Wholphin, see http://www.wholphin.net, and visit the McSweeney's store to subscribe to the DVD magazine.

Via Jason Sondhi

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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