BRENT HOFF EXPLORES THE SCIENCE OF LOVE
Screenwriter and director Brent Hoff, who we selected for this year’s 25 New Faces list, has a short out today that’s perfectly timed for Valentines Day. Called The Love Competition, it’s included as part of the next issue of Wholphin, will play at SXSW, but is now online courtesy of Wired and Wholphin.
The Love Competition looks at the neurochemistry of romance, pitting a group of contestants against each other as their brains are scanned while they are thinking of their lovers, their ex-lovers, or perhaps just the concept of love itself. Hoff, who won a Tribeca Sloan Prize for a recent marine biology-themed script, knows how to make science emotional.
To develop his latest “competition,” Hoff enlisted the help of researchers at the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging. Research director Bob Dougherty assisted with development of the love test, while Melina Uncapher served as the film’s scientific director.
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.
Check out the film below.