All's fair in love and war? Maybe. But the seven intrepid souls who participated in what's being called the "first annual love competition" all agreed to follow the same set of instructions:
Climb inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and spend five minutes trying "to love someone as hard as they can."
As the contestants--who ranged in age from 10 to 75--pondered the objects of their affection, their brain neurochemistry was closely monitored by scientists at the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging. The person who showed the greatest neurochemical activity in the brain region associated with feelings of romantic love was declared the victor.
Who climbed out of the scanner with best-lover honors? To find out, you can watch the short film about the competition, above— the competition and the film were masterminded by San Francisco-based filmmaker Brent Hoff. As to why Hoff wanted to make "The Love Competition" in the first place, he told Wired, "With the way we view sports, we look at them in such a hard, unforgiving way--you win or you don't--and the idea of taking love and making it either you win or you don't' is, I agree, kind of horrible. But that's not what this film is."
And he's right. The film--which includes scenes in which the contestants talk about the objects of their affection--is actually quite touching. And it provides a fascinating glimpse inside the world of neuroscience research as well as into the contestants' brains.