Lucy Brown: The Neuroscience of Romantic Love

Dr. Lucy Brown is currently a clinical professor in neurology at Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. She also served as the director of the Laboratory for Functional Neuroanatomy and Movement Disorders for over 20 years — though admits that her greatest challenge was studying the neurophysiological basis of romantic love.

The difficulty was convincing others that studying something as personal, powerful, and subjective as love would actually be possible. “We did the study and tried to publish the paper,” she recalls. “The reviews that came back were hilarious and I really should have saved them, because some of the people said that there was no such thing as romantic love.”

And yet, these studies ended up pioneering what we now commonly refer to as the neuroscience of romantic love. The research proved to be relevant for studying other important aspects of human experience too: the neuroscience of drug addiction, suicide, and post-breakup depression.

Brain World recently had the pleasure of discussing with Dr. Brown the conundrum that is romantic love.

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