Who Participated in the First Experiment?


“Have you just fallen madly in love?”  This headed the flyer we circulated on several college campuses to find participants for our first experiment.

Most participants were college students from the State University of New York, Stony Brook and Rutgers University in New Jersey.

They were volunteers eager to help science and understand what was happening in their brains as they felt this romantic craving.  We chose 10 women and 10 men, based on their pre-scan interviews.  All were right handed, as it is easier to compare brains that have the same handedness.  None were taking any kind of antidepressant, as these drugs alter brain physiology.  None had metal in their heads or bodies, as the brain scanning magnet tugs on any kind of metal.  And none were claustrophobic, as the machine is snug.  They ranged in age from 18-26 years (mean= 20.6 yr; median= 21 years).  And all were happily in love from 1-17 months (mean 7.4 months; median 7 months).