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Love on the brain

  • Key Stage 3
  • Popular Activity
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Communication
Topic: Brain & behaviour

This activity celebrates Valentine's day. Researchers found four areas of the brain that are activated when you fall madly in love. Two other areas – linked to depression and sadness – are deactivated at the same time. In this activity, students discover the brain's 'love locations', look at the brain as an organ and remind themselves about respiration. The end result? A truly original Valentine's card!

Published: 3rd February 2005
Reviews & Comments: 11

Learning objectives

Students will know that certain parts of the brain are active in love
Students will look at the brain as an organ and as a collection of cells that respire

Try the activity


You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

7a cells – cells are grouped into tissues; tissues make up organs; specialized cells
8b respiration - aerobic respiration; oxygen and glucose are transported in the blood

Running the activity

Suggested time: 20 minutes

Possible starter:
Show page 1 - either projected or as an overhead transparency. This page shows the areas of the brain that are activated and deactivated by love. Ask students how they think scientists identified these areas.

Main activity:
Show page 2. This information sheet briefly describes the research process, the brain as an organ, respiration and MRI scanning. Then ask students to do the activity at the bottom of this page – to design a Valentine's card based on some of the information given.

News links

BBC Science
For a straightforward report of the research, see this website
Student British Medical Journal
This article is more detailed, and includes more background information about the research:
Discovery Channel - health
This website has flashing graphics showing the activated areas of the brain.

Reviews & Comments

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