On HumansSeptember 18, 202300:40:2228.12 MB

Encore | How Love Synchronises Our Brains ~ Ruth Feldman

How literally can we be in "synch" with someone?

Very literally, said my guest in episode 3. Originally titled “A Musical Biology of Love”, this was a fascinating episode with jazz musician and neuroscientist Ruth Feldman. We recorded the episode one year ago, almost to the day. I have thought a lot about it ever since. So here it is again, with remastered audio and a new introduction. Original show notes are below. Enjoy!



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Can biology expand our appreciation of love? What is the relationship between jazz and neuroscience? What does it mean to be in "synch" with someone? 

Ruth Feldman is a professor of neuroscience at Reichman University, Israel, with a joint appointment at the Yale Child Story Centre. A jazz musician before being a neuroscientist, Feldman combines musical ideas of synchrony into her research on the neurobiology of attachment, bonding, and love.

Ilari and Professor Feldman discuss topics such as:

  • Why study the biology of love
  • What happens in the brain when we love
  • Brain-to-brain synchrony: How love (and friendship) can synchronize our brains with each other
  • Oxytocin with loved ones, strangers, and enemies
  • Post-partum depression
  • Parental love in gay dads
  • Females and males as primary caregivers
  • The relationship between brain-to-brain synchrony and oxytocin
  • Empathy within and beyond group boundaries with Israeli and Palestinian youth
  • Attachment theory, attachment problems, and ways to overcome them

Technical terms mentioned

  • Oxytocin
  • Brain oscillations (i.e. brain waves)
  • EEG (a method to study brain oscillations)
  • Neuropeptide
  • ⁠Kangaroo care⁠ (after premature birth)

Names mentioned

  • Wallace Stevens (American poet)
  • Emmanuel Levinas (French philosopher)
  • John Bowlby (founder of the attachment theory)

Other links and reference