The Neurochemistry of Love, with Dr Ashish Ranpura

Dr Ranpura is a physician and a cognitive neuroscientist of Yale University, University College London and the Royal College of Pathology. He is an ardent academician of love


What is love? The feeling of falling. The feeling of having come home. It is the tortured storm of Heathcliff, and the quiet cadence of family. It is the essence of soul. And despite its ultimate ineffability, love must somehow be the result of an intricate symphony of hormones and neurotransmitters acting on structures in the brain.

In this talk, Dr Ash will describe the chemistry and biology of the three brain systems that love. These comprise a system for lust, a system for romantic love, and a system for attachment. The goal isn’t to give a comprehensive description of love, but to provide a clear example of how the physical properties of the brain give rise to the experience of mind. If, in the process, you find yourself irresistibly drawn to your neighbour, so much the better.

Dr. Ashish Ranpura

Ash is a physician and a cognitive neuroscientist. He studies brain systems subserving embodied cognition in mathematics, which is a ponderous way of describing finger counting, and has written extensively about structure-function relationships in the brain.

In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Ranpura has been a science journalist for America’s National Public Radio and the online magazine [BrainConnection. He is a co-founder of Café Scientifique at London’s Photographers’ Gallery, and has regularly chaired public engagement events for the [Wellcome Trust and the British Council.

Dr. Ranpura trained at Yale University, the Medical College of Ohio, and University College London; he is currently creating physician training events with the Royal College of Pathology, and preparing to return to full-time clinical work.

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'The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.' Carl Jung

'Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.' H. L. Mencken

'It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.' Iago

2012Martin Keeley