Six adults (and one kid), one fMRI machine, five minutes to love someone (or something) as hard as possible. In The Love Competition, a short documentary first featured in McSweeney’s Wholphin #15, filmmaker Brent Hoff and Stanford University neuroscientists try to see which type of love makes the brain most active.

Contestants — including a couple married for 50 years, a young woman who clearly adores her boyfriend, a man mourning his breakup, and a woman who’s never been in love — have five minutes in the machine to “love someone as hard as they can.” The person whose love makes their brain light up the most wins.


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