On Romantic Love: Berit Brogaard

The Neuroscience of Love

Berit Brogaard

Can love be rational? Are we ever in control? American philosopher of mind Berit Brogaard outlines her new theory of love and uncovers the simple truths about the most complex emotion.

  • 385 Berit Brogaard
    Berit Brogaard

    Miami philosopher of mind Berit Brogaard has published on synaethesia, savant syndrome and the emotions. Her recent books include On Romantic Love and The Superhuman Mind.


About the Course

Love often strikes like a thunderbolt- inexplicable, unaccountable and often painful. Moreover, we often think that to fall in love means to surrender both our freedom and our reason. But is this true? What is the relationship between love and other, ‘rational’ emotions, and does it mean surrendering our power and our freedom to another?

In this course philosopher of mind and cognitive neuroscientist Berit Brogaard looks at our brain chemistry and psychology to reveal simple truths about this complex emotion.

In this course you will learn:

  • Why a broken heart is more than just a metaphor
  • Whether we should understand love as an emotion or a drive.
  • What happens to our brain chemistry when we fall in- and out- of love.
  • How to understand the difference between rational and irrational feelings.
  • The evolutionary advantages of falling in love.
  • How to use neuroscience to get over a breakup.


As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, suggested further readings to stimulate a deeper exploration of the topic, discussion boards to have your say and an end-of-course assessment set by Professor Brogaard.

About the Instructor

  • Berit Brogaard

    Berit Brogaard is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, where she runs the perception lab. Her specialities involve philosophy of mind, language and cognitive neuroscience, though she is perhaps best known for her work on synesthesia and savant syndrome. Her recent works include The Superhuman Mind, On Romantic Love and Transient Truths.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: Losing Control
    Are free will and love compatible? Brogaard considers the latest neuroscience and philosophy.
  • Part Two: Playing the Game
    Can we choose who we love and when? Brogaard tames the passions with her theory of romance.