Mind uploading: Can we become immortal?
Is the quest to upload human consciousness and ditch our meat puppets the future—or is it fool's gold?
JASON SILVA: Transhumanism is essentially the philosophical school of thought that says that human beings should use technology to transcend their limitations. That it's perfectly natural for us to use our tools to overcome our boundaries, to extend our minds, to extend our mindware using these technological scaffoldings. The craziness here is that we're finding more and more that our technological systems are mirroring some of the most advanced natural systems in nature. You know, the internet is wired like the neurons in our brain, which is wired like computer models of dark matter in the universe. They all share the same intertwingled filamental structure. What does this tell us? That there is no distinction between the born and the made. All of it is nature, all of it is us. So to be human is to be transhuman.
But the reason we're at a pivotal point in history is because now we've decommissioned natural selection. You know, this notion that we are now the chief agents of evolution, right? We now get to decide who we become. We're talking about software that writes its own hardware, life itself, the new canvas for the artist. Nanotechnology patterning matter, programmable matter. The whole world becomes computable, life itself, programmable, upgradable. What does this say about what it means to be human? It means that what it is to be human is to transform and transcend; we've always done it. We're not the same species we were 100,000 years ago. We're not going to be the same species tomorrow. Craig Venter recently said we've got to understand that we are a software-driven species. Change the software, changed the species. And why shouldn't we?
DAVID EAGLEMAN: All the pieces and parts of your brain, this vastly complicated network of neurons—almost 100 billion neurons, each of which has 10,000 connections to its neighbors. So we're talking a thousand trillion neurons. It's a system of such complexity that it bankrupts our language but, fundamentally, it's only three pounds and we've got it cornered and it's right there and it's a physical system. The computational hypothesis of brain function suggests that the physical wetware isn't the stuff that matters. It's what are the algorithms that are running on top of the wetware? In other words, what is the brain actually doing? What's it implementing, software-wise? Hypothetically, we should be able to take the physical stuff of the brain and reproduce what it's doing. In other words, reproduce its software on other substrates. So we could take your brain and reproduce it out of beer cans and tennis balls and it would still run just fine. And if we said, "Hey, how are you feeling in there?" This beer-can-tennis-ball machine would say, "Oh, I'm feeling fine, it's a little cold," or whatever.
It's also hypothetically a possibility that we could copy your brain and reproduce it in silica, which means on a computer, in zeros and ones, actually run the simulation of your brain.
MICHIO KAKU: The initial steps are once again being made. At Caltech, for example, they've been able to take a mouse brain and look at a certain part of the brain where memories are processed. Memories are processed at the very center of our brain and they've been able to duplicate the functions of that with a chip. So, again, this does not mean that we can encode memories with a chip, but it does mean that we've been able to take the information storage of a mouse brain and have a silicon chip duplicate those functions. And so was mouse consciousness created in the process? I don't know. I don't know whether a mouse is conscious or not, but it does mean that, at least in principle, maybe it's possible to transfer our consciousness and at some point, maybe even become immortal.
DAVID EAGLEMAN: The challenges of reproducing a brain can't be underestimated. It would take something like a zettabyte of computational capacity to run a simulation of a human brain. And that is the entire computational capacity of our planet right now. There's a lot of debate about whether we'll get to a simulation of a human brain in 50 years or 500 years, but those are probably the bounds. It's going to happen somewhere in there. It opens up the whole universe for us because these meat puppets that we come to the table with aren't any good for interstellar travel. But if we could put you on a flash drive or whatever the equivalent of that is a century from now and launch you into outer space and your consciousness could be there, that could get us to other solar systems and other galaxies. We will really be entering an era of posthumanism or transhumanism at that point.
MICHIO KAKU: I personally believe that one day we will digitize the entire human brain. And what are we going to do with it? I think we're going to shoot it into outer space. We're going to put our connectome on a laser beam and shoot it to the Moon. We will be on the Moon, our consciousness will be on the Moon in one second. One second, with our booster rockets, without all the dangers of radiation or weightlessness, we'll be on the Moon in one second. We'll shoot it to Mars. We'll be on Mars in 20 minutes, we'll be on Mars. We'll shoot it to Alpha Centauri. We'll be on the nearby stars in four years. And what is on the Moon? On the Moon is a computer that downloads this laser beam with your consciousness on it—downloads it and puts it into an avatar, an avatar that looks just like you: handsome strong, beautiful, whatever, and immortal. And you can walk on the Moon. You can then go and explore Mars.
In fact, I think that once we have laser porting perfected, you'll have breakfast in New York and then you'll go to the Moon for brunch on the Moon. You go to Mars for lunch and then you go to the asteroid belt in the afternoon for tea, and then you come back to Earth that evening. This is all within the laws of physics and I'll stick my neck out. I think this actually exists already. I think outside the planet Earth, there could be a highway, a laser highway of laser beams shooting the consciousness of aliens at the speed of light, laser porting across the galaxy, and we humans are too stupid to know it. How would we even know that this laser superhighway exists? How would we even detect it with our technology? Our technology today is so primitive that we wouldn't even be able to know that this already exists.
So in other words, I think laser porting is the way that we will ultimately explore the universe. We'll explore the universe as pure consciousness traveling at the speed of light looking at asteroids, comets, meteors, and eventually the stars at the speed of light, all of this within the laws of physics
STEVEN KOTLER: Mind uploading, storing cells on silicon, even teetering on the edge of so-called immortality changes everything about what it means to be human at a really fundamental, deep level. And when I say fundamental, deep level, I mean we're starting to muck around and mess around with evolutionary processes, processes we have no idea what happens if you interrupt them because we've never done it before.
DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: The confidence with which we think we can upload ourselves to silicon or re-create ourselves with algorithms is shocking to me. The only ones out there who think they know what human consciousness is are computer engineers. If you talk to actual brain researchers and neuroscientists, they say, "We're nowhere close." We don't even know for sure what goes on in a single square centimeter of soil. We're still trying to teach agriculture companies that the soil is alive, that it's not just dirt that you can put chemicals on. It's a living matrix. If we don't even know what a single centimeter of soil is, how do we know what the human brain is? We don't, we don't know what the source of consciousness is. We don't know where we come from. We don't even know if there's meaning to this universe or not, yet we think that we can make a simulation that's as valid as this? Every simulation we make misses something. Think about the difference between being in a jazz club and listening to a great CD. There's a difference and some of those differences we understand and some of them we don't.
So when I see people rushing off to upload consciousness to a chip, it feels more like escape from humanity than it is a journey forward. And I get it: life is scary. I mean, there's women—real-life women are scary. You know, the people are scary. The moisture is scary. Death is scary. Babies are scary. Other people who don't speak the same language or have the same customs, they're scary. All sorts of stuff is scary. And I understand the idea of this kind of having a simcity, perfected simulation that I can go into and not have to worry about all that stuff I don't know, where everything is discreet, everything is a yes, no, this, that, all the choices have been made. There's a certain attractiveness to that, but that's dead, it's not alive. There's no wonder, there's no awe. There's nothing strange and liminal and ambiguous about it.
STEVEN KOTLER: The idea in mind uploading is that we can store ourselves on silicon. We can upload our personalities, our brains, some part of our consciousness onto computers and they can stay around forever. It is a far out there technology, for sure. Even though British Telecom was working on it, even though people are working on it, it's very early days. Ray Kurzweil has famously kind of pegged the date when we're going to have to deal with this problem as 2045. That may be really, really enthusiastic. I think it's a conservative prediction.
MICHAEL SHERMER: Why sell it like it's got to happen in my lifetime? Because that always, to me, seems like you're just tickling that part of the brain that religions like to tap in, that that sort of egocentric, "It's all about me and I want to continue on in the future." I get that, of course, I do too. But what if it's 2140? I know, you're you're doing all the blood cleansing, but you're not gonna make it like another century now. But even so, what if it's 3150, in 3140, 1,000 years from now, I mean? That's possible, but you and I aren't going to be here to enjoy it. All the more reason we should be skeptical when the idea on the table being offered to us feels too good to be true. It almost always is, not always, but usually.
DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF: I was on a panel with a famous transhumanist and he was arguing that it's time that human beings come to accept that we will have to pass the torch of evolution to our digital successors. And that once computers have the singularity and they're really thinking and better than us, then we should really only stick around as long as the computers need us, you know, to keep the lights on and oil their little circuits or whatever we have to do, and then after that, fade into oblivion. And I said, "Hey, no wait a minute, human beings are still special. We're weird, we're quirky. We've got David Lynch movies and weird yoga positions and stuff we don't understand and we're ambiguous and weird and quirky. We deserve a place in the digital future." And he said, "Oh, Rushkoff, you're just saying that because you're human." As if it's hubris, right? "Oh, I'm just defending my little team." And that's where I got the idea, "All right, fine, I'm a human, I'm on team human." And it's not team human against the algorithms or against anything other than those who want to get rid of the humans. I think humans deserve a place. Certainly until we understand what it is we are, we shouldn't get rid of us. And as far as I'm concerned, we're cool. We're still weird and funny and wonderful and yeah, we destroyed the environment, we did really nasty things, but I would argue we do those things when we're less than human. We do those things when we can dehumanize others. And this desire to transcend the human, I feel like it's excusing a whole lot of behaviors. It's excusing a whole lot of dehumanization. It makes it easier to send kids into caves to get rare-earth metals for your phone. It makes it easier to create toxic waste everywhere. It makes it easier for you to think of the human timeline as having a beginning, middle, and an end because we're going to transcend it. And that's a sick myth that could very well end our species but, really, I would say to the detriment of our little universe.
- Technology has evolved to a point where humans have overridden natural selection. So what will our species become? Immortal interstellar travelers, perhaps.
- Scientists are currently mapping the human brain in an effort to understand the connections that produce consciousness. If we can re-create consciousness, your mind can live on forever. You could even laser-port your consciousness to different planets at the speed of light, download your mind into a local avatar and explore those worlds.
- But is this transhumanist vision of the future real or is it a pipedream? And if it is real, is it wise? Join theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, neuroscientist David Eagleman, human performance researcher Steven Kotler, skeptic Michael Shermer, cultural theorist Douglas Rushkoff and futurist Jason Silva.
- Will Life Extension Mean the End of Religion? - Big Think ›
- Androids that offer "digital immortality" begin mass production in ... ›
- Is resurrection possible? Here are the ways science may achieve it ... ›
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As the American population grows, fewer people will die of cancer.
- A new study projects that cancer deaths will decrease in relative and absolute terms by 2040.
- The biggest decrease will be among lung cancer deaths, which are predicted to fall by 50 percent.
- Cancer is like terrorism: we cannot eliminate it entirely, but we can minimize its influence.
As the #2 leading cause of death, cancer takes the lives of about 600,000 Americans each year. In comparison, heart disease (#1) claims more than 650,000 lives, while accidents (#3) take about 175,000 lives. (In 2020 and likely 2021, COVID will claim the #3 spot.)
Headlines are usually full of terrible news about cancer. Seemingly, you can't get away from anything that causes it. RealClearScience made a list of all the things blamed for cancer — antiperspirants, salty soup, eggs, corn, Pringles, bras, burnt toast, and even Facebook made the list.
The reality, however, is much more optimistic. We're slowly but surely winning the war on cancer.
Winning the war on cancer
How can we make such a brazen statement? A new paper published in the journal JAMA Network Open tracks trends in cancer incidence and deaths and makes projections to the year 2040. The authors predict that around 568,000 Americans will have died of cancer in 2020, but they project that number to fall to 410,000 by 2040. That's a drop of nearly 28 percent, despite the U.S. population being projected to grow from roughly 333 million today to 374 million in 2040, an increase of 12 percent. That means cancer deaths will decrease in both relative and absolute terms.
What accounts for this unexpected good news? The lion's share is the number of deaths attributable to lung cancer, which is projected to decrease by more than 50 percent, from 130,000 to 63,000. This drop is largely due to the decreasing use of tobacco products. Other deaths predicted to decline include those from colorectal, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers, among others, such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
The authors credit screening and biomedical advances for saving many of these lives. For instance, lead author Dr. Lola Rahib wrote in an email to Big Think that "colonoscopies remove precancerous polyps." She also noted that targeted therapies and immunotherapies have helped reduce the number of deaths from leukemia and NHL.
We'll never cure cancer
Now the bad news: We'll never cure cancer. There are at least three reasons for this. The first is obvious: We all die. The lifetime prevalence of death is 100 percent. The truth is that we are running out of things to die from. After a long enough period of time, something gives out — often your cardiovascular system or nervous system. Or you develop you cancer.
The second reason is that we are multicellular organisms and, hence, we are susceptible to cancer. (Contrary to popular myth, sharks get cancer, too.) The cells of multicellular organisms face an existential dilemma: they can either get old and stop dividing (a process called senescence) or become immortal but cancerous. For this reason, the problem of cancer may not have a solution.
Finally, there isn't really such a thing as a disease called "cancer." What we call cancer is actually a collection of several different diseases, some of which are preventable (like cervical cancer with the HPV vaccine) or curable (like prostate cancer). Unfortunately, some cancers probably never will be curable, not least because cancers can mutate and develop resistance to the drugs we use to treat them.
But the overall optimism still stands: We are slowly and incrementally winning the war on cancer. Like terrorism, it's not a foe that we can completely vanquish, but it is one whose influence we can minimize in our lives.
China has reached a new record for nuclear fusion at 120 million degrees Celsius.
This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.
China wants to build a mini-star on Earth and house it in a reactor. Many teams across the globe have this same bold goal --- which would create unlimited clean energy via nuclear fusion.
But according to Chinese state media, New Atlas reports, the team at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has set a new world record: temperatures of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds.
Yeah, that's hot. So what? Nuclear fusion reactions require an insane amount of heat and pressure --- a temperature environment similar to the sun, which is approximately 150 million degrees C.
If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it.
If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it. In nuclear fusion, the extreme heat and pressure create a plasma. Then, within that plasma, two or more hydrogen nuclei crash together, merge into a heavier atom, and release a ton of energy in the process.
Nuclear fusion milestones: The team at EAST built a giant metal torus (similar in shape to a giant donut) with a series of magnetic coils. The coils hold hot plasma where the reactions occur. They've reached many milestones along the way.
According to New Atlas, in 2016, the scientists at EAST could heat hydrogen plasma to roughly 50 million degrees C for 102 seconds. Two years later, they reached 100 million degrees for 10 seconds.
The temperatures are impressive, but the short reaction times, and lack of pressure are another obstacle. Fusion is simple for the sun, because stars are massive and gravity provides even pressure all over the surface. The pressure squeezes hydrogen gas in the sun's core so immensely that several nuclei combine to form one atom, releasing energy.
But on Earth, we have to supply all of the pressure to keep the reaction going, and it has to be perfectly even. It's hard to do this for any length of time, and it uses a ton of energy. So the reactions usually fizzle out in minutes or seconds.
Still, the latest record of 120 million degrees and 101 seconds is one more step toward sustaining longer and hotter reactions.
Why does this matter? No one denies that humankind needs a clean, unlimited source of energy.
We all recognize that oil and gas are limited resources. But even wind and solar power --- renewable energies --- are fundamentally limited. They are dependent upon a breezy day or a cloudless sky, which we can't always count on.
Nuclear fusion is clean, safe, and environmentally sustainable --- its fuel is a nearly limitless resource since it is simply hydrogen (which can be easily made from water).
With each new milestone, we are creeping closer and closer to a breakthrough for unlimited, clean energy.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Golden blood sounds like the latest in medical quackery. As in, get a golden blood transfusion to balance your tantric midichlorians and receive a free charcoal ice cream cleanse. Don't let the New-Agey moniker throw you. Golden blood is actually the nickname for Rh-null, the world's rarest blood type.
As Mosaic reports, the type is so rare that only about 43 people have been reported to have it worldwide, and until 1961, when it was first identified in an Aboriginal Australian woman, doctors assumed embryos with Rh-null blood would simply die in utero.
But what makes Rh-null so rare, and why is it so dangerous to live with? To answer that, we'll first have to explore why hematologists classify blood types the way they do.
A (brief) bloody history
Our ancestors understood little about blood. Even the most basic of blood knowledge — blood inside the body is good, blood outside is not ideal, too much blood outside is cause for concern — escaped humanity's grasp for an embarrassing number of centuries.
Absence this knowledge, our ancestors devised less-than-scientific theories as to what blood was, theories that varied wildly across time and culture. To pick just one, the physicians of Shakespeare's day believed blood to be one of four bodily fluids or "humors" (the others being black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm).
Handed down from ancient Greek physicians, humorism stated that these bodily fluids determined someone's personality. Blood was considered hot and moist, resulting in a sanguine temperament. The more blood people had in their systems, the more passionate, charismatic, and impulsive they would be. Teenagers were considered to have a natural abundance of blood, and men had more than women.
Humorism lead to all sorts of poor medical advice. Most famously, Galen of Pergamum used it as the basis for his prescription of bloodletting. Sporting a "when in doubt, let it out" mentality, Galen declared blood the dominant humor, and bloodletting an excellent way to balance the body. Blood's relation to heat also made it a go-to for fever reduction.
While bloodletting remained common until well into the 19th century, William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of blood in 1628 would put medicine on its path to modern hematology.
Soon after Harvey's discovery, the earliest blood transfusions were attempted, but it wasn't until 1665 that first successful transfusion was performed by British physician Richard Lower. Lower's operation was between dogs, and his success prompted physicians like Jean-Baptiste Denis to try to transfuse blood from animals to humans, a process called xenotransfusion. The death of human patients ultimately led to the practice being outlawed.4
The first successful human-to-human transfusion wouldn't be performed until 1818, when British obstetrician James Blundell managed it to treat postpartum hemorrhage. But even with a proven technique in place, in the following decades many blood-transfusion patients continued to die mysteriously.
Enter Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner. In 1901 he began his work to classify blood groups. Exploring the work of Leonard Landois — the physiologist who showed that when the red blood cells of one animal are introduced to a different animal's, they clump together — Landsteiner thought a similar reaction may occur in intra-human transfusions, which would explain why transfusion success was so spotty. In 1909, he classified the A, B, AB, and O blood groups, and for his work he received the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.
What causes blood types?
It took us a while to grasp the intricacies of blood, but today, we know that this life-sustaining substance consists of:
- Red blood cells — cells that carry oxygen and remove carbon dioxide throughout the body;
- White blood cells — immune cells that protect the body against infection and foreign agents;
- Platelets — cells that help blood clot; and
- Plasma — a liquid that carries salts and enzymes.6,7
Each component has a part to play in blood's function, but the red blood cells are responsible for our differing blood types. These cells have proteins* covering their surface called antigens, and the presence or absence of particular antigens determines blood type — type A blood has only A antigens, type B only B, type AB both, and type O neither. Red blood cells sport another antigen called the RhD protein. When it is present, a blood type is said to be positive; when it is absent, it is said to be negative. The typical combinations of A, B, and RhD antigens give us the eight common blood types (A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+, and O-).
Blood antigen proteins play a variety of cellular roles, but recognizing foreign cells in the blood is the most important for this discussion.
Think of antigens as backstage passes to the bloodstream, while our immune system is the doorman. If the immune system recognizes an antigen, it lets the cell pass. If it does not recognize an antigen, it initiates the body's defense systems and destroys the invader. So, a very aggressive doorman.
While our immune systems are thorough, they are not too bright. If a person with type A blood receives a transfusion of type B blood, the immune system won't recognize the new substance as a life-saving necessity. Instead, it will consider the red blood cells invaders and attack. This is why so many people either grew ill or died during transfusions before Landsteiner's brilliant discovery.
This is also why people with O negative blood are considered "universal donors." Since their red blood cells lack A, B, and RhD antigens, immune systems don't have a way to recognize these cells as foreign and so leaves them well enough alone.
How is Rh-null the rarest blood type?
Let's return to golden blood. In truth, the eight common blood types are an oversimplification of how blood types actually work. As Smithsonian.com points out, "[e]ach of these eight types can be subdivided into many distinct varieties," resulting in millions of different blood types, each classified on a multitude of antigens combinations.
Here is where things get tricky. The RhD protein previously mentioned only refers to one of 61 potential proteins in the Rh system. Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system. This not only makes it rare, but this also means it can be accepted by anyone with a rare blood type within the Rh system.
This is why it is considered "golden blood." It is worth its weight in gold.
As Mosaic reports, golden blood is incredibly important to medicine, but also very dangerous to live with. If a Rh-null carrier needs a blood transfusion, they can find it difficult to locate a donor, and blood is notoriously difficult to transport internationally. Rh-null carriers are encouraged to donate blood as insurance for themselves, but with so few donors spread out over the world and limits on how often they can donate, this can also put an altruistic burden on those select few who agree to donate for others.
Some bloody good questions about blood types
A nurse takes blood samples from a pregnant woman at the North Hospital (Hopital Nord) in Marseille, southern France.
Photo by BERTRAND LANGLOIS / AFP
There remain many mysteries regarding blood types. For example, we still don't know why humans evolved the A and B antigens. Some theories point to these antigens as a byproduct of the diseases various populations contacted throughout history. But we can't say for sure.
In this absence of knowledge, various myths and questions have grown around the concept of blood types in the popular consciousness. Here are some of the most common and their answers.
Do blood types affect personality?
Japan's blood type personality theory is a contemporary resurrection of humorism. The idea states that your blood type directly affects your personality, so type A blood carriers are kind and fastidious, while type B carriers are optimistic and do their own thing. However, a 2003 study sampling 180 men and 180 women found no relationship between blood type and personality.
The theory makes for a fun question on a Cosmopolitan quiz, but that's as accurate as it gets.
Should you alter your diet based on your blood type?
Remember Galen of Pergamon? In addition to bloodletting, he also prescribed his patients to eat certain foods depending on which humors needed to be balanced. Wine, for example, was considered a hot and dry drink, so it would be prescribed to treat a cold. In other words, belief that your diet should complement your blood type is yet another holdover of humorism theory.
Created by Peter J. D'Adamo, the Blood Type Diet argues that one's diet should match one's blood type. Type A carriers should eat a meat-free diet of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables; type B carriers should eat green vegetables, certain meats, and low-fat dairy; and so on.
However, a study from the University of Toronto analyzed the data from 1,455 participants and found no evidence to support the theory. While people can lose weight and become healthier on the diet, it probably has more to do with eating all those leafy greens than blood type.
Are there links between blood types and certain diseases?
There is evidence to suggest that different blood types may increase the risk of certain diseases. One analysis suggested that type O blood decreases the risk of having a stroke or heart attack, while AB blood appears to increase it. With that said, type O carriers have a greater chance of developing peptic ulcers and skin cancer.
None of this is to say that your blood type will foredoom your medical future. Many factors, such as diet and exercise, hold influence over your health and likely to a greater extent than blood type.
What is the most common blood type?
In the United States, the most common blood type is O+. Roughly one in three people sports this type of blood. Of the eight well-known blood types, the least common is AB-. Only one in 167 people in the U.S. have it.
Do animals have blood types?
They most certainly do, but they are not the same as ours. This difference is why those 17th-century patients who thought, "Animal blood, now that's the ticket!" ultimately had their tickets punched. In fact, blood types are distinct between species. Unhelpfully, scientists sometimes use the same nomenclature to describe these different types. Cats, for example, have A and B antigens, but these are not the same A and B antigens found in humans.
Interestingly, xenotransfusion is making a comeback. Scientists are working to genetically engineer the blood of pigs to potentially produce human compatible blood.
Scientists are also looking into creating synthetic blood. If they succeed, they may be able to ease the current blood shortage, while also devising a way to create blood for rare blood type carriers. While this may make golden blood less golden, it would certainly make it easier to live with.* While antigens are typically proteins, they can be other molecules as well, such as polysaccharides.
The symbol for love is the heart, but the brain may be more accurate.
- How love makes us feel can only be defined on an individual basis, but what it does to the body, specifically the brain, is now less abstract thanks to science.
- One of the problems with early-stage attraction, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher, is that it activates parts of the brain that are linked to drive, craving, obsession, and motivation, while other regions that deal with decision-making shut down.
- Dr. Fisher, professor Ted Fischer, and psychiatrist Gail Saltz explain the different types of love, explore the neuroscience of love and attraction, and share tips for sustaining relationships that are healthy and mutually beneficial.