Can love change your mind?

Still working on waking up, so I share another article of interest again today. This deals with meditation and brain neuroplasticity, compassion and love and Tibetan monks as I’ve featured some before. Enjoy.

Can love change your mind? New project explores neuroscience of ‘positive qualities’


What is happening in the minds of people who have developed a greater capacity for forgiveness and compassion? Can a quality like love — whether it’s shown toward a family member or a friend — be neurologically measured in the brain?

A new research project at UW–Madison offers the opportunity to apply hard science to these seemingly ethereal questions. UW–Madison psychology professor Richard Davidson, director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, has received a $2.5 million grant from the Michigan-based Fetzer Institute to create a new research initiative on the neuroscience of compassion, love and forgiveness, investigating how these virtues manifest themselves in the human mind and whether we have the ability to nurture and expand them through practice.

For the rest of the article click here.

12 thoughts on “Can love change your mind?

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  1. Loved this article….very hopeful…and whenever they build this center for a healthy mind…I wanna go visit! I love to hear about things like this happening. And it’s so promising that they got a huge monetary grant to research something like this, rather than a for-profit pharmaceutical type sponsor…”Yes, we’ll give you lots of $$$ to study this, because then we’ll sell lots of drugs and make lots of $$$!”.

  2. susan wrote:
    “…So you are right, love is never missing in someone’s life…”

    And there you have it – by dint of a small interaction with Stephany, susan chose to adjust her own thinking – her own world view. Or else she chose to remember something that she’d “forgotten,” but was of value to her.

    Ergo, love can change one’s mind!


  3. Stephany, thank you for reminding me there are all different types of love. So you are right, love is never missing in someone’s life.

    I should have clarified it as “Romantic Love/a relationship”.

  4. “Can love change your mind?” LOL – this is just the sort of abstract philosophical (and now scientific), question that appeals to me!

    As is my wont, I would be inclined to demand that the asker of such a question defines his/her terms! What is “love,” within the paramaters of the questioner’s reality, when (s)he asks this question – what kind of things are happening, when the questioner experiences his/her understanding of love? Similarly “change,” (from what, and to what?), and “mind”? These are all highly fluid concepts, open to interpretation (and misinterpretation, if questioner and questionee have different understandings of what they mean).

    Human interaction can certainly lead to people’s understanding of the world to be changed. Simply accepting the plausibility of another person’s interpretation of the world must lead to change, on some level. How profound that change might be is probably dependent upon a range of factors that are too diverse to discuss, in abstract, I should think.


  5. This is great stuff, Gianna. I truly believe it works.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Heart Math. It’s a technique that teaches that our thoughts and even subtle emotions influence the activity and balance of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS interacts with our digestive, cardiovascular, immune and hormonal systems. Negative reactions create disorder and imbalance in the ANS…as we have painfully learned. Positive feelings such as love, gratefulness, hope, faith, appreciation, etc. create increased order and balance in the ANS, resulting in increased hormonal and immune system balance and more efficient brain function. There are thousands more nerves that run from the heart to the brain, than run from the brain to the heart. We are wonderfully created!

    I’ve been practicing this technique ( they call it heart rate variability )with a device called an Emwave. You don’t need one, but I use it for motivation and to keep me focused because my mind wanders too much. I also, as a Christian, used this while reading scripture, but it’s for anyone. I learned about this from a psychologist when he recommended a book called “Transforming Anxiety”.

    I’ve been doing this for a few months now, and haven’t noticed much until I found myself in a recent, let’s say huge, disagreement with someone I truly cared about. In the past I would have just gone ballistic and gotten angry and held onto this until the end of time. But this time was different. When I found myself getting wigged out with hurt because I was having my character unfairly trashed, I instead let “love change my mind” 🙂 I immediately let it go and have not held any bad feelings for a change. It was a complete 180 of how I would have reacted in the past, and I can feel the results in my body.

    Thanks for sharing the article.

  6. This is really interesting research. Even though it seems like a no-brainer (and no pun intended) that yes, it can be measured and, yes, the ability can be nutured. To actually gather empirical evidence on such an etheral part of human nature is fascinating and I look forward to the unexpected results that Davidson discovers. Such an intrinsic part of the human psyche and the fundamental reason why we keep on keeping on, I believe. Thanks for the heads up on that.

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