How did we evolve the most loving brain on the planet?
Humans are the most sociable species on earth – for better and for worse.
On the one hand, we have the greatest capacities for empathy, communication, friendship, romance, complex social structures, and altruism. On the other, we have the greatest capacities for shaming, emotional cruelty, sadism, envy, jealousy, discrimination and other forms of dehumanization, and wholesale slaughter of our fellow humans.
In other words, to paraphrase a Native American teaching, a wolf of love and a wolf of hate live in the heart of every person.
Many factors shape each of these two wolves, including biological evolution, culture, economics, and personal history. Here, I’d like to comment on key elements of the neural substrate of bonding and love;