The phrase "brains on purpose" was included in a blog post this weekend published in the New York Times:
One can decide to be a more attentive and compassionate partner, mindful of the other’s motives, hurts and longings. Breaking old habits isn’t easy, since habits are deeply ingrained neural shortcuts, a way of slurring over details without having to dwell on them. Couples often choose to rewire their brains on purpose [emphasis added], sometimes with a therapist’s help, to ease conflicts and strengthen their at-one-ness.
Yes, we all can choose to rewire our brains on purpose. We've been saying that around here at this blog for a few years now. It was great fun to see the phrase in a national newspaper.
The New York Times post is a very short overview of some aspects of interpersonal neurobiology and neuroplasticity. Click here to read "The Brain on Love."
Note: (added March 27, 2012): Another article which picks up the phrase "brains on purpose": "How love goes to one’s head" (Mercator.net).
Note (added April 6, 2012): Although I don't often refer to a New Age guru, Deepak Chopra makes some good points in responding to the New York Times article and criticizing the materialist point of view: "Can Your Brain Fall in Love?" (San Francisco Chronicle). Excerpt:
Yet the basic premise of the article is problematic. She doesn't crudely claim that your brain is in love and therefore you are, too. (We suppose that's why the article is titled "The Brain on Love' rather than "The Brain in Love"). But at bottom it's still the standard materialist argument, bolstered by tons of data from neuroimaging, which fails to separate brain from mind. When a person experiences love, the brain registers and expresses that experience through electrical and chemical reactions, the way a radio playing music registers and plays every note that Mozart wrote. But the brain isn't in love any more than the radio is enjoying music.