For the Classroom

The Heart vs. the Brain: A PowerPoint Presentation and Activity

  • Published26 Jul 2017
  • Reviewed26 Jul 2017
  • Author Emma Lindberg
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

Where do love ballads and beautiful poetry come from? What about the fear of heights and spiders? It’s all in the brain! In this lesson, explore the wonders of emotions and the brain with your students.


Researchers are still trying to understand the biology of emotions like anger, happiness, and love. But many studies have shed light on the parts of the brain responsible for our emotions.

This presentation and activity will help you teach your students where in the brain fear, love, and aggression are regulated. Students will also learn how different chemicals and hormones in the brain affect emotions.


At the end of this activity students will:

  • Be able to identify the amygdala, the ventral tegmental area, and the prefrontal cortex
  • Understand some of the effects serotonin and oxytocin have on the brain
  • Understand the role the brain plays in regulating emotions

Teacher Background

Download and review The Heart vs. the Brain PowerPoint Presentation. Ask your students to follow along and take notes while you read from the slides. At the end of the lesson, lead your students in the provided hands-on activity that tests their knowledge of the material.

For more information on emotions and the brain, watch the 2011 Brain Awareness Video Contest submission Love in the Brain.

Integration Into the Curriculum

  • Health
  • Biology, AP Biology
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Materials Needed for Hands-On Activity

  • The Heart vs. the Brain PowerPoint Presentation
    Download (PowerPoint Document, 695 KB) 
  • 1 printed copy of the blank brain worksheet for each student
    Download (Word Document, 340 KB)