MY LOVE AFFAIR with the BRAIN: The life and science of Dr. Marian Diamond

Best Science Documentary of the year – EMMY Award Nomination
Best Science Film of the year  – Kavli-AAAS Science Journalism Gold Award
Best Science Film(s) of the year List – SCIENCE Magazine, 2017
Best Educational Film – Pariscience Festival International du Film Scientifique
Best Documentary Awards – from 8 film festivals
Best 15 films of the year List – American Library Association Notable Films


Get the (free)  Study Guide for the film


My Love Affair with the Brain is an award-winning PBS documentary that brings the viewer right into the heart of science and into a deeper understanding of  your own brain.  Critically acclaimed, extensively tested for educational use from 5th grade thru Nobel Prize winners, this film is an intimate and inspirational portrait of one of the founders of modern neuroscience.

Meet Dr. Marian Diamond …

… and prepare to be smitten.   We learn of her groundbreaking scientific accomplishments, all the more remarkable because she began during an era when so few women entered science at all.  We also learn about the warm and thoroughly charming woman herself, who describes her 60+ year career researching the human brain as “pure joy.”

It is no exaggeration to say that Dr. Diamond changed science, and society at large in dramatic ways over the course of her career.  Even just watching the film has changed lives – students, teachers, children, parents, seniors, each in their own way.  It is the “Diamond Effect” – a master teacher leading viewers to a better understanding of their own brains, and a deeper engagement with learning and with life itself.

Stream on-line or buy the special edition DVD

Get the (free)  Study Guide for the film
Grades 5 to 12  (click to download, or click to view)
College to Nobel prize winner:  (click to download, or click to view)


  • One of the founders of modern neuroscience.
  • She published the first scientific analysis of the most famous brain ever, Albert Einstein.
  • Over 4.6 million views of her Anatomy Lecture series on YouTube, making her the 2nd most popular college professor in the world in 2010.
  • Enrichment, plasticity – capabilities of the brain we now take for granted – were the scientific battleground where Dr. Marian Diamond decisively challenged the old view and changed forever our paradigm for understanding the brain … and all our lives as well.  What she revealed about the brain allows us to get the most out of our brain, not just as children but for our entire lives.
  • Beloved professor and teacher, 60 year career teaching and inspiring an estimated 60,000 students


  • Eight Film Festival Awards for “Best Documentary” and “Best Film”
  • Made by six-time Emmy nominated Luna Productions
  • 57 minutes, close captioned
  • Screening Kit available soon, with discussion guides and resource links


  • Science  – Grades 5- 12
  • Anatomy, Biology, NeuroScience – Undergraduate to PhD
  • Brain Health and Senior Aging Health
  • Community – Brain General interest, Stroke recovery,
  • Parenting and Childhood education – building better brains
  • History of science, Intro to Scientific Method, Rise and Fall of Scientific paradigms
  • Women in STEM: Lectures, Organizational Meetings, Gender studies

Mayim Bialik, narrator, My Love Affair with the BrainNARRATED BY MAYIM BIALIK     

TV-star of BIG BANG THEORY (playing Amy Fowler) and BLOSSOM (playing Blossom), she not only plays a neuroscientist on TV, but is one in real life!  She received her PhD from UCLA and even studied with Dr. Diamond’s husband, Dr. Arne Scheibel.

  • “Brilliant, buoyant, enlightening and beautiful film.”  —JOYCE CAROL OATES, Author
  • “A must see for every student, teacher, parent, community member, and higher education teacher prep program!”  —PEGGY BROOKING, President and CEO National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • “Marian Diamond has made major contributions to Neural Science that have stood the test of time.…. Bravo!”  —ERIC R. KANDEL,  Nobel Prize Winner
  • “If her name isn’t yet as familiar as that of Marie Curie, it will be.”  —Audience Favorite Award Commendation, Mill Valley Film Festival


SCIENCE:   Anatomy, Biology, Neuroscience, Physiology, Scientific Methods, History of Science, Women in STEM.

EDUCATION:     Teacher training and professional development, Childhood and Early childhood development, Education, On-line Education.

HEALTH:    Gerontology, Psychiatry, Stroke Recovery, Occupational Therapy, Brain Health (all ages)

MORE:     Womens Studies/Gender Studies, Community Screenings, Science Museums, Life Coaching, Girl Scouts, YMCAs

To purchase DVDs of this program, click here.



  • “Remarkable … entertaining.”     SF Examiner
  • “A joy filled film”     San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Delightful …”  Mercury News
  • “Utterly fascinating.  Diamond is a rock star.”    Vancouver’s  Georgia Straight
  • “Delightful.”          Winston-Salem Journal
  • “One of the tweedy celebrities of cyberspace”     New York Times
  • “If you haven’t seen it, move heaven and earth to find it. It’s not just that she was a great scientist, but that her passion to know more about the human brain became a key to a life exceptionally well lived.”   David Wiegand, Film Reviewer


TESTIMONIES by Subject Area:


  • “Reveals the soul of science through the remarkable life of Marian Diamond.”          R. Doug Fields, Neuroscientist, Author
  • “Part biography, part scientific adventure story, and part inspirational tale about one of the founders of modern neuroscience… It is no exaggeration to say that her research changed not only science, but the world. ”           SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Magazine 
  • “A feel good firsthand account of the neuroscience icon’s life and work”     SCIENCE Magazine


  • “… a thrilling and inspiring film about one of the great teachers and pioneers of neuroscience”     Charles G. Gross, Professor Emeritus, Princeton
  • “This film, like Marian Diamond herself, is an inspiration.”   Bob Jacobs,  Professor of Neuroscience, Colorado College


  • “A powerful tool to encourage scientific literacy and spreading this role model for women and girls in STEM.”
    AAAS MemberCentral (American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general interest science organization)
  • “One of the most inspiring stories in modern neuroscience – such a good message of a women in a man’s field plowing her own way. I would love for all kids to watch it … so inspiring, so moving, and what a fabulous way to tell it!! ”
    Daniela Kaufer, Associate Professor, Dept of Integrative Biology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, UC Berkeley
  • Not only an important history of Marian Diamond’s ground-breaking work during a time when very few women could be found in the upper echelons of science, but it also is a reminder of how one person can have a profound effect on enhancing knowledge and the quality of life across the globe. Her life serves as an inspiration to millions and likely will continue to do so for years to come.”
    Alison L. McKenzie, Crean College of Health and Behavioral Science, Chapman University


  • This is a must-see film for every Anatomist and every budding anatomist!   Dr. Marian Diamond is an enduring role model for scientists and educators. Watch her as she boldly questions scientific dogma, unequivocally trusts her data, and proffers explanations that generate previously undiscovered connections. As an impassioned educator, Dr. Diamond makes the team’s discoveries understandable, accessible, exciting and impactful for both the lay public and Nobel laureates.  Watch this inspirational film! Share it with your students! This engaging and important film provides the best arguments ever for basic science, team science and scientific integrity, and illustrates the impact of passionately communicating your science and supporting scientific discovery for the good of humanity.”               Dr Kimberly Topp, American Association of Anatomy President 2015-2017


  • “…the film succeeds marvelously … As gerontologists, we owe a debt of gratitude to Marian Diamond …”  THE GERONTOLOGIST, peer reviewed journal of The Gerontological Society of America.
  • Should be required viewing for all students and professionals in gerontology, geriatrics, and adult development and aging.   It offers an intimate introduction to Dr. Marian Diamond, one of the most important contributors to our understanding of the growth potential of the aging brain. …Today’s “New Gerontology” paradigm descends directly from Dr. Diamond’s scientific and instructional efforts to nullify false stereotypes of aging.   The video also displays her long and continuing career as a mentor and inspirational model for new generations of gerontologists. The film has high relevance for students of science in general, especially those interested in scientific revolutions.”     Rick J Scheidt, College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University


  • “Not only a wonderful film about an amazing scientist but also about an extraordinary teacher.  Linda Jensen,     Teacher Education, Dept of Applied Linguistics, UCLA.
  • “Listen to the show to be inspired by Dr. Diamond’s work and learn how you might use her story in your science classroom and participate in this public engagement in science.”    National Science Teachers Association,  podcast  on “Lab Out Loud” 


  • “Any library would be well served to have this in their collection.”  Susan Koskinen, Head, Life & Health Sciences Library, U.C. Berkeley
  • Recommended.”   Video Librarian
  • Nominee, 15 Notable films of the year List, American Library Association



  • “Screened at our assisted living facility, had the best attendance we have ever had for a screening.  We will be sure to show it again.”  Connie YuenActivities Director, Saint Paul’s Towers, Senior Living facility
  • Her pioneering work continues to drive new discoveries in healthcare and education. The entire field of Neural Rehabilitation owes her a debt of gratitude for providing early evidence that with the right type of stimulation, we can indeed change the brain.  As a result, we have completely changed how we treat individuals with stroke and other neurological problems.” Alison L. McKenzieCrean College of Health and Behavioral Science, Chapman University



  • “A must see movie for anyone with a curiosity about the brain and the history of brain science. It follows the world famous Dr. Marian Diamond as she discovers that we can change and grow our brain circuits at any age.”
    Louann Brizendine, MD, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco



    • Marian Diamond is to the brain like Julia Childs is to French cooking.  Celebrated, beloved, one of the most popular teachers in the world brings you her passion about the brain.  The film is a personal story about the thrill of discovery and drive of curiosity.” —Marilyn Bancel, Exploratorium Science Museum, Director of Development, (retired)


  • “The singular event that has had a profound influence on my teaching Child and Adolescent Psychology on the college level over the past 15 years has been the incredible documentary on Dr. Marian Diamond entitled, “My Love Affair With the Brain.”   I was astounded when I saw the wonderful work of Dr. Diamond, and her masterful work with the human brain. I purchased the DVD to show it to my classes.  My students were in tears when the film ended, and remarked that they had learned more from the film than they could have imagined. One student told me that she will remember the film for her whole life – more than any material in every text she had studied over the years.  Your film is a triumph in both telling her story, and letting the world fall in love with that eclectic and incredibly brilliant woman.  Thank you so much for making this film, and for allowing us to peek inside the remarkable brain of Dr. Marian Diamond.”     Amelia Rose, PhD, SUNY New Paltz



STROKE RECOVERY  “A pleasure to see the movie and use it to spread the word about brain plasticity and what it means for recovery.  This is a powerful tool and a wonderful opportunity for us to use it.”  STROKE RECOVERY ASSOCIATION, Tim Readman, Executive Director, Stroke Recovery, March of Dimes, Canad

GIRL SCOUTS  – “The girls loved the film.  Now we are organizing a “Dr. Diamond-Role Models in Science” Merit Badge.  I wish every troop could see the film”  Girl Scout Troop 2041 leader, La Cañada Service Unit, Jennifer Hall Lee.

YMCA  – “All three of the Brain Clubs I’ve shown the documentary to have loved it.   If there is any question about how to continue spreading the good word of brain health, this is it.”  YMCA BRAIN CLUB Instructor, Dr. Stephen Cain, DC

PRISONERS – “I am a public defender and my client in for life is allowed two DVDs per year.  This year he has requested “My Love Affair with the Brain” as one of them.  I am sure this will be wonderful for him in so many ways.”  Lawyer, name withheld by request, State of Virginia

MORE – No zombie ever loved brains as much as this eloquent, stylish researcher-lady.”  Facebook on line comment


Her 4 yr old Brain looking at another Brain

My Love Affair with the Brain: Dr Marian Diamond

The brain is a three pound mass you can hold in your hand that

can conceive of a universe a hundred billion light-years across.”          Marian Diamond


Producer/Directors Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg have spent the last three decades making documentaries that have been nominated for 6 Emmy Awards, won 2 Emmys, and short-listed for Academy Awards. They have made 8 primetime Network documentary specials and over 200 shorts for the web.  Their documentaries have been broadcast on ABC, PBS, FOX, WB and around the world.

Spending 5 years with Dr. Diamond was one of the high points of our lives, beginning as a professional collaboration on this film but blossoming into a profoundly meaningful friendship for which we will be forever grateful.


The filmmakers have spoken at dozens of conferences, events, and film festivals around of the world.

Their presentation weaves together thought-provoking ideas about the brain, aging and personal reflections on making My Love Affair with the Brain, including:

  • Why they made the film
  • How it changed their perspective on the brain
  • How everyone can benefit from a positive attitude about the brain and aging
  • The lessons of Dr Diamond – both brain and quality of life, culled from her lifetime of “the greatest commitment yields the greatest rewards” and other words of wisdom.

Email us to learn more about inviting the filmmakers to speak at your next event.

More links:


The Other Brain by R. Douglas Fields – an account of the glial cell revolution, and begins with a scene of Dr. Diamond receiving Einstein’s brain tissue of doing her study of it.  Fascinating altogether.

Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Wendy Suzuki – see what Wendy has learned since she studied with Dr. Diamond.  “Suzuki helps us unlock the keys to neuroplastricity that can change our brains, bodies, and ultimately, our lives.

Books by Marian Diamond:

  • The Human Brain Coloring Book
  • Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence
  • Enriching Heredity: The Impact of the Environment on the Anatomy of the Brain

 funded in part by the Berkeley Film Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation
BFF logo 300 dpiSan Francisco foundatoin Logo_webr_RGB-300x300

8 Responses to “MY LOVE AFFAIR with the BRAIN: The life and science of Dr. Marian Diamond”

Library z-lib