Helen Fisher

Helen E.  Fisher is a Senior Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, and Member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University.  From 1984 to 1994 she was Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at The American Museum of Natural History.  She received her PhD in Physical Anthropology at the University of Colorado with a dissertation on the evolution of human female sexuality and the origin of the nuclear family.

She is currently studying the biological basis of personality and is a pioneer in examining the neurochemistry of leadership and innovation.  Using data collected from her questionnaire, the Fisher Temperament Inventory Test, taking by 14 million people in 40 countries, as well as her knowledge of genetics, brain architecture (using fMRI) and neurochemistry, Helen discusses four broad styles of thinking and behaving associated with four specific brain systems.   She gives detailed data on how to recognize and influence each temperament style and how individuals of each temperament dimension are predisposed to think, work, buy, innovate, follow and lead.

She is also widely known for her brain scanning studies of romantic love and attachment and for her cross cultural examination of human patterns of monogamy, adultery and divorce.  She currently talks regularly on how the Internet is changing (and not changing) human patterns courtship, romance and pair-bonding.

TED Talks

On two occasions Helen Fisher was invited to speak at TED events. Her first talk was called Why we love, why we cheat and explains its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its social importance.


Her second TED talk was about The brain in love. To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped.