1) Hotness is a drug we can’t seem to kick.
Love is often described as intoxicating for a reason. Researchers from the University of Oslo say that attractive faces trigger a response in our brains that is similar to doping up on morphine. We experience a sensation of reward when staring into those dreamy eyes much in the same way that dosing up on drugs can bring superficial feelings of satisfaction. The research team believes that the “beauty as a drug” phenomenon could have evolved as a way to find the fittest mate, since it’s believed that attractiveness developed to signal physical prowess in humans. [LiveScience]
2) Okay, so you’re not addicted to porn (thank God).
Psychologists and the media (Men’s Fitness included) are catching flak from Dr. David Ley, clinical psychologist, for blowing up what he says is a complete misconception of people’s relationship with porn. Habitually downloading steamy videos doesn’t mean you’re actually addicted. The science really just isn’t there, claims Dr. Ley, arguing that studies that did focus on the alleged porn addiction used shaky methods and were poorly executed to begin with. Calling it an “addiction” attaches a negative connotation to something we don’t yet fully understand. [Springer]
3) What do Beethoven’s 9th and the quadratic equation have in common?
Beauty (well at least for people who appreciate such things). A new paper from the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience says that a certain region of the brain lights up when we experience sensory beauty— faces, paintings, music, etc.— however, most interestingly, the same region went bonkers when test subjects found themselves appreciating intellectual beauty as well (mathematicians enjoying brilliant mathematical equations in this case). The takeaway? The research team believes they may have found a “neurobiological basis” for beauty, and could point to a method for quantifying ascetics. [EurekAlert]