Have you wondered why you shut your eyes when kissing someone? It’s not because you don’t like the person you’re puckering up with. Obviously. So why do we close our eyes?
A new study may have the answer to this question as to why we kiss with our eyes closed. The study on vision and tactile sensory experience was conducted at Royal Holloway, University of London, and concluded that the brain finds it difficult to focus on two things at the same time. That is, it finds it difficult to process another sense when focusing on visual stimuli.
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The study was led by cognitive psychologists Polly Dalton and Sandra Murphy and was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
“Tactile awareness depends on the level of perceptual load in a concurrent visual task,” said Polly and Sandra.
However, the scientists didn’t study couples kissing to arrive at their conclusions. Instead, participants were asked to complete visual tasks while their tactile sense was measured.
While the visual sense was measured by having the participants complete letter-searching tasks of varying difficulty, the tactile sense was measured by responding to a small vibration applied to one of their hands at the same time. The scientists found that people were less responsive to their tactile sense when they were focused on visual tasks.
That’s why when people indulge in kissing and other pleasurable activities like sex and dancing, they want to focus on touch rather than other, potentially distracting, sensory experiences.
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“These results could explain why we close our eyes when we want to focus attention on another sense. Shutting out the visual input leaves more mental resources to focus on other aspects of our experience.”
Dr. Murphy said,
“It was already known that increasing the demands of a visual task could reduce noticing of visual and auditory stimuli. Our research extends this finding to the sense of touch. This is particularly important given the growing use of tactile information in warning systems.”
Further she said,
“It is important for designers to be aware of these effects, because auditory and tactile alerts are often used in situations of high visual demand, such as driving a car or flying an aircraft.”
Well, now we have the answer to the mystery of mysteries as to why we kiss with our eyes closed. So now you just have to pucker up and start kissing!
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