Sunday, January 9, 2011

Are tears a turnoff for guys?

A new research study published in Science shows that chemosignals present in tears can impact the emotions of others.

As usual, I've been absent since forever. Having a million things to work on and plan isn't how I envisioned my life when I was younger; I thought it would be more of me swimming in a pile of money while playing super Nintendo all day, but that doesn't seem realistic at this point.

But the science must go on...

A new study published by Noam Sobel and his research team from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel shows that female tears may contain a pheromone-like signal; One that can induce certain physiological responses in males.

The study exposed men to actual tears taken from female volunteers and compared any physiological effects against those brought on by basic saline solution.

Nothing was evident from the exposure at first glance, but physiological studies showed some profound effects. The chemical signal decreased male aggression, dropped testosterone levels, and decreased self-reported levels of arousal.

functional MRI scans of the male volunteers confirmed that specific areas of the brain linked to sexual arousal showed markedly reduced activity.

All this could indicate that non-verbal communication might play a larger role in humans than previously thought.  More directly, it shows how tears carry signals which indicate a female is sexually unreceptive at the moment.

Noam Sobel and his team are already looking to their next project: hoping to isolate the chemical pheromone  responsible for causing the wide range of physiological effects.

In addition, the researchers are confident that similar chemosignals may exist in men's and even childrens' tears.

In the near future, we may unravel the deep secrets behind human communication. There may be much more than just language to the equation than previously thought.

Gelstein S, Yeshurun Y, Rozenkrantz  L, et al. (2011). Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal. Science DOI: DOI: 10.1126/science.1198331.

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