Valentine's Science: Why Gauging Sexiness Is Sophisticated
Higher brain lights up when judging who's hot or not, scans show.
That's the conclusion of recent brain scan studies, which are starting to reveal that deciding who we find attractive—even on a purely superficial level—is a much more complex process than an instinctual reaction.
For years neuroscientist Stephanie Ortigue of Syracuse University and Francesco Bianchi-Demicheli of Geneva University Psychiatric Center have been examining the brain's role in sexual experiences.
Most recently, the pair found that people making quick judgments about others' sexiness are using regions of the brain associated with higher functions, such as understanding the intentions of others and self-awareness.
In fact, higher brain regions seem to activate before they receive information from the visual cortex or the brain's emotional centers, Ortigue said.
Previous theories had suggested the brain first acquires