According to Ingrid Bergman, a kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. But, have you ever wondered why do we kiss with our eyes closed? And now you are recalling all those special moments. Right? Do you have an answer?
What most of you presume is that keeping eyes open while kissing might put off your amorous partner.
But, psychologists reveal that kissing with our eyes closed allows brains to properly focus on the task in hand.
According to a new study on human senses published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, the awareness of our sense of touch depends on the level of perceptual load at the time – that is, how much information our eyes are having to take in for our brains to process. In short, when you close your eyes, it amplifies the sense of touch.
It is difficult for our brain to concentrate on two different senses at the same time. So people have assumed that we close our eyes during kissing in order to focus on the task at hand. And that our brain cannot concentrate on another sense while also concentrating on the visual stimuli.
However, the problem with the research is that the conclusion was made without studying couples kissing. No doubt this research has got broader implications.
The participants of the study were allocated various visual tasks, and their sense of touch or say tactile sense was measured at the same time.
While the participants were busy completing letter-searching tasks of varying difficulty, their visual sense was measured. And to measure the tactile sense, the participants had to respond to small vibrations applied to one of their hands.
Whenever eyes did more work to finish the difficult tasks, the participants were less responsive to the tactile sense that is awareness of the vibrations.
The analysis suggests that our sense of touch decreases with an increase in work done by our eyes.
The study results partly explain why we kiss with our eyes closed. In Dr. Polly Dalton’s (a senior lecturer in cognitive psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London) words, we want to focus on the touch on our lips.
“Shutting out the visual input leaves more mental resources to focus on other aspects of our experience.” She added.
Related: Kissing Adds Years to Your Life
Also, when people engage in other pleasurable activities like sex and dancing, people focus on the sense of touch rather than any other potentially distracting, sensory experiences.
The prime focus of the research was on the tactile sense because there is increasing use of tactile information in the warning systems. We know of cars providing us with tactile alerts which are mainly vibrations to alert you to danger.
Now, that is pretty useful when you are drifting across lanes. But, if a driver is intensely looking for directions at a busy junction. With such demanding visual tasks, the driver could reduce noticing visual and auditory stimuli. So, the warnings may go unnoticed.
What do you think?