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Kissing Engages Mating Radar and Leads to Better Health

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2009-02-14 12:32

Scientists have been busy exploring the biological effects and health impact of kissing. New evidence shows that kissing lowers our stress level, and conveys a variety of information that may not even reach us at a conscious level. It appears that kissing engages our mating radar in the brain. Kissing also leads to better health.

Kissing lowers stress hormones

Aside from lowering stress, measured by declines in cortisol levels in saliva, Helen Fisher tells us: "Kissing is not just kissing. It is a major escalation or de-escalation point in a powerful process of mate choice." It seems we subconsciously detect smells that tell us about our partner's immune system.

Fisher is an anthropologist who studies love and author of "Why Him, Why Her: Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type". She is also a professor at Rutgers University,

It also seems that the longer we are with our partner the lower our cortisol levels become when we kiss -more proof that intimacy is good for your health.

Cortisol is a stress hormone. High levels are thought to increase our risk of a variety of diseases. The stress reducing benefits of the kiss come from Wendy Hill, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Lafayette College, in Easton, Pa. and were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kissing transmits biological information that innately tells us whether to choose or ditch a potential partner. Women are more attracted to men who have opposite immune system function from their own.

According to Fisher, the somatosensory cortex, which extends from one side of the brain to the other, has a large portion devoted to picking up signals from the lips, tongue, nose and cheek areas around the mouth. "You can really get poked in the back and not feel it very much, but just a feather around your lips and you really do feel it."

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Kissing serves a purpose

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