New Research Supports ‘Love at First Sight’

Let’s be honest– all us single people have a problem with Romeo and Juliet, Twilight and other chick-flicks for one reason: love isn’t all that easy and you’re not sold with a glance.

Or is it, and are you?

New research from Trinity College in Dublin has an answer. Using brain scans, researchers found different parts of the brain that make judgments about physical attraction and compatibility within seconds of seeing another person. The study in Dublin included a real-life dating situation where 78 women and 73 men would have to make fast romantic judgments about attraction based on looking at pictures of potential dates they would meet at a speed-dating event later.

What did the research show?

Sixty-three percent of respondents showed interest in both the photograph of the other person, and after meeting that person during a five-minute speed dating round.

Researchers found that two parts of the brain were involved in the process. Through brain scans, the paracingulate cortex appeared to calculate who was most attractive in the pictures. Another part of the brain closer to the eyes, called the rostromedial cortex, evaluated whether the person in the picture was “a good catch” for the individual viewing the picture. And this all happened in a matter of milliseconds.

So single ladies and gents, the next time you watch a chick-flick or try out speed dating, keep this in mind: The first glance could be all it takes.