Hey guys, this still isn't an excuse for the drooling!
Boston - Seeing a beautiful woman triggers a pleasure response in a man's brain similar to what a hungry person gets from eating or an addict gets from a fix, scientists say.
Researchers said the study, published in the journal Neuron, shows that feminine beauty affects a man's brain at a very primal level, not on some higher, more intellectual plane.
"Beauty is working similar to a drug," said Dan Ariely of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, a co-author of the study.
Researchers showed a group of heterosexual men in their mid-20s pictures of men and women of varying attractiveness, while measuring the brain's responses through computer imaging.
The beautiful women were found to activate the same "reward circuits" as food and cocaine do. The men had a negative reaction to pictures of good-looking males, suggesting they were threatened by them, study author Hans Beiter said.
Breiter said evidence that beauty stimulates these primal brain circuits has never been shown before. He said the findings counter arguments that beauty is nothing more than the product of society's values.
"This is hard-core circuitry," Breiter said. "This is not a conditioned response."
Scientists said the findings could have major implications for research.
"We think of these things as products of a very high level of thought," said John Mazziotta, director of the Brain Mapping Center at the University of California at Los Angeles, "and it may be very basic and fundamental."