A friend’s kiss can bring on feelings of happiness, but not everyone can experience the same feelings as a kiss in real life.
This is because the kiss doesn’t occur as an actual physical contact, but as an imaginary one.
It’s an emotion that is often missed out on because of our cultural attitudes towards kissing.
“I’m not sure if it’s a cultural thing or a biological thing,” said Professor John McLeod, an associate professor of psychology at Newcastle University, who is also a lecturer in neuroscience at Newcastle’s Department of Psychiatry.
“But the phenomenon is there.”
The feeling of happiness when a kiss occurs In a recent study, McLeod and colleagues recruited people aged between 22 and 45 who had a taste for romantic and sexual encounters to take part in a study that measured their brain activity.
The participants were then asked to rate the intensity of the emotional impact of kissing on their partners.
The researchers found that people who were highly engaged in the kiss felt a greater positive emotional impact on their partner’s emotions than did those who were low in the same level of engagement.
The feeling that a kiss has a positive emotional effect on someone is often missing from romantic relationships.
“It’s really hard to get people to realise that kissing a romantic partner is an experience that has a significant emotional impact,” said McLeod.
When the participants rated their partner on how they felt after kissing, they found that those who rated their partners high on the scale felt more positive emotions than those who ranked them low. “
People often think that kissing another person is something that’s going to bring on a certain kind of emotional connection with them, but that’s not always the case.”
When the participants rated their partner on how they felt after kissing, they found that those who rated their partners high on the scale felt more positive emotions than those who ranked them low.
“That’s a really strong correlation,” McLeod said.
“We think this could be because we’re thinking about kissing our partner and that this is an emotional connection.”
Researchers hope that their findings can help to increase understanding of how romantic love develops and to help people understand the difference between kissing and having an actual romantic relationship.
They are currently looking at how the brain processes the emotional response to kissing, and also how people can use this knowledge to develop interventions for people who have a strong desire to have a romantic relationship, but are unable to do so due to their cultural beliefs.
“This study really is a start, but the real work starts when we look at how romantic relationships are formed, how they develop, and how they are maintained,” McPhail said.
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