Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kiss and tell: chocolate wins

A KISS is just a kiss — but when it comes to tongues, nothing compares with chocolate.

Researchers who monitored the heads and hearts of romantically involved couples found they responded more to chocolate melting in their mouths than kissing.

Recordings of brain activity and heart rate were taken as the volunteers tasted dark chocolate and as they kissed their partners.

The study showed that even the most passionate kisses failed to equal the buzz of chocolate.

"These results really surprised and intrigued us," said psychologist David Lewis, who led the study. "While we fully expected chocolate, especially dark chocolate, to increase heart rates due to the fact it contains some highly stimulating substances, both the length of this increase together with the powerful effects it had on the mind were something none of us had anticipated."

The 12 volunteers, all aged in their 20s, had electrodes attached to their scalps and were asked to wear heart monitors.

Each participant placed a piece of dark chocolate on their tongue and, without chewing, indicated when it started to melt.

Then, the couples were asked to kiss each other.

Tests were carried out to record heart and brain activity without stimulation, activity when tasting chocolate and activity when kissing. The study found that at the point chocolate melts in the mouth, all regions of the brain receive a boost far more intense and longer lasting than the mental excitement from kissing.

Chocolate also made the heart beat faster — with some volunteers recording a rise from 60 beats a minute to 140. Kissing also set the heart pounding, but the effect did not last as long.

"There is no doubt that chocolate beats kissing hands down when it comes to providing a long-lasting body and brain buzz," said Dr Lewis, who runs private research company the Mind Lab.

He said both sexes showed the same responses to the effects of chocolate in the tests.


See news article here

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