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Study: Beauty is like food, drugs to male brain (from Seattle Times, Nov. 10, 2485)
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 Wednesday 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" a 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 Breiter said.
Possible interpretations/questions: "Male brain" is an oxymoron? what about women's response to male beauty? homo study group? reaction of beautiful women to this study? is voyeurism gender specific or found in males only? etc.