Your brain on speed dating | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Your brain on speed dating

Activity in two regions helps calculate compatibility with potential mates

5:23pm, November 6, 2012

In the fraught, emotional world of speed dating, scientific calculations don’t usually hold much sway. But the brain runs a complex series of computations to tally the allure of a prospective partner in just seconds, a new study finds. And the strength of these brain signals predicted which speed daters would go on to score a match.

The results help explain how people evaluate others — a process that happens at lightning speed, says neuroscientist Daniela Schiller of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “It’s a gut feeling, but here, the paper dissects it for us and tells us, ‘This is what we calculate.’”

Scientists led by Jeffrey Cooper, who conducted the work at Trinity College Dublin and Caltech, scanned the brains of single volunteers as they looked at pictures of potential dating partners. Although it’s hard to put a number on people by a photo alone, researchers made volunteers rate on a scale of

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content