Ever been in a new relationship and you actually feel yourself craving to be around that person and when you’re not you feel like you’re going through some kind of withdrawl? Well, you just might be. According to this CNN article, by Sheril Kirshenbaum, you brain produces the hormone dopamine and excretes it during a passionate kiss. Dopamine is the same hormone that is directly linked to narcotic use and to your brains reward system causing you to feel full of happiness and like you are on cloud nine when secreted. Aside from the actual secretion of hormones produced by kissing, their are electrical signals that are sent throughout your body when engaged in a kiss with someone you find attractive. For instance according to Kirshenbaum, the lips are one of the most sensitive organs on your body with more than a handful of nerve endings much like how the tips of your fingers contain a bushel of nerve endings which is why they are so sensitive. Since the lips are so sensitive, they send off a lot of signals when touched or in this case kissed which throws your body into a whirlwind of electrical impulses and emotions that in turn create a feeling of a natural high as stated in the article, much like the feeling you obtain after a rigorous exercise.
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Why is this relevant do you ask? Well, because if a kiss reeks that much havoc on your body alone it must have some kind of significance in how you portray people or your amount of attraction to someone else. Kissing is like our own little defense mechanism against deciding if someone is predator or a friend. Okay, maybe that is a little extreme, but according to the article, a passionate kiss, no matter the outcomes, proves as an indicator of if we as a human being are attracted to the other person and view them in a romantic sense worth pursing or if we simply are entirely turned off and need to run while we can. Most of the studies in this particular article are based upon the attractive of one person to another based off of scents and pheromones which could be the foundation for why you would want to engage in a passionate kiss with someone in the first place. With that being said, I do not think there is enough evidence to say undoubtedly that kissing is addictive but the evidence is consistent with this theory. I think an effective experiment would be to test the dopamine measurements of someone normally, and then when they are being rewarded with some kind of stimuli other than a kiss, and finally when they are being rewarded with a passionate kiss. There are some confounding third variables such as amount of attraction, emotional and mental connection, mood, etc that can all lead to disrupting the study therefore there is always a possibility that this may all be due to chance.
Logically if there is a chance kissing leads to excessive dopamine secretion which can cause a feeling of elation, then kiss on Penn State!
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