This Is Why We Close Our Eyes When We Kiss

Photographed by Winnie Au.
A scientific study about our senses of touch and sight might explain a lot about our unconscious make-out habits, even if that's not necessarily what it set out to do. For their study, published last week in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, University of London researchers Sandra Murphy and Polly Dalton did not make a bunch of their test subjects kiss each other in a lab. They did, however, find out why we close our eyes when we want to focus on another sense; including touch.

Subjects were asked to pay attention to a screen with flashing letters. Then, they were asked to indicate whether they saw the letter X or N and whether they felt a vibration sent to their left or right hand while watching for the letters. When they were presented with a "high" visual load (a lot of confusing letters to make the visual task more difficult), they were significantly less likely to detect the vibration than when they had a lower visual load.

What this finding means is that an increase in visual stimuli makes you less sensitive to touch.

But what about the kissing thing? "These results could explain why we close our eyes when we want to focus attention on another sense," Dalton told The Independent. We assume the opposite might be true if you're on a bad date; keeping your eyes open and looking around at the scenery could help you take your mind off a terrible kiss.

More from Sex & Relationships