Science can tell us a lot about love — especially the science of kissing. It can give you tricks on upping your smooching game and now, according to a new study published last month in Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition journal, the direction you turn your head when you’re planting one on somebody can greatly indicate the type of relationship you have.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan studied 161 images of kissing romantic partners and 529 images of parent-child kissing partners and found that 80 percent of romantic partners would turn their heads to the right when locking lips. Meanwhile, according to the study, “a left-turn bias was exhibited for parental kissing.” Innnteresting.
The reason why romantic partners prevalently turn right isn’t because right is the romantic side, necessarily, but because most people are right-handed. Therefore, kissing on the right side is the natural instinct. As for parent-child kissing, THAT is actually a “learned lateral behavior.” Researchers theorized that the reason parents tend to kiss their kids on the left side is due to “previous research that has suggested a leftward cradling bias.” From an early age, babies tend to be cradled on the left side, and thus that’s the side parents condition themselves to kiss their child.
Why left-side cradling? Because according to a 2004 study, that’s the contralateral side of the body from the brain hemisphere that processes emotion and facial processing. In other words, mom carry their babies on the left side of the body in order to better bond with their child. It’s something we innately do whether we realize it or not.
The human brain sure is something.
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(Photo via Getty)