Saturday, May 3, 2014

Neuroscience: Trust & Attractiveness Recognition

How and why do we trust people?

How do we recognize attractive people for us?

Modern neuroscience opens secret mechanisms hidden behind this phenomenon

Deep inside our brains there lie two tiny structures – Amygdales - looking like small almonds.

When we see somebody’s face (real or on photo) perfectly mating our biology, our right amygdale immediately recognizes this person’s friendliness and emotional pleasure to deal with them,

Areas of right-left amygdales projections on human cortex

The left amygdale is engaged in linear, explicit and conscious information processing, when people start analyzing relationships, asking ‘why?’ and ‘what?’ questions.

In the presence of well-matching person or by look on the photos, the right amygdale responds immediately, in non-linear mode, skipping conscious interpretation.

This is how ideally matching people begin to trust and like each other, without any reason.

The inexplicable pleasure they experiencing in each other’s company, also appears due to the simultaneous reaction of  Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) together with amygdale.

OFC is the region involved in reward processing,
such as pleasure, happiness, delight, friendliness, trust and erotic drive.

This is how romantic, partnership and friendship relations appear between people on the basis of mutual trust and attractiveness.

This natural principle also manifests itself immediately in the presence of ‘mismatching’ human-beings.

Right-hemispheric people know about it at once, without conscious analysis. They would say “I do not like him/her!” No reasons would make them adopt to this person or change their attitudes.

Read about right-left hemispheric people from this blog

Reference articles

1. Turk, D. J., Banfield, J. F., Walling, B. R., Heatherton, T. F., Grafton, S. T., Handy, T. C., et al. (2004). From facial cue to dinner for two: The neural substrates of personal choice. Neuroimage, 22(3), 1281–

2. Bartels A, Zeki S. The neural correlates of maternal and romantic love. Neuroimage 2004; 21:1155–66.

3. Carter CS. Neuroendocrine perspectives on social attachment and love. Psychoneuroendocrinology 1998; 23:779–818.

4. Esch T, Stefano GB. The neurobiology of pleasure, reward processes, addiction and their health implications. Neuro endocrinology Letters 2004; 25:235–51.

5. Komisaruk, B.R., Whipple, B., and Beyer, C. (2008). Sexual Pleasure. In K.C. Berridge and M. Kringelbach, (eds.), Pleasures of the Brain: Neural Bases of Sensory Pleasure. New York. Oxford University Press. In press.

6. Kosfeld M, Heinrichs M, Zak P, Fischbacher U, Fehr E 2005 Oxytocin increases trust in humans Nature Vol. 435/2 673-77 doi:10.1038/nature03701

7. Salamon E, Esch T, Stefano GB. The role of the amygdala in mediating sexual and emotional behavior via coupled nitric oxide release. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 2005; 26:389–95.

8. Sander, D., Grafman, J., & Zalla, T. (2003). The human amygdala: An evolved system for relevance detection. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 14(4),

9. Small, D. M., Gregory, M. D., Mak, Y. E., Gitelman, D., Mesulam, M. M., & Parrish, T. (2003). Dissociation of neural representation of intensity and affective valuation in human gustation. Neuron, 39(4), 701–711.

10. Takahashi Hidehiko; Matsuura Masato; Yahata Noriaki; Koeda Michihiko; Suhara Tetsuya; Okubo Yoshiro Men and women show distinct brain activations during imagery of sexual and emotional infidelity. NeuroImage.  2006; 32(3):1299-307.

11. Takahashi, H., Masato Matsuura, Michihiko Koeda, Noriaki Yahata, Tetsuya Suhara, Motoichiro Kato and Yoshiro Okubo. Brain Activations during Judgments of Positive Self-conscious Emotion and Positive Basic Emotion: Pride and Joy. Cerebral Cortex April 2008;18:898--903doi:10.1093/cercor/bhm120 Advance Access publication July 17, 2007.

Natalia Levis-Fox

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