[10 Wedding Traditions from Around the World] The brain on dating More intriguing was what the brain was doing to make those judgments.
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This region buzzed with increased activity when volunteers saw photographs of the people they'd later say "yes" to.
"We think it is especially involved in comparing options against a whole bunch of other options, or some sort of standard," Cooper said.
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But before the speed-dating event, 39 of the participants had their brains imaged.
Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine (f MRI), researchers recorded the volunteers' brain activity as they saw pictures of the people they'd soon meet at the event.
The research is the first to use real-world dating to examine how the brain makes fast romantic judgments.
To conduct the study, researchers recruited 78 women and 73 men, all heterosexual and single, from Trinity College Dublin to participate in a speed-dating event.
Participants who "matched" with another study volunteer really did exchange phone numbers, and between 10 percent and 20 percent ended up getting in touch with each other later, Cooper told Live Science.