bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒12‒27
two papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Front Psychol. 2020 ;11 588935
    Tang Poy C, Woolhouse MH.
      This study investigated an evolutionary-adaptive explanation for the cultural ubiquity of choreographed synchronous dance: that it evolved to increase interpersonal aesthetic appreciation and/or attractiveness. In turn, it is assumed that this may have facilitated social bonding and therefore procreation between individuals within larger groups. In this dual-dancer study, individuals performed fast or slow hip-hop choreography to fast-, medium-, or slow-tempo music; when paired laterally, this gave rise to split-screen video stimuli in which there were four basic categories of dancer and music synchrony: (1) synchronous dancers, synchronous music; (2) synchronous dancers, asynchronous music; (3) asynchronous dancers, one dancer synchronous with music; and (4) asynchronous dancers, asynchronous music. Participants' pupil dilations and aesthetic appreciation of the dancing were recorded for each video, with the expectation that these measures would covary with levels of synchronization. While results were largely consistent with the hypothesis, the findings also indicated that interpersonal aesthetic appreciation was driven by a hierarchy of synchrony between the dancers: stimuli in which only one dancer was synchronous with the music were rated lower than stimuli in which the dancers were asynchronous with each other and with the music; i.e., stimuli in which the dancers were unequal were judged less favorably than those in which the dancers were equal, albeit asynchronously. Stimuli in which all elements were synchronous, dancers and music, were rated highest and, in general, elicited greater pupil dilations.
    Keywords:  asynchronous; attractiveness; dance; hip-hop; pupillometry; synchronous
  2. J Sex Res. 2020 Dec 20. 1-6
    Dekker A, Wenzlaff F, Biedermann SV, Briken P, Fuss J.
      The usage of virtual reality (VR) pornography has risen in recent years. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the steep increase may be driven by an essential difference compared to traditional pornography, namely strong feelings of intimacy and the illusion of interaction with the porn actors. The present study is the first to systematically address this topic in an experimental design. Fifty healthy male participants watched two pornographic films on consecutive days in the laboratory, randomly one in VR and one traditional two-dimensional (2D) film. The perception of 2D and VR pornography was assessed using several self-report measures. Furthermore, the role of the social neuropeptide oxytocin in facilitating intimacy and interaction was studied. In the VR condition, participants felt more desired, more flirted with, more looked into the eyes. They were also more likely to feel connected with the actors and more likely to feel the urge to interact with them. Interestingly, saliva levels of oxytocin were related to the perceived eye-contact with the virtual persons indicating a role for the social neuropeptide in the perception of increased intimacy and interaction in VR. Thus, VR pornography seems to be a powerful tool to elicit the illusion of intimate sexual experiences.