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Love at First Sight? Science Has an Explaination

Love at first sight
Paul Gilligan/Getty Images

Love at first sight is the stuff legends are made of.  I’ve lost count thinking of the number of books, TV shows, and movies where two people lay eyes on each other and in an instant makes life changing decisions about the person they just saw for the first time.

Sounds great for script writers and romance novel authors but what about the real world?

According to new research out of Scotland, we make snap judgments about physical attraction and personality compatibility within milliseconds of seeing a new face. That’s right – milliseconds.  It’s not just love, it’s how people look, how they’re dressed, and even how we perceive their personalities.  All in the time it takes to snap your fingers.

So what’s the science behind it?  According to researchers:

Two parts of the brain work in this snap-judgment process: the medial prefrontal cortex, which evaluates physical attractiveness, and the rostromedial prefrontal cortex which evaluates if the person is right for you.

So right or wrong we’re all doing it.  The only hope is that at some point  the other parts of the brain kick in to make sure we’re actually making smart decisions based on more than just a millisecond’s worth of seeing someone.

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