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Thank your medial prefrontal cortex, a brain region now discovered to play a major role in romantic decision-making.Different parts of this region, which sits near the front of the brain, make a snap judgment about physical attraction and about whether the person is Mr. Right — all within milliseconds of seeing a new face, a new study from Ireland finds.I've been going on first dates to the National Zoo since 1997, when my friend Ann set me up on a blind date in front of the Elephant House. Good enough to ensure that 10 years later I was still going to the zoo on all my first dates, knowing that if things got bad I could ditch my date in the simulated jungle of Amazonia.At the zoo, you have ready-made conversation topics.This region buzzed with increased activity when volunteers saw photographs of the people they'd later say "yes" to.
How do you know when you're attracted to a new face?
"That region in this moment may be doing something like evaluating not just ' Is this person a good catch? Among the judgments this region makes is how similar someone else is to you.
Given that people tend to find similar folks attractive as potential mates, the rostromedial prefrontal cortex could be saying, "Hey, this one matches us!
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.
' We joked quite a bit that we hoped there might be a wedding someday, but no invitations have come through yet," he said.