Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Scientific Explanation for - Beer Goggles!

io9 has the article:

It's a fairly well-known idea that people start looking better and better the more one drinks alcohol. But is there actually a scientific reasoning behind this? It might all have to do with a little something called bilateral symmetry....

...There are many different forms of symmetry, including radial, spherical, and bilateral, which is the one that humans possess. All this means is that it is possible to cut an organism in half so that one side is identical or the mirror image of the other. The different types of symmetry are determined by how many different possible ways one could create these symmetric counterparts. In humans and other organisms with bilateral symmetry, there's only one possible line of symmetry, which is known as the sagittal plane, which runs right down the vertical center of our bodies. (Obviously, we're only talking about external appearances here - our insides aren't symmetric.)

Right, so that's the quick and dirty version of what biological symmetry is. But what does that have to do with booze? Well, it's thought that we and other organisms have a strong evolutionary preference for the appearance of symmetry, and this means people who are considered attractive are often those who display a high degree of bilateral symmetry. And, as NCBI ROFL reports, researchers at London's Roehampton University hypothesized that a reduced ability to judge this symmetry brought on by the general visual impairment of alcohol might well account for the phenomenon that people seem more attractive when one is drunk. It's really that they simply seem more symmetrical - or, perhaps more accurately, less asymmetrical....

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