Have you ever wondered why you kiss with your eyes closed? Many people dismiss it as just one of those weird things that happen, and don’t really question it beyond that. However, today we will share with you the science as to why we automatically close our eyes when we kiss that special someone.
When you kiss someone, you probably don’t think too much about closing your eyes; it just happens, right? You both feel the sparks flying, so you lean in for the kiss with your eyes open, but somewhere between locking eyes and locking lips, you shut your eyes. This happens involuntarily, whether you want it to or not.
It seems strange, but there’s actually a perfectly good explanation for it.
Here’s Why You Kiss With Your Eyes Closed
Psychologists have finally found answers as to why we kiss with our eyes closed. In short, the brain can’t deal with multiple stimuli at once, so in order to focus on kissing, we simply close our eyes while locking lips.
Royal Holloway University of London did a study on vision and tactile sensory experience, and found that our brain struggles to process what goes on during a kiss beyond the visual stimuli.
In other words, we can’t possibly keep our eyes open during a kiss, because our brains can’t process BOTH visual and sensory stimuli.
Polly Dalton and Sandra Murphy, both cognitive psychologists, discovered that “tactile [sense of touch] awareness depends on the level of perceptual load in a concurrent visual task”.
Published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, the study actually came to conclusions without any couples having to kiss. Instead, participants had to undergo visual tasks while scientists observed their tactile sense.
The visual portion of the study included participants completing letter-searching tasks of varying difficulty, while scientists measured their tactile response by equipping them with a device that emitted small vibrations on their hands.
The results came in, and showed that participants responded less to tactile stimuli the more that their eyes had to do work.
In other words, the participants found that during the letter-searching tasks, they barely felt the vibration, but when they shut their eyes, they felt it much more strongly. For the record, the scientists set the vibrations to the same frequency the entire time.
We can apply this same logic to other highly stimulating activities, such as physical intimacy, where the people involved would rather close their eyes in order to avoid become overwhelmed, sensory wise.
During intimacy, people tend to close their eyes in order to process the experience without the visual portions of it distracting them. Thus, the same logic goes for kissing as well.
“These results could explain why we close our eyes when we want to focus attention on another sense,” Ms Dalton told The Independent.
“Shutting out the visual input leaves more mental resources to focus on other aspects of our experience.”