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Staring at naked women makes you smarter: Study


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#1 mooeypoo

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:26 PM

As usual with pop-media, the title is a tad bombastic; the effect seems to be that the brain takes less processing time with nude bodies than it does with clothed ones, which I guess makes a lot of sense. There's less to analyze.

Still, it was too good not to share.

http://cnews.canoe.c...3/19013771.html

Researchers at the University of Tampere and Aalto University showed volunteer men and women photos of models in varying stages of undress.

Before all you women in sensible shoes cry "sexist pig!", I hasten to add the models also were male and female.

The volunteers' electrical brain activity was monitored.

Results appear in the current edition of the science journal PLoS One.

They make me proud to work for this newspaper, to share space with such brain food as the SUNshine Girl.

Professor Jari Hietanen reports the less clothes the models wore, the quicker each volunteer's grey matter kicked into action.

This may have roots in how our cave-man ancestor identified a potential mate. It was easier if they were naked.

"In less than 0.2 seconds, the brain processes pictures of nude bodies more efficiently than clothed bodies," Professor Hietanen says.

"Responses were the strongest when the participants looked at (nudes), the second strongest to bodies in swimsuits, and the weakest to fully clothed bodies."



If anyone can find the original science study, I will be happy to stare at it.
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#2 michel123456

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:10 PM

http://www.plosone.o...al.pone.0024408
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#3 Moontanman

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 10:10 PM

Hey anyone want to see me nekked?... no wait I'm not a woman... but I'll get a moontan in a heart beat....
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#4 pantheory

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 05:10 AM

Concerning the link michel posted:

We found that the N170 amplitude was larger to opposite and same-sex nude vs. clothed bodies


I hope that I would not be spending extra time and interest concerning same-sex nude bodies. Maybe the volunteers had more bisexual interests than normal :unsure:

But I always knew the part about staring at naked girls making one smarter, since I was very young ;)
//

Edited by pantheory, 6 December 2011 - 05:16 AM.

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#5 imatfaal

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 11:26 AM

Concerning the link michel posted:


I hope that I would not be spending extra time and interest concerning same-sex nude bodies. Maybe the volunteers had more bisexual interests than normal :unsure:

But I always knew the part about staring at naked girls making one smarter, since I was very young ;)
//



But why would you hope that? The appreciation and lingering upon the naked body of someone of the same sex is nothing to be ashamed of, to be feared, or to be guarded against.
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#6 Dekan

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 11:52 AM

The word "naked" - by and of itself - excites interest.

Here is a smart prediction - this OP will get a huge number of views, because it has "naked" in its title.

You see if I'm not right!:)
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#7 JohnB

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 02:06 PM

I really don't see how this works.

When I look at naked women I find the blood drains from the brain to other parts of the body. Surely this leads to oxygen starvation for the brain thereby lowering brain function?
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#8 michel123456

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 03:15 PM

Reminds me the famous quote

"God gave us a penis and a brain, but not enough blood to use both at the same time. Robin Williams


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#9 mooeypoo

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 04:54 PM

The word "naked" - by and of itself - excites interest.

Here is a smart prediction - this OP will get a huge number of views, because it has "naked" in its title.

You see if I'm not right!:)


I resent the implication that I will ever use a bombastic popular-science slightly misleading title just to get traffic to my article.


The magazine invented this entirely accurate and completely scientific title, as usual for an online magazine! I just decided to take advantage of it.



;)
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#10 Moontanman

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 04:59 PM

Ok, lets do a study, me and Mooeypoo will take one for the team and let every one look at nekked pics of us and see if the viewers become more intelligent.... hey, it's a slow day....
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Life is the poetry of the Universe
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#11 mooeypoo

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 05:04 PM

Ok, lets do a study, me and Mooeypoo will take one for the team and let every one look at nekked pics of us and see if the viewers become more intelligent.... hey, it's a slow day....


We should do this double blinded.
I'll go take pictures of Phi, Cap'n and Hypervolent_Iodine, and mix them up so no one knows who's which.
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#12 hypervalent_iodine

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 05:24 PM

I think the mystery of which photo is which will become glaringly apparent by the responses of the first couple of participants. No amount of informed consent can prepare a person for a candid Phi shot. Or so I'm told.
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#13 Moontanman

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 05:52 PM

Damn, i wanted to get nekked for science.....
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Life is the poetry of the Universe
Love is the poetry of life

You do not possess belief, belief possesses you...

I'm always open to new ideas, I just don't let them crawl into my skull and take a dump... 

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but illusion of knowledge.” — Stephen Hawking

"In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in allegiance to the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection of his own." ~ thomas jefferson

Check out my YouTube channel here.



If I was helpful, let me know by clicking the [+] sign ->

#14 pantheory

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 07:49 PM

But why would you hope that? The appreciation and lingering upon the naked body of someone of the same sex is nothing to be ashamed of, to be feared, or to be guarded against.

I think my meaning was when naked pictures were put in front of me concerning naked men and clothed men, that I expect that my brain would not show more unusual activity when the men were naked -- as it would when women were naked. This is not to say that I have had little experience looking at naked women ;)
//

Edited by pantheory, 6 December 2011 - 07:50 PM.

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#15 mooeypoo

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 07:56 PM

I think my meaning was when naked pictures were put in front of me concerning naked men and clothed men, that I expect that my brain would not show more unusual activity when the men were naked -- as it would when women were naked. This is not to say that I have had little experience looking at naked women ;)
//


The research did not check the level of your arousal, if you go over the paper you'll see it checked how quickly the brain identifies the object. This makes sense, I guess, since naked people have less details to them for our brain to consider when identifying.

Therefore, same-sex or opposite-sex has no bearing here, though I do agree it could be interesting to check *IF* it's a factor.
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#16 iNow

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 08:24 PM

We should do this double blinded.
I'll go take pictures of Phi, Cap'n and Hypervolent_Iodine, and mix them up so no one knows who's which.

If you're sharing naked pictures of all three of them, I'm hoping to be triple blind.
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#17 michel123456

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 08:47 PM

I resent the implication that I will ever use a bombastic popular-science slightly misleading title just to get traffic to my article.


The magazine invented this entirely accurate and completely scientific title, as usual for an online magazine! I just decided to take advantage of it.



;)

I begin wondering maybe all this is simply a trick to bring some publicity to the University.
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#18 Daedalus

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 08:59 PM

I'm happy to report what I've always suspected is true. The SUNshine Girl makes you smarter. It's now a scientific fact.

Looking At Page 3 Makes You Brainy, the headline proclaims. "Scientists (have) discovered that looking at pics of the likes of Lacey, Keeley and Rhian makes the brain react quicker," the paper says.

What I really want to know is if this truly makes you smarter in that your overall brain function speeds up for tasks other than looking at naked people. I have no doubts that our brain activity increases due to excitation and pattern recognition of viewing a naked person. But, can we really say that this activity is making us smarter and increasing our overall ability to think faster? I highly doubt this is the case because the article Michel123456 posted only talks about elevated levels of N170.


I hope that I would not be spending extra time and interest concerning same-sex nude bodies.

According to the research article, male subjects are more interested in the opposite sex than women. Also, sexual preference "migt be modulating the N170 responses to nude bodies".

In Experiments 2 male subjects exhibited larger the N170 responses to all opposite-sex compared to same-sex human stimuli, whereas in Experiment 1 this bias towards opposite-sex stimuli was restricted to nude bodies only. For female participants, the stimulus sex had no effect on N170 responses. These findings are compatible with the prevailing view of sexual responsiveness suggesting greater discrimination of physiological responses to sexually arousing opposite-sex vs. same-sex stimuli among males than females [42], [45], [46], [51], [52]. Comparison of the results between those participants who considered themselves as 'not at all' homosexual and those who considered themselves as at least slightly homosexually oriented suggested that the participant's sexual orientation might be modulating the N170 responses to nude bodies.


Edited by Daedalus, 6 December 2011 - 09:00 PM.

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#19 mooeypoo

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 09:28 PM

Daedalus, those are good points, but I'm not entire sure what this means:


Comparison of the results between those participants who considered themselves as 'not at all' homosexual and those who considered themselves as at least slightly homosexually oriented suggested that the participant's sexual orientation might be modulating the N170 responses to nude bodies.


Were there more gay woman than gay men in that study? Shouldn't they have checked the sexual orientation before the experiment(s) and made sure to include a balanced number?
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#20 Daedalus

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Posted 6 December 2011 - 10:06 PM

Were there more gay woman than gay men in that study? Shouldn't they have checked the sexual orientation before the experiment(s) and made sure to include a balanced number?

Mooey you make an excellent point. Unfortunately they didn't specify the number of participants that had one sexual preference vs. another. However, the article suggests that they did take sexual preference into consideration. Whether or not they made an attempt to choose a large enough group which contained a diverse spread of sexuality is unknown.

Experiment 1:

Participants.

Fifteen healthy male volunteers with normal or corrected-to-normal vision participated in the experiment (age: M = 28.27; SD = 8.30; range 20–47 years). One of the participants was left-handed and all the others were right-handed.


Experiment 2:

Participants.

Thirty-two (16 females) healthy volunteers with normal or corrected-to-normal vision participated in the experiment (age M = 24.47, SD = 8.32, range 19–66 years). One of the males was left-handed while all the other participants were right-handed. The EEG data of one male participant were not recorded because of technical problems.

It would seem as though they either are not listing the sexual preferences or did not conduct the study to initially consider the effects of varying sexuality.


Immediately after the SCR and ERP measurements, participants rated their experiences of valence and arousal while viewing the face, body and car stimuli using the SAM (Self-Assessment Manikin [49]). After this the electrodes were removed and the participants were allowed to clean themselves. Finally, participants completed The Sell Assessment of Sexual Orientation –questionnaire [50]. This questionnaire measures sexual attraction towards males and females, amount of sexual activity with males and females, and sexual identity (homo/heterosexuality). For assessing our participants' sexual orientation, we analyzed answers to an item where the participants were asked to rate their degree of homosexuality on a 7-point scale (1 = not at all homosexual; 7 = extremely homosexual).

I stand corrected. They did list the method they used to determine sexuality. Unfortunately, they did not choose a balance between sexuality. They could've obtained any mix of sexuality and therefore their statement regarding the participants sexual orientation affecting levels of N170 is inconclusive:

Comparison of the results between those participants who considered themselves as 'not at all' homosexual and those who considered themselves as at least slightly homosexually oriented suggested that the participant's sexual orientation might be modulating the N170 responses to nude bodies.

However, the statement suggests that the levels of N170 were different for those who are heterosexual vs. those who are homosexual and varying degrees thereof. A larger study would be needed which ensured the sexuality of each group of participants to validate the claim.

Edited by Daedalus, 6 December 2011 - 10:07 PM.

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