Scientist discovers the secret of kissing

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The Independent Online

On the eve of St Valentine's Day, scientists have tackled one of the most intimate and biologically mysterious acts of human nature: the kiss.

On the eve of St Valentine's Day, scientists have tackled one of the most intimate and biologically mysterious acts of human nature: the kiss.

A study has found twice as many people tilt their heads to the right when kissing. And this preference is probably a behavioural relic from the first few months of life. As Rodin depicts in his famous statue, kissing has to involve head-tilting to avoid a clash of noses, but the question is, which way?

The study – which was conducted by Onur Güntürkün, a psychologist from the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum in Germany, and published in the journal Nature – says newborn babies, and foetuses in the final weeks in the womb, tilt their heads to the right.

Dr Güntürkün, who conducted his research by observing couples at airports, said: "I fear that I have no news for lovers ... But kissing is one of these subtle habits that tell us something about the very dawn of each of us."

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