Sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. How many of us are aware of what our senses are picking up moment to moment?
Mindfulness - the art of being in the moment - teaches us that we should notice everything we experience as we experience it. But when was the last time you stood in the shower and allowed yourself to enjoy the feeling and smells of the soapy water cascading over you, without your mind wandering to the day's to-do list? Or you savoured your cup of morning coffee without checking your watch or rushing off to catch a train or answer an email? Or you truly listened to someone you're chatting to without thinking ahead to what you'd say next? The modern world simply doesn't make it easy for us to be mindful.
When it comes to kissing, however, human beings might just have an inbuilt instinct which helps us to appreciate the shared moment with the object of our desires. A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, concludes that when we close our eyes, our sense of touch is powerfully heightened.
Participating subjects were asked to perform a number of complicated tasks while receiving vibration stimulations to one of their hands. While they were engaged in the task, they hardly noticed the vibrations at all. Yet when they were asked to close their eyes - something which made the task they were performing even harder, requiring deeper concentration - they were able to identify when they received stimulations.
The cognitive psychologist behind the study, Dr Polly Dalton, said: "These results could explain why we close our eyes when we want to focus attention on another sense. Shutting out the visual input leaves more mental resources to focus on other aspects of our experience."
So there you have it: the human brain has found a way for us to get optimum feels out of our snogging encounters.