Neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology have revealed a reason why touching can be pleasurable and not, which is how the brain registers on touch.
In their study, the scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor the brain activity of 18 heterosexual men when a study participant stroked their feet.
The men could not see the woman. Although the first time they were told it was a woman and the second time they were told it was a man.
The researchers found that although it was the same person, the middle part of the brain, called the primary somatosensory cortex, became more active when people believed a beautiful woman was touching them.
These initial results with a small number of participants cannot be applied to a large group. In the future, the researchers plan to test how the women's brains will respond.