“Skin Deep Matters” by Martin de la Cruz from Joining a Community of Readers , 3 rd ed., by Roberta Alexander and Jan Lombardi We like to think that beauty is only skin deep. We recognize that a person’s true character, personality, intelligence, compassion, sense of humor—all the characteristics that are important—cannot be measured or guessed by physical appearance or facial features. The truth is, unfortunately, the physical appearance matters. Some interesting studies have investigated how people react to beauty. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to study men’s brains when they saw pictures of beautiful women’s faces. The pattern they discovered was that the same part of the brain is stimulated as when a hungry person sees food, a gambler sees money, or an addict sees a fix. Beauty, hunger, and addiction apparently cause similar responses in the same part of the brain. For women and children, a key factor in forming a first impression of a man may
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