From: Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Dec. 29, 2008 -- Visiting -- or even just viewing photos of family members -- prompts brain activity that affects how you feel about them, your friends, and even yourself, a new study suggests.
The study is the first to compare brain activity associated with seeing relatives with that linked to seeing friends and strangers. It suggests our feelings about biological relatives are at least somewhat primal.
The findings may help explain everything from why our family can get on our nerves to why people who look like us can spark immediate feelings of trust, "but not lust," said Steven Platek, who co-authored the study with Shelly Kemp.
"We like to be around people that look more like us, but we do not find them as sexually attractive," added Platek, editor-in-chief of the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience. "I think it is linked to our subconscious ability to detect facial resemblances so we avoid lusting after those that may be related to us."