Feeds

Lip-wobbling boffins: Eating Chinese food is like kissing a vibrator

Szechuan pepper 50Hz so good...

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Food boffins have found that eating Szechuan pepper, an ingredient commonly found in Chinese food, produces the same sensations as those experienced when using a vibrator.

So says a paper titled Food vibrations: Asian spice sets lips trembling from the Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences.

The University College London boffins responsible for the paper, messrs Nobuhiro Hagura, Harry Barber and Patrick Haggard, wanted to explore the nature of sensation.

To do so they rubbed Szechuan pepper into the lower lip of a group of test subjects who then “judged the frequency of the tingling sensation” by comparing the sensation to that experienced when alcohol, water and “mechanical vibrations” were also applied.

The mechanical vibrations most closely resembled the sensation produced by the pepper, Discovery News reports, adding that they were produced by a device “similar to an electronic massager or sex toy”. Kissing the vibrator, the boffins say, was held to most closely resemble the sensation produced by Szechuan pepper. "The perceived frequency of the tingling was consistently at around 50Hz," say the researchers, who confirmed that a frequency-specific tactile channel is shared between the pepper and mechanical vibration.

There is a serious point to this research, because tingling is something often associated with pain. If we can figure out why Szechuan pepper produces the same response from our nerves as mechanical vibration, we may get a step or two closer to figuring out what makes us hurt. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS
Threaderick the Great! And YES, we asked the Arapaho
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN
Big cat causes big trouble at Mumbai college
Too rich for an iPhone 6? How about a gold-plated Brikk?
Not lobbed at your head, silly – a bling phone
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.