Feeds

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

Szechuan pepper 50Hz so good...

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.