MindBurst Recap: February 2015

The Mind Museum regularly celebrates monthly themed science parties called Mind Bursts. Open to our guest learners, the themes cover a wide range: from astronomy and physics to music and science fiction, MindBursts feature workshops, games, and interactive talks, and help our guests appreciate and understand the science in our everyday lives.  
Last February 28, we celebrated The Science of Love: A Playbook. Named as a reference to an instructional guide on dating and love, the MindBurst was structured in the style of a magazine, with the activities and exhibits organized and titled like columns and feature articles. 

One of the main activities was Sexual Selection, a speed dating activity for guests aged 18 and above.

Another activity was Bonfire Games, a quiz show based on the UK television program, Only Connect. To play, the contestants had to find what connected the four objects provided in a sequence. 

Guests who came in were also given the option of taking a Playbook with them, which contained different challenges for them to complete as part of The Search For Love activity. Examples of these challenges included: 

a. Writing a confession on The Mind Museum Secret Files Board;
b. Randomly choosing a dare from the Dare Booth;
c. Taking a picture with the Photo Booth, which was designed to resemble Tinder's interface;

d. Requesting a love song from the DJ at the Dedication Booth;

and e. Building intimacy with a complete stranger in The Nearness of You challenge. 

The first guests to complete all of their tasks won a Valentine's Bundle courtesy of one of our concessionaires, Kyle's Lab.

The MindBurst also featured several interactive Sexhibits, which comprised four parts: attraction, arousal, kink, and love/intimacy.

The exhibits on attraction tackled how sex shaped our evolution, what features in men and women we find attractive, and why we generally seem to find symmetrical faces beautiful. 

It also engaged the female subjects in a blind mini-experiment, wherein they had to smell white T-shirts that were worn by male test subjects for a period of three nights. They then had to choose the shirt which they felt had the most attractive scent, and when shown pictures of the test subjects (not in order), they also had to choose the most attractive face.

Based on previous studies, the prediction for the experiment would be that the test subject with the most attractive face would also have the most attractive scent - we did not observe this trend with our results, but the sample size is of course too small to be representative.

The arousal exhibits discussed the physiology of arousal and fantasy, and what Google and big data reveal about our desires and insecurities.

The exhibit on kink displayed ten different kinds of fetishes, with videos, visual representations, and testimonials from fetishists to give a personal account of their experiences.

Lastly, the exhibits on love tackled the hormones involved in love, the evolutionary benefits of pair bonds, and how love and intimacy change with age. 

The Science of Love is a good start to the year's many upcoming activities, and the next MindBurst Recap will cover the March 2015 MindBurst on all things science fiction.

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