from the everybody-look-at-your-hands dept.
Papas Fritas writes:
The Washington Post reports that a group of evolutionary biologists have looked at the science of bump and grind, and say they have figured out exactly which dance movements catch a woman's eye. Researchers set up the experiment as follows: they recruited 30 men to dance to a core drum beat for 30 seconds. The dancers were given no specific instructions on how to dance beforehand, and their movements were recorded via a sophisticated motion-capture system. Each dancer's 30-second routine was then used to animate a "featureless, gender-neutral" computer-generated avatar. Researchers then asked 37 women to view each of the dancing avatars and rate their performance on a seven-point scale.
The results: Women rated dancers higher when they showed larger and more variable movements of the head, neck and torso (PDF). Speed of leg movements mattered too, particularly bending and twisting of the right knee. Going beyond the dance floor, these findings could demonstrate that men's dance moves could carry "honest signals of traits such as health, fitness, genetic quality and developmental history." No word yet on whether similar findings hold true for men's assessments of women's dancing ability as an indication of their genetic quality and fitness.