As you might know, I am getting more and more involved in understanding personality, particularly all of the biological traits that we have inherited. Moreover, as Chief Scientific Advisor to the new Internet dating site, Chemistry.com, I am searching to understand why you (and I) fall in love with one person rather than another--particularly how our biology steers us to "him" or "her." In this regard, a new scientific study landed in my email box yesterday that gives a remarkable clue to how we "read" others--an essential aspect of choosing your future partner. As it turns out, the iris of the eye has two physical traits that have been linked to personality differences. The number of "crypts" or pits in the iris signal how likely you are to be warm, tender and trusting. And the number of "furrows," or curving lines along the outer edge of the iris, signal the degree to which you are likely to be neurotic, impulsive and willing to assuage your cravings. In both cases, the more crypts or furrows, the more likely you are to be, respectively, tender hearted or spontaneous. These traits develop in the womb. In short, we have evolved a remarkable and subtle biological strategy to signal who we are.
Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes. "We struggle all our lives to know a few basic things about ourselves that the most casual passerby can tell us in a moment." It seems that Mother Nature has produced many devises by which we advertise our virtues and our vices, enabling those around us to make careful choices in the game of love. No wonder sunglasses can be so disconcerting. No wonder some call the eyes the window to the soul.