AUDIO: The science of kissing

Why do humans kiss? Is it a cultural artifact or in our genes? U.S. researcher Sheril Kirshenbaum discusses the science of kissing with CBC's Quirks & Quarks.

Who doesn't remember their first kiss? From our first moment in our mother's arms to the defining moment of our wedding to our final moment as we exit this world, a kiss is often the act that accompanies our most significant events in life.

But why do humans kiss? Is it a cultural artifact or in our genes? And why do some cultures avoid it, while others embrace it?

In her new book, The Science of Kissing, Sheril Kirshenbaum, a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, explores the neuroscience, anthropology, and biology of osculation — and even gives some practical tips for the perfect smooch. She shared some of the highlights with CBC's Quirks & Quarks.