Brain Sex in Men and Women - From Arousal to Orgasm

Posted on May 26, 2014

Sex is all in our heads, quite literally. Our brains are involved in all steps sexual behavior and in all its variations, from feelings of sexual desire and partner choice, to arousal, orgasm and even post-coital cuddling.

Now, with hundreds of neuroimaging studies on human sexual behavior, results from these studies are finally being integrated for meta-analysis, allowing for improved precision in identifying activated brain areas. This article reveals the neural model of sexual arousal, culminating in orgasm research and the surprising similarities, and marked differences, between the sexually aroused brain of men and women.

The first stage of the model is the cognitive component, where one perceives the sexual visual stimulus and judges its sexual nature and then focuses attention accordingly, which may lead to the mental rehearsal of performing a sexual act. Parts of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), through connectivity to the limbic reward and emotion systems, as well as areas involved with our senses, are thought to be promote the recognition and grading of the sex appeal of a stimulus.

This subsequently alters focus of attention, thus creating the high strength of activity observed in visual processing areas of the temporal and occipital lobes. This includes the extrastriate body, which is a specialized area for perceiving the human body. As the vmPFC is well-connected to all five sensory modalities it is reasonable to assume it would similarly influence the focus and perception of the other senses; taste, smell, touch and hearing.

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Category(s):Sexual Problems / Sex Therapy

Source material from Brain Blogger


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