The brain of someone in love looks strikingly like the brain of someone on hard drugs. Most humans love being in love.
Brain Activation During Human Male Ejaculation
“Brain mechanisms that control human sexual behavior in general, and ejaculation in particular, are poorly understood. We used positron emission tomography to measure increases in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during ejaculation compared with sexual stimulation in heterosexual male volunteers. Manual penile stimulation was performed by the volunteer’s female partner. Primary activation was found in the mesodiencephalic transition zone, including the ventral tegmental area, which is involved in a wide variety of rewarding behaviors.
Parallels are drawn between ejaculation and heroin rush.” The Journal of Neuroscience
But wait — what about women? FIREWORKS. Below is short video clip of a female brain as it approaches, experiences and recovers from an orgasm. The clip was pieced together using images from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. The woman involved in the experiment is a 54-year-old PhD student and sex therapist. As seen in the video, an orgasm leads to almost the entire brain illuminating yellow, indicating that most brain systems in women become active at orgasm. Apparently, only an epileptic seizure causes more electrical activity to the brain.
“The human brain can be separated into regions based on structure and function – vision, audition, body sensation, etc, known as Brodmann’s area map. This visualization shows the functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, brain data of a participant experiencing an orgasm and the corresponding relationships seen within these different regions based on utilization of oxygen levels in the blood. Oxygen utilization levels are displayed on a spectrum from dark red (lowest activity) to yellow/white (highest). As can be observed, an orgasm leads to almost the entire brain illuminating yellow, indicating that most brain systems become active at orgasm.
It’s a beautiful system in which to study the brain’s connectivity.“
No post about the birds and the bees and the buzz from love would be complete without this Robert Palmer tune. 😉