(Maria Cohut, Healthline Media) Having sex can flavor our nights, and days, with sweet pleasure and excitement, relieving stress and worry.
And, of course, sex has been key to ensuring that the human race lives on.
Sex influences our brain activity in ways that may impact our emotions, sensitivity to pain, and even sleep.
Recent studies have shown that it can have an effect on how much we eat, and how well the heart functions.
Sex has been cited as an effective method of burning calories, with scientists noting that appetite is reduced in the aftermath.
Brain activity and sexual stimulation
For both men and women, sexual stimulation and satisfaction have been demonstrated to increase the activity of brain networks related to pain and emotional states, as well as to the reward system.
This led some researchers to liken sex to other stimulants from which we expect an instant “high,” such as drugs and alcohol.
The brain and penile stimulation
A study by researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands used positron emission tomography scans to monitor the cerebral blood flow of male participants while their genitals were being stimulated by their female partners.
The scans demonstrated that stimulating the erect penis increased blood flow in the posterior insula and the secondary somatosensory cortex in the right hemisphere of the brain, while decreasing it in the right amygdala.
The brain and the female orgasm
In a study of the female orgasm that was conducted last year, scientists from Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, monitored the brain activity of 10 female participants as they achieved the peak of their pleasure — either by self-stimulation or by being stimulated by their partners.
The regions that were “significantly activated” during orgasm, the team found, included part of the prefrontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, the insula, the cingulate gyrus, and the cerebellum. Read the full story at Medical News Today.