Surprising ways sex affects the brain. Research has shown that sex may have a profound impact on the brains of humans. The following are more surprising reasons why sex has been shown to affect the brain in different ways.
Sex Increases Memory- Studies show that sex increases the ability to memorize new information. Sex also increases how much a person can remember of the past. Overall, sex acts as a tool to learning from experience and replaying the old experience back into the brain. The ability to memorize can be compared to the better results achieved with patients undergoing neuro-psychological tests.
Sex Increases Memory- Some scientists have observed that sex increases the amount of gray matter present in the brain. A study that looked at twenty-five males and twenty-two females found that when the subjects underwent neuropsychological tests, it was seen that sex was associated with greater performance in two memory functions. One of the tests focused on how long it took subjects to identify which object was the same or not.
This, to a similar result in males and females. Another test focused on subjects having to memorize a set of five letters. Again, it was seen that when the test subjects had to memorize the letters, their brain activity was associated with sex.
Brain Functioning is Affected by Sexual Stimulance- Individuals that participate in sexual stimulation often experience an increase in their cognitive abilities. Specifically, one aspect of the performance was to see that the males performed better on tasks involving spatial memory. This could be seen as being an indication that there is a greater ability to process information, perhaps due to higher levels of testosterone.
Brain Chemistry Changes during Sexual Activity- There is evidence that suggests that after sexual activity, there is an increase in the level of a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. When testosterone levels rise, it often results in a slower heart rate, increased blood pressure, and higher amounts of oxygen in the brain. This occurs because testosterone helps regulate the overall levels of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
A study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) showed that during sexual activity the levels of serotonin were increasing in the brain, leading to increased firing of neurons in the brain. For some reason, serotonin levels tend to decrease when not under sexual stimulation.
Sex and Alzheimer’s Disease: A study comparing men and women with Alzheimer’s disease and those without demonstrated that the women showed an increase in activation in the limbic system. In comparison, there was no change in the men.
Sex and Depression: Many researchers claim that the incidence of depression is directly related to the amount of sex participants have over the course of their lifetime. In other words, individuals who live an active sex life generally are happier than those who don’t. Although studies have shown that a variety of factors affect the occurrence of depression, they generally indicate that the presence of depression is significantly related to the amount of sexual activity a person has.
Sex, and chemicals in the brain, make it easier for people to solve problems and learn faster. A study shows that it improves the ability to remember things, which makes it easier to remember for people to be able to easily grasp new concepts. For example, one study showed that rats who were treated with oxytocin, a substance released in the brain during sex, quickly learned to associate one particular smell with a tasty treat.
A study showed that sex, and more specifically, orgasms resulted in less neurons firing. The researchers also found that there was a connection between certain brain chemicals, such as dopamine, and sex. They said that the major difference between sex and cocaine use was, “Impulses of sexual activity have a profound effect on brain plasticity, particularly on the neural mechanisms that cause or maintain orgasmic state.”
Sex and the brain also have another side effect. For people experiencing sexual difficulties, brain cancer or stroke patients, sex acts as a chemical treatment.