Le Petit Mort

1 comment June 22nd, 2005at 07:09pm Posted by Eli

Aptly named, indeed.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — New research indicates parts of the brain that govern fear and anxiety are switched off when a woman is having an orgasm but remain active if she is faking.

In the first study to map brain function during orgasm, scientists from the Netherlands also found that as a woman climaxes, an area of the brain governing emotional control is largely deactivated.

(snip)

When women faked orgasm, the cortex, the part of the brain governing conscious action, lit up. It was not activated during a genuine orgasm.

Even the body movements made during a real orgasm were unconscious, Holstege said.

The most striking results were seen in the parts of the brain that shut down, or deactivated. Deactivation was visible in the amygdala, a part of the brain thought to be involved in the neurobiology of fear and anxiety.

“During orgasm, there was strong, enormous deactivation in the brain. During fake orgasm, there was no deactivation of the brain at all. None,” Holstege said.

Shutting down the brain during orgasm may ensure that obstacles such as fear and stress did not get in the way, Holstege proposed. “Deactivation of these very important parts of the brain might be the most important necessity for having an orgasm,” he said.

Donald Pfaff, professor of neurobiology and behavior at Rockefeller University in New York, said the interpretations were reasonable. “It makes poetic sense,” said Pfaff, who was not connected with the research.

I really have nothing to add to this, other than to note that the section on methodology was a bit more interesting than the average scientific article not involving monkey economics…

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Science

1 Comment

  • 1. oldwhitelady  |  June 22nd, 2005 at 10:52 pm

    Shutting down the brain during orgasm may ensure that obstacles such as fear and stress did not get in the way, Holstege proposed. “Deactivation of these very important parts of the brain might be the most important necessity for having an orgasm,” he said.

    Ah! So THAT explains that!


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