LONDON – Regularly viewing sexually explicit videos causes the brain to shrink and work less effectively, a new study revealed.
Scientists have found for the first time that regularly viewing sexual images could be physically harmful.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Berlin found that a part of the brain which activates when people feel motivated or rewarded, shrinks and works less efficiently.
“It’s not clear, for example, whether watching porn leads to brain changes or whether people born with certain brain types watch more porn,” said Dr Simone Kühn.
“We found that the volume of the so-called striatum, a brain region that has been associated with reward processing and motivated behavior was smaller the more pornography consumption the participants reported.
“Moreover we found that another brain region, that is also part of the striatum that is active when people see sexual stimuli, shows less activation the more pornography participants consumed.”
For the study, Dr Kuhn and her colleague Jurgen Gallinat from Charite University, also in Berlin, recruited 64 healthy men between the ages of 21 and 45 years and asked them questions about their porn-watching habits.
They also took images of the men’s brains to measure volume and to see how their brains reacted to pornographic pictures.
They found noticeable differences in the men who abstained compared with those who regularly accessed sexual videos or images.