Illustrated By Darcy Moore.
Ah, the wide, wacky world of sex research — it seems like every day, some scientists discover a new reason why "sex is good for you!" In case you need yet another reason to engage in some good ol' fashioned boinking, we've got a great one for you. Researchers in Maryland have found that sex increased mental performance and even caused the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus (the part of the brain associated with long-term memory) in mice and rats. Yep, you read that right — sex not only makes the brain work better, it actually creates new brain cells.
And, it gets even better. A separate South Korean study conducted last year found that sex combatted the harmful effects of stress on the brain and memory. Admittedly, the study used middle-aged mice, rather than adult humans. But, the researchers were optimistic that the finding could hold true for people, saying that sex "could be helpful for buffering adult hippocampal neurogenesis and recognition memory function against the suppressive actions of chronic stress.”
Interestingly, while sex itself could have big benefits for your brain, an increasing body of evidence suggests that porn can have negative effects on neurological function. According to a study published last year in the Journal Of Sex Research, pornographic images interfered with subjects' mental capacity. More specifically, photos that aroused participants had a detrimental effect on their working memory, which is necessary for multitasking and remembering basic things like appointments and commitments. Of course, these results could be attributed to the subjects' arousal itself, rather than the fact that they were aroused from looking at porn. Nonetheless, it seems that, at least where the brain is concerned, there's just nothing like the real thing. (The Atlantic)