This is the brain of a person who sees pornography

Pornography remains a controversial issue. Previous experiments have confirmed the impact that the stimulation of the pleasure center causes in the brain through the excess of explicit sexual contents. Now, several studies go deeper into this topic: what exactly does it do in our brain?

The high consumption of pornography can alter the structure and functioning of our brain causing addiction or addictive behavior to arise. Both having sex and watching them leads to the release in the brain of a substance called dopamine (a brain neurotransmitter related to motor functions, emotions and feelings of pleasure).

The difference with regard to practicing sex is that porn produces a kind of "flood" of dopamine. The excessive discharge of this hormone can produce cardiovascular, renal, stomach or endocrine disorders, among others. But also, when this discharge occurs, the body needs to re-produce them again, so they promote the repetition of this behavior and can lead to a vicious circle that leads the individual to lose the ability to govern their own body.

The brain, meanwhile, reduces its activity in the reward centers. The more pornography you see, the less activity, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. This causes the brain to need more dopamine to feel the same effect. It offers us a compelling reason to see more pornography again.

"Brains respond to chemical change. When dopamine is released and there is a sense of pleasure, the primitive brain sends the message of repeating the behavior of the desired sensation, "explains Joe Schrank, specialist in addictions.

Thus the mind of a person with dependence on pornography is presented with a constant need to feel a strong stimulation. That is why the brain of a high consumer of explicit sexual content is compared with that of a person with alcohol dependence or a drug dependent person. Without going any further, a study published in the journal PloS One and carried out by the University of Cambridge (England) revealed that the striatum or striatum - which plays an important role in the reward center of the brain - was also illuminated when it was about people with alcohol dependence as well as pornography when showing them images of their object of desire.

The scientists discovered that three specific regions of the brain were much more active in people addicted to these sexual contents: the striatum, the anterior cingulate cortex (executive control, emotional control) and the amygdala (sentinel of emotions). In addition, seeing too much pornography also modifies the size of our brain. In another study carried out by the Max Planck Institute (Germany) in 2014, the researchers discovered that the volume of the striatum of the brain decreased the more they saw pornography.

"We found an important negative link between the act of viewing pornography several hours a week and the volume of gray matter in the right lobe of the brain, as well as the activity of the prefrontal cortex," explained the authors of the study.

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