Article

Functional MRI of the brain during orgasm in women.

Department of Psychology, Rutgers,The State University of New Jersey, Newark 07102, USA.
Annual review of sex research 02/2005; 16:62-86.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Women diagnosed with complete spinal cord injury (SCI) at T10 or higher report sensations generated by vaginal-cervical mechanical self-stimulation (CSS). In this paper we review brain responses to sexual arousal and orgasm in such women, and further hypothesize that the afferent pathway for this unexpected perception is provided by the Vagus nerves, which bypass the spinal cord. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we ascertained that the region of the medulla oblongata to which the Vagus nerves project (the Nucleus of the Solitary Tract or NTS) is activated by CSS. We also used an objective measure, CSS-induced analgesia response to experimentally induced finger pain, to ascertain the functionality of this pathway. During CSS, several women experienced orgasms. Brain regions activated during orgasm included the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, amygdala, accumbens-bed nucleus of the stria terminalis-preoptic area, hippocampus, basal ganglia (especially putamen), cerebellum, and anterior cingulate, insular, parietal and frontal cortices, and lower brainstem (central gray, mesencephalic reticular formation, and NTS). We conclude that the Vagus nerves provide a spinal cord-bypass pathway for vaginal-cervical sensibility and that activation of this pathway can produce analgesia and orgasm.

2 Followers
 · 
512 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clinical experiences have revealed that patients with breast cancer experience various sexual problems following their treatment. Breast cancer negatively impacts the sexual life of the afflicted couples, and as a traumatic event can influence women's psychosexual functioning and intimate relationship. This review focuses on sexuality after breast cancer and on a growing need for bio-psycho-social guidelines for breast cancer treatment. This study aims to review the literature on management, psychological outcomes and sexual dysfunction in patients with breast cancer. Although the benefits of the current treatment strategies are well established, many cancer survivors are at risk for developing psycho physiological symptoms including sexual dysfunction. Cancer and treatment-related factors can influence sexual functioning. We review current treatment-related side effects on sexual functioning such as desire, arousal and orgasm in breast cancer patients. Despite the impact of medical treatment on survival of patients with breast cancer, no satisfactory steps have been taken towards improving sexual functioning of these patients. Breast cancer affects many aspects of sexuality, including changes in physical functioning and in the perception of feminity. Sexual dysfunction following breast cancer should be diagnosed and managed as a systematic approach with multidisciplinary inputs. Healthcare professionals should assess the effects of medical and surgical treatment on the sexuality of breast cancer survivors.
    Iranian Journal of Cancer Prevention 01/2012; 5(1):10-5.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review deals critically with many aspects of the functional genital anatomy of the human female in relation to inducing sexual arousal and its relevance to procreation and recreation. Various controversial problems are discussed including: the roles of clitorally versus coitally induced arousal and orgasm in relation to the health of women, the various sites of induction of orgasm and the difficulty women find in specifically identifying them because of “'ambiguity problems” and “genital site pareidolia,” the cervix and sexual arousal, why there are so many sites for arousal, why multiple orgasms occur, genital reflexes and coitus, the sites of arousal and their representation in the brain, and identifying aspects and functions of the genitalia with appropriate new nomenclature. Clin. Anat., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Clinical Anatomy 12/2014; 28(3). DOI:10.1002/ca.22495 · 1.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Opioid receptors belong to the G protein coupled receptor family. They modulate brain function at all levels of neural integration and therefore impact on autonomous, sensory, emotional and cognitive processing. In vivo functional interaction between mu and delta opioid receptors are known to take place though it is still debated whether interactions occur at circuitry, cellular or molecular level. Also, the notion of receptor crosstalk via mu-delta heteromers is well documented in vitro but in vivo evidence remains scarce. To identify neurons in which receptor interactions could take place, we designed a unique double mutant knock-in mouse line that expresses functional red-fluorescent mu receptors and green-fluorescent delta receptors. We mapped mu and delta receptor distribution and co-localization throughout the nervous system and created the first interactive brain atlas with concomitant mu-delta visualization at subcellular resolution (http://mordor.ics-mci.fr/). Mu and delta receptors co-localize in neurons from subcortical networks but are mainly detected in separate neurons in the forebrain. Also, co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicated physical proximity in the hippocampus, a prerequisite to mu-delta heteromerization. Altogether, data suggest that mu-delta functional interactions take place at systems level for high-order emotional and cognitive processing whereas mu-delta may interact at cellular level in brain networks essential for survival, which has potential implications for innovative drug design in pain control, drug addiction and eating disorders.
    09/2014; 1(5). DOI:10.14800/rci.210

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
250 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014