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Study: Sex Addiction and Porn Addiction Trigger Similar Brain Activity

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:11:01 +0000

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study found that pornography triggers the same brain activity in individuals with so-called "sex addicts" as drugs do in the brains of drug addicts.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, was led by researchers at the University of Cambridge and used functional MRIs to get a glimpse into the brain of 19 men affected by compulsive sexual behavior. Those scans were then compared to the same number of healthy volunteers.

Researchers found that three regions of the brain were more active in the sex addicts -- the ventral striatum, the dorsal anterior cingulate and the amygdala. Those three regions of the brain are also activated in drug addicts who are shown drug-related stimuli. Researchers say the brain regions are linked to reward, motivation and cravings, as well as processing the significance of emotions and events.

Researchers also say that the patients with sex addiction began their exposure to pornography at an earlier age, on average, than the control group.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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