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Is orgasm through mental imagery alone possible? Research into the science of the orgasm has uncovered that it is possible to have orgasms without physical touch. Indeed, they have even found that it is possible to orgasm through non erogenous parts of the body, including the knee and nose!
It is a common experience to have orgasms through dreams, hinting at the possibility that our mind may be the vehicle for orgasms, not the body.
Furthermore, researchers have discovered that it is possible for paralysed people to have orgasms. But how? Are orgasms all in the mind?
This formerly taboo subject in science was explored by Rutgers University when Rutgers University’s Komisaruk and retired Rutgers professor Beverly Whipple decided to test out this theory.
Carrying out studies of spinal-cord-injured women, they’ve found evidence of what they believe to be a new orgasmic pathway, one that bypasses the spine completely.
They found that the same brain areas were activated during orgasms experienced by imagery alone- there was no difference between those and actual genital orgasms.
Known commonly as the ‘extragenital’ orgasm, their studies found that pleasure can be obtained through any part of the body or from no physical contact at all.
Komisaruk states “Although it sounds strange, the reports are believable. Now, people can show our book to someone who doubts it (The Science of Orgasm), and it can serve as a validation. Time will tell how prevalent non-genital orgasms are.”
From their investigation into paralysed woman’s orgasms, it is showing that perhaps what we thought was the cause of orgasms (physical stimulation), may not be the cause at all. Indeed, it could be that harnessing the power of our minds through mental imagery alone may be enough to produce full physical orgasms in both men and women.
They conclude: “The increases in the self-induced imagery orgasm condition were comparable in magnitude to those in the genital self-stimulation-produced orgasm condition. On this basis we state that physical genital stimulation is evidently not necessary to produce a state that is reported to be an orgasm and that a reassessment of the nature of orgasm is warranted.”
Source: Whole Science
Female Orgasm Captured In Series Of Brain Scans
Scientists have used brain scan images to create the world’s first movie of the female brain as it approaches, experiences and recovers from an orgasm. The animation reveals the steady buildup of activity in the brain as disparate regions flicker into life and then come together in a crescendo of activity before gently settling back down again.
To make the animation, researchers monitored a woman’s brain as she lay in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner and stimulated herself. The research will help scientists to understand how the brain conducts the symphony of activity that leads to sexual climax in a woman.
By studying people who have orgasms, Professor Barry Komisaruk, a psychologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey and his team hope to uncover what goes wrong in both men and women who cannot reach sexual climax.
The animation was compiled from sequential brain scans of Nan Wise, a 54-year-old PhD student and sex therapist in Komisaruk’s lab. “It’s my dissertation,” Wise told the Guardian. “I’m committed to it.”
The animation may help researchers pinpoint which parts of the brain are responsible in women unable to experience orgasm. Video: TheVisualMD.com
The five-minute movie shows how activity changes across 80 separate regions of the brain in snapshots taken every two seconds. The animation uses a “hot metal” colour scale that begins at dark red and progresses through orange and yellow to white at the highest levels of activity.
“The general aim of this research is to understand how the orgasm builds up from genital stimulation and what parts of the brain become recruited and finally build up into an orgasm,” said Prof Komisaruk, who presented the work at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington DC on Monday. The work has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
As the animation plays, activity first builds up in the genital area of the sensory cortex, a response to being touched in that region. Activity then spreads to the limbic system, a collection of brain structures involved in emotions and long-term memory.
As the orgasm arrives, activity shoots up in two parts of the brain called the cerebellum and the frontal cortex, perhaps because of greater muscle tension. During orgasm, activity reaches a peak in the hypothalamus, which releases a chemical called oxytocin that causes pleasurable sensations and stimulates the uterus to contract. Activity also peaks in the nucleus accumbens, an area linked to reward and pleasure.
After orgasm, the activity in all these regions gradually calms down.
“It’s a beautiful system in which to study the brain’s connectivity,” Komisaruk said. “We expect that this movie, a dynamic representation of the gradual buildup of brain activity to a climax, followed by resolution, will facilitate our understanding of pathological conditions such as anorgasmia by emphasising where in the brain the sequential process breaks down.”
In a new technique being developed by Komisaruk, people inside the scanner can see their own brain activity on a screen almost instantaneously. Through this “neurobiofeedback”, Komisaruk speculates that people might be able to learn how to change their brain activity, a feat that could perhaps help treat a broad range of conditions, such as anxiety, depression and pain.
“We’re using orgasm as a way of producing pleasure. If we can learn how to activate the pleasure regions of the brain then that could have wider applications,” he said.