Brain Plasticity And Internet Pornography

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Gary Wilson is the host of www.yourbrainonporn.com. The site arose in response to a growing demand for solid scientific information by heavy Internet erotica users experiencing perplexing, unexpected effects: escalation to more extreme material, concentration difficulties, sexual performance problems, radical changes in sexual tastes, social anxiety, irritability, inability to stop, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

As a physiology teacher with a particular interest in the latest neuroscience discoveries, Gary was aware that their symptoms might be the result of addiction-related brain changes. Applying the website’s concepts of brain plasticity, many former users have braved withdrawal, reversed their symptoms and restored normal sexual responsiveness.

In this video for TED Gary talks about how internet pornography, especially via high speed internet, exposes guys to sexual stimulation far greater in variety than anything the male brain was evolved to handle. Stimulation leads to dopamine release, over and over, and sets up a classic addiction response. In young guys (some have been accessing internet porn since the age of 10) this comes at a time of greatest brain plasticity, when the neural pathways are being established.
In studying the effect of internet porn, researchers have encountered a problem: they have been unable to find any control subjects, i.e. young men who have NOT been exposed to internet porn. Until recently…. now there are growing numbers of guys who are now ex-internet-porn users.
Why?
In short: erectile dysfunction.
Getting this type of sexual stimulation has created a growing inability on the part of internet porn users to become aroused in the presence of a real live female partner.
Watch this excellent presentation to discover some of the problems of internet porn, and how it affects your brain.
Maybe long term….
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Mara Dall (46 Posts)

Mara Dall is a writer and traveller, exploring wild, magical places of the earth, of the mind, and of the soul. Read more about her here.