Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey have created the world's first movie of the female brain as it approaches, experiences and recovers from an orgasm.
This scan is of a 54-year old PhD student Nan Wise who was asked to lie in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner and stimulate herself.
It was seen that activity first build up in the genital area of the sensory cortex and then spread 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- cerebellum and frontal cortex. During orgasm, activity reaches a peak in the hypothalamus which releases the chemical oxytocin, which causes pleasurable sensations and signals the uterus to contract. Activity is also at its peak in the nucleus accumbens- an area linked to reward and pleasure. The activity in all these regions calms down gradually.
The team hopes that this research could be helpful to explain what goes wrong in both men and women who cannot reach sexual climax.