Sexual activity in mice and rats improved mental performance and increased the production of new neurons in the brain, find researchers.
But if we hear neuroscientists from University of Texas (UT), fake sex such as watching porn over computer or mobile may have the opposite effect, said a report in The Atlantic, an American magazine.
"Excessive porn viewing can result in permanent 'anatomical and pathological' changes to the brain," said neuroscientists from UT.
Even short viewing of pornographic images interferes with people's 'working memory' or the ability to mentally juggle and pay attention to multiple chores, they added.
The researchers tested the working memory of 28 healthy individuals when they were asked to keep track of neutral, negative, positive or pornographic stimuli, said the report, citing a study published in the Journal of Sex Research.
"Results revealed worse working memory performance in the pornographic picture condition," Matthias Brand, head of the cognitive psychology department at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, was quoted as saying.
On the other hand, another research at Konkuk University in Seoul, south Korea, found that sexual activity counteracts the suppressive actions of chronic stress in mice - thus making them smarter.