Finally, someone has done a neuroimaging study of the female orgasm.
Although the paper from this study has not been published yet, if the conference reports are anything to go by, it may be the first functional neuroimaging study of orgasm in healthy human females.
My only caveat is the rather random way this story is being reported (e.g. ‘Brain scans detect fake orgasms’) and the seemingly odd quotes from the researcher involved (from a BBC News story):
Professor Holstege said: “Women can imitate orgasm quite well. But with genuine orgasm”, he said: “What we see is an extreme deactivation of large portions of the brain hippocampus and especially the emotional parts involved with fear… And if you are fearful, it is very hard to have sex. It’s very hard to let go.” He said this was useful for men to know. “When you want to make love to a woman, you must give her the feeling of being protected.”
If reported correctly, Prof Holstege seems to have gone from a discovery about a reduction in brain activity (possibly based on a weak clich√© that the amygdala circuit is the ‘fear’ part of the brain) to advice on ‘how to make love to a woman’.
Come again ?