At the Society for Neuroscience annual conference this week, researcher Barry Komisaruk presented a five-minute movie called “Brain Symphony”, compiled from fMRI scans of a woman experiencing orgasm. Scientific American provides this titillating plot synopsis:
The opening sonata begins with activation of the genital sensory projection zone, the paracentral lobule, followed by a cueing of the limbic system (insula, anterior cingulate, amygdala, hippocampus). During the crescendo, other areas join in for the hallelujah: the cerebellum (perhaps because of a change in muscle tension), the nucleus accumbens (a reward and pleasure center), the hypothalamus (spritzer of oxytocin, often misleadingly called the ‘love hormone’) and even the frontal cortex.
That is absolutely the hottest thing I’ve read all week.
Komisaruk could barely control his excitement: “[Orgasm] seems to activate all of the major brain systems, which we didn’t know before. I don’t know of any other behavioral process that is so powerful.”
The Guardian article about Komisaruk’s presentation includes a one-minute embedded video. It’s not clear to me if this is an excerpt from the video Komisaruk showed at SfN this week or a completely different female orgasm MRI video.