Brain Activity of Porn Addicts Is Different From Other Addicts

Brain Activity of Porn Addicts Is Different From Other Addicts

By Victoria Kim 06/30/15

Scientists are still undecided on their positions about sex and porn addiction.

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A new study has found that porn does not look like other addictions, after self-reported porn addicts demonstrated a different neurological response to stimuli than other addicts.

According to the Medical Daily, an image of a casino would intensify a gambler’s late positive potential (LPP), when brain activity increases in response to the emotional intensity of certain stimuli, and the same would occur in people addicted to gaming, heroin, nicotine, and cocaine.

However, brain activity actually decreased in the self-reported porn addicts in the study when they were shown sexually explicit images, demonstrating a lower, rather than a higher, LPP.

The study, which monitored the brain activity of 122 men and women—55 of whom reported a “porn problem”—“provides clear evidence that porn does not look like other addictions,” Dr. Nicole Prause, sexual psychophysiologist, neuroscientist and lead author of the study, told Medical Daily.

Since the responses to porn does not follow the same pattern as other addictions, Prause said it’s no longer appropriate to call porn “addicting” from a scientific perspective.

The study’s findings are in line with the American Psychiatric Association’s position on sex and porn addiction, which is that there isn’t enough evidence to support diagnoses.

Prause told The Daily Beast that the study’s intent is not to imply that porn addiction is not a legitimate problem, but that it is scientifically incorrect to call it addicting.

“Many people have misinterpreted our research as saying that people are faking these problems. We have never made that claim,” said Prause.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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