The Independent 22 Sept 2013
People who are addicted to pornography show similar brain activity to alcoholics or drug addicts, a study has revealed.
MRI scans of test subjects who admitted to compulsive pornography use showed that the reward centres of the brain reacted to seeing explicit material in the same way as an alcoholic’s might on seeing a drinks advert.
The research by Cambridge University assessed the brain activity of 19 addictive pornography users against a control group of people who said they were not compulsive users.
Lead scientist Dr Valerie Voon, an honorary consultant neuropsychiatrist, told the Sunday Times: “We found greater activity in an area of the brain called the ventral striatum, which is a reward centre, involved in processing reward, motivation and pleasure.
“When an alcoholic sees an ad for a drink, their brain will light up in a certain way and they will be stimulated in a certain way. We are seeing this same kind of activity in users of pornography.”