Is this really news?20 Jun 2005
From a Reuters story:
Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have used scans to show that different areas of the brain are stimulated during an orgasm but are not activated when a woman fakes it.
"Women can imitate orgasm quite well," Gert Holstege told a fertility meeting on Monday. "But there is nothing really happening in the brain."
Not exactly earth-shattering to anyone who's watched "When Harry Met Sally." But the story buries the lede:
But they did show that different parts of the male and female brain are activated and deactivated during sexual stimulation.
The researchers found less deactivation in the males in the areas of the brain linked to emotion and fear when they were sexually stimulated.
For more speculations about the mental features related to orgasm, see my previous post. Again, this is evidence that the feature itself cannot be disentangled from the cognitive features of the brain in humans. The article further says that in females, orgasm accompanies a deactivation of cortical regions and regions of the brain involved in fear and emotion.
On the other hand, these areas might naturally be less active in people willing to climax in a clinical setting while strapped into an MRI machine...