Friends, what we have here is the "world's first movie of the female brain as it approaches, experiences and recovers from an orgasm." Watch as the body's most complex organ goes from a quiet red to a scorching hot yellow-white, as synapses fire and oxygen levels change. Fireworks!
The Guardian reports that the clip was pieced together using images from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. The lady in question, Nan Wise, 54-year-old PhD student and sex therapist, laid down in the scanner and stimulated herself. "It's my dissertation," Wise told the Guardian. "I'm committed to it."
Professor Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a psychologist at Rutgers University, explains:
The human brain can be separated into regions based on structure and function - vision, audition, body sensation, etc, known as Brodmann's area map.
This visualization shows the functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, brain data of a participant experiencing an orgasm and the corresponding relationships seen within these different regions based on utilization of oxygen levels in the blood. 20 snapshots in time of the fMRI data are taken from a 7 minute sequence. Over the course of the 7 minutes the participant approaches orgasm, reaches orgasm and then enters a quiet period.
Oxygen utilization levels are displayed on a spectrum from dark red (lowest activity) to yellow/white (highest). As can be observed, an orgasm leads to almost the entire brain illuminating yellow, indicating that most brain systems become active at orgasm.
As you can see in the clip, there is activity — changing in intensity — across 80 separate parts of the brain right before, during, and after orgasm. Apparently the only thing that stimulates a woman's brain more is epileptic seizure. Komisaruk calls the orgasm process a "brain symphony," and notes that he and his team hope to figure out what goes wrong in both men and women who cannot reach sexual climax:
"It's a beautiful system in which to study the brain's connectivity. We expect that this movie, a dynamic representation of the gradual buildup of brain activity to a climax, followed by resolution, will facilitate our understanding of pathological conditions such as anorgasmia by emphasizing where in the brain the sequential process breaks down."
Also? It also looks really cool.
Female Orgasm Captured In Series Of Brain Scans [Guardian]
Only Epilepsy Brings More Activity to Women's Brains than Does ‘Self-Stimulation' to Orgasm [Scientific American]
Video courtesy of TheViusalMD.com.