The idea that the clitoris is the only source of female genital sensation has been directly challenged after new MRI brain scans revealed that stimulation of the vagina, cervix and nipples strongly activated three separate areas in the brain's sensory cortex.
Although researchers began mapping male sexual brain sensations more than half a century ago, it is only in the last two years that scientists have begun to examine how female sexual responses are mapped in the brain. The new study, from Rutgers University, is the first to map the brain's sensory cortical responses to clitoral, vaginal, cervical, and nipple stimulation.
Lead researcher Barry R. Komisaruk said that stimulation of each of the female genital regions "produces a significant and strong activation of specific and different sites in the sensory cortex." The three sensory areas are grouped in the same region of the female brain as the penis is in men's brains.
Surprisingly, nipple stimulation activated not only the chest region of the sensory cortex as expected, but also the genital region, suggesting a neurological basis for women's reports that nipple stimulation feels erotic.
"There is a major input to the sensory cortex in response to stimulation of not only the clitoris, but of the vagina and cervix as well, which also evidently receive a significant and substantial sensory nerve supply. This lays the groundwork for an understanding of how genital stimulation spreads sequentially through the brain... to eventually activate the brain regions that produce orgasm," Komisaruk said in conclusion.
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Source: The Journal of Sexual Medicine