BackgroundDuring the course of a previous study, our laboratory made a serendipitous finding that just thinking about genital stimulation resulted in brain activations that overlapped with, and differed from, those generated by physical genital stimulation.ObjectiveThis study extends our previous findings by further characterizing how the brain differentially processes physical ‘touch’ stimulation and ‘imagined’ stimulation.DesignEleven healthy women participated in an fMRI study of the brain response to imagined or actual tactile stimulation of the nipple and clitoris. Two additional conditions – imagined dildo self-stimulation and imagined speculum stimulation – were included to characterize the effects of erotic versus non-erotic imagery.ResultsImagined and tactile self-stimulation of the nipple and clitoris each activated the paracentral lobule and the secondary somatosensory cortex. Imagined self-stimulation of the clitoris and nipp...
Keywords primary somatosensory cortex  clitoris  secondary somatosensory cortex  genitalia  tactile imagery  sexual arousal  nipple  self-stimulation  human female  homunculus
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DOI 10.3402/snp.v6.31481
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