Sex Can Grow Brain Cells, But Porn Can't

Sex is sort of like a level 4 BrainQuest match.

BY KATE HAKALA

Hey, you nerds, all those Lumosity training programs, while impressing your mom, might have been a waste of time. If you were trying to get smarter, you could have just been screwing your brains out. 

A study last April from the University of Maryland found that middle-aged rats that were allowed to engage in sex showed signs of increased mental performance and brain cell development. After once witnessing a university rat energetically receiving a blow job, I concur. And last November, Konkuk University released yet another study indicating that sexy mouse times boosted brain cell growth and recognition memory function and buffered against the memory-zapping qualities of stress. Scientists speculate that sex-induced neurogenesis applies to humans too. Just a few humps around the hamster wheel and we're all a little bit sharper.

But this boost to our memories is only helpful if we're actually full-on boning someone, not just when we're a casual laptop-wielding, lotion-pumping observer to the penetration. That's because all that fine free Internet porn interferes with your working memory. A study from the Journal of Sex Research found that exposure to porn reduced cognitive abilities and working memory (i.e. multi-tasking, like wanking with one hand and making a carne asada burrito in another). 

Though this may seem like good news for those who frequently bed partners and are going for their Master's degree in chemical engineering, the effect that sex has on the brain can be fleeting. It turns out that in order to keep alive the new brain cells you produce through novelty acts like sex, you need to also endure mental training to keep them. Just be smart about it: trade in the post-coital cigarette and spoon for a violin lesson and a level 4 BrainQuest match.

[h/t The Atlantic]

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