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Can Watching too Much Porn Destroy Your Brain?

A new German study has discovered a link between watching too much porn and reduced brain activity.

The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, asked 64 men aged 21 to 45 about how many hours of porn they watched each week. Researchers then measured the volume of the subjects’ gray matter, and used MRI techniques to see how their brains reacted to pornographic images. The men who watched the most porn were found to have less gray matter volume than the men who viewed less porn.

The study also found that “pornography consumption… could reflect change in neural plasticity as a consequence of an intense stimulation of the reward system.” In other words, the part of the brain involved in processing rewards was smaller in the men who viewed the most porn. However, the jury is out whether watching porn is causing these changes in the brain, or whether people born with these brain characteristics just like watching porn more than someone with a “normal” brain.

Maybe your mother was right after all— too much porn can be bad for your health.

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