Study: Watching Too Much Porn On The Internet Can Cause Memory Loss

Study: Watching Too Much Porn On The Internet Can Cause Memory Loss
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People addicted to watching pornography on the internet are in danger of suffering short-term memory loss which can have a major impact on their lives, according to new research.

German scientists studied the part of the brain responsible for keeping information in the mind while using it to complete a task, critical for understanding, reasoning, problem solving and decision making.

In the first research of its kind, they asked asked 28 men — all heterosexual with an average age of 26 — to look at a number of computer images, some pornographic and some nonsexual.

The clean images included pictures of people doing a number of activities, such as laughing, playing sports or carrying a weapon.

As the volunteers viewed the pictures, they touched a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ key to indicate whether the picture was the same as one they had seen four slides previously.

The men logged a significantly greater number of incorrect answers when they viewed the porn than when they saw the nonsexual images.

On average, they answered correctly 67 per cent of the time when they viewed pornographic pictures, rising to 80 per cent when they saw the clean pictures. 

According to researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the findings could help psychologists understand why some people with internet porn addictions forget to sleep, miss appointments, shirk job responsibilities and neglect relationships.  


‘Sexual arousal and its impacts on cognitive processes might explain parts of these negative effects,’ the researchers wrote.

Previous research has linked the processing of pornographic pictures with areas of the brain responsible for emotion, arousal and attention.

‘Sexual arousal interferes with working memory, an important facet of executive functioning,’ said study author Christian Laier, a graduate student studying under psychologist Matthias Brand.

Because the current study focused solely on heterosexual men, it is impossible to say whether the findings would apply to gay men or to women.

‘It is at its first stage,’ said Laier. ‘Our results need to be tested with respect to gender and sexual orientation to verify.’

The study was published in November in the Journal of Sex Research.

Stephen Willard | Elite.

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