The Journal of Sexual Medicine reports on research involving functional MRI (fMRI) of the female brain during stimulation of varied parts of the body. The aim of the study was towards mapping of the brain so that female sexual response could be better understood. Such mapping, according to the article, has never been completed for females. Sensory cortical responses to self-stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, cervix, and the breast were mapped in addition to the thumb and the great toe for points of reference on the corticalhomunculus.
The findings of the study state that stimulation to the vagina, clitoris and cervix produced fMRI readings that could be differentiated. In other words, stimulation of the vagina does not produce the same neurologic response as stimulation to the clitoris. "Do we really need research to know this?" Yes, we do. While there is certainly complexity involved in sexual response, this now documented mapping provides very useful information. The authors also point out that breast stimulation activated the genital cortex.
For a fabulous report on the relevance of this research and on the potential implications of this research to pelvic pain, please see David Butler's always informational post on his website.His work consistently inspires me and you too can receive free Neuro Orthopedic Group (NOI) updates on research and the clinical implications by signing up at noigroup.com. Pelvic pain will be specifically addressed at the 2012 NOI conference in Australia.