Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Justine Alford

Men Get Erections In the Morning:

When wife has to hurry to work?

It’s an amusing, albeit often highly inconvenient, phenomenon that half of the world’s population has to deal with on a regular basis.

So what’s the science story behind that morning glory?

Morning glories, or nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) as they are correctly called, are spontaneous erections that occur during sleep or while waking up.

All blokes without erectile dysfunction are graced with them and they normally occur around three to five times during sleep.

September 8, 2014 | by Justine Alford

NPT actually starts in utero, or in the womb (seriously), and continues throughout life.

If it’s any consolation, men aren’t completely alone—women also get clitoral erections and vaginal engorgement during sleep, and various nonhuman mammals also get NPT.

While a few different theories have been proposed over the years to explain NPT, what causes it still remains uncertain.

NPT, just like clitoral erections, is associated with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

One idea is that during REM sleep, noradrenergic cells (neurons that release the neurotransmitter noradrenaline [norepinephrine]) located in an area of the pons (part of the brainstem) called the locus coeruleus are switched off. It is thought that these cells are associated with the inhibitory tone of the penis; therefore, when their activity is reduced during REM sleep, testosterone-dependent excitatory tones can be expressed which result in an erection.

It’s also been suggested that NPT is triggered by the release of nitric oxide (NO). NO is released by cells that line the inside of blood vessels which then diffuses into smooth muscle, causing it to relax. This also causes blood vessels to dilate, hence increasing blood flow to the penis and voila, an erection.

It’s thought that increased activity of part of the pons during REM sleep triggers a cascade of events that ultimately lead to NO release by nerve fibers. This is also regulated by androgens such as testosterone.

So we have discussed how, but what about why?

One idea is that these sleep exercises actually contribute to the health of your junk. Erections cause the erectile tissue (corpora cavernosa) to swell, which in turn oxygenates the tissue. This oxygenation maintains its viability and helps to prevent cavernous fibrosis, a condition that can ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction.

Another interesting theory is that pitching a tent prevents men from wetting the bed.

There are two main types of erections: psychogenic and reflex.

The former starts with stimulating thoughts or images which trigger an erection via nerve signals.

The latter is an involuntary process that occurs without sexy thoughts and it’s believed that a full bladder can trigger them.

The nerves controlling these reflex erections are located in the sacral nerves of the spinal cord which are also stimulated by a full bladder.

Since it’s difficult to pee with a stiffy, it’s thought that NPT may prevent accidental nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting). While this may sound plausible, it seems unlikely because the body has lots of other methods to prevent you from wetting the bed.

(I keep dreaming of visiting filthy WC until I come to consciousness that I got to go to the WC, with an erection too)

Furthermore, it doesn’t really make sense given that nocturnal enuresis also affects women.

It seems the most likely explanation is that all of that nighttime mischief is really helping to keep your crown jewels healthy. Be pleased he’s looking out for you.

Any “scientific paper” related to sex is fucking readable

Learn new words and get a life

While it doesn’t get much better than sex and drugs for many out there, new research has found that simply learning a new word can spark up the same reward circuits in the brain that are activated during pleasurable activities such as these. No wonder there are so many bookworms and scrabble addicts out there.

Human language is a unique phenomenon that separates us from other members of the animal kingdom. The emergence of language was a hugely important step in our evolution because it allowed humans to cooperate and share knowledge more easily. But what motivates us to acquire a new language from a very early age has been a mystery.

Some hypothesized that language-learning mechanisms may have been linked to reward circuits in the brain, reinforcing the drive to learn new words. Until now, however, experimental evidence in support of this has been lacking.

Learning New Words Activates The Same Brain Regions As Sex And Drugs

October 29, 2014 | by Justine Alford

Photo credit: Craig Sunter, “Book Worm,” via Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0

For this latest study, which has been published in Current Biology, researchers from Spain and Germany looked at the brain activity of 36 adult participants using a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Scans were taken while the participants were performing two different activities: learning the meaning of new words from context in a sentence, and a gambling task.

During both word learning and gambling, participants exhibited activity in the ventral striatum, which is a core area involved in reward and motivation. This same region is activated during a wide range of pleasurable activities, such as eating great food, having sex and taking drugs.

During word learning activities, synchronization between the cortical language regions and the ventral striatum was also increased. Furthermore, those with better connections between these two circuits were found to be able to learn more words than those with weaker links.

Taken together, these results suggest that the union of these two brain circuits bestowed humans with an important advantage that ultimately resulted in the emergence of linguistic skills. “From the point of view of evolution, it is an interesting theory that this type of mechanism could have helped human language to develop,” lead author Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells told La Vanguardia.

The findings, he says, call into question whether language is solely product of the evolution of the brain cortex, and could even suggest that emotions may influence the process of language acquisition.

[Via Current Biology, MIC, University of Barcelona]


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