The Ultimate Love Button? Scientists Discover Brain Switch Controlling Male Libido

By: | August 18th, 2023

Image by Pixabay

When it comes to male libido or sexual desire, the saying that “the brain is the most important sexual organ” highlights the vital role of the brain in triggering and shaping male sexual arousal and desire.

Now, a team of neurologists at Stanford University has discovered that a single ingrained brain circuit could potentially govern male sexual drive.

Viagra for the mind!

Scientists have identified a specific brain region in lab mice that regulates sexual interest, libido, mating behavior, and pleasure.

This region utilizes sensory input from the surroundings to discern the gender of another mouse — “Aha, this is a female, maybe I can mate if she’s willing,” said senior researcher Dr. Nirao Shah, a professor of psychiatry and neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, in California.

“That recognition is then transformed into the desire to mate and the act of mating by this circuit,” he further noted. “Also, the circuit enables the behavior to be pleasurable so animals will seek to do it again, which is very important because for a species to survive, animals need to reproduce.”

Their study unveiled a small group of neurons known as BNST neurons, which are accountable for producing a signaling protein called Substance P.

This finding could potentially pave the way for enhanced medications targeting sexual function.

Many male mammals experience a refractory period after ejaculation, during which their sexual desire diminishes.

In mice, this period typically lasts around five days. However, stimulating the identified neural circuit causes this refractory period to nearly vanish, lasting just one second.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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