JBBS> Vol.2 No.3, August 2012
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Alcohol Suppresses the Electroencephalographic Response to Visual Erotic Stimuli in Young Men

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ABSTRACT

Although the combination of alcohol and sex is frequently observed in human social interaction, many questions concerning alcohol’s effects on the processing of sexual stimuli and brain functionality remain unanswered. Erotic films eliciting sexual arousal in humans and affect electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. This study examines the effects of alcohol on cortical EEG activity in young men while viewing an erotic film. Heterosexual males participated in an independent alcohol/placebo group protocol. Thirty-five minutes after beverage ingestion, EEGs were recorded at prefrontal, temporal and parietal derivations in three conditions: baseline, and while watching erotic and neutral films. During the observation of erotic films, only the participants who drank the placebo beverage showed a decrease in alpha1 and an increase in the fast frequencies of the prefrontal regions, as well as a decrease in inter-prefrontal synchronization in the alpha and beta bands. Alcohol suppressed the prefrontal EEG changes associated with watching erotic visual stimuli without affect the sexual arousal. EEG data show that alcohol affecting the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, which could interfere with the adequate processing of visual erotic stimuli. These findings may contribute to improving our understanding of the brain mechanisms that underlie alcohol’s effects on the processing of sexual stimuli.

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Cite this paper

M. Hernández-González, A. Sanz-Martin, M. Guevara, C. Amezcua-Gutiérrez and M. Díaz, "Alcohol Suppresses the Electroencephalographic Response to Visual Erotic Stimuli in Young Men," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 363-371. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2012.23041.

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