This is what neuroscientists call the "world's first movie of the female brain as it approaches, experiences, and recovers from an orgasm."
A few years back, researchers from Rutgers University managed to view the brain areas and nerve pathways that are activated in the brain when we experience an orgasm. To catch the magic moment, the participating woman sexually stimulated herself while in the very erotic setting of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.
It’s a pretty amazing video in itself. But it was also part of some truly life-changing research. In a study from 2005, the same team used similar imaging techniques on five women with severe spinal cord injuries that left them paralyzed from the waist down. While in a fMRI scanner, the women stimulated themselves and experienced an orgasm.
“It gave neural validation that they must be feeling sensation,” lead researcher Barry Komisaruk said in a statement. “It turned out to be the world’s first evidence of where orgasms occur in women’s brains.”
It also showed the nerve pathway that helps create the orgasm. Instead of reaching the brain through the spinal cord, as previously assumed, it involved a long nerve that extends into the pelvis in humans called the vagus nerve. The work has also gone on to help understand why some women do not experience orgasms.