Watching pornography online 'can cause memory loss'
New study concludes sexual arousal interferes with short-term memory in heterosexual males
YOUNG MEN who watch pornography on the internet are far more likely to suffer short-term memory loss, sleep deprivation and shorter concentration spans, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany looked at the part of the brain responsible for keeping information in the mind and using it to complete a task or solve a problem, reports The Independent.
They asked 28 heterosexual men, aged 26 on average, to look at a number of images and indicate whether the picture was the same as one they had seen four slides previously.
When the pictures were 'clean' ones of people laughing or playing sport the success rate was 80 per cent, but when they included sexually explicit images it dropped to 67 per cent.
The findings could help psychologists understand why some people with an addiction to internet porn forget to sleep, miss appointments, shirk job responsibilities and neglect relationships.
"Sexual arousal interferes with working memory, an important facet of executive functioning," said the study's author, Christian Laier.
Because the study focused solely on heterosexual men, it is not known whether the findings would also apply to gay men or women. "It is at its first stage," said Laier. "Our results need to be tested with respect to gender and sexual orientation to verify."