"Sex Chip" Could Stimulate Pleasure in the Brain
Forget Viagra. Scientists are working on an electronic "sex chip" that could be placed in humans to stimulate sexual pleasure. The chip sends tiny shocks to electrodes that have been implanted into a specific part of the brain.
Research conducted at Oxford University found that the orbitofrontal cortex - the part of the brain just behind the eyes - could be stimulated to boost feelings of pleasure associated with activities like eating and sex. Scientists hope these devices could help people suffering from anhedonia, an inability to experience these types of pleasure.
A few years ago a chip was implanted into the brain of a woman with low sex drive and it turned her into a sexually active person, so there is evidence that it works. However, current technology requires surgery to connect a wire from a heart pacemaker to the brain, which can cause bleeding and is intrusive.
As these devices improve, doctors should be able to have more control over the stimulating activity of the chip. The technology has already been used to treat Parkinson's disease.
photo credit: Andrew Mason