BlogBrain

Researchers: Consuming Porn Can Negatively Impact Short-Term Memory

By February 28, 2018February 20th, 2020No Comments

Though many consumers think porn to be harmless entertainment, they also don’t necessarily remember what they’ve seen. That’s because consuming hardcore internet porn may interfere with short-term memory, according to research.

The study is the first to examine the influence that processing pornographic pictures has on working memory, reports LiveScience. The part of the brain responsible for keeping information in the mind while using it to complete a task, working memory is critical for understanding, reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making. Porn’s negative effect on this part of the brain is just one of many reasons why watching is harmful to neurological health.

The Study

The study went like this: German researchers asked 28 men—all heterosexual, and averaging 26 years of age—to look at a number of computer images. Some images were pornographic, others weren’t. The nonsexual images included pictures of people doing a number of activities, like laughing, playing sports, or carrying a weapon.

Related: Cambridge Neuroscientists Find Striking Similarities in Brains of Drug and Porn Addicts
As the volunteers viewed the pictures, they chose a “yes” or “no” key to indicate whether or not the picture they were seeing was the same as one they had seen four slides previously.

The test subjects logged a significantly greater number of incorrect answers when they viewed the porn than when they saw the nonsexual images. On average, they answered correctly 67% of the time when they viewed pornographic pictures, but 80% of the time when they saw the nonsexual pictures.

Sexual Arousal and Memory

Their recollection of porn was poorer even as the men acknowledged feeling higher levels of sexual arousal when they looked at the pornographic pictures than when they viewed the nonsexual images.

RelatedHow Porn Can Literally Reprogram Your Brain

“Sexual arousal interferes with working memory, an important facet of executive functioning,” said study author Christian Laier, a graduate student studying under psychologist Matthias Brand at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

According to the researchers, the findings could help psychologists understand why some people with internet porn addictions or obsessions forget to sleep, miss appointments, duck out on job responsibilities, and neglect relationships.

“Sexual arousal and its impacts on cognitive processes might explain parts of these negative effects,” the researchers wrote.

Why This Matters

Even aside from this one study, there is a mountain of evidence that shows how porn is unhealthy for the consumer’s brain. Now, we can add “forgetfulness” to the long list of reasons not to watch porn.

Research has shown that the more consumers watch porn, the less motivation they can have for things that previously got them excited. Hanging out with friends, playing sports, making music, etc., all these things lack the “shock factor” that porn gives the brain. Soon, consumers can start to lose interest in anything that doesn’t bring the massive, exciting rush of consuming porn.

But there’s good newsthe sooner porn is out of the picture, the sooner the brain can bounce back.

What YOU Can Do

Porn isn’t harmless entertainment. SHARE this article to raise awareness on the fact that porn can literally rewire your brain and cause forgetfulness.

Spark Conversations

This movement is all about changing the conversation about pornography and stopping the demand for sexual exploitation. When you rep a tee, you can spark meaningful conversation on porn’s harms and inspire lasting change in individuals’ lives, and our world. Are you in? Check out all our styles in our online store, or click below to shop:

Send this to a friend