Each year I look back on a year’s worth of brain tweets to see what’s been trending recently… here they’re carefully sorted & categorised for your delectation
Hypothalamus’s PVN (red) prepares the body for sex by sending a torrent of electrical messages along neurons within the spinal cord which ultimately releases a cocktail of neurotransmitters into the genitals. In both men and women this leads to vasocongestion whereby the genitals become engorged with blood – leading to an erection in men and lubrication, increase in vaginal depth and diameter in women.
Behaviours associated with lust, love and long-term bonding developed through evolution of separate but overlapping brain systems. Lust encourages coitus on a relatively indiscriminate basis: ensuring that genes are passed on to the next generation. Love involves a sexual preference for an individual considered in some way superior to the competition. And long-term bonding encourages fulfilment of parenting duties.