Seniors: sexual activity stimulates the brain

Frequent sexual activity stimulates brain capacity in seniors. In any case, this is the conclusion of a new study published in The Journal of Gerontology, weekly sexual activity has been associated with improved brain function in the elderly.

According to a study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford, frequent sexual activity was associated with improved brain function in older adults. Researchers found that people who engaged in regular sexual activity performed better on tests that measured their verbal fluency and ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them. The study, published in The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences, was conducted in 73 people between the ages of 50 and 83.

Attention, memory, language visiospatial skills: everything works better

Participants completed a questionnaire about the average number of times they had sexual activity in the past 12 months – whether never, monthly or weekly – and answered questions about their health status general and their way of life. The 28 men and 45 women also took part in a standardized test, typically used to measure different patterns of brain function in older adults, with a focus on attention, memory, fluency, language and abilities. visuospatial.

Participants had 60 seconds to name as many animals as possible, then say as many words beginning with F as possible. These tests reflect higher cognitive abilities. They also took part in tests to determine their visuospatial abilities, including copying a complex drawing and drawing a memory dial.

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At a minimum: weekly sexual activity

It was these two sets of tests where participants who engaged in weekly sexual activity performed the best, with the fluency tests showing the strongest effect.

This study built on previous research from 2016 that found older, sexually active adults performed better on cognitive tests than those who were not sexually active.

Dopamine, oxytocin: the neurotransmitters of happiness and brain activity

The academics say further research could examine how biological elements, such as dopamine and oxytocin, might influence the relationship between sexual activity and brain function to provide a fuller explanation for their findings.


Hayley Wright, Rebecca A. Jenks and Nele Demeyere. Frequent sexual activity predicts specific cognitive abilities in older adults. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 2017; DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbx065

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