Etudes sur les Cerveaux des Consommateurs de pornographie

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(traduction par INDIE – administrateur des sites pornosciencesante.blog et laveritesurleporno.unblog.fr – de l’article anglophone « Brain Studies on porn Users », publié 31/07/2014 sur le site yourbrainonporn.com)

Cette page répertorie toutes les études évaluant la structure du cerveau des consommateurs de porno sur Internet, et son fonctionnement. À ce jour, TOUTES les études approuvent  la théorie de la dépendance au porno (aucune étude n’a été à l’encontre de ce qui constitue aujourd’hui une réalité scientifique). Les résultats de ces 34 études neurologiques sont totalement cohérentes avec plus de 220 études qui ont démontré la réalité de l’addiction à Internet, dont beaucoup incluaient des consommateurs réguliers de porno sur internet. Toutes soutiennent le principe selon lequel l’utilisation d’Internet peut causer des changements cérébraux similaires à ceux connus et démontrés par la science et qui sont en lien avec le phénomène de  dépendance.

« Etudes sur le cerveau » (« Brain studies ») (IRMF, IRM, EEG, Neuro-endocrine):

Ensemble, ces études sur le cerveau ont révélé :

1. Les 3 principaux changements cérébraux liés à la dépendance: sensibilisation, désensibilisation et hypofrontalité, sont bien présent chez les consommateurs de pornographie.

2. Une augmentation de la consommation de porno est en corrélation avec la diminution de matière grise dans le circuit de récompense (striatum dorsal).

3. Une augmentation de la consommation de pornographie est en corrélation avec un affaiblissement  du Circuit de Récompense (lors de la visualisation d’images sexuelles).

4. Une augmentation de la consommation de pornographie est en corrélation avec un affaiblissement des connexions neurales entre le circuit de récompense et le cortex préfrontal.

5. Les dépendants ont montré une plus grande activité préfrontale en réponse à des stimuli sexuels, mais une réduction de l’activité cérébrale face à des stimuli normaux (processus typique de la toxicomanie).

6. Au cours d’un test, 60% des sujets dépendants compulsifs au porno ont connu une DE (Dysfonction Erectile) ou une faible libido avec des partenaires, mais pas avec le porno: tous ont déclaré que l’utilisation de pornographie sur Internet a causé leur DE / faible libido.

7. Un renforcement des biais congnitifs, (phénomène typique et bien connu observé chez les consommateurs de drogues). Ceci indique une sensibilisation (générée par le DeltaFosb).

8. Un besoin de porno accru, une augmentation de l’envie irrésistible de consommer (« craving »), mais une faible satisfaction. Cela s’harmonise avec le modèle accepté de toxicomanie – (incetive sensitization)

9. Les dépendants au porno montrent un intérêt renforcé pour du contenu pornographique nouveau, et leur cerveau s’habitue plus rapidement aux images sexuelles (phénomène de « tolérance » typique de la toxicomanie).

10. Plus les utilisateurs porno sont jeunes, plus la réactivité de centre de récompense est grande face aux stimuli.

11. Hausse de l’EEG(P300) lorsque les consommateurs de porno ont été exposés à des « indices »* (« cues ») (ce qui se produit dans les autres addictions).

*les indices sont tous les stimuli qui « incitent » l’individu à retourner consommer sa drogue (« naturelle » ou « non naturelle », c’est-à-dire les « renforçateur naturels »-sexe, nourriture, affection, ou les substances -alcool, cocaîne, tabac etc…). Face à un indice, une mémoire est activée dans le cerveau, qui s’ « éveille » et créer la tentation chez le dépendant.

12. La diminution voire l’absence de désir pour le sexe avec une personne réelle est en corrélation avec, paradoxalement, une plus grande réactivité aux images porno.

13. Une augmentation de la consommation de porno est en corrélation avec une réduction de l’amplitude de LPP (« Late Positive Potential ») lors de la visualisation de photos érotiques : indique une habituation* ou une désensibilisation, caractéristiques de la toxicomanie.

*Note de laveritesurleporno : selon Jean-François Richard, figure historique de la psychologie cognitive en France et professeur émérite à l’Université de Paris8, l’habituation est un terme désignant la diminution progressive et la disparition d’une réponse normalement provoquée par un stimulus lorsque ce dernier est répété. Ainsi, la réaction électrodermale engendrée par la présentation d’un stimulus nouveau, une lumière par exemple, disparaît au bout d’un certain nombre de présentations de ce même stimulus.

On peut rapprocher l’habituation de l’extinction, qui désigne aussi la disparition d’une réponse à la suite de la répétition d’un stimulus. Mais ce second terme s’applique à la disparition d’une réponse conditionnée lorsque le stimulus conditionnel est répété sans être suivi de renforcement. Le terme d’habituation s’emploie pour une réponse inconditionnelle non apprise, telle que la réaction d’orientation observée lorsqu’un stimulus nouveau apparaît dans le champ perceptif.

14. Axe HPA dysfonctionnel et circuits de stress cérébraux altérés (similaire la toxicomanie) (et un volume d’amygdale plus élevé, ce qui est associé à un stress social chronique).

15. Changements épigénétiques sur les gènes essentiels à la réponse biologique humaine au stress (étroitement associés à la dépendance).

16. Niveaux plus élevés de TNF (Facteurs de Nécrose Tumorale) (typique de la dépendance).

17. Des niveaux plus élevés de facteur de nécrose tumorale (TNF) – (ce qui se produit également dans l’abus de drogue et la dépendance).

Liens vers les études scientifiques :

(en cours de traduction)

1. « Structure du cerveau et connectivité fonctionnelle associée à la consommation de pornographie »: « your brain on porn » (2014) – Cette étude sur l’IRMF de l’Institut Max Planck a révélé une diminution de la matière grise dans le système de récompense (striatum dorsal) en corrélation avec la quantité de porno consommée. Il a également constaté qu’une augmentation de la consommation de porno était en corrélation avec une réduction de l’activité du circuit de récompense lors du visionnage de photos à caractère sexuel. Les chercheurs pensent que ces résultats indiquent une désensibilisation et, éventuellement, une tolérance, qui nécessite alors une plus grande stimulation pour atteindre le même niveau de plaisir. L’étude a également rapporté que la consommation de porno est importante et on observe un affaiblissement de la connexion entre le circuit de récompense et le cortex préfrontal – un changement de cerveau caractéristique du phénomène classique de toute dépendance. (voir en anglais : Brain Structure and Functional connectivity associated pornography consumption (2014))

2. Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014) – The first in a series of Cambridge University studies found the same brain activity pattern in porn addicts (CSB subjects) as seen in drug addicts and alcoholics. It also found that porn addicts fit the accepted addiction model of wanting « it » more, but not liking « it » more. The researchers also reported that 60% of subjects (average age: 25) had difficulty achieving erections/arousal with real partners, yet could achieve erections with porn.

3. Enhanced Attentional Bias towards Sexually Explicit Cues in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours (2014) – The second Cambridge University study. An excerpt: « Our findings of enhanced attentional bias… suggest possible overlaps with enhanced attentional bias observed in studies of drug cues in disorders of addictionsThese findings converge with recent findings of neural reactivity to sexually explicit cues in [porn addicts] in a network similar to that implicated in drug-cue-reactivity studies and provide support for incentive motivation theories of addiction underlying the aberrant response to sexual cues in [porn addicts].« 

4. Novelty, Conditioning and Attentional Bias to Sexual Rewards (2015) – Another Cambridge University fMRI study. Compared to controls porn addicts preferred sexual novelty and conditioned cues associated porn. However, the brains of porn addicts habituated faster to sexual images. Since novelty preference wasn’t pre-existing, porn addiction drives novelty-seeking in an attempt to overcome habituation and desensitization.

5. Neural Substrates of Sexual Desire in Individuals with Problematic Hypersexual Behavior (2015) – This Korean fMRI study replicates other brain studies on porn users. Like the Cambridge University studies it found cue-induced brain activation patterns in sex addicts which mirrored the patterns of drug addicts. In line with several German studies it found alterations in the prefrontal cortex which match the changes observed in drug addicts. What’s new is that the findings perfectly matched the prefrontal cortex activation patterns observed in drug addicts: Greater cue-reactivity to sexual images, yet inhibited response to other normal stimuli.

6. Sexual Desire, not Hypersexuality, is Related to Neurophysiological Responses Elicited by Sexual Images (2013) – This EEG study was touted in the media as evidence against the existence of porn/sex addiction. Not so. This SPAN Lab study, like #7 below, actually lends support to the existence of both porn addiction and porn use down-regulating sexual desire. How so? The study reported higher EEG readings (relative to neutral pictures) when subjects were briefly exposed to pornographic photos. Studies consistently show that an elevated P300 occurs when addicts are exposed to cues (such as images) related to their addiction. However, due to methodological flaws the findings are uninterpretable: 1) the study had no control group for comparison; 2) subjects were heterogeneous (males, females, non-heterosexuals); 3) subjects were not screened for mental disorders or addictions; 4) the questionnaires were not validated for porn addiction. In line with the Cambridge University brain scan studies, this EEG study also reported greater cue-reactivity to porn correlating with less desire for partnered sex. To put another way – individuals with greater brain activation to porn would rather masturbate to porn than have sex with a real person. Shockingly, study spokesperson Nicole Prause claimed that porn users merely had « high libido », yet the results of the study say the exact opposite (their desire for partnered sex was dropping in relation to their porn use). Five peer-reviewed papers expose the truth: 12345. Also see the extensive YBOP critique.

7. Modulation of Late Positive Potentials by Sexual Images in Problem Users and Controls Inconsistent with « Porn Addiction » (2015) – Another SPAN Lab EEG (brain-wave) study comparing the 2013 subjects from the above study to an actual control group (yet it suffered from the same methodological flaws named above). The results: compared to controls « individuals experiencing problems regulating their porn viewing » had lower brain responses to one-second exposure to photos of vanilla porn. The lead author, Nicole Prause, claims these results « debunk porn addiction ». What legitimate scientist would claim that their lone anomalous study has debunked an entire field of study? In reality, the findings of Prause et al. 2015 align perfectly with Kühn & Gallinat (2014)which found that more porn use correlated with less brain activation in response to pictures of vanilla porn. Prause’s findings also align with Banca et al. 2015 which is #4 in this list. Moreover, another EEG study found that greater porn use in women correlated with less brain activation to porn. Lower EEG readings mean that subjects are paying less attention to the pictures. Put simply, frequent porn users were desensitized to static images of vanilla porn. They were bored (habituated or desensitized). See this extensive YBOP critiqueSix peer-reviewed papers agree that this study actually found desensitization/habituation in frequent porn users (a sign of addiction): 123456.

8. HPA Axis Dysregulation in Men With Hypersexual Disorder (2015) – A study with 67 male sex addicts and 39 age-matched controls. The Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis is the central player in our stress response. Addictions alter the brain’s stress circuits leading to a dysfunctional HPA axis. This study on sex addicts (hypersexuals) found altered stress responses that mirror the findings with substance addictions.

9. The Role of Neuroinflammation in the Pathophysiology of Hypersexual Disorder (2016) – This study reported higher levels of circulating Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) in sex addicts when compared to healthy controls. Elevated levels of TNF (a marker of inflammation) have also been found in substance abusers and drug addicted animals (alcohol, heroin, meth). There were strong correlations between TNF levels and rating scales measuring hypersexuality.

10. Methylation of HPA Axis Related Genes in Men With Hypersexual Disorder (2017) – This is a follow-up of #8 above which found that sex addicts have dysfunctional stress systems – a key neuro-endocrine change caused by addiction. The current study found epigenetic changes on genes central to the human stress response and closely associated with addiction. With epigenetic changes, the DNA sequence isn’t altered (as happens with a mutation). Instead, the gene is tagged and its expression is turned up or down (short video explaining epigenetics). The epigenetic changes reported in this study resulted in altered CRF gene activity. CRF is a neurotransmitter and hormone that drives addictive behaviors such as cravings, and is a major player in many of the withdrawal symptoms experienced in connection with substance and behavioral addictions, including porn addiction.

11. Compulsive Sexual Behavior: Prefrontal And Limbic Volume and Interactions (2016) – Compared to healthy controls CSB subjects (porn addicts) had increased left amygdala volume and reduced functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex DLPFC. Reduced functional connectivity between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex aligns with substance addictions. It is thought that poorer connectivity diminishes the prefrontal cortex’s control over a user’s impulse to engage in the addictive behavior. This study suggests that drug toxicity may lead to less gray matter and thus reduced amygdala volume in drug addicts. The amygdala is consistently active during porn viewing, especially during initial exposure to a sexual cue. Perhaps the constant sexual novelty and searching and seeking leads to a unique effect on the amygdala in compulsive porn users. Alternatively, years of porn addiction and severe negative consequences is very stressful – and chronic social stress is related to increased amygdala volume. Study #8 above found that « sex addicts » have a overactive stress system. Could the chronic stress related to porn/sex addiction, along with factors that make sex unique, lead to greater amygdala volume?

12. Ventral Striatum Activity When Watching Preferred Pornographic Pictures is Correlated With Symptoms of Internet Pornography Addiction (2016) – Finding #1: Reward center activity (ventral striatum) was higher for preferred pornographic pictures. Finding #2: Ventral striatum reactivity correlated with the internet sex addiction score. Both findings indicate sensitization and align with the addiction model. The authors state that the « Neural basis of Internet pornography addiction is comparable to other addictions.« 

13. Altered Appetitive Conditioning and Neural Connectivity in Subjects With Compulsive Sexual Behavior (2016) – A German fMRI study replicating two major findings from Voon et al., 2014 and Kuhn & Gallinat 2014. Main Findings: The neural correlates of appetitive conditioning and neural connectivity were altered in the CSB group. According to the researchers, the first alteration – heightened amygdala activation – might reflect facilitated conditioning (greater « wiring » to previously neutral cues predicting porn images). The second alteration – decreased connectivity between the ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex – could be a marker for impaired ability to control impulses. Said the researchers, « These [alterations] are in line with other studies investigating the neural correlates of addiction disorders and impulse control deficits. » The findings of greater amygdalar activation to cues (sensitization) and decreased connectivity between the reward center and the prefrontal cortex (hypofrontality) are two of the major brain changes seen in substance addiction. In addition, 3 of the 20 compulsive porn users suffered from « orgasmic-erection disorder ».

14. Compulsivity Across the Pathological Misuse of Drug and Non-Drug Rewards (2016) – A Cambridge University study comparing aspects of compulsivity in alcoholics, binge-eaters, video game addicts and porn addicts (CSB). Excerpts: CSB subjects were faster to learning from rewards in the acquisition phase compared to healthy volunteers and were more likely to perseverate or stay after either a loss or a win in the Reward condition. These findings converge with our previous findings of enhanced preference for stimuli conditioned to either sexual or monetary outcomes, overall suggesting enhanced sensitivity to rewards (Banca et al., 2016).

15. Can Pornography be Addictive? An fMRI Study of Men Seeking Treatment for Problematic Pornography Use (2017) – Excerpts: Men with and without problematic porn use (PPU) differed in brain reactions to cues predicting erotic pictures, but not in reactions to erotic pictures themselves, consistent with the incentive salience theory of addictions. This brain activation was accompanied by increased behavioral motivation to view erotic images (higher ‘wanting’). Ventral striatal reactivity for cues predicting erotic pictures was significantly related to the severity of PPU, amount of pornography use per week and number of weekly masturbations. Our findings suggest that like in substance-use and gambling disorders the neural and behavioral mechanisms linked to anticipatory processing of cues relate importantly to clinically relevant features of PPU. These findings suggest that PPU may represent a behavioral addiction and that interventions helpful in targeting behavioral and substance addictions warrant consideration for adaptation and use in helping men with PPU.

16. Conscious and Non-Conscious Measures of Emotion: Do They Vary with Frequency of Pornography Use? (2017) – Study assessed porn user’s responses (EEG readings & Startle Response) to various emotion-inducing images – including erotica. The study found several neurological  differences between low frequency porn users and high frequency porn users. An excerpt: Findings suggest that increased pornography use appears to have an influence on the brain’s non-conscious responses to emotion-inducing stimuli which was not shown by explicit self-report.

17. Preliminary Investigation of The Impulsive And Neuroanatomical Characteristics of Compulsive Sexual Behavior (2009) – Primarily sex addicts. Study reports more impulsive behavior in a Go-NoGo task in sex addicts (hypersexuals) compared to control participants. Brain scans revealed that sex addicts had greater disorganized prefrontal cortex white matter. This finding is consistent with hypofrontality, a hallmark of addiction.

The above studies are all the « brain studies » published (or in the press) on internet porn users.


Neuro-Psychological Studies on Porn Users (most with only excerpts):

(en cours de traduction)

  1. Watching Pornographic Pictures on the Internet: Role of Sexual Arousal Ratings and Psychological-Psychiatric Symptoms for Using Internet Sex Sites Excessively (2011) – Results indicate that self-reported problems in daily life linked to online sexual activities were predicted by subjective sexual arousal ratings of the pornographic material, global severity of psychological symptoms, and the number of sex applications used when being on Internet sex sites in daily life, while the time spent on Internet sex sites (minutes per day) did not significantly contribute to explanation of variance in IATsex score. We see some parallels between cognitive and brain mechanisms potentially contributing to the maintenance of excessive cybersex and those described for individuals with substance dependence
  2. Pornographic Picture Processing Interferes with Working Memory Performance (2013) – Some individuals report problems during and after Internet sex engagement, such as missing sleep and forgetting appointments, which are associated with negative life consequences. One mechanism potentially leading to these kinds of problems is that sexual arousal during Internet sex might interfere with working memory (WM) capacity, resulting in a neglect of relevant environmental information and therefore disadvantageous decision making. Results revealed worse WM performance in the pornographic picture condition of the 4-back task compared with the three remaining picture conditions. Findings are discussed with respect to Internet addiction because WM interference by addiction-related cues is well known from substance dependencies.
  3. Sexual Picture Processing Interferes with Decision-Making Under Ambiguity (2013) – Decision-making performance was worse when sexual pictures were associated with disadvantageous card decks compared to performance when the sexual pictures were linked to the advantageous decks. Subjective sexual arousal moderated the relationship between task condition and decision-making performance. This study emphasized that sexual arousal interfered with decision-making, which may explain why some individuals experience negative consequences in the context of cybersex use.
  4. Cybersex addiction: Experienced sexual arousal when watching pornography and not real-life sexual contacts makes the difference (2013) – The results show that indicators of sexual arousal and craving to Internet pornographic cues predicted tendencies towards cybersex addiction in the first study. Moreover, it was shown that problematic cybersex users report greater sexual arousal and craving reactions resulting from pornographic cue presentation. In both studies, the number and the quality with real-life sexual contacts were not associated to cybersex addiction. The results support the gratification hypothesis, which assumes reinforcement, learning mechanisms, and craving to be relevant processes in the development and maintenance of cybersex addiction. Poor or unsatisfying sexual real life contacts cannot sufficiently explain cybersex addiction.
  5. Cybersex addiction in heterosexual female users of internet pornography can be explained by gratification hypothesis (2014) – Results indicated that Internet porn users rated pornographic pictures as more arousing and reported greater craving due to pornographic picture presentation compared with non-users. Moreover, craving, sexual arousal rating of pictures, sensitivity to sexual excitation, problematic sexual behavior, and severity of psychological symptoms predicted tendencies toward cybersex addiction in porn users. Being in a relationship, number of sexual contacts, satisfaction with sexual contacts, and use of interactive cybersex were not associated with cybersex addiction.
  6. Empirical Evidence and Theoretical Considerations on Factors Contributing to Cybersex Addiction From a Cognitive Behavioral View (2014) – Previous work suggests that some individuals might be vulnerable to CA, while positive reinforcement and cue-reactivity are considered to be core mechanisms of CA development. In this study, 155 heterosexual males rated 100 pornographic pictures and indicated their increase of sexual arousal. Moreover, tendencies towards CA, sensitivity to sexual excitation, and dysfunctional use of sex in general were assessed. The results of the study show that there are factors of vulnerability to CA and provide evidence for the role of sexual gratification and dysfunctional coping in the development of CA.
  7. Prefrontal control and internet addiction: a theoretical model and review of neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings (2015) – Consistent with this, results from functional neuroimaging and other neuropsychological studies demonstrate that cue-reactivity, craving, and decision making are important concepts for understanding Internet addiction. The findings on reductions in executive control are consistent with other behavioral addictions, such as pathological gambling. They also emphasize the classification of the phenomenon as an addiction, because there are also several similarities with findings in substance dependency.  Moreover, the results of the current study are comparable to findings from substance dependency research and emphasize analogies between cybersex addiction and substance dependencies or other behavioral addictions.
  8. Implicit associations in cybersex addiction: Adaption of an Implicit Association Test with pornographic pictures. (2015) – Recent studies show similarities between cybersex addiction and substance dependencies and argue to classify cybersex addiction as a behavioral addiction. In substance dependency, implicit associations are known to play a crucial role. Results show positive relationships between implicit associations of pornographic pictures with positive emotions and tendencies towards cybersex addiction, problematic sexual behavior, sensitivity towards sexual excitation as well as subjective craving.
  9. Symptoms of cybersex addiction can be linked to both approaching and avoiding pornographic stimuli: results from an analog sample of regular cybersex users (2015) – Results showed that individuals with tendencies toward cybersex addiction tended to either approach or avoid pornographic stimuli. Additionally, moderated regression analyses revealed that individuals with high sexual excitation and problematic sexual behavior who showed high approach/avoidance tendencies, reported higher symptoms of cybersex addiction. Analogous to substance dependencies, results suggest that both approach and avoidance tendencies might play a role in cybersex addiction.
  10. Getting stuck with pornography? Overuse or neglect of cybersex cues in a multitasking situation is related to symptoms of cybersex addiction (2015) – Individuals with tendencies towards cybersex addiction seem to have either an inclination to avoid or to approach the pornographic material, as discussed in motivational models of addiction. The results of the current study point towards a role of executive control functions, i.e. functions mediated by the prefrontal cortex, for the development and maintenance of problematic cybersex use (as suggested by Brand et al., 2014). Particularly a reduced ability to monitor consumption and to switch between pornographic material and other contents in a goal adequate manner may be one mechanism in the development and maintenance of cybersex addiction.
  11. Trading Later Rewards for Current Pleasure: Pornography Consumption and Delay Discounting (2015) – Study 1: Participants completed a pornography use questionnaire and a delay discounting task at Time 1 and then again four weeks later. Participants reporting higher initial pornography use demonstrated a higher delay discounting rate at Time 2, controlling for initial delay discounting. Study 2:  Participants who abstained from pornography use demonstrated lower delay discounting than participants who abstained from their favorite food. The finding suggests that Internet pornography is a sexual reward that contributes to delay discounting differently than other natural rewards. It is therefore important to treat pornography as a unique stimulus in reward, impulsivity, and addiction studies and to apply this accordingly in individual as well as relational treatment.
  12. Sexual Excitability and Dysfunctional Coping Determine Cybersex Addiction in Homosexual Males (2015) – Recent findings have demonstrated an association between CyberSex Addiction (CA) severity and indicators of sexual excitability, and that coping by sexual behaviors mediated the relationship between sexual excitability and CA symptoms. The aim of this study was to test this mediation in a sample of homosexual males. Questionnaires assessed symptoms of CA, sensitivity to sexual excitation, pornography use motivation, problematic sexual behavior, psychological symptoms, and sexual behaviors in real life and online. Moreover, participants viewed pornographic videos and indicated their sexual arousal before and after the video presentation. Results showed strong correlations between CA symptoms and indicators of sexual arousal and sexual excitability, coping by sexual behaviors, and psychological symptoms. CA was not associated with offline sexual behaviors and weekly cybersex use time. Coping by sexual behaviors partially mediated the relationship between sexual excitability and CA. The results are comparable with those reported for heterosexual males and females in previous studies and are discussed against the background of theoretical assumptions of CA, which highlight the role of positive and negative reinforcement due to cybersex use.
  13. Subjective Craving for Pornography and Associative Learning Predict Tendencies Towards Cybersex Addiction in a Sample of Regular Cybersex Users (2016) – There is no consensus regarding the diagnostic criteria of cybersex addiction. Some approaches postulate similarities to substance dependencies, for which associative learning is a crucial mechanism. In this study, 86 heterosexual males completed a Standard Pavlovian to Instrumental Transfer Task modified with pornographic pictures to investigate associative learning in cybersex addiction. Additionally, subjective craving due to watching pornographic pictures and tendencies towards cybersex addiction were assessed. Results showed an effect of subjective craving on tendencies towards cybersex addiction, moderated by associative learning.  Overall, these findings point towards a crucial role of associative learning for the development of cybersex addiction, while providing further empirical evidence for similarities between substance dependencies and cybersex addiction.
  14. Exploring the Relationship between Sexual Compulsivity and Attentional Bias to Sex-Related Words in a Cohort of Sexually Active Individuals (2016) – This study replicates the findings of this 2014 Cambridge University study that compared the attentional bias of porn addicts to healthy controls. The new study differs: rather than comparing porn addicts to controls, the new study correlated scores on a sex addiction questionnaire to the results of a task assessing attentional bias (explanation of attentional bias). The study described two key results: 1) Higher sexual compulsivity scores correlated with greater interference (increased distraction) during the attentional bias task. This aligns with substance abuse studies. 2) Among those scoring high on sexual addiction, fewer years of sexual experience were related to greater attentional bias. The authors concluded that this result could indicate that more years of « compulsive sexual activity » lead to greater habituation or a general numbing of the pleasure response (desensitization). An excerpt from the conclusion section: « One possible explanation for these results is that as a sexually compulsive individual engages in more compulsive behaviour, an associated arousal template develops and that over time, more extreme behaviour is required for the same level of arousal to be realised. It is further argued that as an individual engages in more compulsive behaviour, neuropathways become desensitized to more ‘normalised’ sexual stimuli or images and individuals turn to more ‘extreme’ stimuli to realise the arousal desired. »
  15. Mood changes after watching pornography on the Internet are linked to symptoms of Internet-pornography-viewing disorder (2016) – Excerpts: The main results of the study are that tendencies towards Internet Pornography Disorder (IPD) were associated negatively with feeling generally good, awake, and calm as well as positively with perceived stress in daily life and the motivation to use Internet pornography in terms of excitation seeking and emotional avoidance.  Furthermore, tendencies towards IPD were negatively related to mood before and after watching Internet pornography as well as an actual increase of good and calm mood. The relationship between tendencies towards IPD and excitement seeking due to Internet-pornography use was moderated by the evaluation of the experienced orgasm’s satisfaction. Generally, the results of the study are in line with the hypothesis that IPD is linked to the motivation to find sexual gratification and to avoid or to cope with aversive emotions as well as with the assumption that mood changes following pornography consumption are linked to IPD (Cooper et al., 1999 and Laier and Brand, 2014).
  16. Problematic sexual behavior in young adults: Associations across clinical, behavioral, and neurocognitive variables (2016) – Individuals with Problematic Sexual Behaviors (PSB) exhibited several neuro-cognitive deficits. These findings indicate poorer executive functioning (hypofrontality) which is a key brain feature occurring in drug addicts. A few excerpts: From this characterization, it is be possible to trace the problems evident in PSB and additional clinical features, such as emotional dysregulation, to particular cognitive deficits…. If the cognitive problems identified in this analysis are actually the core feature of PSB, this may have notable clinical implications.
  17. Executive Functioning of Sexually Compulsive and Non-Sexually Compulsive Men Before and After Watching an Erotic Video (2017) – Exposure to porn affected executive functioning in men with « compulsive sexual behaviors », but not healthy controls. Poorer executive functioning when exposed to addiction-related cues is a hallmark of substance disorders (indicating both altered prefrontal circuits and sensitization). Excerpts: This finding indicates better cognitive flexibility after sexual stimulation by controls compared with sexually compulsive participants. These data support the idea that sexually compulsive men do not to take advantage of the possible learning effect from experience, which could result in better behavior modification. This also could be understood as a lack of a learning effect by the sexually compulsive group when they were sexually stimulated, similar to what happens in the cycle of sexual addiction, which starts with an increasing amount of sexual cognition, followed by the activation of sexual scripts and then orgasm, very often involving exposure to risky situations.
  18. Exposure to Sexual Stimuli Induces Greater Discounting Leading to Increased Involvement in Cyber Delinquency Among Men (2017) – In two studies exposure to visual sexual stimuli resulted in: 1) greater delayed discounting (inability to delay gratification), 2) greater inclination to engage in cyber-deliquency, 3) greater inclination to purchase counterfeit goods & hack someone’s Facebook account. Taken together this indicates that porn use increases impulsivity and may reduce certain executive functions (self-control, judgment, foreseeing consequences, impulse control). Excerpt: These findings provide insight into a strategy for reducing men’s involvement in cyber delinquency; that is, through less exposure to sexual stimuli and promotion of delayed gratification. The current results suggest that the high availability of sexual stimuli in cyberspace may be more closely associated with men’s cyber-delinquent behavior than previously thought.

 12 articles de issus de la presse neurologique font également des constats similaires :

(en cours de traduction)

    1. Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update. Un passage en revue des mécanismes qui sous-tendent le développement et le maintien des troubles spécifiques liée à l’utilisation d’Internet, incluant les troubles liés à la consommation de pornographie sur internet. Les auteurs suggèrent que l’addiction à la pornographie (et la dépendance au cybersexe), est similaire aux troubles liés à l’utilisation d’internet, et est à classer comme un trouble lié à l’utilisation d’Internet, et à catégoriser avec les autres dépendances comportementales générées par des troubles liés à l’utilisation de substances, en tant que comportements addictifs.
    2. Sex Addiction as a Disease: Evidence for Assessment, Diagnosis, and Response to Critics (2015), Qui fournit un tableau qui reprenant des critiques spécifiques sur l’existence de la dépendance au porno et au sexe, et proposant des citations qui les contrecarrent.
    3. Neurobiology of Compulsive Sexual Behavior: Emerging Science (2016). Extrait: « Compte tenu de certaines similitudes entre le CSB (Compulsive Sexual Behavior – Comportement Sexuel Compulsif) et les toxicomanies, les interventions ayant prouvé leur efficacité chez les toxicomanies peuvent être prometteuses pour le CSB, ce qui donne un aperçu des orientations futures de la recherche pour enquêter directement sur cette possibilité ».
    4. Should Compulsive Sexual Behavior be Considered an Addiction? (2016). « Extrait: «Des caractéristiques similaires existent entre les Comportements Sexuels Compulsifs et les troubles liés à la consommation de substances. Les systèmes de neurotransmetteurs qui peuvent favoriser le CSB sont les mêmes que ceux liés aux troubles liés à la consommation de substances, et les études récentes de neuroimagerie mettent en évidence des similitudes liées à l' »envie irrépréssible » (« craving ») et aux biais attentionnels. Des traitements pharmacologiques et psychothérapeutiques similaires peuvent être applicables à la CSB et à l’addiction aux substances. «  »
    5. Neurobiological Basis of Hypersexuality (2016). Extrait : « Considérées dans leur ensemble, il semble évident que les altérations du lobe frontal, de l’amygdale, de l’hippocampe, de l’hypothalamus, du septum et des régions cérébrales qui traitent la récompense jouent un rôle de premier plan dans l’émergence de l’hypersexualité. Les études génétiques et les approches de traitement neuropharmacologique indiquent une implication Du système dopaminergique « .
    6. Compulsive Sexual Behaviour as a Behavioural Addiction: The Impact of the Internet and Other Issues (2016).Extraits: « il faut mettre davantage l’accent sur le fait qu’Internet peut faciliter les comportements sexuels problématiques ». Et « les preuves cliniques de ceux qui aident et traitent ces personnes devraient avoir une plus grande crédibilité par la communauté psychiatrique
    7. Cybersex Addiction (2015). Extraits: «Dans les articles récents, la dépendance au cybersexe est considérée comme un type spécifique de dépendance à Internet. Certaines études actuelles ont étudié des parallèles entre la dépendance au cybersexe et d’autres dépendances comportementales, telles que les troubles liés au jeu sur Internet (Internet Gaming Disorders). La réactivité aux stimuli (« cue-reactivity ») et l’envie irrépréssible (« craving ») sont considérées comme jouant un rôle majeur dans La dépendance au cybersexe. Les études sur la neuroimagerie soutiennent l’hypothèse l’existence de points communs significatifs entre la dépendance au cybersexe et d’autres dépendances comportementales ainsi que la dépendance aux substances « . »
    8. Searching for Clarity in Muddy Water: Future Considerations for Classifying Compulsive Sexual Behavior as An Addiction (2016).  Excerpts: « Extraits: « Nous avons récemment reconsidéré des preuves classant le comportement sexuel compulsif (CSB) comme une dépendance exclusivement comportementale (c’est-à-dire sans similitudes avec les dépendances aux substances). Notre examen a révélé que le Comportement Sexuel Compulsif présente des parallèles cliniques, neurobiologiques et phénoménologiques avec des troubles liés à les troubles liés à la consommation de drogues. Bien que l’American Psychiatric Association ait rejeté l’hypersexual Désordre du DSM-5, un diagnostic de CSB (excitation sexuelle excessive) peut être effectué à l’aide de la CIM-10. CSI est également envisagée par la CIM-11. »
    9. Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports (2016). An extensive review of the literature related to porn-induced sexual problems. Involving 7 US Navy doctors and Gary Wilson, the review provides the latest data revealing a tremendous rise in youthful sexual problems. It also reviews the neurological studies related to porn addiction and sexual conditioning via Internet porn. The doctors provide 3 clinical reports of men who developed porn-induced sexual dysfunctions. A second 2016 paper by Gary Wilson discusses the importance of studying the effects of porn by having subjects abstain from porn use: Eliminate Chronic Internet Pornography Use to Reveal Its Effects (2016).
    10. Integrating Psychological and Neurobiological Considerations Regarding The Development and Maintenance of Specific Internet-Use Disorders: An Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution model (2016). A review of the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of specific Internet-use disorders, including « Internet-pornography-viewing disorder ». The authors suggest that pornography addiction (and cybersex addiction) be classified as internet use disorders and placed with other behavioral addictions under substance-use disorders as addictive behaviors.
    11. Sexual Addiction chapter from Neurobiology of Addictions, Oxford Press (2016) – Excerpt: We review the neurobiological basis for addiction, including natural or process addiction, and then discuss how this relates to our current understanding of sexuality as a natural reward that can become functionally « unmanageable » in an individual’s life.
    12. Neuroscientific Approaches to Online Pornography Addiction (2017) – Excerpt: In the last two decades, several studies with neuroscientific approaches, especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), were conducted to explore the neural correlates of watching pornography under experimental conditions and the neural correlates of excessive pornography use. Given previous results, excessive pornography consumption can be connected to already known neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development of substance-related addictions.

 

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