Research has been carried out on mice and rats in Maryland and South Korea, which found that increased sexual activity improved both mental performance and increase the neurogenesis where we form long term memory.
But it isn’t just the young and feisty. The University of Maryland found that middle aged rats who we’re getting loved up also had improved cognitive and hippocampus function in their brains. Meanwhile, in the Konkuk University in Seoul, research in mice showed that ‘sexual interaction could be helpful for buffering adult hippocampal neurogenesis and recognition memory function against the suppressive actions of chronic stress.’ In other words, it could help stop age related decline in your grey matter.
But how about porn? Does it have the opposite effect, like most parents of teenage boys would expect, or at least hope? Although no research has fully proved this one way or another, a study published in October’s Journal of Sex Research has shown that pornographic images can affect people’s working memory and their ability to concentrate. Are you really that surprised though?
Sex may make you smarter, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have more sex if you’re smart. Adults with MCI (mild cognitive impairment) tested in another recent study were found to have about half as much sex as their healthier peers (32.5 per cent compared with 62.3 per cent).
Sex may not be enough alone though. Tracey J Shors, a psychologist at the Centre Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers University, has reported that ‘you can make new cells with exercise, Prozac and sex. If you do mental training, you’ll keep alive more cells that you produced. And if you do both, now you have the best of both worlds—you’re making more cells and keeping more alive.’ So sex and sudoku? Doesn’t sound too shabby.