Researchers at Rutgers University have mapped the female sexual brain for the first time.
The study located the brain regions that respond to stimulation of the clitoris, cervix, vagina and nipples. It found that each erogenous zone was linked to a separate part of the brain, clustered in one region of the skull.
The same region is associated with genital stimulation in men.
Researchers led by Barry R. Komisaruk, B.S., Ph.D., of Rutgers University, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map sensory cortical responses to clitoral, vaginal, cervical, and nipple self-stimulation in 11 healthy women, ages 23-56.
Researchers also mapped responses to stimulation of the thumb and great toe.
Results found that stimulation of each of these genital regions in fact produces a significant and strong activation of specific and different sites in the sensory cortex.
Scientists found that nipple self-stimulation activated the same area of the brain associated with the genitals.
"This lays the groundwork for an understanding of how genital stimulation spreads sequentially through the brain from initial activation of the sensory cortex to eventually activate the brain regions that produce orgasm," Komisaruk concluded.
The study has been published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.