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More Sex Might Mean More Brain Power in Older Adults

The results do not mean that frequent sex caused better cognition, however. “At this time, we can only speculate that continued engagement in regular [sexual activity] may have a positive influence on cognitive function, but whether [sexual activity] contributes to cognitive function above and beyond social and physical factors is a question for future research,” the authors wrote.

More research is also needed to explain why frequency of sexual activity is linked to cognition. The answer could be biological, and the authors recommended further study involving measurement of certain substances, like the neurotransmitter dopamine, and the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin.

In addition, future studies may consider whether the presence or absence of a partner during sex makes any difference in cognition. In other words, could intercourse have more or less of an effect than masturbation?

Even with these research questions, the authors noted that the findings of their study “have important implications for the maintenance of intimate relationships later in life.”


The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

Wright, Hayley, et al.

“Frequent Sexual Activity Predicts Specific Cognitive Abilities in Older Adults”

(June 21, 2017)

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