What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

How Women's Brains React to Pornography

April 22, 2012, 1:45 PM
Xxx%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

In an attempt to understand how female biology reacts to watching pornography, researchers at a Dutch university scanned a group of women's brains while they were shown two sexually neutral videos followed by a sexually explicit one. When women watched the third video, researchers "found that blood flow to the visual cortex was reduced in all of the volunteers indicating that the brain had decided that focusing on arousal was more important than fixating on exactly what was occurring on the screen in front of them." The women were aged 18 and 47 and none had yet reached menopause. 

What's the Big Idea?

The PET scans used in the experiment work by measuring blood flow to the brain, so when more blood appears in a particular area, scientists believe the brain is delegating a task to that particular region. Blood flow to the visual cortex is associated with higher anxiety levels since we react on a nearly constant basis to visual stimuli. Thus researchers suggest that "their findings help explain why women who exhibit symptoms of anxiety often report sexual problems. ... They point out that for people in general, the brain cannot be both anxious and aroused, it generally has to be one or the other, or neither."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


 

How Women's Brains React to...

Newsletter: Share: