Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 491–503 | Cite as

EEG during masturbation and ejaculation

  • Benjamin Graber
  • John W. Rohrbaugh
  • David B. Newlin
  • Jerald L. Varner
  • Robert J. Ellingson


The occurrence of a distinctive EEG pattern specifically related to sexual arousal and orgasm would provide a reliable and convenient means of identifying such events in the laboratory and would also provide clues to cerebral structures involved in the processes.

EEG-polygraph recordings were obtained under rigorously controlled conditions in four normal male subjects during masturbation and ejaculation. The EEG data were subjected to both impressionistic and quantitative analyses. They showed no remarkable changes during the sequence of relevant physiological responses. The sole effect was a slight depression of alpha activity, a well-known nonspecific effect associated with changes in attention and arousal. Examination of the literature shows little agreement among reported results of studies of EEG changes during orgasm. It is likely that at least some reported changes were artifactual. It is concluded that the case for the existence of EEG changes specifically related to sexual arousal and orgasm remains unproven.

Key words

EEG ejaculation masturbation orgasm sexual physiology spectral analysis 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Graber
    • 1
  • John W. Rohrbaugh
    • 1
  • David B. Newlin
    • 2
  • Jerald L. Varner
    • 3
  • Robert J. Ellingson
    • 1
  1. 1.Nebraska Psychiatric InstituteUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue University, Psychological Science BuildingWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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