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What Your Spinal Cord Looks Like When You Get a Boner

Anne Hathaway, Olivia Munn, Sofia Vergera and toaster strudels. What do these things have in common? You can tell when I’m looking at them based on an MRI of my spinal cord.

A common function of an MRI is to monitor the relationship between the brain and spine. Historically, MRIs have been used when dealing with severe back injuries and research of how the brain sends messages all over the body via the spinal cord. Well, Researchers at Queens University in Ontario recently released a publication called “Neural correlates of sexual arousal in the spinal cords of able-bodied men: a spinal FMRI investigation.” Translation? What does an MRI of your spinal cord look like when you get a boner? Must be a slow news week in Canada…

So how do you measure a spinal boner? Our professors to the north set out to research whether they could add MRIs to the list of things that can take pictures of your dong aside from camera phones. So they attached an MRI machine to some guys and did some tests to see if they would be able to see any visible difference in the spinal cord.

The first group was subject audiovisual stimulation while attached to an MRI machine. Each guy was forced to watch porn for 5 minute intervals and then to watch 3 minutes of a blank screen to reset to a “baseline condition.” The second group was subject to a manual stimulation test. Each participant was forced to give themselves an Old Fashion for 1.5-minute intervals and then stop. These tests, or as I have deemed them The Blue Balls Olympic Trials, were used to see if there was any visible difference in the spinal cord during a state of arousal on an MRI.

So can scientists spot a difference with the MRI? Yes! You can clearly see that in one picture there are 2 blue dots and in another there is 1 orange dot and then an orange cluster. Ok, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t exactly know what that picture shows, but scientists seem pretty jazzed about it so I’m gonna assume that it all worked out. What does this mean for science? This can help doctors when they assign a rehab regimen to men who are suffering from sexual dysfunction due to spinal trauma. That is great news for that wheelchair kid on Glee.

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