Through functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, scientists for the first time peered into the brains of fully conscious nonhuman primates (marmoset, a tree-dwelling Brazilian monkey) to learn what's really on their minds when it comes to sex.
Common marmosets, like humans, live in family groups and have to make careful choices when confronted with the scent of an attractive female, a team of marmoset experts led by Charles T. Snowdon, UW-Madison professor of psychology, discovered.
"We were surprised to observe high levels of neural activity in areas of the brain important for decision-making, as well as in purely sexual arousal areas, in response to olfactory cues," Snowdon says. "Lighting up far more brightly than we expected were areas associated with decision-making and memory, emotional processing and reward, and cognitive control."
The marmoset fMRI findings add strong weight to the mounting evidence that, when faced with a novel, sexually attractive and receptive female, males even in monogamous species aren't necessarily just acting on some primal urge to procreate, without a second thought. Rather, they exhibit highly organized, complex neural processes. >from *Sex In The Brain: How Do Male Monkeys Evaluate Mates?*. February 3, 2004.
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> contained marmoset sex life?