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'Sex Chip' Like Niven's Ecstasy Plug

A "sex chip" is under development by British scientists who noted that sophisticated implanted electrodes used to treat Parkinsonism in the US may have other uses.

A research survey conducted by Morten Kringelbach, senior fellow at Oxford University's department of psychiatry, found the orbitofrontal cortex could be a "new stimulation target" to help people suffering from anhedonia, an inability to experience pleasure from such activities. His findings are reported in the Nature Reviews Neuroscience journal.

Neurosurgery professor Tipu Aziz, said: "There is evidence that this chip will work. A few years ago a scientist implanted such a device into the brain of a woman with a low sex drive and turned her into a very sexually active woman. She didn't like the sudden change, so the wiring in her head was removed."

SF fans not under the wire may recall the droud and the ecstasy plug from Larry Niven's Known Space stories; I think the first appearance of the idea was in Death by Ecstasy, a 1969 story.

A hole in his scalp, invisible under the hair, nearly impossible to find even if you knew what you were looking for. Even your best friends wouldn't know, unless they caught you with the droud plugged in. But the tiny hole marked a bigger plug set in the bone of the skull. I touched the ecstasy plug with my imaginary fingertips, then ran down the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center. (Read more about Larry Niven's droud)

From The Telegraph.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/23/2008)

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