Although scientists have long been studying the pleasure center, there hadnt been much research about how it relates to sexual pleasure, especially in women. In the late 1990s and the mid-2000s, a team of scientists at the university of groningen in the netherlands conducted several studies of both men and women to determine brain activity during sexual stimulation. although male heterosexual studies have dominated the literature, broadly speaking, active brain areas during sexual arousal are highly similar for both men and women of all sexual orientations. Studies comparing sexual arousal in the brains of men and women generally note that women have weaker responses to the visually erotic stimuli that are. the clinical examples also point to the parts of the brain that may be involved in sexual experiences. In 2007 cognitive neuroscientist stephanie ortigue of syracuse university and psychiatrist francesco bianchi-demicheli of the geneva university psychiatric center reviewed the case of mrs. In neuroscience, the reward system is a collection of brain structures and neural pathways that are responsible for reward-related cognition, including associative learning (primarily classical conditioning and operant reinforcement), incentive salience (i. , motivation and wanting, desire, or craving for a reward), and positively-valenced emotions, particularly emotions that. however, whether mens and womens brain activity in sexual scenarios is a function of inherent brain differences -- or whether they stem from life experiences -- is a matter for further study of. Recent brain research has revealed structural differences in the hypothalamus in relation to biological sex and sexual orientation. Differences in size and cell number of various nuclei in the hypothalamus for homosexual versus heterosexual men have recently been reported in two studies. Many regions in the brain contribute to male sexual response, ranging from centers in the hindbrain that also regulate basic body functions such as breathing, to areas in the cerebral cortex, the organ that controls higher thought and intellect. The sensory cortex is a strip of brain tissue positioned roughly under where the band between a pair of headphones sits. Across it, neurons linked to different body parts exchange information.