People addicted to watching pornography on the internet are in danger of suffering short-term memory loss which can have a major impact on their lives, according to new research.
German scientists studied the part of the brain responsible for keeping information in the mind while using it to complete a task, critical for understanding, reasoning, problem solving and decision making.
In the first research of its kind, they asked asked 28 men — all heterosexual with an average age of 26 — to look at a number of computer images, some pornographic and some nonsexual.
The clean images included pictures of people doing a number of activities, such as laughing, playing sports or carrying a weapon.
As the volunteers viewed the pictures, they touched a 'yes' or 'no' key to indicate whether the picture was the same as one they had seen four slides previously.
The men logged a significantly greater number of incorrect answers when they viewed the porn than when they saw the nonsexual images.
On average, they answered correctly 67 per cent of the time when they viewed pornographic pictures, rising to 80 per cent when they saw the clean pictures.