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22/09/2013 14:55 BST | Updated 22/09/2013 15:54 BST

Pornography Addiction Revealed By Brain Scan, Similar To Alcoholism Or Drug Addiction

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Porn addiction revealed in brain scan

The brains of people who are hooked on pornography behave in a similar way to those of alcoholics or drug addicts, a new study has found.

Academics from Cambridge University studied people who said they had a problem with the amount of pornography they use.

The Sunday Times reported that the scientists found that part of the people's brain "lit up" when shown explicit material - the same activity that is reported in the brains of other types of addicts.

A total of 19 compulsive porn-viewers were tested alongside a group of people who said they did not have the same habit.

Principle researcher Dr Valerie Voon told the Sunday Times: “We found greater activity in an area of the brain called the ventral striatum, which is a reward centre, involved in processing reward, motivation and pleasure.”

The study will feature in Channel 4 documentary Porn on the Brain at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, women's rights activists are to protest outside an adult industry conference over its plan to host a summit challenging online pornography censorship proposals.

Members of the London Feminist Network and anti-sexism group OBJECT are upset with an item listed for the XBIZ EU three-day conference, due to be held at the capital's Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Hotel from Sunday.

Monday's agenda includes a topic entitled State of the Industry: The War on Porn, which is expected to discuss David Cameron's recently announced proposals to limit access to some pornographic websites.

  • Porn On The Brain is on Channel 4 on Monday, September 30