Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals With and Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviours


Voon, Valerie; Mole, Thomas B.; Banca, Paula; Porter, Laura; Morris, Laurel S.; Mitchell, Simon; Lapa, Tatyana R.; Karr, Judy; Harrison, Neil A.; Potenza, Marc N.; and Irvine, Michael


2014 in PLoS ONE 9(7): e102419. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102419

  • Relative to healthy volunteers, compulsive sexual behavior individuals had greater desire, but similar liking scores in response to the sexually explicit videos; this dissociation between desire or wanting and liking is consistent with theories of incentive motivation underlying CSB as in drug addictions.
Although compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB) has been conceptualized as a “behavioural” addiction and common or overlapping neural circuits may govern the processing of natural and drug rewards, little is known regarding the responses to sexually explicit materials in individuals with and without CSB. Here, the processing of cues of varying sexual content was assessed in individuals with and without CSB, focusing on neural regions identified in prior studies of drug-cue reactivity. 19 CSB subjects and 19 healthy volunteers... READ FULL ABSTRACT
  • "Compared to healthy volunteers, CSB subjects had greater subjective sexual desire or wanting to explicit cues and had greater liking scores to erotic cues, thus demonstrating a dissociation between wanting and liking. CSB subjects also had greater impairments of sexual arousal and erectile difficulties in intimate relationships but not with sexually explicit materials highlighting that the enhanced desire scores were specific to the explicit cues and not generalized heightened sexual desire."
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