Neural Substrates of Sexual Desire in Individuals with Problematic Hypersexual Behavior


Seok, Ji-Woo; and Sohn, Jin-Hun


2015 in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 9, pp. 321

  • Consistent with the findings of brain imaging studies of substance and behavior addiction, this study found that individuals with the behavioral characteristics of problematic hypersexual behaviors have enhanced desire exhibited altered activation in the prefrontal cortex and subcortical regions.
Studies on the characteristics of individuals with hypersexual disorder have been accumulating due to increasing concerns about problematic hypersexual behavior (PHB). Currently, relatively little is known about the underlying behavioral and neural mechanisms of sexual desire. Our study aimed to investigate the neural correlates of sexual desire with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty-three individuals with PHB and 22 age-matched healthy controls were scanned while they passively viewed sexual... READ FULL ABSTRACT
  • "The present study examined whether there was a difference in the levels of sexual desire between individuals with PHB and healthy controls and, if so, whether this difference was related to functional alterations in the neural substrates of sexual desire in these individuals. As predicted, the PHB group showed significantly heightened levels of sexual desire and altered activation in the PFC and subcortical areas compared to controls. These results suggested that the functional changes in the neural circuitry that mediates cue-induced desire for sexual behavior were similar to those in response to cue presentation in individuals with substance addiction or behavioral addiction."
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