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An Exploratory Study on the Central Nervous Correlates of Sexual Excitation and Sexual Inhibition

13 December 2018
Karolanne O'Keefe

Publication date
November 2018

Original abstract
The Sexual Inhibition/Sexual Excitation Scales (SIS/SES) measure sexual excitation and sexual inhibition proneness.

We used SIS and SES scores of 62 heterosexual teleiophilic men (Mage 34.3, SD = 9.9) to predict brain activation levels during the presentation of male and female visual sexual stimuli in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

Statistical analyses revealed significant correlations. SES and SIS1 scores were positively associated with brain activation in various brain regions during the presentation of both male and female stimuli. SIS2 turned out to be a weaker predictor of brain activation, still revealing one significant correlation in the right lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Significant regions for SES and SIS1 were, among others, primary and supplementary motor areas, the caudate nucleus, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula, and prefrontal areas.

Our study can be seen as an exploratory investigation of SIS and SES with means of functional brain imaging. The results provide a promising contribution to the assertion of neurophysiological systems of sexual inhibition and excitation proneness.

Unterhorst, K., Gerwinn, H., Pohl, A., Kargel, C., Massau, C., Ristow, I., Kneer, J., Amelung, T., Walter, H., Beier, K., Walter, M., Schiffer, B., H.C, Kruger, T., Stirn, A. and Ponseti, J. (2018). The Journal of Sex Research. DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2-18.1539462.

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central nervous, sexual excitation, sexual inhibition, exploratory study, neuropsychological system, brain, sexual stimuli, brain activation, brain imaging


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