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Sample records for physiological sexual arousal

  1. The physiological basis of human sexual arousal: neuroendocrine sexual asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Motofei, Ion G; Rowland, David L

    2005-04-01

    Normal sexual arousal and response suppose an integrated process involving both physiological and psychological processes. However, the current understanding of sexual arousal does not provide a coherent model that accounts for the integration of multiple physiological systems that subsequently generate a coordinated sexual response at both the spinal peripheral and cerebral central levels. Herein we suggest a model that involves both sympathetic and parasympathetic activation during sexual arousal via the two classes of gonadal hormones, androgens and oestrogens. We discuss the manner in which gonadal hormones may activate such a system, transforming pre-pubertal (non-erotic) genital stimulation to post-pubertal erogenization of stimulation and subsequent sexual arousal. Finally, we indicate that the different balance of androgens and oestrogens in men and women may generate asymmetric effects on each of the components of the autonomic nervous system, thereby explaining some of the differences in patterns of sexual arousal and the responses cycle across the sexes. PMID:15811068

  2. Validity of Physiological Measures of Pedophilic Sexual Arousal in a Sexual Offender Population.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Gordon C. N.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Analyzed sexual arousal, in response to nondeviant and pedophilic audiotapes, among inpatient adult male sexual offenders. Audiotapes describing consenting sexual intercourse created significantly greater arousal than did descriptions of physically forcible sexual/nonsexual activity with female minors. Correspondence of physiological measures with…

  3. Evidence for a curvilinear relationship between sympathetic nervous system activation and women's physiological sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Tierney Ahrold; Harte, Christopher B; Hamilton, Lisa Dawn; Meston, Cindy M

    2012-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that women's physiological sexual arousal is facilitated by moderate sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation. Literature also suggests that the level of SNS activation may play a role in the degree to which SNS activity affects sexual arousal. We provide the first empirical examination of a possible curvilinear relationship between SNS activity and women's genital arousal using a direct measure of SNS activation in 52 sexually functional women. The relationship between heart rate variability (HRV), a specific and sensitive marker of SNS activation, and vaginal pulse amplitude (VPA), a measure of genital arousal, was analyzed. Moderate increases in SNS activity were associated with higher genital arousal, while very low or very high SNS activation was associated with lower genital arousal. These findings imply that there is an optimal level of SNS activation for women's physiological sexual arousal. PMID:22092348

  4. A female sex offender with multiple paraphilias: a psychologic, physiologic (laboratory sexual arousal) and endocrine case study.

    PubMed

    Cooper, A J; Swaminath, S; Baxter, D; Poulin, C

    1990-05-01

    A 20 year old female pedophile exhibiting multiple paraphilias and who had been both a victim of incest and an active participant, undertook extensive clinical, psychometric, endocrine and laboratory sexual arousal studies. Her psychiatric, psychometric and physiologic arousal profiles showed similarities to those of a sizable proportion of male child molesters, especially incestors. It is suggested that laboratory arousal tests (using the vaginal photoplethysmograph) may have a role in the assessment of some female sex offenders. PMID:2346901

  5. Relations Between Trait Impulsivity, Behavioral Impulsivity, Physiological Arousal, and Risky Sexual Behavior among Young Men

    PubMed Central

    Derefinko, Karen J.; Peters, Jessica R.; Eisenlohr-Moul, Tory A.; Walsh, Erin C.; Adams, Zachary W.; Lynam, Donald R.

    2014-01-01

    The current study examined how impulsivity-related traits (negative urgency, sensation seeking, and positive urgency), behavioral measures of risk taking and reward seeking, and physiological reactivity related to three different risky sexual behaviors in sexually active undergraduate men (N = 135). Regression analyses indicated that sensation seeking and behavioral risk-taking predicted unique variance in number of sexual partners. These findings suggest that, for young men, acquisition of new partners is associated with need for excitement and reward and willingness to take risks to meet those needs. Sensation seeking, behavioral risk-taking, and skin conductance reactivity to arousing stimuli was related to ever having engaged in sex with a stranger, indicating that, for men, willingness to have sex with a stranger is related not only to the need for excitement and risk-taking but also with innate responsiveness to arousing environmental triggers. In contrast, regression analyses indicated that young men who were impulsive in the context of negative emotions were less likely to use condoms, suggesting that emotion-based impulsivity may be an important factor in negligent prophylactic use. This study adds to the current understanding of the divergence between the correlates of risky sexual behaviors and may lend utility to the development of individualized HIV prevention programming. PMID:24958252

  6. Relations between trait impulsivity, behavioral impulsivity, physiological arousal, and risky sexual behavior among young men.

    PubMed

    Derefinko, Karen J; Peters, Jessica R; Eisenlohr-Moul, Tory A; Walsh, Erin C; Adams, Zachary W; Lynam, Donald R

    2014-08-01

    The current study examined how impulsivity-related traits (negative urgency, sensation seeking, and positive urgency), behavioral measures of risk taking and reward seeking, and physiological reactivity related to three different risky sexual behaviors in sexually active undergraduate men (N = 135). Regression analyses indicated that sensation seeking and behavioral risk-taking predicted unique variance in number of sexual partners. These findings suggest that, for young men, acquisition of new partners is associated with need for excitement and reward and willingness to take risks to meet those needs. Sensation seeking, behavioral risk-taking, and skin conductance reactivity to arousing stimuli was related to ever having engaged in sex with a stranger, indicating that, for men, willingness to have sex with a stranger is related not only to the need for excitement and risk-taking but also with innate responsiveness to arousing environmental triggers. In contrast, regression analyses indicated that young men who were impulsive in the context of negative emotions were less likely to use condoms, suggesting that emotion-based impulsivity may be an important factor in negligent prophylactic use. This study adds to the current understanding of the divergence between the correlates of risky sexual behaviors and may lend utility to the development of individualized HIV prevention programming. PMID:24958252

  7. The relationship of male self-report of rape supportive attitudes, sexual fantasy, social desirability and physiological arousal to sexually coercive stimuli.

    PubMed

    Plaud, J J; Bigwood, S J

    1997-12-01

    Studies have supported the finding that sexually coercive behavior exists between males and females on college campuses and that when women say "no" to sexual behavior, men do not believe them. This study utilized penile plethysmography to investigate male sexual arousal to rape myth scenarios in a college population. The scenarios portrayed a woman who said "no" to sexually coercive intercourse behavior by a male. Results indicated that a low level of social desirability, sexual fantasies involving group sexual activity, as well as hurting and being hurt by a partner were associated with greater levels of physiological responding to coercive stimuli. Supportive attitudes about rape showed no relationship with physiological responding, yet did correlate with the sexual fantasy of being hurt by a partner, which was itself related to increased sexual arousal to sexually coercive audio stimuli. PMID:9403397

  8. Acute Effects of Nicotine on Physiological and Subjective Sexual Arousal in Nonsmoking Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Harte, Christopher B.; Meston, Cindy M.

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Chronic nicotine treatment has deleterious effects on vascular functioning and catecholamine modulation, which may compromise erectile functioning. Evidence that long-term cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor for introducing impotence is robust. However, limited studies have focused on the acute effects of smoking on physiological sexual response, and none have investigated the deleterious effects of isolated nicotine on human sexual arousal. Consequently, pathophysiological underpinnings of tobacco-induced—and particularly, nicotine-induced—erectile dysfunction are not well understood. Aim To provide the first empirical examination of the acute effects of isolated nicotine on sexual arousal in nonsmoking men. Methods Twenty-eight sexually functional heterosexual men (mean age 21 years), each with less than 100 direct exposures to nicotine, participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Participants received either Nicorette polacrilex gum (SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare, Pittsburgh, PA, USA) (6 mg; approximately equivalent to smoking one high-yield cigarette) or placebo gum, matched for appearance, taste, and consistency, approximately 40 minutes prior to viewing an erotic film. Main Outcome Measures Physiological (circumferential change via penile plethysmography) and subjective (continuous self-report) sexual responses to erotic stimuli were examined, as well as changes in mood. Results Nicotine significantly reduced erectile responses to the erotic films (P = 0.02), corresponding to a 23% reduction in physiological sexual arousal. This occurred in 16 of 20 men with valid physiological recordings. Nicotine had no significant effect on continuous subjective ratings of sexual arousal (P = 0.70) or on mood (all Ps > 0.05). Conclusions Isolated nicotine can significantly attenuate physiological sexual arousal in healthy nonsmoking men. These findings have implications for elucidating physiological

  9. Female Sexual Arousal in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Wilczynski, Walter; Lynch, Kathleen S.

    2010-01-01

    Rather than being a static, species specific trait, reproductive behavior in female amphibians is variable within an individual during the breeding season when females are capable of reproductive activity. Changes in receptivity coincide with changes in circulating estrogen. Estrogen is highest at the point when females are ready to choose a male and lay eggs. At this time female receptivity (her probability of responding to a male vocal signal) is highest and her selectivity among conspecific calls (measured by her probability of responding to a degraded or otherwise usually unattractive male signal) is lowest. These changes occur even though females retain the ability to discriminate different acoustic characteristics of various conspecific calls. After releasing her eggs, female amphibians quickly become less receptive and more choosy in terms of their responses to male sexual advertisement signals. Male vocal signals stimulate both behavior and estrogen changes in amphibian females making mating more probable. The changes in female reproductive behavior are the same as those generally accepted as indicative of a change in female sexual arousal leading to copulation. They are situationally triggered, gated by interactions with males, and decline with the consummation of sexual reproduction with a chosen male. The changes can be triggered by either internal physiological state or by the presence of stimuli presented by males, and the same stimuli change both behavior and physiological (endocrine) state in such a way as to make acceptance of a male more likely. Thus amphibian females demonstrate many of the same general characteristics of changing female sexual state that in mammals indicate sexual arousal. PMID:20816968

  10. Sexual arousal, is it for mammals only?

    PubMed

    Ball, Gregory F; Balthazart, Jacques

    2011-05-01

    Sexual arousal has many dimensions and has consequently been defined in various ways. In humans, sexual arousal can be assessed based in part on verbal communication. In male non-human mammalian species, it has been argued that arousal can only be definitively inferred if the subject exhibits a penile erection in a sexual context. In non-mammalian species that lack an intromittent organ, as is the case for most avian species, the question of how to assess sexual arousal has not been thoroughly addressed. Based on studies performed in male Japanese quail, we argue that several behavioral or physiological characteristics provide suitable measures of sexual arousal in birds and probably also in other tetrapods. These indices include, the performance of appetitive sexual behavior in anticipation of copulation (although anticipation and arousal are not synonymous), the activation of specific brain area as identified by the detection of the expression of immediate early genes (fos, egr-1) or by 2-deoxyglucose quantitative autoradiography, and above all, by the release of dopamine in the medial preoptic area as measured by in vivo dialysis. Based on these criteria, it is possible to assess in birds sexual arousal in its broadest sense but meeting the more restrictive definition of arousal proposed for male mammals (erection in an explicit sexual context) is and will probably remain impossible in birds until refinement of in vivo imaging techniques such fMRI allow us to match in different species, with and without an intromittent organ, the brain areas that are activated in the presence of specific stimuli. PMID:21073874

  11. Circulating Endocannabinoid Concentrations and Sexual Arousal in Women

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Carolin; Hill, Matthew N.; Chang, Sabrina C.H.; Hillard, Cecilia J.; Gorzalka, Boris B.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Several lines of evidence point to the potential role of the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning. These include results from studies describing the subjective effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in humans and the observable effects of exogenous cannabinoids on sexual functioning in other species, as well as results from studies investigating the location of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and periphery, and the effects of cannabinoid receptor activation on neurotransmitters implicated in sexual functioning. While these lines of research suggest a role for the endocannabinoid system in female sexual functioning, no studies investigating the relationship between concentrations of endogenous cannabinoids (i.e., arachidonoylethanolamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG]) and sexual functioning have been conducted in any species. Aim To measure circulating endocannabinoid concentrations in relation to subjective and physiological indices of sexual arousal in women (n = 21). Methods Serum endocannabinoid (AEA and 2-AG) concentrations were measured immediately prior to, and immediately following, viewing of neutral (control) and erotic (experimental) film stimuli in a repeated measures design. Physiological sexual arousal was measured via vaginal photoplethysmography. Subjective sexual arousal was measured both continuously and non-continuously. Pearson’s correlations were used to investigate the relationships between endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal. Main Outcome Measures Changes in AEA and 2-AG concentrations from pre- to post-film and in relation to physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal. Results Results revealed a significant relationship between endocannabinoid concentrations and female sexual arousal, whereby increases in both physiological and subjective indices of sexual arousal were significantly associated with decreases in AEA, and increases in subjective indices of

  12. Subjective Sexual Arousal to Films of Masturbation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mosher, Donald L.; Abramson, Paul R.

    1977-01-01

    A film of a male or female masturbating was viewed by 96 males and 102 females. Males reported the highest level of sexual arousal to the female film and the lowest level of arousal to the male film. Females were sexually aroused by both films. (Author)

  13. Alterations in grip strength during male sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Jiao, C; Turman, B; Weerakoon, P; Knight, P

    2006-01-01

    Although it is known that alterations in grip strength occur under a number of conditions, little is known about relationships between grip strength and sexual arousal. This relationship was investigated in 30 healthy heterosexual males, who viewed both erotic and nonerotic videos. A questionnaire was used to assess the extent of sexual arousal. The grip strengths of both hands were measured with a five-position (P1-P5) dynamometer, before and after watching the videos. After watching the erotic video, there was a statistically significant reduction in grip strength for the P2 position, with nonsignificant overall reductions in grip strength for all other positions tested. No such effect was observed in control tests. The results indicate that during sexual arousal, the neural system is likely to reduce the output to muscles not directly related to sexual function, presumably to enhance the physiological responses of sexual arousal. PMID:16254571

  14. Psychophysiological sexual arousal in women with a history of child sexual abuse.

    PubMed

    Rellini, Alessandra H; Meston, Cindy M

    2006-01-01

    On the basis of literature that suggests that child sexual abuse (CSA) survivors with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have higher baseline sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity than healthy controls and research that suggests that the SNS plays a critical role in female physiological sexual arousal, we examined the impact of SNS activation through intense exercise on sexual arousal in women with CSA and PTSD. We measured physiological and subjective sexual arousal in women with CSA (n = 8), women with CSA and PTSD (n = 10), and healthy controls (n = 10) during exposure to nonerotic and erotic videos. After exercise, women with CSA and women with CSA and PTSD showed no significant differences in the physiological sexual response compared with no exercise, which was different from the increased physiological sexual response after exercise observed in control women. PMID:16234222

  15. Disgust and Sexual Arousal in Young Adult Men and Women.

    PubMed

    Grauvogl, Andrea; de Jong, Peter; Peters, Madelon; Evers, Silvia; van Overveld, Mark; van Lankveld, Jacques

    2015-08-01

    Previous research suggested that disgust may interfere with healthy sexual functioning by demonstrating that women with sexual pain disorders are characterized by heightened disgust propensity, relatively strong (physiological and subjective) disgust responses when exposed to sexual stimuli, and relatively strong automatic sex-disgust memory associations. To broaden the understanding of the relationship between sex and disgust, Study 1 tested the relationship between trait disgust and sexual functioning in both men (N = 109) and women (N = 187), and showed that specifically for women both relatively high disgust propensity and high sensitivity were related to lower sexual functioning. Study 2 focused on healthy young adults (N = 19 men and N = 24 women), and tested the relationship between trait disgust and automatic sex-disgust associations as well as the predictive value of trait disgust propensity for participants' level of sexual arousal while watching an erotic video. Participants completed a single-target Implicit Association Task and self-report measures of trait disgust propensity, disgust sensitivity, and sexual functioning. Furthermore, genital and subjective sexual arousal was measured, while participants were watching neutral and erotic video clips. Women showed stronger sex-disgust associations and reported higher disgust propensity than men. Overall, indices of trait disgust and sex-disgust associations were not strongly associated with sexual functioning or sexual arousability. Unexpectedly, specifically in men, high levels of trait disgust sensitivity predicted higher levels of genital and subjective sexual arousal. Overall, no strong evidence was found to support the view that, among young adults without sexual difficulties, high trait disgust or relatively strong automatic sex-disgust associations are associated with low sexual functioning and low sexual arousal. PMID:25231820

  16. Voluntary control of male sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Mahoney, J M; Strassberg, D S

    1991-02-01

    Forty-eight adult male volunteers attempted to suppress sexual arousal while viewing a sexually explicit videotape and generate an arousal response while viewing a neutral videotape. Attendance to the stimuli was assured by requiring subjects to provide an ongoing verbal description of the videotape they were viewing. While significant effects in controlling arousal were obtained, the degree of subject success varied as a function of the criteria used for evaluating outcome. The most conservative analysis, a simultaneous discriminant analysis procedure comparing subjects penile plethysmographic responses across the entire 3 min of each condition, revealed that in no case was a subject able to produce a pattern of sexual response that was misclassified as the condition he was attempting to emulate. Results support the value of requiring attendance to experimental stimuli and of analyzing trends/patterns of arousal across an entire experimental period in identifying attempts to "fake" sexual preferences. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:2003767

  17. Laboratory-induced hyperventilation differentiates female sexual arousal disorder subtypes.

    PubMed

    Brotto, Lori A; Klein, Carolin; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2009-08-01

    The effects of heightened sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity via laboratory-induced hyperventilation (LIH) on subjective and physiological sexual arousal were examined in a heterogeneous group of women with Sexual Arousal Disorder (SAD; n = 60), as well as across subtypes of SAD, in comparison to a control group of women without sexual difficulties (n = 42). Participants took part in 2 min of rapid breathing, a technique previously found to increase SNS activity, immediately prior to viewing erotic stimuli. Physiological arousal (i.e., vaginal pulse amplitude; VPA) was measured via the vaginal photoplethysmograph and subjective arousal was measured via self-report questionnaires. LIH differentiated women with SAD from those in the control group, with LIH increasing VPA in the latter, but having no significant effect in the heterogeneous SAD group. However, among subtypes of SAD, LIH differentiated women with genital (n = 16) and subjective (n = 16) subtypes of SAD from women with combined SAD (n = 28) and women without sexual difficulties. Specifically, women in the control group and those with combined SAD had a significant increase in VPA whereas women with genital or subjective SAD had a significant decrease in VPA following LIH. There was no significant effect of LIH on any self-report measure of sexual arousal following erotic stimuli. Implications of the results for the conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment of SAD are discussed. PMID:18343989

  18. Psychopathology and Deviant Sexual Arousal in Incarcerated Sexual Offenders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serin, Ralph C.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Investigates the relationship between psychopathology and deviant sexual arousal in sexual offenders (n=65), with approximately equal numbers of rapists and child molesters. Differentiating between rapists, extrafamilial pedophiles, and incest offenders revealed that the relationship between psychopathology and arousal was most apparent for…

  19. [Anatomy and physiology of sexuality].

    PubMed

    Cour, F; Droupy, S; Faix, A; Methorst, C; Giuliano, F

    2013-07-01

    Knowledge of the physiology of male and female sexuality has advanced considerably. Initially there is always desire with its biological neuroendocrine components and its emotional field which is particularly marked in women. There is a distinction between "spontaneous" sexual desire related to intrinsic affective, cognitive stimuli, and fantasies, and "reactive" sexual desire in response to physical arousal. There are similarities between men and women concerning the activation of cerebral zones in sexual arousal contexts in laboratory conditions. The neural pathways for sexual arousal are similar between men and women, bringing into play the sympathetic centres of the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord and, at the sacral level, the parasympathetic center and the motoneurons controlling the muscular contractions of the pelviperineal striated muscles. Genital sensitivity is mainly transmitted by the pudendal nerve in both men and women. Sexual arousal in men consists of penile erection, and ejaculation accompanied with orgasm. In women, sexual arousal causes increase in blood to flow to the vagina leading to lubrication and to the vulva leading to the erection of the clitoris and vulvar hyperaemia. The orgasm which can be multiple in women is accompanied by contractions of the striated perineal muscles. Several neurotransmitters are closely involved in the control of sexuality at the central level: dopamine, ocytocin, serotonin, and peripheral: nitric oxide and noradrenaline in men, vasoactive intestinal peptide and neuropeptide Y in women. PMID:23830249

  20. Sexual arousal patterns: normal and deviant.

    PubMed

    Abel, Gene G; Coffey, Latricia; Osborn, Candice A

    2008-12-01

    The fetish objects in these case histories were unique enough, and the attraction to the objects strong enough, that the individuals could clearly track their interest from early childhood through adulthood. It is much easier to retrieve remote, explicit memories, such as events (eg, a party where balloons popped) or playing with objects, than to recall the process of sexual development with no distinct markers in the individual's history. Because these distinct experiences predated identified sexuality, became a focus of attention for the individual, and then were incorporated into the individual's sexual interests and masturbatory fantasies, it was possible to accurately track the patterns of sexual arousal. We were also able to clearly identify how these men attempted to blend their deviant interests into sexual relationships with partners and the consequences of their efforts. If we are to understand how sexual interests develop, a number of obstacles need to be overcome. Sexual interest has to be openly discussed. Parents need to appreciate how the early sexual interests of their children can go awry, contaminate their adult relationships, and lead to problematic lives. Researchers need a means of understanding how to communicate with children about their earliest interests, sexual interests, and sexual behaviors in a nonjudgmental manner. Until then, tracking unusual interests that lead to erotic interests is the first step in the overall process of understanding how sexual interest develops and is assimilated, either successfully or unsuccessfully, into an individual's adult sexual life. PMID:18996304

  1. Conditioned sexual arousal in a nonhuman primate.

    PubMed

    Snowdon, Charles T; Tannenbaum, Pamela L; Schultz-Darken, Nancy J; Ziegler, Toni E; Ferris, Craig F

    2011-05-01

    Conditioning of sexual arousal has been demonstrated in several species from fish to humans but has not been demonstrated in nonhuman primates. Controversy exists over whether nonhuman primates produce pheromones that arouse sexual behavior. Although common marmosets copulate throughout the ovarian cycle and during pregnancy, males exhibit behavioral signs of arousal, demonstrate increased neural activation of anterior hypothalamus and medial preoptic area, and have an increase in serum testosterone after exposure to odors of novel ovulating females suggestive of a sexually arousing pheromone. Males also have increased androgens prior to their mate's ovulation. However, males presented with odors of ovulating females demonstrate activation of many other brain areas associated with motivation, memory, and decision making. In this study, we demonstrate that male marmosets can be conditioned to a novel, arbitrary odor (lemon) with observation of erections, and increased exploration of the location where they previously experienced a receptive female, and increased scratching in post-conditioning test without a female present. This conditioned response was demonstrated up to a week after the end of conditioning trials, a much longer lasting effect of conditioning than reported in studies of other species. These results further suggest that odors of ovulating females are not pheromones, strictly speaking and that marmoset males may learn specific characteristics of odors of females providing a possible basis for mate identification. PMID:21029736

  2. On the intricate relationship between sexual motivation and arousal.

    PubMed

    Agmo, Anders

    2011-05-01

    Sexual motivation and sexual arousal are widely used concepts. While there seem to be considerable agreement as to the meaning of sexual motivation, there is certain confusion about the exact meaning of sexual arousal. Some use it as a synonym to sexual motivation and others make it equivalent to erection or vaginal lubrication. An unresolved question is the relationship between sexual arousal and general arousal as well as that between arousal and motivation. I present arguments for the view that arousal refers to the general state of alertness of the organism. Consequently, there is no such thing as a specific sexual arousal. I suggest that this term should be abandoned, or if that is not feasible, to make it a synonym to enhanced genital blood flow. The notion of a subjective sexual arousal, some kind of vaguely described mental state, seems to lack all explanatory value. I then show that general arousal is an important determinant of sexual motivation, and that the execution of copulatory acts leads to increased general arousal. This increase leads to enhanced sexual motivation, making the activation of sexual reflexes requiring high levels of motivation possible. Examples of such reflexes may be ejaculation in males of many species, and perhaps the psychic state of orgasm in women. PMID:20816969

  3. The experimental analysis of human sexual arousal: Some recent developments

    PubMed Central

    Roche, Bryan; Barnes, Dermot

    1998-01-01

    Experimental analyses of human sexual arousal have been decidedly sparse. Recent developments in the analysis of derived relational responding, however, have opened the way for a modern behavior-analytic treatment of complex or “novel” human behavior, including specific instances of human sexual arousal. The current article examines some of these developments and their relevance to the analysis of emotional behavior, with a focus on sexual arousal. Recent research that has examined the acquisition of sexual stimulus functions within a relational frame paradigm is then outlined. Finally, a series of relational frame interpretations of a variety of human sexual arousal phenomena is offered. PMID:22478296

  4. Sexual desire, sexual arousal and hormonal differences in premenopausal US and Dutch women with and without low sexual desire.

    PubMed

    Heiman, Julia R; Rupp, Heather; Janssen, Erick; Newhouse, Sarah K; Brauer, Marieke; Laan, Ellen

    2011-05-01

    The interaction between women's hormonal condition and subjective, physiological, and behavioral indices of desire or arousal remains only partially explored, in spite of frequent reports from women about problems with a lack of sexual desire. The present study recruited premenopausal women at two sites, one in the United States and the other in the Netherlands, and incorporated various measures of acute changes in sexual desire and arousal. A sample of 46 women who met criteria for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) was compared to 47 women who experienced no sexual problems (SF). Half of each group used oral contraceptives (OCs). The specific goal was to investigate whether there is a relationship between women's hormone levels and their genital and subjective sexual responsiveness. Background demographics and health variables, including oral contraceptive (OC) use, were recorded and hormones (total testosterone (T), free testosterone (FT), SHBG, and estradiol) were analyzed along with vaginal pulse amplitude and self-report measures of desire and arousal in response to sexual fantasy, visual sexual stimuli, and photos of men's faces. Self-reported arousal and desire were lower in the HSDD than the SF group, but only for women who were not using oral contraceptives. Relationships between hormones and sexual function differed depending on whether a woman was HSDD or not. In line with prior literature, FT was positively associated with physiological and subjective sexual arousal in the SF group. The HSDD women demonstrated the opposite pattern, in that FT was negatively associated with subjective sexual responsiveness. The findings suggest a possible alternative relationship between hormones and sexual responsiveness in women with HSDD who have characteristics similar to those in the present study. PMID:21514299

  5. Brief Emotion Regulation Training Facilitates Arousal Control During Sexual Stimuli.

    PubMed

    van Overveld, Mark; Borg, Charmaine

    2015-01-01

    Disgust, a negative emotion which evokes strong behavioral avoidance tendencies, has been associated with sexual dysfunction. Recently, it was postulated that healthy sexual functioning requires a balance between excitatory (increased sexual arousal) and inhibitory processes (lowered disgust levels). This suggests that amplification of excitatory processes (like sexual arousal) could be a valuable addition to treatments for affect-based sexual dysfunctions. The major aim of the present study was to establish whether up-regulation could effectively enhance arousal levels during sexual stimuli, and whether such a training would simultaneously reduce disgust. Students (N = 163, mean age = 20.73 years, SD = 2.35) were trained in up-regulation of affect using either a sexual arousal film (i.e., female-friendly erotic movie) or a threat arousal film clip (i.e., horror movie), while control groups viewed the films without training instructions. Following this, participants viewed and rated state emotions during a series of pictures (sexual, disgusting, or neutral). Up-regulation of mood successfully enhanced general arousal in both groups, yet these arousal levels were not paralleled by reductions in disgust. Overall, the findings indicate that emotion regulation training by maximizing positive affect and general arousal could be an effective instrument to facilitate affect-related disturbances in sexual dysfunctions. PMID:25258109

  6. Uncovering category specificity of genital sexual arousal in women: The critical role of analytic technique.

    PubMed

    Pulverman, Carey S; Hixon, J Gregory; Meston, Cindy M

    2015-10-01

    Based on analytic techniques that collapse data into a single average value, it has been reported that women lack category specificity and show genital sexual arousal to a large range of sexual stimuli including those that both match and do not match their self-reported sexual interests. These findings may be a methodological artifact of the way in which data are analyzed. This study examined whether using an analytic technique that models data over time would yield different results. Across two studies, heterosexual (N = 19) and lesbian (N = 14) women viewed erotic films featuring heterosexual, lesbian, and gay male couples, respectively, as their physiological sexual arousal was assessed with vaginal photoplethysmography. Data analysis with traditional methods comparing average genital arousal between films failed to detect specificity of genital arousal for either group. When data were analyzed with smoothing regression splines and a within-subjects approach, both heterosexual and lesbian women demonstrated different patterns of genital sexual arousal to the different types of erotic films, suggesting that sophisticated statistical techniques may be necessary to more fully understand women's genital sexual arousal response. Heterosexual women showed category-specific genital sexual arousal. Lesbian women showed higher arousal to the heterosexual film than the other films. However, within subjects, lesbian women showed significantly different arousal responses suggesting that lesbian women's genital arousal discriminates between different categories of stimuli at the individual level. Implications for the future use of vaginal photoplethysmography as a diagnostic tool of sexual preferences in clinical and forensic settings are discussed. PMID:26118962

  7. Sexy thoughts: effects of sexual cognitions on testosterone, cortisol, and arousal in women.

    PubMed

    Goldey, Katherine L; van Anders, Sari M

    2011-05-01

    Previous research suggests that sexual stimuli increase testosterone (T) in women and shows inconsistent effects of sexual arousal on cortisol (C), but effects of cognitive aspects of arousal, rather than behaviors or sensory stimuli, are unclear. The present study examined whether sexual thoughts affect T or C and whether hormonal contraceptive (HC) use moderated this effect, given mixed findings of HC use confounding hormone responses. Participants (79 women) provided a baseline saliva sample for radioimmunoassay. We created the Imagined Social Situation Exercise (ISSE) to test effects of imagining social interactions on hormones, and participants were assigned to the experimental (sexual) or one of three control (positive, neutral, stressful) conditions. Participants provided a second saliva sample 15 min post-activity. Results indicated that for women not using HCs, the sexual condition increased T compared to the stressful or positive conditions. In contrast, HC using women in the sexual condition had decreased T relative to the stressful condition and similar T to the positive condition. The effect was specific to T, as sexual thoughts did not change C. For participants in the sexual condition, higher baseline T predicted larger increases in sexual arousal but smaller increases in T, likely due to ceiling effects on T. Our results suggest that sexual thoughts change T but not C, baseline T levels and HC use may contribute to variation in the T response to sexual thoughts, and cognitive aspects of sexual arousal affect physiology. PMID:21185838

  8. Arousal, working memory capacity, and sexual decision-making in men.

    PubMed

    Spokes, Tara; Hine, Donald W; Marks, Anthony D G; Quain, Peter; Lykins, Amy D

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated whether working memory capacity (WMC) moderated the relationship between physiological arousal and sexual decision making. A total of 59 men viewed 20 consensual and 20 non-consensual images of heterosexual interaction while their physiological arousal levels were recorded using skin conductance response. Participants also completed an assessment of WMC and a date-rape analogue task for which they had to identify the point at which an average Australian male would cease all sexual advances in response to verbal and/or physical resistance from a female partner. Participants who were more physiologically aroused by and spent more time viewing the non-consensual sexual imagery nominated significantly later stopping points on the date-rape analogue task. Consistent with our predictions, the relationship between physiological arousal and nominated stopping point was strongest for participants with lower levels of WMC. For participants with high WMC, physiological arousal was unrelated to nominated stopping point. Thus, executive functioning ability (and WMC in particular) appears to play an important role in moderating men's decision making with regard to sexually aggressive behavior. PMID:24696385

  9. Acute Exercise Improves Physical Sexual Arousal in Women Taking Antidepressants

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Tierney A.; Meston, Cindy M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Antidepressants can impair sexual arousal. Exercise increases genital arousal in healthy women, likely due to increasing sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. Purpose Test if exercise increases genital arousal in women taking antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which suppress SNS activity, and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which suppress the SNS less. Method Women reporting antidepressant-related sexual arousal problems (N=47) participated in three counterbalanced sessions where they watched an erotic film while we recorded genital and SNS arousal. In two sessions, women exercised for 20 min, either 5 or 15 min prior to the films. Results During the no-exercise condition, women taking SSRIs showed significantly less genital response than women taking SNRIs. Exercise prior to sexual stimuli increased genital arousal in both groups. Women reporting greater sexual dysfunction had larger increases in genital arousal post-exercise. For women taking SSRIs, genital arousal was linked to SNS activity. Conclusions Exercise may improve antidepressant-related genital arousal problems. PMID:22403029

  10. Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, predicts self-regulation of sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Moholy, Maxwell; Prause, Nicole; Proudfit, Greg Hajcak; S Rahman, Ardeshir; Fong, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    A person's ability to control their own sexual arousal is important both to reduce the risks associated with some sexual behaviours and to respond sexually with intimate partners. A lack of control over sexual urges is a proposed feature of "hypersexual disorder", though some evidence suggests that sexual desire predicts the self-regulation of sexual arousal better than hypersexuality. In the current study, a sample (N = 116) of men and women recruited from community ads viewed a series of 20-second neutral and sexual films. Before each sexual film, participants were instructed to increase their sexual arousal, decrease their sexual arousal or respond as usual. Higher levels of desire for sex with a partner consistently predicted failures to downregulate sexual arousal. Hypersexuality was unrelated. These findings replicate Winters et al.'s study and extend their findings by including upregulation, women, a new measure of hypersexuality and a higher-trial design. PMID:25559501

  11. Effects of fragrance on female sexual arousal and mood across the menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Graham, C A; Janssen, E; Sanders, S A

    2000-01-01

    The effects of fragrance on sexual response in women were investigated using subjective and physiological measures of sexual arousal and of mood. Responses were obtained from female participants in three different fragrance conditions (female fragrance, male fragrance, and a "blank" or neutral substance), as they viewed erotic and sexually neutral films, and fantasized about sexual situations. Each woman was tested twice: during the midfollicular and periovulatory phases of her menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycle phase effects were apparent; self-report data indicated greater sexual arousal and more positive mood during the periovulatory than during the follicular phase. Results demonstrated a positive effect of the male fragrance on genital arousal during erotic fantasy, but this finding was apparent only during the follicular phase testing session. This effect did not appear to be mediated by any effects of fragrance on mood. PMID:10705769

  12. Sexual arousal and rhythmic synchronization: A possible effect of vasopressin.

    PubMed

    Miani, Alessandro

    2016-08-01

    Music is ubiquitous. Yet, its biological relevance is still an ongoing debate. Supporting the view that music had an ancestral role in courtship displays, a pilot study presented here provides preliminary evidence on the link between music and sexual selection. The underlying hypothesis is based on the fact that the sexually dimorphic neuropeptide vasopressin has its receptors in the part of the brain involved in music and dance performance (the basal ganglia), and its concentrations rise during sexual arousal in men. In addition, music, dance, and courtship phenotypes seem to be in part regulated by vasopressin and its genes. Hence, to test this hypothesis, a rhythmic synchronization task was employed here on one male subject during sexual arousal. Results revealed a significant effect of sexual arousal on rhythm synchronization. This is the first report that empirically supports the hypothesis on the role of music in sexual selection. Further studies are clearly required. PMID:27372870

  13. Effects of deep pressure stimulation on physiological arousal.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Stacey; Lane, Shelly J; Mullen, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Deep pressure stimulation has been used in therapeutic practice because of the assumption that it changes physiological arousal. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of deep pressure stimulation, applied with a Vayu Vest (Therapeutic Systems), on both autonomic arousal and performance in a normative adult sample. A repeated-measures, repeated-baseline design was used with participants completing a performance test before and after deep pressure application. A convenience sample of 50 adults participated in the study. Results showed that wearing the Vayu Vest for even short periods of time reduced sympathetic arousal and non-stimulus-driven electrical occurrences. Concomitant increases in parasympathetic arousal were found. Performance improvements were noted after wearing the Vayu Vest, potentially because of changes in arousal. We conclude that deep pressure stimulation is capable of eliciting changes in autonomic arousal and may be a useful modality in diagnostic groups seen by occupational therapy practitioners. PMID:25871605

  14. Effects of experimentally adopted sexual schemas on vaginal response and subjective sexual arousal: a comparison between women with sexual arousal disorder and sexually healthy women.

    PubMed

    Middleton, Laura S; Kuffel, Stephanie W; Heiman, Julia R

    2008-12-01

    The present study evaluated and compared the effects of experimentally adopted sexual schemas on vaginal response, subjective sexual arousal, and affect in 17 women with Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) and 17 sexually healthy women. Positive and negative cognitive schemas were presented to participants before viewing sexually explicit video segments. They were asked to temporarily adopt both schemas, and vaginal response, subjective sexual arousal, and affect were measured in each schema condition. Participants in both groups had significantly greater vaginal response and reported more subjective sexual arousal in the positive schema condition than in the negative schema condition. Sexually healthy women demonstrated significantly higher subjective sexual arousal than women with FSAD, but there were no significant group differences in vaginal response. Moreover, participants in both groups reported higher levels of Positive Affect and Vigor in the positive schema condition than in the negative schema condition but higher levels of Negative Affect, Tension-Anxiety, and Anger-Hostility in the negative schema condition than in the positive schema condition. These findings demonstrate the impact of cognitions on sexual arousal, which has important implications for addressing cognitions in the treatment of FSAD. Moreover, these findings have implications for the conceptualization of FSAD, which may be best characterized as a complex, heterogeneous cluster of symptoms. PMID:18256919

  15. Predictors of sexual assertiveness: the role of sexual desire, arousal, attitudes, and partner abuse.

    PubMed

    Santos-Iglesias, Pablo; Sierra, Juan Carlos; Vallejo-Medina, Pablo

    2013-08-01

    This study was conducted to test interpersonal, attitudinal, and sexual predictors of sexual assertiveness in a Spanish sample of 1,619 men and 1,755 women aged 18-87 years. Participants completed measures of sexual assertiveness, solitary and dyadic sexual desire, sexual arousal, erectile function, sexual attitudes, and frequency of partner abuse. In men, higher sexual assertiveness was predicted by less non-physical abuse, more positive attitudes toward sexual fantasies and erotophilia, higher dyadic desire, and higher sexual arousal. In women, higher sexual assertiveness was predicted by less non-physical abuse, less solitary sexual desire and higher dyadic sexual desire, arousal, erotophilia, and positive attitudes towards sexual fantasies. Results were discussed in the light of prevention and educational programs that include training in sexual assertiveness skills. PMID:22875718

  16. Assessment of female sexual arousal in forensic populations.

    PubMed

    Knack, Natasha M; Murphy, Lisa; Ranger, Rebekah; Meston, Cindy; Fedoroff, J Paul

    2015-04-01

    Sexual offenses cause significant harm to victims, their families, and society as a whole and thus are an important social concern. While it is commonly assumed that sexual offenses are committed solely by males, research has shown that approximately 5 % of sex crimes in the USA and Canada are committed by females. Penile plethysmography (PPG) is a method to measure male genital arousal, which is commonly used in the assessment and treatment of male sex offenders and men with paraphilic sexual interests. Similarly, vaginal photoplethysmography (VPP) is a test to measure female genital arousal and is commonly used to assess female sexual dysfunctions. Although VPP is currently the most validated method to measure genital arousal in women, its use with female sex offenders or females with paraphilic sexual interests has been almost nonexistent. One explanation for this is that some research has suggested that female genital arousal may not be category-specific, meaning that women will respond to any sexual cues, not just those involving their preferred sexual interests. However, not all research supports this finding. Due to the potential benefits of using VPP in the assessment and treatment of female sex offenders or females with paraphilic sexual interests, it is important that further research be done before dismissing the use of VPP in forensic populations. The purpose of this article is to review the current research on VPP and its applicability to female sex offenders and females with paraphilic sexual interests. PMID:25749745

  17. Sexual arousal to female children in gynephilic men.

    PubMed

    Lykins, Amy D; Cantor, James M; Kuban, Michael E; Blak, Thomas; Dickey, Robert; Klassen, Philip E; Blanchard, Ray

    2010-09-01

    Phallometric assessments of single-victim sexual offenders against children have suggested that only about 50% of these men are more attracted to children than they are to adults. This has raised the question of what motivates the other 50% of men to approach young girls for sex. Freund et al. showed that gynephilic men (i.e., men preferentially attracted to adult women) evidenced greater arousal to images of prepubescent girls than to images of males of any age or to nonerotic images, arguing that gynephilic men may approach prepubescent girls as a "surrogate" for their preferred erotic targets (i.e., adult women). One might argue that these phallometric results are artifactual, given that they were obtained in a time period during which images of nudity were far less common than they are today (thus any female nudity might have elicited arousal). To address this issue, the authors examined the sexual arousal patterns of 214 contemporary men who, based on self-report, offense history, and phallometric responses, were purely gynephilic. Results showed the "classical control profile": the greatest arousal to adult women, systematically decreasing arousal as the female stimuli became younger, and essentially no arousal to any age categories of males or to neutral (nonerotic) stimuli. Arousal to both pubescent and prepubescent girls was significantly greater than to neutral stimuli (p < .001 for both). Thus, Freund et al.'s results still appear to be valid, and the explanation for child molesting that they suggest still seems to be feasible. PMID:20562410

  18. Sexual disinhibition under sexual arousal: evidence for domain specificity in men and women.

    PubMed

    Imhoff, Roland; Schmidt, Alexander F

    2014-08-01

    Men have been shown to estimate their likelihood of engaging in sexually coercive behaviors and also uncommon and unprotected sexual behaviors as higher when they are in an acute state of sexual arousal. The present research sought to test (1) whether sexual arousal effects could be replicated under more controlled laboratory settings, (2) whether women showed the same pattern of results, and (3) whether this effect was specific to sexual disinhibition or would generalize to non-sexual disinhibited behavior. In two experimental studies, male and female participants (Study 1: N = 84; Study 2: N = 86) were either sexually aroused by acoustically presented erotic narratives or listened to sexually non-arousing neutral narratives. Afterwards, they self-estimated their likelihood of engaging in a variety of behaviors that could be characterized as sexual or non-sexual disinhibited behavior. Results replicated the previously established effect of sexual disinhibition under sexual arousal for men and provided the first evidence for a similar effect in women. No arousal effects were observed for non-sexual behavior, rendering alternative explanations based on mere indifferent responding unlikely. The discussion focused on a plausible explanation for this effect. PMID:25091213

  19. Barratt Impulsivity and Neural Regulation of Physiological Arousal

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Sheng; Hu, Sien; Hu, Jianping; Wu, Po-Lun; Chao, Herta H.; Li, Chiang-shan R.

    2015-01-01

    Background Theories of personality have posited an increased arousal response to external stimulation in impulsive individuals. However, there is a dearth of studies addressing the neural basis of this association. Methods We recorded skin conductance in 26 individuals who were assessed with Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS-11) and performed a stop signal task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging data were processed and modeled with Statistical Parametric Mapping. We used linear regressions to examine correlations between impulsivity and skin conductance response (SCR) to salient events, identify the neural substrates of arousal regulation, and examine the relationship between the regulatory mechanism and impulsivity. Results Across subjects, higher impulsivity is associated with greater SCR to stop trials. Activity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) negatively correlated to and Granger caused skin conductance time course. Furthermore, higher impulsivity is associated with a lesser strength of Granger causality of vmPFC activity on skin conductance, consistent with diminished control of physiological arousal to external stimulation. When men (n = 14) and women (n = 12) were examined separately, however, there was evidence suggesting association between impulsivity and vmPFC regulation of arousal only in women. Conclusions Together, these findings confirmed the link between Barratt impulsivity and heightened arousal to salient stimuli in both genders and suggested the neural bases of altered regulation of arousal in impulsive women. More research is needed to explore the neural processes of arousal regulation in impulsive individuals and in clinical conditions that implicate poor impulse control. PMID:26079873

  20. Physiologic Measures of Sexual Function in Women: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, Terri L.; Diamond, Michael P.

    2009-01-01

    Objective To review and describe physiologic measures of assessing sexual function in women Design Literature review Setting Studies that utilize instruments designed to measure female sexual function Patients Women participating in studies of female sexual function Interventions Various instruments that measure physiologic features of female sexual function Main Outcome Measures Appraisal of the various instruments, including their advantages and disadvantages. Results Many unique physiologic methods of evaluating female sexual function have been developed over the last four decades. Each method has its benefits and limitations. Conclusions Many physiologic methods exist, but most are not well-validated. Additionally, there has been an inability to correlate most physiologic measures with subjective measures of sexual arousal. Furthermore, given the complex nature of the sexual response in women, physiologic measures should be considered in context of other data, including the history, physical exam, and validated questionnaires. Nonetheless, the existence of appropriate physiologic measures is vital to our understanding of female sexual function and dysfunction. PMID:19046582

  1. Comparing Subjective Ratings of Sexual Arousal and Desire in Partnered Sexual Activities from Women of Different Sexual Orientations.

    PubMed

    Persson, Tonje J; Ryder, Andrew G; Pfaus, James G

    2016-08-01

    Little is known about non-monosexual women's sexual arousal and desire. Typically, bisexual women have been excluded from research on sexual arousal and desire, whereas mostly heterosexual and mostly lesbian women have been placed into monosexual categories. This research (1) compared the subjective sexual arousal and desire of self-identified heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly lesbian, and lesbian women in partnered sexual activities with men and with women, and (2) compared within-group differences for subjective sexual arousal and desire with men versus women for the five groups. Participants included 388 women (M age = 24.40, SD = 6.40, 188 heterosexual, 53 mostly heterosexual, 64 bisexual, 32 mostly lesbian, 51 lesbian) who filled out the Sexual Arousal and Desire Inventory (SADI). Sexual orientation was associated with sexual arousal and desire in sexual activities with both men and with women. Bisexuals reported higher sexual arousal and desire for women than heterosexuals and lesbians, while lesbians reported lower sexual arousal and desire with men than the other groups. Heterosexuals and mostly heterosexuals scored higher on the male than on the female motivational dimension of the SADI, while the reverse was found for lesbians and mostly lesbians. Findings indicate that non-monosexuals have higher sexual arousal and desire in sexual activities with women than monosexuals. Further, bisexual women did not differentiate their sexual arousal with men versus women, while the other sexual orientation groups differentiated in terms of their motivation to engage in sexual activity. These findings may have implications for how female sexual orientation is conceptualized. PMID:25808718

  2. Alcohol, selective attention and sexual arousal in men.

    PubMed

    Wilson, G T; Niaura, R S; Adler, J L

    1985-03-01

    Thirty-two men social drinkers were randomly assigned to the cells of a balanced placebo design to investigate the effects of expected and actual alcohol consumption on sexual responsiveness. Using a dichotic listening task, erotic and nonerotic information was presented in the nonattended channel while subjects performed simple (low-attention demand) and complex (high-attention demand) numerical tasks presented in the attended channel. Penile tumescence was recorded continuously in response to all audiotaped information. The high-attention demand task significantly interfered with sexual arousal compared with the low-attention demand task, primarily because of the significant suppressant effect of alcohol on arousal during the complex task. The lack of differences in tumescence under the two cognitive tasks when subjects were sober is inconsistent with the cognitive interference model of sexual arousal. Alcohol expectations increased arousal during the low-attention demand task, whereas actual alcohol consumption decreased arousal only during the high-attention demand task. Both effects are attributed to the different effects of these separate variables on attentional processes. The clinical implications are discussed. PMID:3990295

  3. Cognitive Factors in Sexual Arousal: The Role of Distraction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geer, James H.; Fuhr, Robert

    1976-01-01

    Four groups of male undergraduates were instructed to perform complex cognitive operations when randomly presented single digits of a dichotic listening paradigm. An erotic tape recording was played into the nonattended ear. Sexual arousal varied directly as a function of the complexity of the distracting cognitive operations. (Author)

  4. Social odours, sexual arousal and pairbonding in primates

    PubMed Central

    Snowdon, Charles T; Ziegler, Toni E; Schultz-Darken, Nancy J; Ferris, Craig F

    2006-01-01

    We describe the role of social odours in sexual arousal and maintaining pairbonds in biparental and cooperatively breeding primates. Social odours are complex chemical mixtures produced by an organism that can simultaneously provide information about species, kinship, sex, individuality and reproductive state. They are long lasting and have advantages over other modalities. Both sexes are sensitive to changes in odours over the reproductive cycle and experimental disruption of signals can lead to altered sexual behaviour within a pair. We demonstrate, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), that social odours indicating reproductive state directly influence the brain areas responsible for sexual behaviour. Social odours also influence other brain areas typically involved in motivation, memory and decision making, suggesting that these signals have more complex functions in primates than mere sexual arousal. We demonstrate a rapid link between social odours and neuroendocrine responses that are modulated by a male's social status. Recent work on humans shows similar responses to social odours. We conclude with an integration of the importance of social odours on sexual arousal and maintaining pairbonds in socially biparental and cooperatively breeding species, suggesting new research directions to integrate social behaviour, neural activation and neuroendocrine responses. PMID:17118925

  5. Is sexual concordance related to awareness of physiological states?

    PubMed

    Suschinsky, Kelly D; Lalumière, Martin L

    2012-02-01

    Sexual concordance refers to the degree to which two aspects of human sexual arousal (genital response and self-reported sexual arousal) correspond with each other. Researchers have consistently reported a sex difference in sexual concordance: The relationship between genital responses and reported feelings of sexual arousal in men is positive and large, whereas the relationship in women is positive but much smaller than that seen in men. The study of interoception--people's awareness of their physiological states--reveals a similar sex difference: Men are more aware of a variety of (non-genital) responses (e.g., heart rate) than women in the laboratory. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether the sex difference in sexual concordance was related to a broader sex difference in interoception. Twenty men and 20 women were presented with twelve 90 s sexual and non-sexual film clips while their genital responses, heart rate, and respiration rate were measured. Participants also estimated their physiological responses. As expected, men were significantly more sexually concordant than women. Men were also significantly more aware of their heart rate, but there was no significant sex difference in respiration rate awareness. Sexual concordance was not significantly correlated with either heart rate or respiration rate awareness. The results suggest that the sex difference in sexual concordance may be a unique phenomenon, separate from general awareness of physiological states. PMID:22399053

  6. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the regulation of physiological arousal.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Sheng; Hu, Sien; Chao, Herta H; Ide, Jaime S; Luo, Xi; Farr, Olivia M; Li, Chiang-shan R

    2014-07-01

    Neuroimaging studies show a correlation between activity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and skin conductance measurements. However, little is known whether this brain region plays a causal role in regulating physiological arousal. To address this question, we employed Granger causality analysis (GCA) to establish causality between cerebral blood oxygenation level-dependent and skin conductance signals in 24 healthy adults performing a cognitive task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that activity of the vmPFC not only negatively correlated with skin conductance level (SCL) but also Granger caused SCL, thus establishing the direction of influence. Importantly, across participants, the strength of Granger causality was negatively correlated to phasic skin conductance responses elicited by external events during the behavioral task. In contrast, activity of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex positively correlated with SCL but did not show a causal relationship in GCA. These new findings indicate that the vmPFC plays a causal role in regulating physiological arousal. Increased vmPFC activity leads to a decrease in skin conductance. The findings may also advance our understanding of dysfunctions of the vmPFC in mood and anxiety disorders that involve altered control of physiological arousal. PMID:23620600

  7. Sex differences in concordance rates between auditory event-related potentials and subjective sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Taylor L; Meana, Marta; Snyder, Joel S

    2016-08-01

    Much research indicates men show a greater concordance between subjective and genital sexual arousal than do women. We investigated the relationship between subjective sexual arousal and brain activation in men and women. Subjective sexual arousal and auditory N1 and P3b ERP amplitudes were measured while 38 participants viewed erotic and non-erotic films. Most notably, there was a significant correlation between N1 amplitude and sexual arousal in men; for women, there was a significant correlation between the P3b amplitude and sexual arousal. ERP amplitudes were inversely associated with reported arousal, suggesting that sexual arousal interferes with early tone processing for men, and with later tone processing for women. Lastly, for women, pornography/erotica consumption was negatively correlated with P3b amplitudes, suggesting that women who consume more pornography/erotica may also show greater attention to erotic films. PMID:27125689

  8. Self-focused thinking predicts nighttime physiological de-arousal.

    PubMed

    Takano, Keisuke; Ueno, Mayumi; Tanno, Yoshihiko

    2014-03-01

    Excessive focus on the internal self has maladaptive consequences for mental and physical health. Although the emotional functions of self-focus have been well established, no study has examined physiological arousal during the daily experience of self-focused thinking. The present study investigates the association between self-focus and autonomic activity using the experience sampling method with ambulatory monitoring of heart rate variability (HRV). Forty-five students reported the content of their thoughts during their daily activities while their heart rate (HR) was being recorded. Multilevel modeling analyses showed that HRV was lower (and HR was higher) over the sampling day if participants engaged in more self-focus, while HRV increased (and HR decreased) from midday to nighttime if participants did not engage in self-focused thinking. These results suggest that self-focus at night is associated with increased physiological arousal, and leads to inhibition of de-arousal associated with normal sleep processes. Implications for insomnia are discussed. PMID:24444702

  9. Does menstrual cycle phase influence the gender specificity of heterosexual women's genital and subjective sexual arousal?

    PubMed

    Bossio, Jennifer A; Suschinsky, Kelly D; Puts, David A; Chivers, Meredith L

    2014-07-01

    Unlike men, heterosexual women's genital arousal is gender nonspecific, such that heterosexual women show relatively similar genital arousal to sexual stimuli depicting men and women but typically report greater subjective arousal to male stimuli. Based on the ovulatory-shift hypothesis-that women show a mid-cycle shift in preferences towards more masculine features during peak fertility-we predicted that heterosexual women's genital and subjective arousal would be gender specific (more arousal towards male stimuli) during peak fertility. Twenty-two naturally-cycling heterosexual women were assessed during the follicular and luteal phases of their menstrual cycle to examine the role of menstrual cycle phase in gender specificity of genital and subjective sexual arousal. Menstrual cycle phase was confirmed with salivary hormone assays; phase at the time of first testing was counterbalanced. Women's genital and subjective sexual arousal patterns were gender nonspecific, irrespective of cycle phase. Cycle phase at first testing session did not influence genital or subjective arousal in the second testing session. Similar to previous research, women's genital and subjective sexual arousal varied with cues of sexual activity, but neither genital nor subjective sexual arousal varied by gender cues, with the exception of masturbation stimuli, where women showed higher genital arousal to the stimuli depicting male compared to female actors. These data suggest that menstrual cycle phase does not influence the gender specificity of heterosexual women's genital and subjective sexual arousal. PMID:24379080

  10. A Streetcar Named "Derousal"? A Psychophysiological Examination of the Desire-Arousal Distinction in Sexually Functional and Dysfunctional Women.

    PubMed

    Sarin, Sabina; Amsel, Rhonda; Binik, Yitzchak M

    2016-01-01

    Research indicates that desire and arousal problems are highly interrelated in women. Therefore, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) were removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and a new diagnostic category, female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD), was created to include both arousal and desire difficulties. However, no research has tried to distinguish these problems based on psychosocial-physiological patterns to identify whether unique profiles exist. This study compared psychosocial-physiological patterns in a community sample of 84 women meeting DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 2000 ) criteria for HSDD (n = 22), FSAD (n = 18), both disorders (FSAD/HSDD; n = 25), and healthy controls (n = 19). Women completed self-report measures and watched neutral and erotic films while genital arousal (GA) and subjective arousal (SA) were measured. Results indicated that GA increased equally for all groups during the erotic condition, whereas women with HSDD and FSAD/HSDD reported less SA than controls or FSAD women. Women in the clinical groups also showed lower concordance and greater impairment on psychosocial variables as compared to controls, with women with FSAD/HSDD showing lowest functioning. Results have important implications for the classification and treatment of these difficulties. PMID:26457746

  11. Self-Injurious Behaviors, PTSD Arousal, and General Health Complaints Within a Treatment-Seeking Sample of Sexually Abused Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Terri L.; Chard, Kathleen M.; Mechanic, Mindy B.; Etzel, Julie C.

    2004-01-01

    Eighty-nine adult female survivors of childhood sexual abuse, presenting for psychological treatment, were assessed for self-reported rates of self-injurious behaviors (SIB), health complaints, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms of physiological arousal. A composite measure of current SIB was significantly and positively associated…

  12. The Impact of Sexual Arousal on Sexual Risk-Taking and Decision-Making in Men and Women.

    PubMed

    Skakoon-Sparling, Shayna; Cramer, Kenneth M; Shuper, Paul A

    2016-01-01

    Sexual arousal has emerged as an important contextual feature in sexual encounters that can impact safer-sex decision-making. We conducted two experiments that investigated the effects of sexual arousal among male and female participants. Experiment 1 (N = 144) examined the impact of sexual around on sexual health decision-making. Sexually explicit and neutral video clips as well as hypothetical romantic scenarios were used to evaluate the effects of sexual arousal on sexual risk-taking intentions. Men and women who reported higher levels of sexual arousal also displayed greater intentions to participate in risky sexual behavior (e.g., unprotected sex with a new sex partner). Experiment 2 (N = 122) examined the impact of sexual arousal on general risk-taking, using the same videos clips as in Experiment 1 and a modified version of a computerized Blackjack card game. Participants were offered a chance to make either a risky play or a safe play during ambiguous conditions. Increased sexual arousal in Experiment 2 was associated with impulsivity and a greater willingness to make risky plays in the Blackjack game. These findings suggest that, in situations where there are strong sexually visceral cues, both men and women experiencing strong sexual arousal may have lower inhibitions and may experience impaired decision-making. This phenomenon may have an impact during sexual encounters and may contribute to a failure to use appropriate prophylactic protection. PMID:26310879

  13. Assessing female sexual arousal with the labial thermistor: response specificity and construct validity.

    PubMed

    Prause, N; Heiman, J R

    2009-05-01

    The labial thermistor offers several potential psychometric advantages over existing measures of female sexual response; however, the thermistor lacked data to support these presumed advantages, especially with respect to its discriminant validity. In this study, both the labial thermistor was worn simultaneously with the vaginal photoplethysmograph as women viewed films. They also indicated their level of subjective sexual arousal using a lever. The labial thermistor discriminated sexual from nonsexual arousing stimuli and was sensitive to different levels of sexual arousal. The correspondence of the instrument with subjective sexual arousal, measured using a continuous lever, was lower during the mildly arousing sexual film and higher during the maximally sexual arousing film. One woman reported that the labial thermistor was very uncomfortable, while others indicated no or mild discomfort from each instrument. The vaginal photoplethysmograph largely replicated the effects documented by the labial thermistor, although it did not discriminate sexual stimuli of different intensity nor correspond with women's continuous lever responses as closely during the more arousing stimulus. Difficulties recording simultaneously with these instruments are noted. The labial thermistor adequately discriminates between generally arousing and sexually arousing stimuli, increasing its utility as a measure for between-subject study designs. PMID:19041673

  14. Assessing Women’s Sexual Arousal in the Context of Sexual Assault History and Acute Alcohol Intoxication

    PubMed Central

    Gilmore, Amanda K.; Schacht, Rebecca L.; George, William H.; Otto, Jacqueline M.; Davis, Kelly Cue; Heiman, Julia R.; Norris, Jeanette; Kajumulo, Kelly F.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Few studies have examined differences in women’s sexual arousal based on sexual assault history (SAH) or in-the-moment alcohol intoxication. Only one has examined combined effects. Findings regarding the relationship between SAH and arousal are contradictory. Aim We aimed to determine the relationship between SAH, alcohol intoxication, and sexual arousal. Main Outcome Measures Genital response was measured by vaginal pulse amplitude (VPA) using vaginal photoplethysmography while watching erotic films. Self-reported sexual arousal was assessed after watching erotic films. Methods Women were randomly assigned to an alcohol (target blood alcohol level = .10%) or control condition and categorized as having a SAH or not. After beverage administration, all women watched erotic films while genital arousal (vaginal pulse amplitude; VPA) was measured. Afterwards self-reported sexual arousal was measured. Results Women with a SAH had smaller increases in genital arousal in response to the films than women without a SAH. Intoxicated women had smaller increases in genital arousal than sober women. However, no differences for SAH or intoxication were found in self-reported arousal. Conclusion SAH and alcohol intoxication are associated with smaller increases in genital arousal compared to women without a SAH and sober women, suggesting that these co-occurring factors impact sexual arousal. PMID:20367775

  15. Factors associated with sexual arousal, sexual sensation seeking, and sexual satisfaction among African-American adolescent females

    PubMed Central

    Sales, Jessica M.; Smearman, Erica; Brody, Gene H.; Milhausen, Robin; Philibert, Robert A.; DiClemente, Ralph J.

    2013-01-01

    Sexuality-related constructs such as sexual arousal, sexual sensation seeking (SSS) and sexual satisfaction have been related to sexual behaviors that place one at risk for adverse consequences such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and unintended pregnancy. The biopsychosocial model posits an array of factors, ranging from social environmental factors, biological, and psychological predispositions that may be associated with these sexuality constructs in adolescent samples. African-American females aged 14-20 were recruited from reproductive health clinics for an HIV intervention. Baseline survey and follow-up DNA data (N=304) was used to assess biological, psychological and social environmental associations with the sexuality constructs of arousal, SSS, and sexual satisfaction. In multivariable linear regressions, a higher depressive symptom rating was associated with higher arousability while short serotonin allele(s) status was associated with lower arousability. Impulsivity and perceived peer norms supportive of unsafe sexual behaviors were associated with increased SSS, and short serotonin allele(s) status was associated with lower SSS. Higher social support was also associated with higher levels of sexual satisfaction while short serotonin allele(s) status was associated with lower satisfaction. The sexuality constructs were also significantly related to number of sex partners, frequency of vaginal sex, and number of unprotected vaginal sex acts in the past six months. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding biopsychosocial factors, including the role of serotonin as an indicator of natural variations in sexual inclination and behaviors, that influence sexuality constructs, which in turn are associated with sexual behaviors, to allow further refinement of sexual health clinical services and programs and promote the development of healthy sexuality. PMID:24262218

  16. Gender differences in sexual arousal and affective responses to erotica: the effects of type of film and fantasy instructions.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Joana; Gomes, Ana Quinta; Laja, Pedro; Oliveira, Cátia; Vilarinho, Sandra; Janssen, Erick; Nobre, Pedro

    2013-08-01

    The present study examined men and women's sexual and affective responses to erotic film clips that were combined with different fantasy instructions. Men (n = 29) and women (n = 28) were presented with two types of erotic films (explicit vs. romantic) and two fantasy instructions (fantasizing about one's real-life partner vs. fantasizing about someone else). Genital response, subjective sexual arousal, and affective responses were assessed. Sexually explicit stimuli resulted in larger genital responses; women reported higher subjective sexual arousal than men; and fantasizing about one's partner resulted, overall, in higher subjective sexual arousal and higher levels of positive affect. Moreover, in women, the instruction to fantasize about one's partner resulted in stronger subjective sexual arousal to the explicit film than the instruction to fantasize about someone else. Results suggested that physiological, subjective, and affective responses to erotic film stimuli are impacted not only by stimulus characteristics but also by the viewer's interpretation of the depicted relationship. PMID:23519591

  17. Sexual Touching and Difficulties with Sexual Arousal and Orgasm Among U.S. Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about the non-genitally-focused sexual behavior of those experiencing sexual difficulties. The objective of this study was to review the theory supporting a link between sexual touching and difficulties with sexual arousal and orgasm, and to examine associations between these constructs among older adults in the United States. The data were from the 2005–2006 National Social Life Health and Aging Project, which surveyed 3,005 community-dwelling men and women ages 57–85 years. The 1,352 participants who had had sex in the past year reported on their frequency of sexual touching and whether there had been a period of several months or more in the past year when they were unable to climax, had trouble getting or maintaining an erection (men) or had trouble lubricating (women). Women also reported how of ten they felt sexually aroused during partner sex in the last 12 months. The odds of being unable to climax were greater by 2.4 times (95% CI 1.2–4.8) among men and 2.8 times (95% CI 1.4–5.5) among women who sometimes, rarely or never engaged in sexual touching, compared to those who always engaged in sexual touching, controlling for demographic factors and physical health. These results were attenuated but persisted after controlling for emotional relationship satisfaction and psychological factors. Similar results were obtained for erectile difficulties among men and subjective arousal difficulties among women, but not lubrication difficulties among women. Infrequent sexual touching is associated with arousal and orgasm difficulties among older adults in the United States. PMID:22160881

  18. The association between testosterone, sexual arousal, and selective attention for erotic stimuli in men.

    PubMed

    Alexander, G M; Sherwin, B B

    1991-09-01

    Twenty-six, eugonadal men between the ages of 18 and 27 participated in this investigation of the relationship between sexual arousal, testosterone (T) levels, and the processing of sexual information. At each of the two test sessions, subjects gave a blood sample, listened to an erotic or neutral priming audiotape, and completed a dichotic listening task designed to assess selective attention for sexual stimuli. Subjective levels of sexual arousal to the audiotape and sexual attitudes and sexual experience were assessed by self-report measures. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no relationship between levels of free T and the strength of the selective attention bias for sexual stimuli. However, men who were more distracted by the sexual material in the task reported higher levels of sexual arousal to erotic imagery than men who were less distracted by the sexual material in the task (P less than 0.01). Moreover, men who were more sexually aroused by the erotic audiotape made significantly less shadowing errors in the erotic prime condition then they did during the neutral prime condition (P less than 0.05). There was a negative association between T and shadowing errors in the erotic prime condition (P less than 0.05). These results suggest that lower thresholds for sexual arousal are associated with a greater bias to attend to sexual information and that T may have effects on cognitive-motivational aspects of sexual behavior by enhancing attention to relevant stimuli. PMID:1937428

  19. Acute Effects of Intoxication and Arousal on Approach/Avoidance Biases Toward Sexual Risk Stimuli in Heterosexual Men.

    PubMed

    Simons, Jeffrey S; Maisto, Stephen A; Wray, Tyler B; Emery, Noah N

    2016-01-01

    This study tested the effects of alcohol intoxication and physiological arousal on cognitive biases toward erotic stimuli and condoms. Ninety-seven heterosexual men were randomized to 1 of 6 independent conditions in a 2 (high arousal or control) × 3 (alcohol target BAC = 0.08, placebo, or juice control) design and then completed a variant of the Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT). The AAT assessed reaction times toward approaching and avoiding erotic stimuli and condoms with a joystick. Consistent with hypotheses, the alcohol condition exhibited an approach bias toward erotic stimuli, whereas the control and placebo groups exhibited an approach bias toward condom stimuli. Similarly, the participants in the high arousal condition exhibited an approach bias toward erotic stimuli and the low arousal control condition exhibited an approach bias toward condoms. The results suggest that acute changes in intoxication and physiological arousal independently foster biased responding toward sexual stimuli and these biases are associated with sexual risk intentions. PMID:25808719

  20. Social isolation during peri-adolescence or adulthood: effects on sexual motivation, testosterone and corticosterone response under conditions of sexual arousal in male rats.

    PubMed

    Amstislavskaya, Tamara G; Bulygina, Veta V; Tikhonova, Maria A; Maslova, Larissa N

    2013-02-28

    Reproductive functions in adult organism are known to be affected by different factors. Effects of social environment at the postnatal ontogenesis attract particular attention since it has deep impact on the development of physiological and emotional state of an individual. Effects of chronic social isolation at different ages on male sexual motivation, testosterone and corticosterone response under conditions of sexual arousal were studied in Wistar rats. After weaning at the 21st [corrected] day of age, rats of one group were isolated for six weeks and after that they were housed in groups of five per cage for ten weeks (Iso3-9). Rats of the second group were housed in groups of five animals per cage till 13 weeks of age, and then they were isolated for six weeks (Iso13-19). Rats of the control group were housed in groups during the experiment. Adult 19 week- old male rats were tested under conditions of sexual arousal. The expression of sexual motivation was estimated as the behavioral activity of a male at the transparent perforated partition separating a receptive female. Isolation of adult male rats reduced the number of approaches to the partition, while the period of time a male spent at the partition was not changed and testosterone response was enhanced as compared to control rats. Chronic social isolation during peri-adolescence reduced sexual motivation and prevented arousal-induced elevation of testosterone. Plasma corticosterone increases at sexual arousal in the two groups of isolated rats did not differ from that in controls. Our results are evidence that social isolation during the post-maturity stage (Iso13-19) did not diminish the manifestation of sexual motivation and hormonal response to a receptive female, while isolation during peri-adolescence attenuated behavioral and hormonal expression of sexual arousal in adult males. PMID:23347014

  1. A dual physiological character for sexual function: libido and sexual pheromones.

    PubMed

    Motofei, Ion G

    2009-12-01

    Human sexual response is a complex function involving many cerebral, spinal and peripheral aspects; the last are relatively known and benefit from good pharmacological control, as in the case of erectile dysfunction. Spinal cord sexual reflexes also have a good theoretical and experimental description. There is minimal understanding of the cerebral sexual processes (libido, sexual arousal, orgasm). The initial perspective was that the cerebral areas implied in sexuality exert descending stimulatory and inhibitory influences on spinal cord sexual centres/reflexes. This was a wrong supposition, which inhibited progress in this subject, with a considerable impact on a subject's individual and social life. A new approach to sexual function arises from the idea that simple neurological structures can support only simple functions, while a more complex function requires correspondingly complex anatomical structures. For this reason the spinal cord would not be able to realise the integration of multiple (spinal and psychosensorial) stimuli into a unique and coherent ejaculation response. Consequently, all mechanisms implied in human sexuality would be cerebral processes, ejaculation reflexes ascending in evolution to the cerebral level. This new evolutionary concept was developed after 2001 in five distinct articles on the cerebral duality of sexual arousal, sexual hormones, ejaculation and serotonergic receptors. During this period other published results suggested a possible cerebral duality for sexual pheromones and libido in humans. All these dual physiological aspects are integrated in this review into one neurophysiological model, thus trying to further develop the new concepts of sexual function and perhaps relational behaviour. In conclusion, ejaculation is a dual cerebral process with arousal sensation (hormonally modulated) and libido perception (pheromonally modulated) as the afferent part. Two neurophysiological axes could exist in both men and women. In this

  2. Sexual Response in Women with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Controlled Laboratory Study Measuring Vaginal Blood Flow and Subjective Sexual Arousal.

    PubMed

    Both, Stephanie; Ter Kuile, Moniek; Enzlin, Paul; Dekkers, Olaf; van Dijk, Marieke; Weijenborg, Philomeen

    2015-08-01

    Previous studies have indicated that women with diabetes mellitus are at higher risk to develop sexual dysfunctions. In the current study, we hypothesized that lower genital arousal response-as a consequence of diabetes-related damage to nerves and blood vessels-might play a part in these higher prevalence rates. Vaginal blood flow, subjective sexual response, and clitoral sensitivity were compared between women with diabetes and healthy controls, and associations with diabetes complications were investigated. In pre- and postmenopausal women with type 1 diabetes (n = 42) and healthy controls (n = 46), vaginal blood flow was measured as vaginal pulse amplitude (VPA). VPA was assessed at rest, during erotic film viewing, and during vibrotactile clitoral stimulation. Subjective sexual arousal was measured using a questionnaire. Clitoral sensitivity was assessed by a vibration perception test. Data on diabetes complications were obtained from medical records, and neuropathy was assessed by quantitative sensory testing. VPA, subjective sexual arousal, and clitoral sensitivity were not significantly different between women with diabetes and controls. Nevertheless, women with diabetes who had retinopathy showed significantly lower VPA than women without retinopathy, and women with diabetes who had neuropathy showed significantly higher sensation thresholds for vibrotactile clitoral stimulation. The results do not support the hypothesis of a disrupted genital arousal response in women with diabetes. However, the observed associations between retinopathy and vaginal blood flow, and between neuropathy and clitoral sensitivity, suggest that diabetes-related complications might adversely affect the physiological basis of female sexual response. PMID:26054485

  3. Women's sexual arousal: effects of high alcohol dosages and self-control instructions.

    PubMed

    George, William H; Davis, Kelly Cue; Heiman, Julia R; Norris, Jeanette; Stoner, Susan A; Schacht, Rebecca L; Hendershot, Christian S; Kajumulo, Kelly F

    2011-05-01

    The basic relationship between alcohol and women's sexual arousal - especially genital arousal - received little research attention for nearly 30 years (e.g. Wilson and Lawson, 1978) until very recently (e.g. George et al., 2009). To investigate hypotheses based on earlier findings and Alcohol Myopia Theory (AMT), two experiments evaluated the effects of high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) and arousal instructional demands on indices of vaginal responding and self-reported sexual arousal. In Experiment 1, self-control instructions to maximize (versus suppress) arousal increased peak and average Vaginal Pulse Amplitude (VPA) change. Self-control also interacted with a target BAC of .08% (versus .00%) to influence latency to peak arousal onset: Intoxicated women instructed to maximize showed a shorter latency to peak arousal than did intoxicated women instructed to suppress; however, sober women showed an undifferentiated pattern. Also, in Experiment 1, the target BAC of .08% had no effect on VPA or subjective arousal measures. In Experiment 2, a target BAC of .10% (versus .00%) attenuated peak change and average change in VPA, but this dosage had no effects on latency to peak achieved arousal, or on subjective arousal. Instructions to maximize arousal (versus no instruction) had no effect on any arousal measures. Overall, among young moderate drinking women, alcohol had attenuating effects but only at the higher dosage. Maximize versus suppress instructions about arousal had predicted effects on arousal and interactive effects on latency, but only at the lower dosage. The findings highlight the importance of dosage and contextual factors in alcohol's impact on the variability of women's sexual responding. PMID:21439287

  4. Effects of depressive symptoms and experimentally adopted schemas on sexual arousal and affect in sexually healthy women.

    PubMed

    Kuffel, Stephanie W; Heiman, Julia R

    2006-04-01

    The present study examined the effects of depressive mood symptoms and experimentally adopted sexual schemas on women's sexual arousal and affect. Women's vaginal response, subjective sexual arousal, and affect were measured in response to sexually explicit visual material in a laboratory setting. At baseline on a self-report measure, women with depressive mood symptoms (n = 28) reported significantly lower sexual desire than women with normal mood (n=28), but no significant differences in arousal, orgasm, satisfaction, or pain. Participants were asked to adopt both a positive and negative sexual self-schema prior to viewing erotic stimuli. Women in both mood groups demonstrated significantly greater subjective sexual arousal, vaginal response, and positive affect in the positive schema condition than in the negative schema condition when controlling for anxiety. There were no main effects for mood symptoms. These findings support an information processing conceptualization of sexual arousal and suggest that an acute dose of cognitive sexual schemas can significantly impact subsequent sexual and affective responses. Implications of findings for the assessment and treatment of sexual dysfunction are noted. PMID:16752119

  5. Feelings of Disgust and Disgust-Induced Avoidance Weaken following Induced Sexual Arousal in Women

    PubMed Central

    Borg, Charmaine; de Jong, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Background Sex and disgust are basic, evolutionary relevant functions that are often construed as paradoxical. In general the stimuli involved in sexual encounters are, at least out of context strongly perceived to hold high disgust qualities. Saliva, sweat, semen and body odours are among the strongest disgust elicitors. This results in the intriguing question of how people succeed in having pleasurable sex at all. One possible explanation could be that sexual engagement temporarily reduces the disgust eliciting properties of particular stimuli or that sexual engagement might weaken the hesitation to actually approach these stimuli. Methodology Participants were healthy women (n = 90) randomly allocated to one of three groups: the sexual arousal, the non-sexual positive arousal, or the neutral control group. Film clips were used to elicit the relevant mood state. Participants engaged in 16 behavioural tasks, involving sex related (e.g., lubricate the vibrator) and non-sex related (e.g., take a sip of juice with a large insect in the cup) stimuli, to measure the impact of sexual arousal on feelings of disgust and actual avoidance behaviour. Principal Findings The sexual arousal group rated the sex related stimuli as less disgusting compared to the other groups. A similar tendency was evident for the non-sex disgusting stimuli. For both the sex and non-sex related behavioural tasks the sexual arousal group showed less avoidance behaviour (i.e., they conducted the highest percentage of tasks compared to the other groups). Significance This study has investigated how sexual arousal interplays with disgust and disgust eliciting properties in women, and has demonstrated that this relationship goes beyond subjective report by affecting the actual approach to disgusting stimuli. Hence, this could explain how we still manage to engage in pleasurable sexual activity. Moreover, these findings suggest that low sexual arousal might be a key feature in the maintenance of

  6. Dissociation during sex and sexual arousal in women with and without a history of childhood sexual abuse.

    PubMed

    Bird, Elizabeth R; Seehuus, Martin; Clifton, Jessica; Rellini, Alessandra H

    2014-07-01

    Women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) experience dissociative symptoms and sexual difficulties with greater frequency than women without a history of CSA. Current models of sexual dysfunction for sexual abuse survivors suggest that dissociation may mediate the relationship between CSA and sexual arousal difficulties. Dissociation, however, is often conceptualized as a single construct in studies of CSA and not as separate domains as in the dissociation literature. In the present study, women with (CSA, N = 37) and without (NSA, N = 22) a history of CSA recruited from the community were asked to indicate the frequency and intensity of their experience in two dissociation subgroups, derealization and depersonalization, during sex with a partner and in their daily life. Findings showed that, in the NSA group, more depersonalization during sex with a partner was associated with lower sexual arousal functioning. However, for both the NSA and CSA groups, more derealization during sex was associated with higher sexual arousal functioning. No measure of dissociation was significantly associated with sexual responses in the laboratory. These findings highlight the importance of distinguishing between different forms of dissociation (i.e., derealization and depersonalization) in the study of sexual arousal functioning. In addition, the findings challenge the notion that dissociation is a main predictor of sexual arousal problems in survivors of CSA and suggest that a more nuanced relationship may exist. PMID:24297658

  7. Disgust versus Lust: Exploring the Interactions of Disgust and Fear with Sexual Arousal in Women

    PubMed Central

    Fleischman, Diana S.; Hamilton, Lisa Dawn; Fessler, Daniel M. T.; Meston, Cindy M.

    2015-01-01

    Sexual arousal is a motivational state that moves humans toward situations that inherently pose a risk of disease transmission. Disgust is an emotion that adaptively moves humans away from such situations. Incongruent is the fact that sexual activity is elementary to human fitness yet involves strong disgust elicitors. Using an experimental paradigm, we investigated how these two states interact. Women (final N=76) were assigned to one of four conditions: rate disgust stimuli then watch a pornographic clip; watch a pornographic clip then rate disgust stimuli; rate fear stimuli then watch a pornographic clip; or watch a pornographic clip then rate fear stimuli. Women’s genital sexual arousal was measured with vaginal photoplethysmography and their disgust and fear reactions were measured via self-report. We did not find that baseline disgust propensity predicted sexual arousal in women who were exposed to neutral stimuli before erotic content. In the Erotic-before-Disgust condition we did not find that sexual arousal straightforwardly predicted decreased image disgust ratings. However, we did find some evidence that sexual arousal increased self-reported disgust in women with high trait disgust and sexual arousal decreased self-reported disgust in women with low trait disgust. Women who were exposed to disgusting images before erotic content showed significantly less sexual arousal than women in the control condition or women exposed to fear-inducing images before erotic content. In the Disgust-before-Erotic condition the degree of self-reported disgust was negatively correlated with genital sexual arousal. Hence, in the conflict between the ultimate goals of reproduction and disease avoidance, cues of the presence of pathogens significantly reduce the motivation to engage in mating behaviors that, by their nature, entail a risk of pathogen transmission. PMID:26106894

  8. Disgust versus Lust: Exploring the Interactions of Disgust and Fear with Sexual Arousal in Women.

    PubMed

    Fleischman, Diana S; Hamilton, Lisa Dawn; Fessler, Daniel M T; Meston, Cindy M

    2015-01-01

    Sexual arousal is a motivational state that moves humans toward situations that inherently pose a risk of disease transmission. Disgust is an emotion that adaptively moves humans away from such situations. Incongruent is the fact that sexual activity is elementary to human fitness yet involves strong disgust elicitors. Using an experimental paradigm, we investigated how these two states interact. Women (final N=76) were assigned to one of four conditions: rate disgust stimuli then watch a pornographic clip; watch a pornographic clip then rate disgust stimuli; rate fear stimuli then watch a pornographic clip; or watch a pornographic clip then rate fear stimuli. Women's genital sexual arousal was measured with vaginal photoplethysmography and their disgust and fear reactions were measured via self-report. We did not find that baseline disgust propensity predicted sexual arousal in women who were exposed to neutral stimuli before erotic content. In the Erotic-before-Disgust condition we did not find that sexual arousal straightforwardly predicted decreased image disgust ratings. However, we did find some evidence that sexual arousal increased self-reported disgust in women with high trait disgust and sexual arousal decreased self-reported disgust in women with low trait disgust. Women who were exposed to disgusting images before erotic content showed significantly less sexual arousal than women in the control condition or women exposed to fear-inducing images before erotic content. In the Disgust-before-Erotic condition the degree of self-reported disgust was negatively correlated with genital sexual arousal. Hence, in the conflict between the ultimate goals of reproduction and disease avoidance, cues of the presence of pathogens significantly reduce the motivation to engage in mating behaviors that, by their nature, entail a risk of pathogen transmission. PMID:26106894

  9. Increased sexual arousal in patients with movement disorders.

    PubMed

    Teive, Hélio A G; Moro, Adriana; Moscovich, Mariana; Munhoz, Renato P

    2016-04-01

    Increased of sexual arousal (ISA) has been described in different neurological diseases. The purpose of this study was present a case series of ISA in patients with movement disorders. Method Fifteen patients with different forms of movement disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Tourette´s syndrome, spinocerebellar ataxia type 3), were evaluated in the Movement Disorders Unit of the Federal University of Paraná. Results Among Parkinson's disease patients there were seven cases with different forms of ISA due to dopaminergic agonist use, levodopa abuse, and deep brain stimulation (DBS). In the group with hyperkinetic disorders, two patients with Huntington's disease, two with Tourette's syndrome, and four with spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 presented with ISA. Conclusions ISA in this group of patients had different etiologies, predominantly related to dopaminergic treatment or DBS in Parkinson's disease, part of the background clinical picture in Huntington's disease and Tourette's syndrome, and probably associated with cultural aspects in patients with spinocerebellar ataxia type 3. PMID:27097003

  10. Physiologic Arousal to Social Stress in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Todd P.; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Pescosolido, Matthew; Rodino, Alison; Elia, Gregory; Lester, Barry

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about arousal to socially stressful situations in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This preliminary study investigates physiologic arousal in children with high functioning autism (HFA, n = 19) compared to a comparison group (n = 11) before, during, and after the Trier Social Stress Test. The HFA group was more likely to…

  11. The Role of Physiological Arousal in Time Perception: Psychophysiological Evidence from an Emotion Regulation Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mella, N.; Conty, L.; Pouthas, V.

    2011-01-01

    Time perception, crucial for adaptive behavior, has been shown to be altered by emotion. An arousal-dependent mechanism is proposed to account for such an effect. Yet, physiological measure of arousal related with emotional timing is still lacking. We addressed this question using skin conductance response (SCR) in an emotion regulation paradigm.…

  12. Direct Manipulation of Physiological Arousal in Induced Anxiety Therapy-Biofeedback Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sappington, A. A.

    1977-01-01

    Induced Anxiety is a brief psychotherapy procedure that teaches individuals to cope with negative effect by using relaxation techniques. This research investigated the role of physiological arousal in the affect induction phase of Induced Anxiety therapy by using biofeedback to facilitate arousal. Twenty-one college students suffering from…

  13. Allocation of attentional resources during habituation and dishabituation of male sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Koukounas, E; Over, R

    1999-12-01

    A secondary-task probe (tone) was presented intermittently while men viewed erotic film segments across a session involving 18 trials with the same film segment (habituation), then 2 trials with different film segments (novelty) and 2 trials with reinstatement of the original segment (dishabituation). Reaction time to the tone (an index of the extent processing resources were being committed to the erotic stimulus) shifted during the session in parallel with changes that occurred in penile tumescence and subjective sexual arousal. The decrease in sexual arousal over the first 18 trials in the session was accompanied by a progressively faster reaction to the tone, novel stimulation led to recovery of sexual arousal and a slower reaction to the tone, and on trials 21 and 22 sexual arousal and reaction time levels were above the values that prevailed immediately prior to novel stimulation. Results are discussed with reference to the relationship between habituation and attention. PMID:10650440

  14. Observational stance as a predictor of subjective and genital sexual arousal in men and women.

    PubMed

    Bossio, Jennifer A; Spape, Jessica; Lykins, Amy D; Chivers, Meredith L

    2014-01-01

    Observational stance refers to the perspective a person takes while viewing a sexual stimulus, either as a passive observer (observer stance) or an active participant (participant stance). The objective of the current study was to examine the relationship between observational stance and sexual arousal (subjective and genital) across a range of sexual stimuli that do or do not correspond with a participant's sexual attraction (preferred or nonpreferred stimuli, respectively). Regression analyses revealed that, for men (n = 44), participant stance significantly predicted subjective and genital arousal. Women's (n = 47) observer and participant stance predicted subjective arousal but not genital arousal. Analysis of variance showed that participant stance was greatest under preferred sexual stimuli conditions for all groups of participants, while observer stance scores revealed a less consistent pattern of response. This was particularly true for opposite-sex-attracted women, whose ratings of observer stance were lowest for preferred stimuli. Observational stance does not appear to account for gender differences in specificity of sexual arousal; for men, however, participant stance uniquely predicted genital response after controlling for sexual attractions. Similarities in the relationships between men's and women's observational stance and sexual responses challenge previous claims of gender differences in how men and women view erotica. PMID:23514448

  15. Effects of Antidepressant Treatment on Sexual Arousal in Depressed Women: A Preliminary fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jong-Chul; Park, Jong-Il; Kim, Gwang-Won; Eun, Sung-Jong; Lee, Moo-Suk; Han, Kyung-Lae; Chae, Jeong-Ho

    2012-01-01

    Objective There was a recent study to explore the cerebral regions associated with sexual arousal in depressed women using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The purpose of this neuroimaging study was to investigate the effects of antidepressant treatment on sexual arousal in depressed women. Methods Seven depressed women with sexual arousal dysfunction (mean age: 41.7±13.8, mean scores of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD-17): 35.6±7.1 and 34.9±3.1, respectively) and nine healthy women (mean age: 40.3±11.6) underwent fMRI before and after antidepressant treatment. The fMRI paradigm contrasted a 1 minute rest period viewing non-erotic film with 4 minutes of sexual stimulation viewing an erotic video film. Data were analyzed by SPM 2. The relative number of pixels activated in each period was used as an index of activation. All depressed women were treated with mirtazapine (mean dosage: 37.5 mg/day) for 8 to 10 weeks. Results Levels of brain activity during sexual arousal in depressed women significantly increased with antidepressant treatment (p<0.05) in the regions of the hypothalamus (3.0% to 11.2%), septal area (8.6% to 27.8%) and parahippocampal gyrus (5.8% to 14.6%). Self-reported sexual arousal during visual sexual stimulation also significantly increased post-treatment, and severity of depressive symptoms improved, as measured by the BDI and HAMD-17 (p<0.05). Conclusion These results show that sexual arousal dysfunction of depressed women may improve after treatment of depression, and that this improvement is associated with increased activation of the hypothalamus, septal area, and parahippocampal gyrus during sexual arousal. PMID:23251203

  16. Physiological Concomitants of the Alcohol State: Arousal or Relaxation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeiner, Arthur R.

    This experiment was designed to discriminate among two diametrically opposed states, arousal and relaxation, which have been attributed to alcohol ingestion. Male social drinker subjects were assigned to form two independent groups of ten subjects each. Baseline measure of heart rate, skin conductance level (SCL), pulse wave amplitude and ear lobe…

  17. The relationship of deviant sexual arousal and psychopathy in incest offenders, extrafamilial child molesters, and rapists.

    PubMed

    Firestone, P; Bradford, J M; Greenberg, D M; Serran, G A

    2000-01-01

    The relationship between deviant sexual arousal, as measured by auditory phallometric stimuli, and psychopathy, as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, was examined in 156 incest offenders, 260 extrafamilial child molesters, and 123 rapists. Subjects in each group had never been convicted of another type of sexual offense. Replicating previous research, rapists were more psychopathic than incest offenders and child molesters. Deviant sexual arousal to auditory stimuli was evident only on the Pedophile Index for child molesters. When the relationship between psychopathy and deviant sexual arousal was evaluated in the three groups combined, several significant correlations emerged. However, a finer analysis of these correlations revealed that child molesters evidenced a significant correlation between psychopathy and the Rape Index and psychopathy and the Pedophile Index. There were no such significant findings in the incest offender or rapist groups. Implications of the results are discussed. PMID:11055527

  18. Pedunculopontine arousal system physiology-Effects of psychostimulant abuse.

    PubMed

    Urbano, Francisco J; Bisagno, Verónica; González, Betina; Celeste Rivero-Echeto, María; Muñiz, Javier A; Luster, Brennon; D'Onofrio, Stasia; Mahaffey, Susan; Garcia-Rill, Edgar

    2015-11-01

    This review describes the interactions between the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN), the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and the thalamocortical system. Experiments using modulators of cholinergic receptors in the PPN clarified its role on psychostimulant-induced locomotion. PPN activation was found to be involved in the animal's voluntary search for psychostimulants. Every PPN neuron is known to generate gamma band oscillations. Voltage-gated calcium channels are key elements in the generation and maintenance of gamma band activity of PPN neurons. Calcium channels are also key elements mediating psychostimulant-induced alterations in the thalamic targets of PPN output. Thus, the PPN is a key substrate for maintaining arousal and REM sleep, but also in modulating psychostimulant self-administration. PMID:26779323

  19. Genital and subjective sexual arousal in postmenopausal women: influence of laboratory-induced hyperventilation.

    PubMed

    Brotto, Lori A; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2002-01-01

    The current study was aimed at comparing genital and subjective sexual arousal in pre- and postmenopausal women and exploring the effects of heightened sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity on these parameters. Seventy-one women (25 young and premenopausal, 25 postmenopausal, and 21 age-matched premenopausal women) participated in two counterbalanced sessions consisting of genital arousal assessment with vaginal photoplethysmography and subjective arousal assessment with self-report questionnaires. SNS activity was enhanced using laboratory-induced hyperventilation. Results demonstrated no significant differences between pre- and postmenopausal women on genital and subjective measures of arousal in response to neutral and erotic films. SNS manipulation increased genital excitement only in young, premenopausal women. These data suggest that prior SNS enhancement can differentiate pre- from postmenopausal genital arousal. Data also revealed significant correlations between genital and subjective sexual arousal in older pre- and postmenopausal women, but not in young premenopausal women. These data are the first to directly compare genital-subjective correlations between pre- and postmenopausal women. PMID:11898709

  20. The effects of alcohol and sexual arousal on determinants of sexual risk in men who have sex with men.

    PubMed

    Maisto, Stephen A; Palfai, Tibor; Vanable, Peter A; Heath, Jessie; Woolf-King, Sarah E

    2012-08-01

    Primary prevention efforts aimed at sexual risk behaviors are critical. This experiment was designed to investigate the effects of alcohol intoxication and sexual arousal, as well as person variables of alcohol sex expectancies and attitudes toward condom use, on hypothesized determinants of sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM). The participants were 117 MSM aged 21-50 years who were randomly assigned to one of six separate experimental conditions created by the combination of beverage administration (water control, placebo or alcohol designed to raise blood alcohol level to .07%) and sexual arousal (low or high, manipulated by participants' viewing non-erotic or mildly erotic film clips). Participants attended two experimental sessions. The first session included completing questionnaires about beliefs about alcohol's effects on sex and attitudes toward condoms' effect on sexual pleasure. The second session involved the beverage condition and arousal manipulations. Following these, participants viewed and responded to two interactive videos depicting high sexual risk scenarios. Participants also completed the CARE, a measure of risk perceptions. The dependent variables were behavioral skills, intentions to have unsafe sex, and "risk exposure," derived from responses to the videos. The results of both planned and exploratory analyses showed general support for the hypothesized enhancement of alcohol's effects on sexual risk by both sexual arousal and expectancies. Also as predicted, condom attitudes showed direct relationships to risk exposure and intentions. Implications of the findings for models of alcohol's effects on sexual risk and for the development of HIV prevention interventions were discussed. PMID:22009480

  1. The Effects of Alcohol and Sexual Arousal on Determinants of Sexual Risk in Men Who Have Sex with Men

    PubMed Central

    Palfai, Tibor; Vanable, Peter A.; Heath, Jessie; Woolf-King, Sarah E.

    2013-01-01

    Primary prevention efforts aimed at sexual risk behaviors are critical. This experiment was designed to investigate the effects of alcohol intoxication and sexual arousal, as well as person variables of alcohol sex expectancies and attitudes toward condom use, on hypothesized determinants of sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM). The participants were 117 MSM aged 21–50 years who were randomly assigned to one of six separate experimental conditions created by the combination of beverage administration (water control, placebo or alcohol designed to raise blood alcohol level to .07%) and sexual arousal (low or high, manipulated by participants’ viewing non-erotic or mildly erotic film clips). Participants attended two experimental sessions. The first session included completing questionnaires about beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sex and attitudes toward condoms’ effect on sexual pleasure. The second session involved the beverage condition and arousal manipulations. Following these, participants viewed and responded to two interactive videos depicting high sexual risk scenarios. Participants also completed the CARE, a measure of risk perceptions. The dependent variables were behavioral skills, intentions to have unsafe sex, and “risk exposure,” derived from responses to the videos. The results of both planned and exploratory analyses showed general support for the hypothesized enhancement of alcohol’s effects on sexual risk by both sexual arousal and expectancies. Also as predicted, condom attitudes showed direct relationships to risk exposure and intentions. Implications of the findings for models of alcohol’s effects on sexual risk and for the development of HIV prevention interventions were discussed. PMID:22009480

  2. Pedunculopontine arousal system physiology – Deep brain stimulation (DBS)

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Rill, Edgar; Luster, Brennon; D’Onofrio, Stasia; Mahaffey, Susan; Bisagno, Veronica; Urbano, Francisco J.

    2015-01-01

    This review describes the wake/sleep symptoms present in Parkinson׳s disease, and the role of the pedunculopontine nucleus in these symptoms. The physiology of PPN cells is important not only because it is a major element of the reticular activating system, but also because it is a novel target for deep brain stimulation in the treatment of gait and postural deficits in Parkinson׳s disease. A greater understanding of the physiology of the target nuclei within the brainstem and basal ganglia, amassed over the past decades, has enabled increasingly better patient outcomes from deep brain stimulation for movement disorders. PMID:26779322

  3. Physiological Arousal, Distress Tolerance, and Social Problem-Solving Deficits among Adolescent Self-Injurers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nock, Matthew K.; Mendes, Wendy Berry

    2008-01-01

    It has been suggested that people engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) because they (a) experience heightened physiological arousal following stressful events and use NSSI to regulate experienced distress and (b) have deficits in their social problem-solving skills that interfere with the performance of more adaptive social responses. However,…

  4. Physiological-Cognitive-Emotional Responses to Defense-Arousing Communication: Overview and Sex Differences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Ronald D.

    A 328-item checklist, suitable for the self-reporting of responses to any stimulus event, was administered to 107 upper division college students in an attempt to investigate the physiological-cognitive-emotional responses to defense arousing communication and to discover a greater range of the key features of the phenomena of "defensiveness."…

  5. Concordance between Measures of Anxiety and Physiological Arousal Following Treatment of Panic Disorder in Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bacow, Terri Landon; May, Jill Ehrenreich; Choate-Summers, Molly; Pincus, Donna B.; Mattis, Sara G.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the concordance (or synchrony/desynchrony) between adolescents' self-reports of anxiety and physiological measures of arousal (heart rate) both prior to and after treatment for panic disorder. Results indicated a decline in reported subjective units of distress (SUDS) for the treatment group only at the post-treatment…

  6. How does music arouse "chills"? Investigating strong emotions, combining psychological, physiological, and psychoacoustical methods.

    PubMed

    Grewe, Oliver; Nagel, Frederik; Kopiez, Reinhard; Altenmüller, Eckart

    2005-12-01

    Music can arouse ecstatic "chill" experiences defined as "goose pimples" and as "shivers down the spine." We recorded chills both via subjects' self-reports and physiological reactions, finding that they do not occur in a reflex-like manner, but as a result of attentive, experienced, and conscious musical enjoyment. PMID:16597800

  7. Satiation therapy: a procedure for reducing deviant sexual arousal.

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, W L

    1979-01-01

    Two single-case experiments demonstrated the efficacy of satiation therapy with adult males who had long-standing deviant sexual interests. The procedure involves the pairing of prolonged masturbation (1 hour) with the verbalization by the patient of his deviant sexual fantasies and in both cases the designs permitted the attribution of control over aberrant responding to the satiation therapy. The results are discussed in terms of the possible active ingredients of the procedure. PMID:511807

  8. Women's genital sexual arousal to oral versus penetrative heterosexual sex varies with menstrual cycle phase at first exposure.

    PubMed

    Suschinsky, Kelly D; Bossio, Jennifer A; Chivers, Meredith L

    2014-03-01

    Reproductive-aged women show increased interest in sexual activity during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle that can motivate sexual behavior and thereby increase the likelihood of conception. We examined whether women demonstrated greater sexual responses (subjective and genital sexual arousal) to penetrative versus oral sexual activities during the fertile versus non-fertile phases of their cycles, and whether women's arousal responses were influenced by the phase during which they were first exposed to these sexual stimuli (e.g., Slob et al., 1991; Wallen and Rupp, 2010). Twenty-two androphilic women completed two identical sexual arousal assessments in which genital responses were measured with a vaginal photoplethysmograph and their feelings of sexual arousal were recorded. Women viewed an array of 90s films varying by couple type (female-female, male-male, female-male) and sexual activity type (oral or penetrative), during the fertile (follicular) and non-fertile (luteal) phases of their menstrual cycle, with the order of cycle phase at the first testing session counter-balanced. Women tested first in the fertile phase showed significantly greater genital arousal to female-male penetrative versus oral sex in both testing sessions, whereas self-reports of sexual arousal were not affected by cycle phase or testing order. These results contribute to a growing body of research suggesting that fertility status at first exposure to sexual stimuli has a significant effect on subsequent sexual responses to sexual stimuli, and that this effect may differ for subjective versus genital sexual arousal. PMID:24486567

  9. Cybersex addiction: Experienced sexual arousal when watching pornography and not real-life sexual contacts makes the difference.

    PubMed

    Laier, Christian; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Pekal, Jaro; Schulte, Frank P; Brand, Matthias

    2013-06-01

    Background and aims Cybersex addiction is discussed controversially, while empirical evidence is widely missing. With respect to its mechanisms of development and maintenance Brand et al. (2011) assume that reinforcement due to cybersex should lead to the development of cue-reactivity and craving explaining recurrent cybersex use in the face of growing but neglected negative consequences. To support this hypothesis, two experimental studies were conducted. Methods In a cue-reactivity paradigm 100 pornographic cues were presented to participants and indicators of sexual arousal and craving were assessed. The first study aimed at identifying predictors of cybersex addiction in a freely recruited sample of 171 heterosexual males. The aim of the second study was to verify the findings of the first study by comparing healthy (n = 25) and problematic (n = 25) cybersex users. Results The results show that indicators of sexual arousal and craving to Internet pornographic cues predicted tendencies towards cybersex addiction in the first study. Moreover, it was shown that problematic cybersex users report greater sexual arousal and craving reactions resulting from pornographic cue presentation. In both studies, the number and subjective quality of real-life sexual contacts were not associated to cybersex addiction. Discussion The results support the gratification hypothesis, which assumes reinforcement, learning mechanisms, and craving to be relevant processes in the development and maintenance of cybersex addiction. Poor or unsatisfying sexual real-life contacts cannot sufficiently explain cybersex addiction. Conclusions Positive reinforcement in terms of gratification plays a major role in cybersex addiction. PMID:26165929

  10. [Physiology and physiopathology of sexuality].

    PubMed

    Cuzin, Béatrice

    2016-01-01

    From desire to orgasm, sexuality, in women and men, is underpinned by a complex organic, psychological and emotional function. Sexual dysfunction encompasses diverse aetiologies, including chronic diseases and iatrogenesis resulting from medication or surgery. The effects of a chronic disease can have an impact on all phases of the sexual response. PMID:27317816

  11. Animal models of female sexual dysfunction: basic considerations on drugs, arousal, motivation and behavior.

    PubMed

    Ågmo, Anders

    2014-06-01

    Female sexual dysfunctions are a heterogeneous group of symptoms with unknown but probably varying etiology. Social factors may contribute both to the prevalence and to the origin of these dysfunctions. The present review focuses on female hypoactive sexual desire disorder, sexual arousal disorder and orgasmic disorder. These disorders are generally the most common, according to epidemiological studies, and they can all be considered as disorders of motivation. An incentive motivational model of sexual behavior, applicable to humans as well as to non-human animals, is described and the dysfunctions placed into the context of this model. It is shown that endocrine alterations as well as observable alterations in neurotransmitter activity are unlikely causes of the disorders. A potential role of learning is stressed. Nevertheless, the role of some transmitters in female rodent sexual behavior is analyzed, and compared to data from women, whenever such data are available. The conclusion is that there is no direct coincidence between effects on rodent copulatory behavior and sexual behavior in women. Based on these and other considerations, it is suggested that sexual approach behaviors rather than copulatory reflexes in rodents might be of some relevance for human sexual behavior, and perhaps even for predicting the effects of interventions, perhaps even the effects of drugs. Female copulatory behaviors, including the proceptive behaviors, are less appropriate. The common sexual dysfunctions in women are not problems with the performance of copulatory acts, but with the desire for such acts, by feeling aroused by such acts and experiencing the pleasure expected to be caused by such acts. Finally, it is questioned whether female sexual dysfunctions are appropriate targets for pharmacological treatment. PMID:24125786

  12. Visuospatial Working Memory Capacity Predicts Physiological Arousal in a Narrative Task.

    PubMed

    Smithson, Lisa; Nicoladis, Elena

    2016-06-01

    Physiological arousal that occurs during narrative production is thought to reflect emotional processing and cognitive effort (Bar-Haim et al. in Dev Psychobiol 44:238-249, 2004). The purpose of this study was to determine whether individual differences in visuospatial working memory and/or verbal working memory capacity predict physiological arousal in a narrative task. Visuospatial working memory was a significant predictor of skin conductance level (SCL); verbal working memory was not. When visuospatial working memory interference was imposed, visuospatial working memory was no longer a significant predictor of SCL. Visuospatial interference also resulted in a significant reduction in SCL. Furthermore, listener ratings of narrative quality were contingent upon the visuospatial working memory resources of the narrator. Potential implications for educators and clinical practitioners are discussed. PMID:26718206

  13. Stability of Self-Reported Arousal to Sexual Fantasies Involving Children in a Clinical Sample of Pedophiles and Hebephiles.

    PubMed

    Grundmann, Dorit; Krupp, Jurian; Scherner, Gerold; Amelung, Till; Beier, Klaus M

    2016-07-01

    In forensic research, there is a controversial discussion concerning the changeability or stability of pedophilia. Seto (2012) conceptualized pedophilia as a sexual age orientation characterized by an early onset, correlations with sexual and romantic behavior, and stability over time. However, empirical data are sparse and are mostly based on samples of detected offenders. The present study examined self-reported arousal to sexual fantasies involving children in a clinical sample of pedo-/hebephiles. In Study 1, retrospective self-reports on the age of onset and duration of sexual interest in minors were examined. In Study 2, the stability and variability of self-reported arousal to sexual fantasies involving children were evaluated prospectively. Non-prosecuted self-identifying pedo-/hebephilic men seeking professional help were recruited within the Berlin Prevention Project Dunkelfeld. Between 2005 and 2013, 494 participants completed the intake assessment. Self-reported data were collected via questionnaire focusing on sexual arousal to fantasies during masturbation involving prepubescent and/or early pubescent minors. Subsequent assessments of sexual arousal were obtained for 121 of the participants. The average time between the first and last assessment was approximately 29 months. Spearman's correlation coefficients examined the between-group rank-order and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests examined the within-individual mean-level stability. The majority of subjects reported an early onset of their pedo-/hebephilic sexual arousal. The rank-order stability was medium to high. Over the investigated period, the majority of subjects showed no or only minimal decrease or increase of self-reported sexual arousal. These results suggested that sexual arousal to fantasies involving prepubescent and/or early pubescent children is stable. Furthermore, the results support the conceptualization of pedo-/hebephilia as a sexual age orientation in men. PMID:27113471

  14. AB033. Comparing male and female sexual arousal, utilizing fMRI: a theoretical perspective

    PubMed Central

    Banner, Linda L.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objective The goal of this research was to define to mechanism of action for sexual arousal between the mind and the body for young men and women in the San Francisco Bay area. Working within the paradigm of the Sexual Response Cycle, helped to create the framework for understanding the male and female sexual response with sexual function and dysfunction at the core. The young male cohort was a group of heterosexual men who had experienced sexual function previously. The young female cohort was a group of heterosexual women who had experienced hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) previously. To review the fMRI research with male and female sexual arousal conducted at Stanford Medical Center and to propose some new research hypotheses. Methods Young (between the ages of 18 and 30), heterosexual, right-handed (for the sake of research consistency) men and women were recruited for this research, after obtaining IRB approval and Informed Consent. The young male study was completed within one month of initiating recruitment. The initial female study took six months and over 280 applicants to find 20 participants for the initial study. This cohort was used to define the stimuli for the women because we thought it might be different than it was for the men. The second female study took over a year to complete and included 20 young women with no history of sexual dysfunction (NHSD) as compared to 16 women with HSDD. Each group included approximately 20 participants initially, after the phone screening, completing the Informed Consent, and remaining in the 3T fMRI scanner at Stanford Medical Center to view and respond to the various stimuli as it was presented to them. The protocol called for them to receive the stimuli in various orders between relaxation, sports stimuli, and sexual stimuli. Their heart rate, respiration, sexual/genital responses were monitored with either a turgometer (male) or vaginal photoplethysomograph (VPP-female), behavioral

  15. Experimental effects of exposure to pornography: the moderating effect of personality and mediating effect of sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Hald, Gert Martin; Malamuth, Neil N

    2015-01-01

    Using a randomly selected community sample of 200 Danish young adult men and women in a randomized experimental design, the study investigated the effects of a personality trait (agreeableness), past pornography consumption, and experimental exposure to non-violent pornography on attitudes supporting violence against women (ASV). We found that lower levels of agreeableness and higher levels of past pornography consumption significantly predicted ASV. In addition, experimental exposure to pornography increased ASV but only among men low in agreeableness. This relationship was found to be significantly mediated by sexual arousal with sexual arousal referring to the subjective assessment of feeling sexually excited, ready for sexual activities, and/or bodily sensations associated with being sexually aroused. In underscoring the importance of individual differences, the results supported the hierarchical confluence model of sexual aggression and the media literature on affective engagement and priming effects. PMID:24729134

  16. Influences of Sexual Sensation Seeking, Alcohol Consumption, and Sexual Arousal on Women’s Behavioral Intentions Related to Having Unprotected Sex

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Jeanette; Stoner, Susan A.; Hessler, Danielle M.; Zawacki, Tina; Davis, Kelly C.; George, William H.; Morrison, Diane M.; Parkhill, Michele R.; Abdallah, Devon A.

    2009-01-01

    This experimental study examined effects of alcohol consumption and sexual sensation seeking on unprotected sex intentions, taking into account sexual arousal, indirectly discouraging sex, and condom insistence. Women (N=173; M age = 25.02) were randomly assigned to a control, placebo, low dose (target blood alcohol level = .04), or high dose (target blood alcohol level = .08) beverage condition. Participants projected themselves into a hypothetical sexual interaction with a man in which no condom was available. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that both sexual sensation seeking and alcohol dose directly increased sexual arousal early in the interaction, but later sexual arousal indirectly increased unprotected sex intentions by decreasing endorsement of indirect discouragement and, in turn, condom insistence. These findings help to clarify the role of alcohol consumption and sensation seeking in women’s sexual decision making and point to the importance of examining it as a multi-stage process. PMID:19290686

  17. The interaction of state and trait aspects of self-focused attention affects genital, but not subjective, sexual arousal in sexually functional women.

    PubMed

    van Lankveld, Jacques; Bergh, Simone

    2008-04-01

    In this study we investigated the effects of state and trait aspects of self-focused attention on genital and subjective sexual arousal of sexually functional, healthy women during presentation of audiovisual erotic stimuli. Psychophysiological sexual response was measured as vaginal pulse amplitude using a vaginal photoplethysmograph. Experiential aspects of sexual arousal were measured both during stimulus presentation and retrospectively after stimulus offset. Trait level of sexual self-focus was measured with the Sexual Self-Consciousness Scale. State self-focus was induced by switching on a TV camera that pointed at the participant's face and upper torso. A manipulation check revealed that both groups experienced equally elevated levels of self-focused attention of their physical appearance. Induction of state self-focus per se did not affect genital responses, but an interaction effect of self-focus and participants' level of trait sexual self-focus was revealed. Compared with women with low scores on this trait, women with high scores exhibited smaller genital responses when state self-focus was induced. Both groups did not differ when no self-focus was induced. Increase of state self-focus did not affect subjective sexual arousal, but participants with a high level of trait sexual self-focus reported stronger subjective arousal, compared with those with low trait level. The results were discussed with reference to previous work in this field. Some implications for treatment of sexual arousal disorder were discussed. PMID:18325482

  18. Validity and ethics of penile circumference measures of sexual arousal: a critical review.

    PubMed

    McConaghy, N

    1989-08-01

    Wheeler and Rubin (1987) advanced evidence that penile volume responses (PVRs) were no more sensitive than penile circumference responses (PCRs) in measuring erection which the authors incorrectly identified with sexual arousal. Knowledge of the literature would have led them to question that identification and the methodology of their study. PVRs have repeatedly been demonstrated to assess validly not erection but the sexual orientation of individuals, when derived from the early stage of erectile response to brief stimuli that were from their onset of moderate erotic strength. PCR assessment has been of the degree of erection to stimuli of 2-10 min duration. No success has been reported using PCR measures of erection to classify subjects individually as to their sexual orientation. Classification of groups of 30 but not 6 homosexuals was successful using their PCRs to nudes. Attempts to identify rapists and pedophiles from normals, and aggressive from nonaggressive rapists and pedophiles by PCRs have failed to be replicated. In comparing PVRs and PCRs, Wheeler and Rubin used as stimuli three 10-min presentations of a film which apparently did not immediately introduce erotic material. This procedure would not elicit meaningful PVRs. Though never validated as a measure of individuals' sexual arousal, PCR measures of erection are currently widely recommended for assessment and determining treatment of individual sex offenders. If these assessments could affect or are believed by the offenders to affect the outcome of the legal processes in which they are involved, the procedure is not only scientifically unsupported, it is unethical. PMID:2673137

  19. No longer his and hers, but ours: examining sexual arousal in response to erotic stories designed for both sexes.

    PubMed

    Scott, Christina L; Cortez, Angelberto

    2011-01-01

    Research on sexual arousal and erotica has focused primarily on men and women's responses to erotic films and stories designed for a sex-specific audience. To reduce the confounds of relying on separate materials when evaluating sex differences in arousal, the present study designed suggestive and explicit erotic stories that were rated as being equally appealing to men and women. Participants were 212 undergraduate students who completed self-report measures of sexual self-esteem, sexual desire, and pre- and posttest measures of arousal. As hypothesized, women in the suggestive and explicit conditions reported a significant increase in sexual arousal; however, only men who read the explicit story demonstrated significant elevations in arousal. The creation of "equally appealing" erotic stories has challenged the existing research paradigm and has initiated the investigation of sexual arousal from a set of common materials designed for both sexes. The benefits of creating a series of equally appealing erotic materials extends beyond empirical research and may ultimately facilitate greater openness and communication between heterosexual couples. PMID:21512937

  20. Motivational intensity modulates the effects of positive emotions on set shifting after controlling physiological arousal.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ya; Siu, Angela F Y

    2015-12-01

    Recent research on the construct of emotion suggests the integration of a motivational dimension into the traditional two-dimension (subjective valence and physiological arousal) model. The motivational intensity of an emotional state should be taken into account while investigating the emotion-cognition relationship. This study examined how positive emotional states varying in motivational intensity influenced set shifting, after controlling the potential confounding impacts of physiological arousal. In Experiment 1, 155 volunteers performed a set-shifting task after being randomly assigned to five states: high- vs. low-motivating positive affect (interest vs. serenity), high- vs. low-motivating negative affect (disgust vs. anxiety), and neutral state. Eighty-five volunteers participated in Experiment 2, which further examined the effects of higher vs. lower degree of interest. Both experiments measured and compared participants' physiological arousal (blood pressure and pulse rate) under the normal and experimental conditions as the covariate. Results showed no difference in switching performance between the neutral and serenity groups. As compared with the neutral state, the high-motivating positive affect significantly increased set-switching reaction time costs, but reduced error rate costs; the higher the motivational intensity, the greater the time-costs impairment. This indicates a role of the high-motivating positive affect in regulating the balance between the flexible and stable cognitive control. Motivational intensity also modulated the effects of negative emotional states, i.e., disgust caused a larger increase in time costs than anxiety. Further exploration into neurobiological mechanisms that may mediate the emotional effects on set shifting is warranted. PMID:26453484

  1. Effect of self-reported sexual arousal on responses to sex-related and non-sex-related disgust cues.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Richard J; Case, Trevor I; Oaten, Megan J

    2011-02-01

    Prior to and during sexual intercourse, people are exposed to stimuli that in other contexts might act as disgust-eliciting cues. This study examined whether sexual arousal, in contrast to general arousal, could selectively reduce reported disgust for cues that pilot participants identified as sex or non-sex related. Male undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four viewing groups. One group viewed erotic female images, a second clad female images, a third pleasantly arousing images (e.g., skydiving), and a fourth unpleasantly arousing images (e.g., an aimed gun). After the viewing phase, all participants were exposed to pairs of real disgust elicitors (sex versus non-sex related) drawn from various sensory modalities. Participants in the erotic images group, who rated being more sexually aroused than those in the other three groups, also reported being significantly less disgusted by sex-related elicitors. While the mechanism for this effect is not currently known, our findings suggest one plausible explanation for risky sexual behavior as well as having implications for the role of disgust in sexual dysfunction. PMID:19705272

  2. When playing together feels different: effects of task types and social contexts on physiological arousal in multiplayer online gaming contexts.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sohye; Lee, Jong-Eun Roselyn

    2009-02-01

    This study examines how task types (violent vs. nonviolent) and social contexts (solo vs. collaborative) affect physiological arousal in multiplayer online gaming. Our results show that social contexts modify the effects of violent game tasks on arousal. When compared with solo play, collaborative play led to a significant decrease in arousal in response to violent tasks, while leading to a slight increase for nonviolent tasks. The findings point to the importance of understanding how social contexts of game playing shape psychological experiences in multiplayer online games. PMID:19006459

  3. Hypothalamus, sexual arousal and psychosexual identity in human males: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Brunetti, M; Babiloni, C; Ferretti, A; Del Gratta, C; Merla, A; Olivetti Belardinelli, M; Romani, G L

    2008-06-01

    In a recent functional magnetic resonance imaging study, a complex neural circuit was shown to be involved in human males during sexual arousal [A. Ferretti et al. (2005) Neuroimage, 26, 1086]. At group level, there was a specific correlation between penile erection and activations in anterior cingulate, insula, amygdala, hypothalamus and secondary somatosensory regions. However, it is well known that there are remarkable inter-individual differences in the psychological view and attitude to sex of human males. Therefore, a crucial issue is the relationship among cerebral responses, sexual arousal and psychosexual identity at individual level. To address this issue, 18 healthy male subjects were recruited. Their deep sexual identity (DSI) was assessed following the construct revalidation by M. Olivetti Belardinelli [(1994) Sci. Contrib. Gen. Psychol., 11, 131] of the Franck drawing completion test, a projective test providing, according to this revalidation, quantitative scores on 'accordance/non-accordance' between self-reported and psychological sexual identity. Cerebral activity was evaluated by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging during hard-core erotic movies and sport movies. Results showed a statistically significant positive correlation between the blood oxygen level-dependent signal in bilateral hypothalamus and the Franck drawing completion test score during erotic movies. The higher the blood oxygen level-dependent activation in bilateral hypothalamus, the higher the male DSI profile. These results suggest that, in male subjects, inter-individual differences in the DSI are strongly correlated with blood flow to the bilateral hypothalamus, a dimorphic brain region deeply implicated in instinctual drives including reproduction. PMID:18588532

  4. Regression to the Mean Mimicking Changes in Sexual Arousal to Child Stimuli in Pedophiles.

    PubMed

    Mokros, Andreas; Habermeyer, Elmar

    2016-10-01

    The sexual preference for prepubertal children (pedophilia) is generally assumed to be a lifelong condition. Müller et al. (2014) challenged the notion that pedophilia was stable. Using data from phallometric testing, they found that almost half of 40 adult pedophilic men did not show a corresponding arousal pattern at retest. Critics pointed out that regression to the mean and measurement error might account for these results. Müller et al. contested these explanations. The present study shows that regression to the mean in combination with low reliability does indeed provide an exhaustive explanation for the results. Using a statistical model and an estimate of the retest correlation derived from the data, the relative frequency of cases with an allegedly non-pedophilic arousal pattern was shown to be consistent with chance expectation. A bootstrap simulation showed that this outcome was to be expected under a wide range of retest correlations. A re-analysis of the original data from the study by Müller et al. corroborated the assumption of considerable measurement error. Therefore, the original data do not challenge the view that pedophilic sexual preference is stable. PMID:26585168

  5. Emergence of nonsexual crimes and their relationship to sexual crime characteristics and the deviant arousal of male adolescent sexual offenders: an exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Akakpo, Tohoro F; Burton, David L

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we explore nonsexual crimes committed by a sample of 437 incarcerated adolescent sexual offenders as well as deviant arousal and its relationships to nonsexual and sexual crimes. Over 50% of the juvenile sexual offenders in this sample have committed nonsexual offenses. In addition, nonsexual crimes, particularly general delinquency, were significantly correlated to a number of characteristics of sexual crimes committed by the youth. Previous research has shown that sexually abusive youth are more likely to recidivate nonsexual crimes, and among the implications of this study is the need for treatment providers and service delivery systems to address nonsexual as well as sexual crimes. PMID:24818552

  6. Classical conditioning of sexual arousal in women and men: effects of varying awareness and biological relevance of the conditioned stimulus.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Heather; Janssen, Erick; Turner, Stefanie L

    2004-02-01

    Classical conditioning of sexual arousal has previously been demonstrated in human males but not in females. This study explored the role of classical (Pavlovian) conditioning in the activation of genital sexual arousal in both women and men, and assessed the effects of varying conditioned stimulus (CS) duration (subliminal/conscious) and relevance (sexually relevant/irrelevant). Twenty-seven female and 29 male participants received either subliminal or conscious presentations of a photograph of either a sexually relevant (abdomen of the opposite sex) or irrelevant (gun) CS+, which was followed by the unconditioned stimulus (US-erotic film clip). A CS-, a stimulus not paired with the US, was also included in the 11 conditioning trials. Ten participants were assigned to a control group that received unpaired presentations of the CS+, CS-, and the US. Both women and men showed more evidence of conditioning to the abdomen than to the gun when the CS was presented subliminally. When consciously perceived CSs were used, however, gender differences emerged. Men again showed the expected cue-to-consequence specificity but women showed the opposite effect, that is, conditioned arousal to the sexually irrelevant rather than to the relevant CS. The latter finding may be due to increased autonomic nervous system arousal associated with the irrelevant CS (gun). Skin conductance responses indicated more general arousal to the gun than to the male abdomen in women. This is the first study to compare the effects of a subliminal and conscious CS and to find classical conditioning of sexual arousal in women. PMID:14739689

  7. Fear and physiological arousal during a virtual height challenge--effects in patients with acrophobia and healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Diemer, Julia; Lohkamp, Nora; Mühlberger, Andreas; Zwanzger, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy is becoming increasingly established, but the mode of action is not well understood. One potential efficacy factor might be physiological arousal. To investigate arousal during VR exposure, we exposed 40 patients with acrophobia and 40 matched healthy controls to a VR height challenge and assessed subjective (fear ratings) and physiological (heart rate, skin conductance level, salivary cortisol) fear reactions. Patients experienced a significant increase of subjective fear, heart rate and skin conductance level. Unexpectedly, controls, who reported no subjective fear, also showed an increase in heart rate and skin conductance. There was no increase in salivary cortisol levels in either group. Physiological arousal in acrophobic patients, in contrast to subjective fear, might not be stronger than that of controls confronted with height cues in VR, indicating marked discordance across symptom domains. The lack of a cortisol response in a clearly stressful paradigm warrants further study. PMID:26600469

  8. The role of physiological arousal in the management of challenging behaviours in individuals with autistic spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, Andrew; McCreadie, Michael; Mills, Richard; Deveau, Roy; Anker, Regine; Hayden, Judy

    2014-11-01

    Challenging behaviours restrict opportunities and choices for people with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and frequently lead to inappropriate and costly service interventions. Managing challenging behaviours of people with autism is an important area of research. This paper examines some of the evidence for the role of physiological arousal influencing these behaviours. Evidence from the emerging literature about sensory differences is examined. It is proposed that sensory reactivity is associated with hyperarousal; catatonic type behaviours are associated with low levels of reactivity (hypoarousal). A low arousal approach is proposed as a generalised strategy to managing challenging behaviours with ASD. The use of non-contingent reinforcement and antecedent control strategies are recommended for use with challenging behaviours which have a sensory component. Examples are provided to illustrate the approach. The implications of arousal and the use of physical interventions are discussed. It is proposed that arousal is a construct which has significant heuristic value for researchers and practitioners. PMID:25462491

  9. Physiological Markers of Arousal Change with Psychological Treatment for Insomnia: A Preliminary Investigation

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Christopher B.; Kyle, Simon D.; Gordon, Christopher J.; Espie, Colin A.; Grunstein, Ronald R.; Mullins, Anna E.; Postnova, Svetlana; Bartlett, Delwyn J.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate if Sleep Restriction Therapy for insomnia is associated with modifications to physiological arousal, indexed through overnight measures of plasma cortisol concentrations and core body temperature. Methods In a pre-to-post open label study design, eleven patients with chronic and severe Psychophysiological Insomnia underwent 5 weeks of Sleep Restriction Therapy. Results Eight (73%) patients out of 11 consented completed therapy and showed a decrease in insomnia severity pre-to-post treatment (mean (SD): 18.1 (2.8) versus 8.4 (4.8); p = .001). Six patients were analyzed with pre-to-post overnight measures of temperature and cortisol. Contrary to our hypothesis, significantly higher levels of plasma cortisol concentrations were found during the early morning at post-treatment compared to baseline (p < .01), while no change was observed in the pre-sleep phase or early part of the night. Core body temperature during sleep was however reduced significantly (overall mean [95% CI]: 36.54 (°C) [36.3, 36.8] versus 36.45 [36.2, 36.7]; p < .05). Conclusions Sleep Restriction Therapy therefore was associated with increased early morning cortisol concentrations and decreased core body temperature, supporting the premise of physiological changes in functioning after effective therapy. Future work should evaluate change in physiological variables associated with clinical treatment response. Trial Registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ANZCTR 12612000049875 PMID:26683607

  10. The effects of self-focused attention, performance demand, and dispositional sexual self-consciousness on sexual arousal of sexually functional and dysfunctional men.

    PubMed

    van Lankveld, Jacques J D M; van den Hout, Marcel A; Schouten, Erik G W

    2004-08-01

    Sexually functional (N=26) and sexually dysfunctional heterosexual men with psychogenic erectile disorder (N=23) viewed two sexually explicit videos. Performance demand was manipulated through verbal instruction that a substantial genital response was to be expected from the videos. Self-focused attention was manipulated by introducing a camera pointed at the participant. Dispositional self-consciousness was assessed by questionnaire. Performance demand was found to independently inhibit the genital response. No main effect of self-focus was found. Self-focus inhibited genital response in men scoring high on general and sexual self-consciousness traits, whereas it enhanced penile tumescence in low self-conscious men. Inhibition effects were found in both volunteers and patients. No interaction effects of performance demand and self-focus were found. Subjective sexual arousal in sexually functional men was highest in the self-focus condition. In sexually dysfunctional men, subjective sexual response proved dependent on locus of attention as well as presentation order. PMID:15178466

  11. Mechanisms underlying sexual and affiliative behaviors of mice: relation to generalized CNS arousal

    PubMed Central

    Shelley, Deborah N.; Choleris, Elena; Kavaliers, Martin

    2006-01-01

    The field of social neuroscience has grown dramatically in recent years and certain social responses have become amenable to mechanistic investigations. Toward that end, there has been remarkable progress in determining mechanisms for a simple sexual behavior, lordosis behavior. This work has proven that specific hormone-dependent biochemical reactions in specific parts of the mammalian brain regulate a biologically important behavior. On one hand, this sex behavior depends on underlying mechanisms of CNS arousal. On the other hand, it serves as a prototypical social behavior. The same sex hormones and the genes that encode their receptors as are involved in lordosis, also affect social recognition. Here we review evidence for a micronet of genes promoting social recognition in mice and discuss their biological roles. PMID:18985112

  12. Sexual Arousal and Self-Control: Results from a Preliminary Experimental Test of the Stability of Self-Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bouffard, Jeffrey; Kunzi, Tasha

    2012-01-01

    A central proposition of Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) General Theory of Crime is the relative stability of low self-control, however research on "self-control strength" suggests that it may vary across contexts. The current study examines these differing conceptions by randomly assigning participants to one of two sexual arousal conditions or…

  13. Effects of realism on extended violent and nonviolent video game play on aggressive thoughts, feelings, and physiological arousal.

    PubMed

    Barlett, Christopher P; Rodeheffer, Christopher

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has shown that playing violent video game exposure can increase aggressive thoughts, aggressive feelings, and physiological arousal. This study compared the effects that playing a realistic violent, unrealistic violent, or nonviolent video game for 45 min has on such variables. For the purpose of this study, realism was defined as the probability of seeing an event in real life. Participants (N=74; 39 male, 35 female) played either a realistic violent, unrealistic violent, or nonviolent video game for 45 min. Aggressive thoughts and aggressive feelings were measured four times (every 15 min), whereas arousal was measured continuously. The results showed that, though playing any violent game stimulated aggressive thoughts, playing a more realistic violent game stimulated significantly more aggressive feelings and arousal over the course of play. PMID:19280624

  14. Dynamic feedback between phenotype and physiology in sexually selected traits.

    PubMed

    Rubenstein, Dustin R; Hauber, Mark E

    2008-12-01

    Theory predicts that physiological costs of producing elaborate phenotypes assure the honesty of sexually selected traits. It is generally assumed that these physiological processes drive sexually selected displays. However, a recent study by Safran and colleagues demonstrates that the manipulation of plumage ornaments in barn swallows alters the temporal course of circulating androgens, thus rejecting the scenario of a static, unidirectional relationship between physiology and sexual displays. Instead, these results suggest that dynamic feedbacks between physiological, morphological and behavioural costs underlie the development and maintenance of sexually selected ornaments. PMID:18951654

  15. Emotion regulation, physiological arousal and PTSD symptoms in trauma-exposed individuals

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Laura; Wild, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Retrospective studies suggest a link between PTSD and difficulty regulating negative emotions. This study investigated the relationship between PTSD symptoms and the ability to regulate negative emotions in real-time using a computerised task to assess emotion regulation. Method Trauma-exposed ambulance workers (N = 45) completed self-report measures of trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms and depression. Participants then completed a computer task requiring them to enhance, decrease or maintain their negative emotions in response to unpleasant images. Skin conductance responses (SCR) were recorded and participants also made ratings of emotion intensity. Immediately after the computer task, participants were asked to describe the strategies they had used to regulate their negative emotions during the task and recorded spontaneous intrusions for the unpleasant images they had seen throughout the following week. Results PTSD symptoms were associated with difficulty regulating (specifically, enhancing) negative emotions, greater use of response modulation (i.e., suppression) and less use of cognitive change (i.e., reappraisal) strategies to down-regulate their negative emotions during the task. More intrusions developed in participants who had greater reductions in physiological arousal whilst decreasing their negative emotions. Limitations PTSD was measured by self-report rather than by a clinician administered interview. The results suggest a relationship between emotion regulation ability and PTSD symptoms rather than emotion regulation and PTSD. Conclusions Difficulty regulating negative emotions may be a feature of trauma-exposed individuals with PTSD symptoms, which may be linked to the types of strategies they employ to regulate negative emotions. PMID:24727342

  16. Arousal state feedback as a potential physiological generator of the ultradian REM/NREM sleep cycle.

    PubMed

    Phillips, A J K; Robinson, P A; Klerman, E B

    2013-02-21

    Human sleep episodes are characterized by an approximately 90-min ultradian oscillation between rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM) sleep stages. The source of this oscillation is not known. Pacemaker mechanisms for this rhythm have been proposed, such as a reciprocal interaction network, but these fail to account for documented homeostatic regulation of both sleep stages. Here, two candidate mechanisms are investigated using a simple model that has stable states corresponding to Wake, REM sleep, and NREM sleep. Unlike other models of the ultradian rhythm, this model of sleep dynamics does not include an ultradian pacemaker, nor does it invoke a hypothetical homeostatic process that exists purely to drive ultradian rhythms. Instead, only two inputs are included: the homeostatic drive for Sleep and the circadian drive for Wake. These two inputs have been the basis for the most influential Sleep/Wake models, but have not previously been identified as possible ultradian rhythm generators. Using the model, realistic ultradian rhythms are generated by arousal state feedback to either the homeostatic or circadian drive. For the proposed 'homeostatic mechanism', homeostatic pressure increases in Wake and REM sleep, and decreases in NREM sleep. For the proposed 'circadian mechanism', the circadian drive is up-regulated in Wake and REM sleep, and is down-regulated in NREM sleep. The two mechanisms are complementary in the features they capture. The homeostatic mechanism reproduces experimentally observed rebounds in NREM sleep duration and intensity following total sleep deprivation, and rebounds in both NREM sleep intensity and REM sleep duration following selective REM sleep deprivation. The circadian mechanism does not reproduce sleep state rebounds, but more accurately reproduces the temporal patterns observed in a normal night of sleep. These findings have important implications in terms of sleep physiology and they provide a parsimonious explanation for the

  17. Physiological Arousal in Autism and Fragile X Syndrome: Group Comparisons and Links with Pragmatic Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klusek, Jessica; Martin, Gary E.; Losh, Molly

    2013-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that pragmatic (i.e., social) language impairment is linked to arousal dysregulation in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fragile X syndrome (FXS). Forty boys with ASD, 39 with FXS, and 27 with typical development (TD), aged 4-15 years, participated. Boys with FXS were hyperaroused compared to boys with TD but did…

  18. Speech Accommodation and the Effects of Cognitive Uncertainty and Physiological Arousal upon It.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherblom, John; La Riviere, Conrad

    In order to investigate speech accommodation--the way in which communicators influence each other's speaking patterns and rhythms--a study examined its occurrence, as well as the extent of a conversational partner's influence, and the influence of interpersonal uncertainty and differences in arousal level upon that accommodation process.…

  19. Impact of Virtual Reality on Young Adults' Physiological Arousal and Aggressive Thoughts: Interaction versus Observation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvert, Sandra L.; Tan, Siu-Lan

    1994-01-01

    Compared to college students who only watched a violent virtual reality game, those who played the game exhibited a higher heart rate after the game, reported more dizziness and nausea during the game, and exhibited more aggressive thoughts on a posttest questionnaire. Results suggest support for arousal and cognitive, but not psychoanalytic,…

  20. Watching pornographic pictures on the Internet: role of sexual arousal ratings and psychological-psychiatric symptoms for using Internet sex sites excessively.

    PubMed

    Brand, Matthias; Laier, Christian; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Schächtle, Ulrich; Schöler, Tobias; Altstötter-Gleich, Christine

    2011-06-01

    Excessive or addictive Internet use can be linked to different online activities, such as Internet gaming or cybersex. The usage of Internet pornography sites is one important facet of online sexual activity. The aim of the present work was to examine potential predictors of a tendency toward cybersex addiction in terms of subjective complaints in everyday life due to online sexual activities. We focused on the subjective evaluation of Internet pornographic material with respect to sexual arousal and emotional valence, as well as on psychological symptoms as potential predictors. We examined 89 heterosexual, male participants with an experimental task assessing subjective sexual arousal and emotional valence of Internet pornographic pictures. The Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and a modified version of the IAT for online sexual activities (IATsex), as well as several further questionnaires measuring psychological symptoms and facets of personality were also administered to the participants. Results indicate that self-reported problems in daily life linked to online sexual activities were predicted by subjective sexual arousal ratings of the pornographic material, global severity of psychological symptoms, and the number of sex applications used when being on Internet sex sites in daily life, while the time spent on Internet sex sites (minutes per day) did not significantly contribute to explanation of variance in IATsex score. Personality facets were not significantly correlated with the IATsex score. The study demonstrates the important role of subjective arousal and psychological symptoms as potential correlates of development or maintenance of excessive online sexual activity. PMID:21117979

  1. Oral contraceptive use and female genital arousal: methodological considerations.

    PubMed

    Seal, Brooke N; Brotto, Lori A; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2005-08-01

    This study explored effects of oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use on physiological sexual arousal as measured by a vaginal photoplethysmograph. Sixteen women aged 18-29 viewed audiovisual neutral and erotic stimuli before and an average of 6 weeks following the onset of OCP use. Although subjective measures of sexual arousal, including perceptions of genital arousal, significantly increased in response to erotic stimuli both before and after OCP onset, physiological sexual arousal only increased before OCP use. A comparison of individual responses before and after OCP onset reveals a much higher degree of intrasubject variability after OCP onset. We discuss these findings as they relate to OCP use as a confounding methodological variable to consider in future investigations employing vaginal photoplethysmography. PMID:19817038

  2. Superior perception of phasic physiological arousal and the detrimental consequences of the conviction to be aroused on worrying and metacognitions in GAD.

    PubMed

    Andor, Tanja; Gerlach, Alexander L; Rist, Fred

    2008-02-01

    Although people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) often report arousal symptoms, psychophysiological studies show no evidence of autonomic hyperarousal. Hypersensitivity toward and catastrophic interpretation of phasic arousal cues may explain this discrepancy. The authors tested (a) whether GAD sufferers perceive nonspecific skin conductance fluctuations (NSCFs), an indicator of phasic autonomic arousal, better than controls do and (b) whether the conviction to be aroused contributes to the maintenance of worrying and metacognitive beliefs about worrying. Thirty-three GAD sufferers and 34 healthy controls participated in 2 experiments. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to detect their own NSCFs during a signal detection task. GAD sufferers accurately detected more of their NSCFs than did controls, who tended to miss NSCFs. In Experiment 2, participants were instructed to relax following worry induction. While relaxing, they received nonveridical feedback indicating either arousal or relaxation. Arousal feedback conserved negative metacognitive beliefs regarding worrying and also maintained negative mood and worry exclusively in GAD participants. These findings suggest that superior perception of phasic arousal cues and their catastrophic misinterpretation increases worrying, negative metacognitive beliefs about worrying, and anxious mood in GAD. PMID:18266497

  3. Electroencephalographic activity during sexual behavior: a novel approach to the analysis of drug effects on arousal and motivation relevant for sexual dysfunctions.

    PubMed

    Hernández-González, Marisela; Guevara, Miguel Angel; Agmo, Anders

    2014-06-01

    The neurobiological bases of human sexual behavior are only partly understood. The etiology of most human sexual dysfunctions is not understood at all. Nevertheless, substantial progress has been made in the treatment of some male sexual disorders. The prime example should be erectile deficiency, where several efficient and safe treatments are available. Pharmacological treatment for premature ejaculation is also available, although it is still in an early stage. Disorders of sexual desire have attracted much attention when women are affected but far less so when men are concerned. Whereas animal models appropriate for testing treatments for problems with erection and premature ejaculation are available, it is questionable whether such models of the desire disorders have predictive validity. There seems to be many factors involved both in reduced and enhanced sexual desire, most of which are unknown. In this review we present some data suggesting that an electroencephalographic analysis of brain activity during exposure to sexually relevant stimuli in male rats and men and during execution of sexual behaviors in male rats may provide useful information. The effects of a commonly used drug, ethanol, on the electroencephalogram recorded during sexual events in rats and men are also described. Although this approach to the analysis of the central nervous activity associated with sexual desire, arousal and behavior is still in its infancy, the data obtained so far show a remarkable similarity between men and rats. This suggests that animal studies of electroencephalographic responses to drugs in sexual contexts may be useful for predicting effects in the human male. PMID:24534418

  4. The arousing power of everyday materials: an analysis of the physiological and behavioral responses to visually and tactually presented textures.

    PubMed

    Etzi, Roberta; Gallace, Alberto

    2016-06-01

    Previous research has shown that during multisensory perception, vision frequently dominates over the other sensory modalities. However, it is still unclear whether sensory dominance also implies the generation of a greater state of arousal. Here, we assess the psycho-physiological reactions to different materials when presented tactually (Group 1) or visually (Group 2). In Group 1, the participants' forearm was stroked with different textures (satin, tinfoil, leather, sandpaper and abrasive sponge), by either a male or a female experimenter. The speed of stimulation was set to elicit a vigorous response of C-tactile afferents, involved in the perception of the more pleasant aspects of touch. The participants were asked to rate the pleasantness of the stimulation. In Group 2, the same textures were presented only visually, and the participants were asked to rate the imagined pleasantness of being touched by those stimuli. Skin conductance responses were recorded in both groups. The results revealed that the tactile presentation of the stimuli led to higher skin conductance responses than the visual presentation; this difference was higher for women than for men. Smooth materials were perceived as more pleasant than rough materials, but no differences in terms of skin conductance responses were found among them. Moreover, the textures were rated as less pleasant when presented visually than when presented tactually. These findings are relevant to understand how physiological arousal is modulated by different senses and to elucidate the mechanisms involved in hedonic tactile perception. PMID:26842855

  5. The Aggression-Inhibiting and Aggression-Facilitating Influence of Heightened Sexual Arousal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baron, Robert A.; Bell, Paul A.

    Eighty-six undergraduate males participated in an experiment designed to investigate the impact of various types of erotic stimuli upon aggression. On the basis of previous research, it was hypothesized that exposure to mild erotic stimuli would tend to inhibit subsequent aggression, while exposure to more arousing stimuli of this type would…

  6. Male victims of sexual assault: phenomenology, psychology, physiology.

    PubMed

    Bullock, Clayton M; Beckson, Mace

    2011-01-01

    Myths, stereotypes, and unfounded beliefs about male sexuality, in particular male homosexuality, are widespread in legal and medical communities, as well as among agencies providing services to sexual assault victims. These include perceptions that men in noninstitutionalized settings are rarely sexually assaulted, that male victims are responsible for their assaults, that male sexual assault victims are less traumatized by the experience than their female counterparts, and that ejaculation is an indicator of a positive erotic experience. As a result of the prevalence of such beliefs, there is an underreporting of sexual assaults by male victims; a lack of appropriate services for male victims; and, effectively, no legal redress for male sexual assault victims. By comparison, male sexual assault victims have fewer resources and greater stigma than do female sexual assault victims. Many male victims, either because of physiological effects of anal rape or direct stimulation by their assailants, have an erection, ejaculate, or both during the assault. This is incorrectly understood by assailant, victim, the justice system, and the medical community as signifying consent by the victim. Studies of male sexual physiology suggest that involuntary erections or ejaculations can occur in the context of nonconsensual, receptive anal sex. Erections and ejaculations are only partially under voluntary control and are known to occur during times of extreme duress in the absence of sexual pleasure. Particularly within the criminal justice system, this misconception, in addition to other unfounded beliefs, has made the courts unwilling to provide legal remedy to male victims of sexual assault, especially when the victim experienced an erection or an ejaculation during the assault. Attorneys and forensic psychiatrists must be better informed about the physiology of these phenomena to formulate evidence-based opinions. PMID:21653264

  7. Arousal Loss Related to Safer Sex and Risk of Pregnancy: Implications for Women’s and Men’s Sexual Health

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Jenny A.; Tanner, Amanda E.; Janssen, Erick

    2010-01-01

    CONTEXT Few studies have examined arousal loss associated with safer-sex practices or the perceived risk of unintended pregnancy, let alone its associations with sexual risk practices. METHODS An Internet survey conducted in 2004–2006 among 2,399 men and 3,210 women asked respondents about arousal loss related to the use of condoms or other safer-sex products and perceived unintended pregnancy risk. Regression analyses gauged associations between arousal profiles, unprotected sex in the last year and lifetime experience of unintended pregnancy. RESULTS Many respondents reported arousal loss related to the use of safer-sex products (34%) or the risk of unintended pregnancy (46%). Participants who strongly agreed that use of safer-sex products can lessen their arousal were significantly more likely to have had unprotected sex in the last year than were those who strongly disagreed (odds ratios, 1.8 for men and 3.7 for women); those who strongly disagreed that pregnancy risk can lessen their arousal were significantly more likely to have been involved in an unintended pregnancy than were those who strongly agreed (2.0 for men and 1.4 for women). Arousal loss related to safer-sex practices was more strongly associated with unprotected sex among women than among men, whereas arousal loss related to pregnancy risk was more strongly associated with unintended pregnancy among men than among women. CONCLUSIONS Some men and women are turned off by safer-sex practices or by pregnancy risk. Given arousal profiles’ potential contributions to unintended pregnancies and STD transmission, they should be integrated into sexual health behavioral models, research and programming. PMID:19740232

  8. The strength of sexual arousal as a function of the age of the sex offender: comparisons among pedophiles, hebephiles, and teleiophiles.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Ray; Barbaree, Howard E

    2005-10-01

    Previous research has shown that sexual arousability in human males declines from its peak in early adolescence until old age. This study compared the rates of decline in three groups of males: those most attracted sexually to prepubescent children (pedophiles), those most attracted to pubescent children (hebephiles), and those most attracted to physically mature persons (teleiophiles). The participants were 2,028 patients referred to Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health from 1995 to 2004 for evaluation of criminal or otherwise disturbing sexual behavior, but not for erectile or ejaculatory problems. All underwent phallometric assessment for erotic age-preference. This is a psychophysiological technique in which an individual's penile blood volume is monitored while he is presented with a standardized set of laboratory stimuli depicting male and female children, pubescents, and adults. The experimental measure of sexual arousability was the average of the participant's three greatest penile responses to any stimulus category, expressed in cubic cm of blood volume increase. The results showed that sexual arousability was an inverse function of age, and that there were no differences between the pedophiles, hebephiles, and teleiophiles in the rate at which arousability declined. PMID:16341604

  9. Attitudes toward sex, arousal, and the retention of contraceptive information.

    PubMed

    Goldfarb, L; Gerrard, M; Gibbons, F X; Plante, T

    1988-10-01

    Previous research has suggested that women with a negative emotional orientation toward sexuality (i.e., erotophobia) have difficulty learning and retaining sexually relevant material such as contraceptive information. It has been hypothesized that these women become aroused by this material and that this arousal interferes with their ability to learn it. The importance of this issue led us to conduct the current study. Erotophobic and erotophilic women viewed presentations about contraception while their physiological responses were being monitored. In addition, they were tested on the information contained in the presentation before, immediately after, and again 4-6 weeks after the presentation. The results indicated that the erotophobic women knew less contraceptive information before the presentation and were more aroused by the presentation. This arousal, however, did not interfere with retention of the material. These results are discussed in terms of individual differences in reactions to sexual material and the ability to learn, retain, and use contraceptive information. PMID:3193351

  10. Physiological Arousal in Autism and Fragile X Syndrome: Group Comparisons and Links With Pragmatic Language

    PubMed Central

    Klusek, Jessica; Martin, Gary E.; Losh, Molly

    2014-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that pragmatic (i.e., social) language impairment is linked to arousal dysregulation in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fragile X syndrome (FXS). Forty boys with ASD, 39 with FXS, and 28 with typical development (TD), aged 4–15 years, participated. Boys with FXS were hyperaroused compared to boys with TD but did not differ from boys with ASD. Dampened vagal tone predicted pragmatic impairment in ASD, and associations emerged between cardiac activity and receptive/expressive vocabulary across groups. Findings support autonomic dysfunction as a mechanism underlying pragmatic impairment in ASD and suggest that biophysiological profiles are shared in ASD and FXS, which has implications for understanding the role of fragile X mental retardation-1 (FMR1, the FXS gene) in the pathophysiology of ASD. PMID:24432860

  11. Face to face versus Facebook: does exposure to social networking web sites augment or attenuate physiological arousal among the socially anxious?

    PubMed

    Rauch, Shannon M; Strobel, Cara; Bella, Megan; Odachowski, Zachary; Bloom, Christopher

    2014-03-01

    The present study tested two competing hypotheses about the effect of Facebook exposure on the physiological arousal level of participants who then encountered the stimulus person in a face-to-face situation. Facebook exposure may attenuate later arousal by providing increased comfort and confidence, but it is also possible that Facebook exposure will augment arousal, particularly among the socially anxious. Participants completed a measure of social anxiety and were exposed to a stimulus person via Facebook, face to face, or both. Galvanic skin response was recorded during the exposures to the stimulus person. Results were consistent with the augmentation hypothesis: a prior exposure on Facebook will lead to increased arousal during a face-to-face encounter, particularly for those high in social anxiety. PMID:24180223

  12. Rape-myth congruent beliefs in women resulting from exposure to violent pornography: effects of alcohol and sexual arousal.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kelly Cue; Norris, Jeanette; George, William H; Martell, Joel; Heiman, Julia R

    2006-09-01

    Previous research findings indicate that women suffer a variety of detrimental effects from exposure to violent pornography. This study used an experimental paradigm to examine the effects of a moderate alcohol dose and alcohol expectancies on women's acute reactions to a violent pornographic stimulus. A community sample of female social drinkers (N = 134) read an eroticized rape depiction after completing an alcohol administration protocol. As predicted, intoxicated participants were less likely to label the depicted events as rape than their sober counterparts. A path analytic model illustrated that participants' self-reported sexual arousal to the stimulus, as influenced by alcohol consumption and expectancies, resulted in increased rape myth congruent perceptions of the victim and decreased labeling of the incident as rape. Findings suggest that acute alcohol intoxication during violent pornography exposure may ultimately result in women developing more calloused attitudes toward rape and rape victims. PMID:16893966

  13. Stay calm! Regulating emotional responses by implementation intentions: Assessing the impact on physiological and subjective arousal.

    PubMed

    Azbel-Jackson, Lena; Butler, Laurie T; Ellis, Judi A; van Reekum, Carien M

    2016-09-01

    Implementation intention (IMP) has recently been highlighted as an effective emotion regulatory strategy. Most studies examining the effectiveness of IMPs to regulate emotion have relied on self-report measures of emotional change. In two studies we employed electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate (HR) in addition to arousal ratings (AR) to assess the impact of an IMP on emotional responses. In Study 1, 60 participants viewed neutral and two types of negative pictures (weapon vs. non-weapon) under the IMP "If I see a weapon, then I will stay calm and relaxed!" or no self-regulatory instructions (Control). In Study 2, additionally to the Control and IMP conditions, participants completed the picture rating task either under goal intention (GI) to stay calm and relaxed or warning instructions highlighting that some pictures contain weapons. In both studies, participants showed lower EDA, reduced HR deceleration and lower AR to the weapon pictures compared to the non-weapon pictures. In Study 2, the IMP was associated with lower EDA compared to the GI condition for the weapon pictures, but not compared to the weapon pictures in the Warning condition. ARs were lower for IMP compared to GI and Warning conditions for the weapon pictures. PMID:26219461

  14. Non-image forming effects of illuminance level: Exploring parallel effects on physiological arousal and task performance.

    PubMed

    Huiberts, Laura M; Smolders, Karin C H J; de Kort, Yvonne A W

    2016-10-01

    This study investigated diurnal non-image forming (NIF) effects of illuminance level on physiological arousal in parallel to NIF effects on vigilance and working memory performance. We employed a counterbalanced within-subjects design in which thirty-nine participants (mean age=21.2; SD=2.1; 11 male) completed three 90-min sessions (165 vs. 600lx vs. 1700lx at eye level) either in the morning (N=18) or afternoon (N=21). During each session, participants completed four measurement blocks (incl. one baseline block) each consisting of a 10-min Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) and a Backwards Digit-Span Task (BDST) including easy trials (4-6 digits) and difficult trials (7-8 digits). Heart rate (HR), skin conductance level (SCL) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) were measured continuously. The results revealed significant improvements in performance on the BDST difficult trials under 1700lx vs. 165lx (p=0.01), while illuminance level did not affect performance on the PVT and BDST easy trials. Illuminance level impacted HR and SCL, but not SBP. In the afternoon sessions, HR was significantly higher under 1700lx vs. 165lx during PVT performance (p=0.05), while during BDST performance, HR was only slightly higher under 600 vs. 165lx (p=0.06). SCL was significantly higher under 1700lx vs. 165lx during performance on BDST easy trials (p=0.02) and showed similar, but nonsignificant trends during the PVT and BDST difficult trials. Although both physiology and performance were affected by illuminance level, no consistent pattern emerged with respect to parallel changes in physiology and performance. Rather, physiology and performance seemed to be affected independently, via unique pathways. PMID:27221368

  15. The recording of physiological evidence of genital arousal in human males and females.

    PubMed

    Jovanovic, U J

    1971-12-01

    Eight methods for the recording of erections of men and women, chiefly during sleep, are described as an introduction to a series of publications about objective assessment of sexual behavior. Ohlmeyer et al. (1944 and 1947)performed kymographic recordings. Fisher et al. (1965)recorded objectively with an EEG apparatus and developed the phalloplethysmograph (a polyvinyl tube filled with water, twisted around the penis), a thermistor to record changes of penile skin temperature, and a mercury strain gauge (modified from Whitney, 1949). Johnson and Kitching (1968) used an open annealed metal ring, connected by four strain gauges with a Wheatstone bridge circuit. Jovanovic (1967) developed the phallograph for the recording of erections of men, the kolpograph to measure vaginal contractions for the recording of changes of the genital organs of women (Jovanovic, 1970), and the clitorograph (a thermistor similar to that of Fisher et al.,1965). PMID:24179078

  16. Male bisexual arousal: a matter of curiosity?

    PubMed

    Rieger, Gerulf; Rosenthal, Allen M; Cash, Brian M; Linsenmeier, Joan A W; Bailey, J Michael; Savin-Williams, Ritch C

    2013-12-01

    Conflicting evidence exists regarding whether bisexual-identified men are sexually aroused to both men and women. We hypothesized that a distinct characteristic, level of curiosity about sexually diverse acts, distinguishes bisexual-identified men with and without bisexual arousal. Study 1 assessed men's (n=277) sexual arousal via pupil dilation to male and female sexual stimuli. Bisexual men were, on average, higher in their sexual curiosity than other men. Despite this general difference, only bisexual-identified men with elevated sexual curiosity showed bisexual arousal. Those lower in curiosity had responses resembling those of homosexual men. Study 2 assessed men's (n=72) sexual arousal via genital responses and replicated findings of Study 1. Study 3 provided information on the validity on our measure of sexual curiosity by relating it to general curiosity and sexual sensation seeking (n=83). Based on their sexual arousal and personality, at least two groups of men identify as bisexual. PMID:24055219

  17. Is There a Relationship Between Tic Frequency and Physiological Arousal? Examination in a Sample of Children with Co-Occurring Tic and Anxiety Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Conelea, Christine A.; Ramanujam, Krishnapriya; Walther, Michael R.; Freeman, Jennifer B.; Garcia, Abbe M.

    2014-01-01

    Stress is the contextual variable most commonly implicated in tic exacerbations. However, research examining associations between tics, stressors, and the biological stress response has yielded mixed results. This study examined whether tics occur at a greater frequency during discrete periods of heightened physiological arousal. Children with co-occurring tic and anxiety disorders (n = 8) completed two stress induction tasks (discussion of family conflict, public speech). Observational (tic frequencies) and physiological (heart rate) data were synchronized using The Observer XT, and tic frequencies were compared across periods of high and low heart rate. Tic frequencies across the entire experiment did not increase during periods of higher heart rate. During the speech task, tic frequencies were significantly lower during periods of higher heart rate. Results suggest that tic exacerbations may not be associated with heightened physiological arousal and highlight the need for further tic research using integrated measurement of behavioral and biological processes. PMID:24662238

  18. Toward personalized sexual medicine (part 1): integrating the "dual control model" into differential drug treatments for hypoactive sexual desire disorder and female sexual arousal disorder.

    PubMed

    Bloemers, Jos; van Rooij, Kim; Poels, Saskia; Goldstein, Irwin; Everaerd, Walter; Koppeschaar, Hans; Chivers, Meredith; Gerritsen, Jeroen; van Ham, Diana; Olivier, Berend; Tuiten, Adriaan

    2013-03-01

    In three related manuscripts we describe our drug development program for the treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). In this first theoretical article we will defend the hypothesis that different causal mechanisms are responsible for the emergence of HSDD: low sexual desire in women (with HSDD) could be due to either a relative insensitive brain system for sexual cues or to enhanced activity of sexual inhibitory mechanisms. This distinction in etiological background was taken into account when designing and developing new pharmacotherapies for this disorder. Irrespective of circulating plasma levels of testosterone, administration of sublingual 0.5 mg testosterone increases the sensitivity of the brain to sexual cues. The effects of an increase in sexual sensitivity of the brain depend on the motivational state of an individual. It might activate sexual excitatory mechanisms in low sensitive women, while it could evoke (or strengthen) sexual inhibitory mechanisms in women prone to sexual inhibition. Sexual stimulation in the brain is necessary for phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i)-mediated increase in genital sexual response. Accordingly, a single dose of T+PDE5i might enhance sexual responsiveness, especially in women with low sensitivity to sexual cues. In other women sexual stimulation might elicit a prefrontal cortex (PFC)-mediated phasic increase in sexual inhibition, in which activity of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) is involved. We hypothesize that a single dose of 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonist (5-HT(1A)ra) will reduce the sexual-stimulation-induced PFC-mediated sexual inhibition during a short period after administration. Consequently, treatment with T+5-HT(1A)ra will be more effective, in particular in women exhibiting sexual inhibition. Based on the results of our efficacy studies described in parts 2 and 3 of the series, we conclude that tailoring on-demand therapeutics to different underlying etiologies might be a

  19. Sexually dimorphic adaptations in basal maternal stress physiology during pregnancy and implications for fetal development.

    PubMed

    Giesbrecht, Gerald F; Campbell, Tavis; Letourneau, Nicole

    2015-06-01

    There is clear evidence of reciprocal exchange of information between the mother and fetus during pregnancy but the majority of research in this area has focussed on the fetus as a recipient of signals from the mother. Specifically, physiological signals produced by the maternal stress systems in response to the environment may carry valuable information about the state of the external world. Prenatal stress produces sex-specific adaptations within fetal physiology that have pervasive and long-lasting effects on development. Little is known, however, about the effects of sex-specific fetal signals on maternal adaptations to pregnancy. The current prospective study examined sexually dimorphic adaptations within maternal stress physiology, including the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and associations with fetal growth. Using diurnal suites of saliva collected in early and late pregnancy, we demonstrate that basal cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) differ by fetal sex. Women carrying female fetuses displayed greater autonomic arousal and flatter (but more elevated) diurnal cortisol patterns compared to women carrying males. Women with flatter daytime cortisol trajectories and more blunted sAA awakening responses also had infants with lower birth weight. These maternal adaptations are consistent with sexually dimorphic fetal developmental/evolutionary adaptation strategies that favor growth for males and conservation of resources for females. The findings provide new evidence to suggest that the fetus contributes to maternal HPA axis and ANS regulation during pregnancy and that these systems also contribute to the regulation of fetal growth. PMID:25827961

  20. Anxiety sensitivity and post-traumatic stress reactions: Evidence for intrusions and physiological arousal as mediating and moderating mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Olatunji, Bunmi O; Fan, Qianqian

    2015-08-01

    A growing body of research has implicated anxiety sensitivity (AS) and its dimensions in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the mechanism(s) that may account for the association between AS and PTSD remains unclear. Using the "trauma film paradigm," which provides a prospective experimental tool for investigating analog intrusion development, the present study examines the extent to which intrusions mediate the association between AS and the development of posttraumatic stress reactions. After completing a measure of AS and state mood, unselected participants (n = 45) viewed a 10 min film of graphic scenes of fatal traffic accidents and then completed a second assessment of state mood. Participants then kept a daily diary to record intrusions about the film for a one-week period. Post-traumatic stress reactions about the film were then assessed after the one-week period. The results showed that general AS and physical and cognitive concerns AS predicted greater post-traumatic stress reactions about the film a week later. Furthermore, the number of intrusions the day after viewing the traumatic film, but not fear and disgust in response to the trauma film, mediated the association between general AS (and AS specifically for physical and cognitive concerns) and post-traumatic stress reactions a week later. Subsequent analysis also showed that physiological arousal during initial exposure to the traumatic film moderated the association between general AS and the number of intrusions reported the day after viewing the film. The implications of these analog findings for conceptualizing the mechanism(s) that may interact to explain the role of AS in the development of PTSD and its effective treatment are discussed. PMID:26121496

  1. Human sexual response.

    PubMed

    Basson, Rosemary

    2015-01-01

    The human sexual response to sexually arousing stimuli is a motivational incentive-based cycle comprising subjective experience and physiologic changes. Clinical and empirical data support a circular model of overlapping phases of variable order. Brain imaging data of sexual arousal identify areas of cerebral activation and inhibition reflecting a complex network of cognitive, motivational, emotional, and autonomic components. Psychologic and biologic factors influence the brain's appraisal and processing of sexual stimuli to allow or disallow subsequent arousal. The sexual and non-sexual outcomes influence motivation to future sexual intimacy. Variability is marked both between individuals and within a person's sexual life, influenced by multiple factors, including stage of life cycle, mental health, and relationship happiness. Neurologic disease can interrupt the cycle at many points: by limiting motivation, reducing ability to attend to and feel sexual stimuli, and accomplishing the movements needed to stimulate and experience intercourse. Impairments to genital congestion, penile erection, and orgasm may also occur. Disease-associated changes to the interpersonal relationship and self-image plus frequently comorbid depression will tend to lessen motivation and temper the brain's appraisal of sexual stimuli, so precluding arousal. Therapy begins by explaining the sexual response cycle, clarifying the points of interruption in the patient's own cycle so as to guide treatment. PMID:26003236

  2. Affect intensity and cardiac arousal.

    PubMed

    Blascovich, J; Brennan, K; Tomaka, J; Kelsey, R M; Hughes, P; Coad, M L; Adlin, R

    1992-07-01

    Relationships between affect intensity and basal, evoked, and perceived cardiac arousal were investigated in 3 experiments. Affect intensity was assessed using Larsen and Diener's (1987) Affect Intensity Measure (AIM). Cardiac arousal was evoked with exercise in the 1st study and with mental arithmetic in the 2nd and 3rd. Perceived cardiac arousal was measured under optimal conditions using a standard heartbeat discrimination procedure. Women as a group scored higher on the AIM. Affect intensity was unrelated to basal or evoked cardiac arousal and was negatively related to perceived cardiac arousal in all 3 studies. Data suggest that affect intensity, although unrelated to actual physiological arousal, is negatively related to the accuracy with which individuals perceive their own arousal. Results are discussed within the context of an expanded arousal-regulation model (Blascovich, 1990). PMID:1494983

  3. Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: a meta-analytic review of the scientific literature.

    PubMed

    Anderson, C A; Bushman, B J

    2001-09-01

    Research on exposure to television and movie violence suggests that playing violent video games will increase aggressive behavior. A metaanalytic review of the video-game research literature reveals that violent video games increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults. Experimental and nonexperimental studies with males and females in laboratory and field settings support this conclusion. Analyses also reveal that exposure to violent video games increases physiological arousal and aggression-related thoughts and feelings. Playing violent video games also decreases prosocial behavior. PMID:11554666

  4. Testing cognitive predictors of individual differences in the sexual psychophysiological responses of sexually functional women.

    PubMed

    Clifton, Jessica; Seehuus, Martin; Rellini, Alessandra H

    2015-07-01

    The literature on sexual responses shows a large and not fully understood between-women variance in sexual responses and in strength of coherence between physiological and subjective sexual responses. This study investigated cognitive factors theorized to be associated with sexual responses that could explain such variance. Specifically, we investigated the predictive value of sexual excitation/inhibition and sexual schemas on sexual response and coherence. Vaginal photoplethysmography and continuous subjective sexual arousal were collected from 29 young women while they watched a control/erotic video sequence. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed that high sexual excitation and schemas related to passion and romance were related to higher coherence. These findings support the notion that cognitive factors that enhance sexual arousal contribute to the large variation seen in the coherence of sexual response as measured in the laboratory. PMID:25816911

  5. AROUSAL AND LOGICAL INFERENCE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    KOEN, FRANK

    THE PURPOSE OF THE EXPERIMENT WAS TO DETERMINE THE DEGREE TO WHICH PHYSIOLOGICAL AROUSAL, AS INDEXED BY THE GRASON STADLER TYPE OPERANT CONDITIONING APPARATUS (GSR), IS RELATED TO THE ACCURACY OF LOGICAL REASONING. THE STIMULI WERE 12 SYLLOGISMS, THREE OF EACH OF FOUR DIFFERENT LOGICAL FORMS. THE 14 SUBJECTS (SS) INDICATED THEIR AGREEMENT OR…

  6. Arousal from sleep: the physiological and subjective effects of a 15 dB(A) reduction in aircraft flyover noise.

    PubMed

    LeVere, T E; Davis, N

    1977-07-01

    The present research was concerned with whether or not a 15 dB(A) reduction in overall noise level would lessen the sleep disturbing properties of jet aircraft flyover noise and, if less disturbing, whether this would be subjectively appreciated by the sleeping individual. The results indicate that a reduction of 15 dB(A) does result in less sleep disruption but only during sleep characterized by fast-wave electroencephalographic activity. During sleep characterized by slow-wave electroencephalographic activity, such a reduction in the sleep-disturbing properties of jet aircraft noise has little effect. Moreover, even when effective during fast-wave sleep, the decreased arousal produced by the lower noise levels is not subjectively appreciated by the individual in terms of his estimate of the quality of his night's sleep. Thus, reducing the overall noise level of jet aircraft flyovers by some 15 dB(A), is, at best, minimally beneficial to sleep. PMID:196586

  7. Arousal from sleep - The physiological and subjective effects of a 15 dB/A/ reduction in aircraft flyover noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levere, T. E.; Davis, N.

    1977-01-01

    The present research was concerned with whether or not a 15 dB(A) reduction in overall noise level would lessen the sleep disturbing properties of jet aircraft flyover noise and, if less disturbing, whether this would be subjectively appreciated by the sleeping individual. The results indicate that a reduction of 15 dB (A) does result in less sleep disruption but only during sleep characterized by fast-wave electroencephalographic activity. During sleep characterized by slow-wave electroencephalographic activity, such a reduction in the sleep-disturbing properties of jet aircraft noise has little effect. Moreover, even when effective during fast-wave sleep, the decreased arousal produced by the lower noise levels is not subjectively appreciated by the individual in terms of his estimate of the quality of his night's sleep. Thus, reducing the overall noise level of jet aircraft flyovers by some 15 dB(A), is, at best, minimally beneficial to sleep.

  8. Physiological Reactivity in a Community Sample of Sexually Aggressive Young Men: A Test of Competing Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Zoë D.; Janssen, Erick; Goodrich, David; Heiman, Julia R.

    2015-01-01

    Men’s sexually aggressive behavior potentially could relate to either physiological hyporeactivity or hyperreactivity, and these two different physiological profiles could be associated with different underlying causes of sexual aggression. Thus, measurement of physiological reactivity could provide insight into mechanisms relevant to the etiology of sexual aggression. The relationship between sexual aggression and physiological reactivity was investigated in 78 community men (38 sexually aggressive and 40 non-aggressive men). In a laboratory protocol, the men were exposed to neutral, negative-affect-inducing, and positive-affect-inducing stimuli. Men’s salivary cortisol concentrations and electrodermal activity (EDA) were measured throughout the laboratory procedure. Sexually aggressive men demonstrated (1) lower overall cortisol levels and (2) lower EDA reactivity in some conditions as compared to non-aggressive men. Results of this study were consistent with the idea that men’s sexual aggression is associated with physiological hyporeactivity, a physiological profile that has been found to be associated with externalizing behaviors and psychopathic traits. PMID:24310818

  9. 'For men arousal is orientation': Bodily truthing, technosexual scripts, and the materialization of sexualities through the phallometric test.

    PubMed

    Waidzunas, Tom; Epstein, Steven

    2015-04-01

    We trace the history of the phallometric test--which measures erections of men exposed to visual erotic stimuli to characterize sexualities--in order to account for its functioning as a 'truthing technology'. On the basis of a content analysis of 410 key scientific journal article abstracts, we argue that since its invention in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, phallometry has been employed within three distinct assemblages: as a test of predominance of sexual desire, as a test for therapeutic efficacy, and as a threshold test of sexual risk. Drawing on works of theorists of materialization and proponents of script theory, we argue that within each assemblage phallometric testing materializes male desire and renders it measurable via a 'technosexual script'. We consider the performative effects of phallometry in establishing scientific conceptions of normal and abnormal sexualities. At the same time, through attention to debates among practitioners and broader controversies surrounding the employment of phallometry, we examine the limits of researchers' abilities to establish the broader credibility of the test and capture the phenomenon of sexual desire. This analysis contributes to the study of truthing technologies (or 'truth machines') as a class, while also helping to build bridges between science and technology studies and sexuality studies. PMID:26477205

  10. [Symptomatology and treatment of persistent genital arousal disorder. Case report].

    PubMed

    Erős, Erika; Brockhauser, Ildikó; Pólyán, Edina

    2015-04-01

    Persistent genital arousal disorder is a rare condition among women characterized by unwanted and intrusive sexual arousal that can persist for an extended period of time and unrelated to sexual desire or sexual stimuli. Since its first documentation in 2001, numerous studies have been dedicated to investigate its specifics. The persistent genital arousal occurs in the absence of sexual interest and fantasies and it causes excessive psychological suffering. Masturbation, spontaneous orgasm or sexual intercourse can offer only a temporary relief. Researches provide a limited insight into the characteristics of persistent genital arousal disorder. This paper presents a case and summarizes the scientific findings on prevalence, etiology and treatment perspectives. PMID:25845321

  11. Arousal disorders.

    PubMed

    Provini, Federica; Tinuper, Paolo; Bisulli, Francesca; Lugaresi, Elio

    2011-12-01

    Arousal Disorders (AD) are motor behaviours arising from NREM sleep. They comprise a spectrum of manifestations of increasing complexity from confusional arousal to sleep terror to sleepwalking. AD usually appear in childhood with a low frequency of episodes and spontaneously disappear before adolescence. The advent of video-polysomnography disclosed the existence of other phenomena alongside AD, in particular nocturnal frontal lobe seizures, requiring a differential diagnosis from AD. History-taking is usually sufficient to establish a correct diagnosis of AD even though viewing the episodes is essential for the clinician to distinguish the different motor events. Videopolysomnographic recording in a sleep laboratory is not always necessary and homemade video-recordings are useful to capture events closest to real life episodes. PMID:22136894

  12. Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Aswath, Manju; Pandit, Lakshmi V.; Kashyap, Karthik; Ramnath, Raguram

    2016-01-01

    Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) is a phenomenon, in which afflicted women experience spontaneous genital arousal, unresolved by orgasms and triggered by sexual or nonsexual stimuli, eliciting stress. The current case is a 40-year-old female who experienced such orgasms for about a month. Physical examination, investigations, and psychological testing were noncontributory. Carbamazepine (600 mg) was discontinued due to a lack of response. She improved significantly with supportive therapy. Various neuropsychological conditions, pelvic pathology, medications, etc., have been associated with this disorder. Pharmacologic strategies have included the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and analgesics. Validation, psycho-education, identifying triggers, distraction techniques, and pelvic massage have been tried. Living with PGAD is very demanding. There is a lack of understanding of the problem, shame, and hesitation to seek help. The syndrome has been recently described, and understanding is still evolving. PMID:27570347

  13. Self-Awareness of the Male Sexual Response after Spinal Cord Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Fernando Luiz; Savall, Ana Carolina R.; Mendes, Aline K.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the impact of spinal cord injury on men's sexual motivation, through the sexual desire self-assessment, and the sexual arousal and orgasm physiological responses. This research consisted of a descriptive, nonprobabilistic and comparative study, designed to outline the target population characteristics to compare…

  14. Female sexuality

    PubMed Central

    Rao, T.S. Sathyanarana; Nagaraj, Anil Kumar M.

    2015-01-01

    Sex is a motive force bringing a man and a woman into intimate contact. Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles and relationships. Though generally, women are sexually active during adolescence, they reach their peak orgasmic frequency in their 30 s, and have a constant level of sexual capacity up to the age of 55 with little evidence that aging affects it in later life. Desire, arousal, and orgasm are the three principle stages of the sexual response cycle. Each stage is associated with unique physiological changes. Females are commonly affected by various disorders in relation to this sexual response cycle. The prevalence is generally as high as 35–40%. There are a wide range of etiological factors like age, relationship with a partner, psychiatric and medical disorders, psychotropic and other medication. Counseling to overcome stigma and enhance awareness on sexuality is an essential step in management. There are several effective psychological and pharmacological therapeutic approaches to treat female sexual disorders. This article is a review of female sexuality. PMID:26330647

  15. Female sexuality.

    PubMed

    Rao, T S Sathyanarana; Nagaraj, Anil Kumar M

    2015-07-01

    Sex is a motive force bringing a man and a woman into intimate contact. Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles and relationships. Though generally, women are sexually active during adolescence, they reach their peak orgasmic frequency in their 30 s, and have a constant level of sexual capacity up to the age of 55 with little evidence that aging affects it in later life. Desire, arousal, and orgasm are the three principle stages of the sexual response cycle. Each stage is associated with unique physiological changes. Females are commonly affected by various disorders in relation to this sexual response cycle. The prevalence is generally as high as 35-40%. There are a wide range of etiological factors like age, relationship with a partner, psychiatric and medical disorders, psychotropic and other medication. Counseling to overcome stigma and enhance awareness on sexuality is an essential step in management. There are several effective psychological and pharmacological therapeutic approaches to treat female sexual disorders. This article is a review of female sexuality. PMID:26330647

  16. Prenatal loud music and noise: differential impact on physiological arousal, hippocampal synaptogenesis and spatial behavior in one day-old chicks.

    PubMed

    Sanyal, Tania; Kumar, Vivek; Nag, Tapas Chandra; Jain, Suman; Sreenivas, Vishnu; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2013-01-01

    Prenatal auditory stimulation in chicks with species-specific sound and music at 65 dB facilitates spatial orientation and learning and is associated with significant morphological and biochemical changes in the hippocampus and brainstem auditory nuclei. Increased noradrenaline level due to physiological arousal is suggested as a possible mediator for the observed beneficial effects following patterned and rhythmic sound exposure. However, studies regarding the effects of prenatal high decibel sound (110 dB; music and noise) exposure on the plasma noradrenaline level, synaptic protein expression in the hippocampus and spatial behavior of neonatal chicks remained unexplored. Here, we report that high decibel music stimulation moderately increases plasma noradrenaline level and positively modulates spatial orientation, learning and memory of one day-old chicks. In contrast, noise at the same sound pressure level results in excessive increase of plasma noradrenaline level and impairs the spatial behavior. Further, to assess the changes at the molecular level, we have quantified the expression of functional synapse markers: synaptophysin and PSD-95 in the hippocampus. Compared to the controls, both proteins show significantly increased expressions in the music stimulated group but decrease in expressions in the noise group. We propose that the differential increase of plasma noradrenaline level and altered expression of synaptic proteins in the hippocampus are responsible for the observed behavioral consequences following prenatal 110 dB music and noise stimulation. PMID:23861759

  17. Prenatal Loud Music and Noise: Differential Impact on Physiological Arousal, Hippocampal Synaptogenesis and Spatial Behavior in One Day-Old Chicks

    PubMed Central

    Sanyal, Tania; Kumar, Vivek; Nag, Tapas Chandra; Jain, Suman; Sreenivas, Vishnu; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2013-01-01

    Prenatal auditory stimulation in chicks with species-specific sound and music at 65 dB facilitates spatial orientation and learning and is associated with significant morphological and biochemical changes in the hippocampus and brainstem auditory nuclei. Increased noradrenaline level due to physiological arousal is suggested as a possible mediator for the observed beneficial effects following patterned and rhythmic sound exposure. However, studies regarding the effects of prenatal high decibel sound (110 dB; music and noise) exposure on the plasma noradrenaline level, synaptic protein expression in the hippocampus and spatial behavior of neonatal chicks remained unexplored. Here, we report that high decibel music stimulation moderately increases plasma noradrenaline level and positively modulates spatial orientation, learning and memory of one day-old chicks. In contrast, noise at the same sound pressure level results in excessive increase of plasma noradrenaline level and impairs the spatial behavior. Further, to assess the changes at the molecular level, we have quantified the expression of functional synapse markers: synaptophysin and PSD-95 in the hippocampus. Compared to the controls, both proteins show significantly increased expressions in the music stimulated group but decrease in expressions in the noise group. We propose that the differential increase of plasma noradrenaline level and altered expression of synaptic proteins in the hippocampus are responsible for the observed behavioral consequences following prenatal 110 dB music and noise stimulation. PMID:23861759

  18. Physiological stress responses predict sexual functioning and satisfaction differently in women who have and have not been sexually abused in childhood.

    PubMed

    Meston, Cindy M; Lorenz, Tierney A

    2013-07-01

    Physiological responses to sexual stimuli may contribute to the increased rate of sexual problems seen in women with childhood sexual abuse (CSA) histories. We compared two physiological stress responses as predictors of sexual function and satisfaction, sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation and cortisol in women with (CSA, N = 136) and without CSA histories (NSA, N = 102). In CSA survivors, cortisol response to sexual stimuli did not significantly predict sexual functioning; however, in NSA women, cortisol increases were associated with poorer sexual functioning, and decreases with higher functioning. For women with CSA histories, lower SNS activity was associated with poorer sexual functioning. For CSA survivors with low lifetime trauma, lower SNS activity was associated with higher sexual satisfaction; for women with high lifetime trauma, the reverse was true. Decreased SNS activity during sexual stimuli predicted higher sexual functioning in NSA women with low lifetime exposure to traumatic events, but lower sexual functioning in those with high exposure. Differences between women with and without CSA histories in the association between cortisol and SNS response and sexual functioning and satisfaction suggests that CSA causes disruptions in both short and long-term stress responses to sexual stimuli that perpetuate into adulthood. PMID:24748915

  19. Physiological stress responses predict sexual functioning and satisfaction differently in women who have and have not been sexually abused in childhood

    PubMed Central

    Meston, Cindy M.; Lorenz, Tierney A.

    2012-01-01

    Physiological responses to sexual stimuli may contribute to the increased rate of sexual problems seen in women with childhood sexual abuse (CSA) histories. We compared two physiological stress responses as predictors of sexual function and satisfaction, sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation and cortisol in women with (CSA, N = 136) and without CSA histories (NSA, N = 102). In CSA survivors, cortisol response to sexual stimuli did not significantly predict sexual functioning; however, in NSA women, cortisol increases were associated with poorer sexual functioning, and decreases with higher functioning. For women with CSA histories, lower SNS activity was associated with poorer sexual functioning. For CSA survivors with low lifetime trauma, lower SNS activity was associated with higher sexual satisfaction; for women with high lifetime trauma, the reverse was true. Decreased SNS activity during sexual stimuli predicted higher sexual functioning in NSA women with low lifetime exposure to traumatic events, but lower sexual functioning in those with high exposure. Differences between women with and without CSA histories in the association between cortisol and SNS response and sexual functioning and satisfaction suggests that CSA causes disruptions in both short and long-term stress responses to sexual stimuli that perpetuate into adulthood. PMID:24748915

  20. Lower sexual interest in postpartum women: relationship to amygdala activation and intranasal oxytocin

    PubMed Central

    RUPP, HEATHER A.; JAMES, THOMAS W.; KETTERSON, ELLEN D.; SENGELAUB, DALE R.; DITZEN, BEATE; HEIMAN, JULIA R.

    2012-01-01

    During the postpartum period, women experience significant changes in their neuroendocrine profiles and social behavior compared to before pregnancy. A common experience with motherhood is a decrease in sexual desire. Although the lifestyle and peripheral physiological changes associated with parturition might decrease a woman’s sexual interest, we hypothesized that there are also hormone-mediated changes in women’s neural response to sexual and infant stimuli with altered reproductive priorities. We predicted that amygdala activation to sexually arousing stimuli would be suppressed in postpartum versus nulliparous women, and altered with intranasal oxytocin administration. To test this, we measured amygdala activation using fMRI in response to sexually arousing pictures, infant pictures, and neutral pictures in 29 postpartum and 30 nulliparous women. Half of the women received a dose of exogenous oxytocin before scanning. As predicted, nulliparous women subjectively rated sexual pictures to be more arousing, and infant pictures to be less arousing, than did postpartum women. However, nulliparous women receiving the nasal oxytocin spray rated the infant photos as arousing as did postpartum women. Right amygdala activation was lower in postpartum versus nulliparous women in response to sexual, infant, and neutral images, suggesting a generalized decrease in right amygdala responsiveness to arousing images with parturition. There was no difference in right amygdala activation with nasal spray application. Postpartum women therefore appear to experience a decrease in sexual interest possibly as a feature of a more generalized decrease in amygdala responsiveness to arousing stimuli. PMID:23085496

  1. Arousal and consumer in-store behavior.

    PubMed

    Groeppel-Klein, Andrea

    2005-11-15

    From a psychophysiological point of view, arousal is a fundamental feature of behavior. As reported in different empirical studies based on insights from theories of consumer behavior, store atmosphere should evoke phasic arousal reactions to attract consumers. Most of these empirical investigations used verbal scales to measure consumers' perceived phasic arousal at the point-of-sale (POS). However, the validity of verbal arousal measurement is questioned; self-reporting methods only allow a time-lagged measurement. Furthermore, the selection of inappropriate items to represent perceived arousal is criticized, and verbal reports require some form of cognitive evaluation of perceived arousal by the individual, who might (in a non-measurement condition) not even be aware of the arousal. By contrast, phasic electrodermal reaction (EDR) has proven to be the most appropriate and valid indicator for measuring arousal [W. Boucsein, Physiologische Grundlagen und Messmethoden der dermalen Aktivität. In: F. Rösler (Ed.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie, Bereich Psychophysiologie, Band 1: Grundlagen and Methoden der Psychophysiologie, Kapitel, Vol. 7, Hogrefe, Göttingen, 2001, pp. 551-623] that could be relevant to behavior. EDR can be recorded simultaneously to the perception of stimuli. Furthermore, telemetric online device can be used, which enables physiological arousal measurement while participants can move freely through the store and perform the assigned task in the experiments. The present paper delivers insights on arousal theory and results from empirical studies using EDR to measure arousal at the POS. PMID:16216690

  2. A dual physiological character for sexual function: the role of serotonergic receptors.

    PubMed

    Motofei, Ion G

    2008-03-01

    Anatomically, sexual reflexes are mixed (somatic-autonomic) circuits, represented by emission (sympathetic centre and somatic afferents), expulsion (parasympathetic centre and somatic efferents) and erection (parasympathetic centre and somatic afferents). Physiologically, ejaculation has a dual autonomic mediation, consisting of two distinct and opposite autonomic centres (emission and expulsion), both with a positive contribution to the respective function. Experimentally, serotonin (5HT) has two distinct, opposite and positive effects on sexual function, with 5HT-(1A) agonists decreasing intravaginal ejaculatory latency and erection, and 5HT-(2C) agonists increasing both erection and ejaculatory latency. In this review I assume that 5HT modulates sexual reflexes, establishing a functional connection between the involved somatic and autonomic structures. The 5HT-(1A) receptors are assumed to make the connection between somatic pathways and sympathetic centres while the 5HT-(2C) receptors could establish the connection between somatic pathways and parasympathetic centres. Further studies will develop the cerebral sexual duality, explaining the implication of psychological factors in sexual function and the role of sexuality in psychosocial behaviour. PMID:17922864

  3. The functional neuroanatomy of male psychosexual and physiosexual arousal: a quantitative meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Poeppl, Timm B; Langguth, Berthold; Laird, Angela R; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2014-04-01

    Reproductive behavior is mandatory for conservation of species and mediated by a state of sexual arousal (SA), involving both complex mental processes and bodily reactions. An early neurobehavioral model of SA proposes cognitive, emotional, motivational, and autonomic components. In a comprehensive quantitative meta-analysis on previous neuroimaging findings, we provide here evidence for distinct brain networks underlying psychosexual and physiosexual arousal. Psychosexual (i.e., mental sexual) arousal recruits brain areas crucial for cognitive evaluation, top-down modulation of attention and exteroceptive sensory processing, relevance detection and affective evaluation, as well as regions implicated in the representation of urges and in triggering autonomic processes. In contrast, physiosexual (i.e., physiological sexual) arousal is mediated by regions responsible for regulation and monitoring of initiated autonomic processes and emotions and for somatosensory processing. These circuits are interconnected by subcortical structures (putamen and claustrum) that provide exchange of sensorimotor information and crossmodal processing between and within the networks. Brain deactivations may imply attenuation of introspective processes and social cognition, but be necessary to release intrinsic inhibition of SA. PMID:23674246

  4. The Functional Neuroanatomy of Male Psychosexual and Physiosexual Arousal: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Poeppl, Timm B.; Langguth, Berthold; Laird, Angela R.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive behavior is mandatory for conservation of species and mediated by a state of sexual arousal (SA), involving both complex mental processes and bodily reactions. An early neurobehavioral model of SA proposes cognitive, emotional, motivational, and autonomic components. In a comprehensive quantitative meta-analysis on previous neuroimaging findings, we provide here evidence for distinct brain networks underlying psychosexual and physiosexual arousal. Psychosexual (i.e., mental sexual) arousal recruits brain areas crucial for cognitive evaluation, top-down modulation of attention and exteroceptive sensory processing, relevance detection and affective evaluation, as well as regions implicated in the representation of urges and in triggering autonomic processes. In contrast, physiosexual (i.e., physiological sexual) arousal is mediated by regions responsible for regulation and monitoring of initiated autonomic processes and emotions and for somatosensory processing. These circuits are interconnected by subcortical structures (putamen and claustrum) that provide exchange of sensorimotor information and crossmodal processing between and within the networks. Brain deactivations may imply attenuation of introspective processes and social cognition, but be necessary to release intrinsic inhibition of SA. PMID:23674246

  5. A dual physiological character for cerebral mechanisms of sexuality and cognition: common somatic peripheral afferents.

    PubMed

    Motofei, Ion G

    2011-11-01

    The dual theory of sexuality is a work in progress that tries to put together all the significant physiological aspects described on this subject, the most recent published article discussing about the hormonal and pheromonal neuromodulation of somatic peripheral afferents. But sexuality and cognition shares common somatic peripheral afferents, so that a good understanding of sexual mechanisms supposes also a good knowledge of the essential psychological mechanisms/neuromodulators. Current psychological approaches could be limited to two general tendencies. Some authors consider that cerebral neuronal connexions generate a unitary network substrate that - increasing in its complexity - becomes compatible with our complex mental function. Others suggest that such a complex cerebral function correspond actually to a system based on subsystems, represented by distinct neuronal units (not necessarily complexes) that interact each other. Starting from basic somatic/sexual neurophysiological elements and general accepted psychological aspects, the discussion gave sense to the last point of view, namely that genesis of a new function is the result of cooperation between distinct structural and functional units. Contrary to the classical concepts, this paper sows the fact that mental perception corresponds actually (in term of touch/tangibility) to the internal representation of an external object while sensations realize an internal representation of the external characteristics of environmental object. As a conclusion, sexuality and cognition are two distinct autonomic/dual functions, interrelated at both cerebral and peripheral level. Peripheral interference implies intervention of some specific (mental and sexual) neuromodulators, making external information act as internal mental or internal sexual stimuli. Central cerebral interferences are also clinically and pharmacologically documented, specific neuromodulators being taken into account. Supplementary studies would

  6. Hypocretin/orexin in arousal and stress.

    PubMed

    Berridge, Craig W; España, Rodrigo A; Vittoz, Nicole M

    2010-02-16

    Multiple lines of evidence indicate that hypocretin/orexin (HCRT) participates in the regulation of arousal and arousal-related process. For example, HCRT axons and receptors are found within a variety of arousal-related systems. Moreover, when administered centrally, HCRT exerts robust wake-promoting actions. Finally, a dysregulation of HCRT neurotransmission is associated with the sleep/arousal disorder, narcolepsy. Combined, these observations suggested that HCRT might be a key transmitter system in the regulation of waking. Nonetheless, subsequent evidence indicates that HCRT may not play a prominent role in the initiation of normal waking. Instead HCRT may participate in a variety of processes such as consolidation of waking and/or coupling metabolic state with behavioral state. Additionally, substantial evidence suggests a potential involvement of HCRT in high-arousal conditions, including stress. Thus, HCRT neurotransmission is closely linked to high-arousal conditions, including stress, and HCRT administration exerts a variety of stress-like physiological and behavioral effects that are superimposed on HCRT-induced increases in arousal. Combined, this evidence suggests the hypothesis that HCRT may participate in behavioral responding under high-arousal aversive conditions. Importantly, these actions of HCRT may not be limited to stress. Like stress, appetitive conditions are associated with elevated arousal levels and a stress-like activation of various physiological systems. These and other observations suggest that HCRT may, at least in part, exert affectively neutral actions that are important under high-arousal conditions associated with elevated motivation and/or need for action. PMID:19748490

  7. Heart Rate Variability: A Risk Factor for Female Sexual Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Stanton, Amelia M; Lorenz, Tierney A; Pulverman, Carey S; Meston, Cindy M

    2015-09-01

    Heart rate variability (HRV) is a measure of autonomic nervous system activity, which reflects an individual's ability to adapt to physiological and environmental changes. Low resting HRV has been linked to several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and alcohol dependence (Kemp et al. in Biological Psychiatry 67(11):1067-1074, 2010. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.12.012; Kemp et al. in PloS One, 7(2):e30777, 2012; Quintana et al. in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 132(1-2):395-398, 2013. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.02.025). HRV has also been used as a method for indexing the relative balance of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity to parasympathetic nervous system activity. This balance--in particular, moderately dominant SNS activity--has been shown to play a significant role in women's genital sexual arousal in the laboratory; however, the role of SNS activity in clinically relevant sexual arousal function is unknown. The present study assessed the feasibility of using HRV as an index of women's self-reported sexual arousal function outside the laboratory. Sexual arousal function, overall sexual function, and resting HRV were assessed in 72 women, aged 18-39. Women with below average HRV were significantly more likely to report sexual arousal dysfunction (p < .001) and overall sexual dysfunction (p < .001) than both women with average HRV and women with above average HRV. In conclusion, low HRV may be a risk factor for female sexual arousal dysfunction and overall sexual dysfunction. PMID:26081002

  8. Appraisal and control of sexual and non-sexual intrusive thoughts in university students.

    PubMed

    Clark, D A; Purdon, C; Byers, E S

    2000-05-01

    This study examined differences in the appraisal and thought control strategies associated with the perceived control of unwanted sexual and non-sexual intrusive thoughts. Eleven appraisal dimensions, subjective physiological arousal and 10 thought control strategies were measured in 171 university students who were administered the Revised Obsessive Intrusions Inventory-Sex Version, a self-report measure of unwanted intrusive thoughts. Thought-action fusion (TAF) likelihood was a significant unique predictor of the perceived controllability of respondents' most upsetting sexual and non-sexual intrusive thought. Moreover greater subjective physiological arousal was a significant predictor of reduced control over sexual intrusions, whereas worry that one might act on an intrusive thought and greater effort to control the intrusion were significant unique predictors of the control of non-sexual intrusive thoughts. Various thought control strategies were more often used in response to non-sexual than sexual cognitions. The results are discussed in terms of the differential role of various appraisal processes in the control of unwanted sexual and non-sexual thoughts. PMID:10816904

  9. Effect of combined psycho-physiological stretching and breathing therapy on sexual satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background During the last few decades, marital tensions and stresses have influenced various dimensions of life. The objective of the current study was to examine the effects of combined psycho-physiological therapy (stretching therapy combined with breathing exercise) on sexual satisfaction among heterosexual men. Methods For this research, we used “convenience sampling” to select 80 males, who were then split equally into two groups, the intervention group and the control group, both groups containing men who had voiced a desire to be in the experimental group. For collection of data, we used an identical quasi-experimental design called the “nonequivalent control group.” Therapy sessions, each lasting 90 to 120 min, were carried out on the same 3 days of the week (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday) for a total of 20 sessions. The volunteers were selected from heterosexual men with stable relationships, who had been married a minimum of 6 months and were ages 20 to 55 years of age. Pre-tests, post-tests, and follow-up tests were conducted in a clinic at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM [1] ). For assessment, we used the sexual satisfaction subscale of the ENRICH [2] questionnaire. Results The intervention group had better post-test scores than the control group. Also, follow-up test scores for the intervention group were marginally better than those for the control group, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions Combined psycho-physiological therapy including stretching and breathing exercise leads to improved sexual satisfaction. PMID:23522405

  10. Sex Differences in Response to Visual Sexual Stimuli: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Rupp, Heather A.; Wallen, Kim

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews what is currently known about how men and women respond to the presentation of visual sexual stimuli. While the assumption that men respond more to visual sexual stimuli is generally empirically supported, previous reports of sex differences are confounded by the variable content of the stimuli presented and measurement techniques. We propose that the cognitive processing stage of responding to sexual stimuli is the first stage in which sex differences occur. The divergence between men and women is proposed to occur at this time, reflected in differences in neural activation, and contribute to previously reported sex differences in downstream peripheral physiological responses and subjective reports of sexual arousal. Additionally, this review discusses factors that may contribute to the variability in sex differences observed in response to visual sexual stimuli. Factors include participant variables, such as hormonal state and socialized sexual attitudes, as well as variables specific to the content presented in the stimuli. Based on the literature reviewed, we conclude that content characteristics may differentially produce higher levels of sexual arousal in men and women. Specifically, men appear more influenced by the sex of the actors depicted in the stimuli while women’s response may differ with the context presented. Sexual motivation, perceived gender role expectations, and sexual attitudes are possible influences. These differences are of practical importance to future research on sexual arousal that aims to use experimental stimuli comparably appealing to men and women and also for general understanding of cognitive sex differences. PMID:17668311

  11. Sexual Dimorphism in Circadian Physiology Is Altered in LXRα Deficient Mice

    PubMed Central

    Feillet, Céline; Guérin, Sophie; Lonchampt, Michel; Dacquet, Catherine; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Delaunay, Franck; Teboul, Michèle

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian circadian timing system coordinates key molecular, cellular and physiological processes along the 24-h cycle. Accumulating evidence suggests that many clock-controlled processes display a sexual dimorphism. In mammals this is well exemplified by the difference between the male and female circadian patterns of glucocorticoid hormone secretion and clock gene expression. Here we show that the non-circadian nuclear receptor and metabolic sensor Liver X Receptor alpha (LXRα) which is known to regulate glucocorticoid production in mice modulates the sex specific circadian pattern of plasma corticosterone. Lxrα-/- males display a blunted corticosterone profile while females show higher amplitude as compared to wild type animals. Wild type males are significantly slower than females to resynchronize their locomotor activity rhythm after an 8 h phase advance but this difference is abrogated in Lxrα-/- males which display a female-like phenotype. We also show that circadian expression patterns of liver 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) and Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck) differ between sexes and are differentially altered in Lxrα-/- animals. These changes are associated with a damped profile of plasma glucose oscillation in males but not in females. Sex specific alteration of the insulin and leptin circadian profiles were observed in Lxα-/- females and could be explained by the change in corticosterone profile. Together this data indicates that LXRα is a determinant of sexually dimorphic circadian patterns of key physiological parameters. The discovery of this unanticipated role for LXRα in circadian physiology underscores the importance of addressing sex differences in chronobiology studies and future LXRα targeted therapies. PMID:26938655

  12. Sexual Dimorphism in Circadian Physiology Is Altered in LXRα Deficient Mice.

    PubMed

    Feillet, Céline; Guérin, Sophie; Lonchampt, Michel; Dacquet, Catherine; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Delaunay, Franck; Teboul, Michèle

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian circadian timing system coordinates key molecular, cellular and physiological processes along the 24-h cycle. Accumulating evidence suggests that many clock-controlled processes display a sexual dimorphism. In mammals this is well exemplified by the difference between the male and female circadian patterns of glucocorticoid hormone secretion and clock gene expression. Here we show that the non-circadian nuclear receptor and metabolic sensor Liver X Receptor alpha (LXRα) which is known to regulate glucocorticoid production in mice modulates the sex specific circadian pattern of plasma corticosterone. Lxrα(-/-) males display a blunted corticosterone profile while females show higher amplitude as compared to wild type animals. Wild type males are significantly slower than females to resynchronize their locomotor activity rhythm after an 8 h phase advance but this difference is abrogated in Lxrα(-/-) males which display a female-like phenotype. We also show that circadian expression patterns of liver 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) and Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck) differ between sexes and are differentially altered in Lxrα(-/-) animals. These changes are associated with a damped profile of plasma glucose oscillation in males but not in females. Sex specific alteration of the insulin and leptin circadian profiles were observed in Lxα(-/-) females and could be explained by the change in corticosterone profile. Together this data indicates that LXRα is a determinant of sexually dimorphic circadian patterns of key physiological parameters. The discovery of this unanticipated role for LXRα in circadian physiology underscores the importance of addressing sex differences in chronobiology studies and future LXRα targeted therapies. PMID:26938655

  13. [Sexuality of pregnant women].

    PubMed

    Malarewicz, Andrzej; Szymkiewicz, Jadwiga; Rogala, Jerzy

    2006-09-01

    Over the time when the sexual intercourse has been considered merely one of a number of forms of sexual contact, views on sexuality during pregnancy have undergone considerable transformation. A great many of authors emphasise, that the pregnancy is a stimulus for partners to search for ways to maintain mutual emotional bond, close physical affinity and satisfy sexual needs not necessarily finished with an intercourse. The fact, that one of the two partners is pregnant, imposes some restrictions on sexual life. Not rarely, in particular in the first trimester of pregnancy, a female is little interested in sex. It is due to, inter alia, hormonal changes resulting in nausea, fatigue and increased nervosity. These symptoms contribute to general feebleness and reduction of the level of sexual needs and difficulty to become aroused and sexually ready. In spite of that, a lot of women have the need to keep physical and emotional contact with their partners. For a number of couples, pregnancy becomes a stimulus to search for new ways of pleasing each other in love play, that does not necessarily leads with an intercourse. Most studies concerning sexuality during pregnancy focus on observing sexual activity, physiological changes, mutual relationship of partners, analysis of sexual intercourses and investigation of so-called sexual satisfaction. Examination of sexual satisfaction ruchedes the frequency of sexual contacts, intercourses, foreplay, concurrence of orgasms in the two partners, partners' happiness, sexual satisfaction and mutual heartiness. In some researchers' opinion, sexual satisfaction correlates with the feeling of happiness resulting form being pregnant, pregnant woman's feeling still attractive and experience of orgasm. However, some researchers observe reduced sexual activity during pregnancy, except for the second trimester, when sexual activity is similar to the one outside pregnancy. Pregnant women prefer the following types of sexual activity: non

  14. Leuprolide acetate suppresses pedophilic urges and arousability.

    PubMed

    Schober, Justine M; Kuhn, Phyllis J; Kovacs, Paul G; Earle, James H; Byrne, Peter M; Fries, Ruth A

    2005-12-01

    Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy was compared with cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy augmented by leuprolide acetate (LA) for suppression of pedophilic behavior. Five male pedophiles (M age, 50 years; range, 36-58) were administered LA by Depo injection for 12 months, followed by saline placebo for 12 months. Testosterone levels, sexual interest preference by visual reaction time (Abel Assessment), penile tumescence (Monarch Penile Plethysmography, PPG), as well as strong sexual urges toward children and masturbatory frequency involving thoughts of children (polygraph), were measured every 3 months. On LA, testosterone decreased to castrate levels. Penile tumescence was significantly suppressed compared with baseline, but sufficient response remained to detect pedophilic interest. Pedophilic interest was also detected by visual reaction times. When asked about having pedophilic urges and masturbating to thoughts of children, all subjects self-reported a decrease. Polygraph responses indicated subjects were not deceptive. On placebo, testosterone and physiologic arousal eventually rose to baseline. As noted by polygraph, at baseline and on placebo, subjects were deceptive regarding increased pedophilic urges and masturbatory frequency. Interest preference, as measured by Abel Assessment and Monarch PPG, was generally unchanged throughout the study. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy augmented with LA significantly reduced pedophilic fantasies, urges, and masturbation; however, pedophilic interest did not change during 1 year of therapy. Deceptive responses by polygraph suggested that self-report was unreliable. Follow-up utilizing objective measures is essential for monitoring efficacy of treatment in pedophilia. Our study supports the premise that suppression of pedophilic behavior is possible. LA may augment cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and help break the sequence leading to a re-offense. PMID:16362253

  15. Sexually different physiological responses of Populus cathayana to nitrogen and phosphorus deficiencies.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Sheng; Jiang, Hao; Zhao, Hongxia; Korpelainen, Helena; Li, Chunyang

    2014-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that there are significant sexual differences in the morphological and physiological responses of Populus cathayana Rehder under stressful conditions. However, little is known about sex-specific differences in responses to nutrient deficiencies. In this study, the effects of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) deficiencies on the morphological, physiological and chloroplast ultrastructural traits of P. cathayana males and females were investigated. The results showed that N and P deficiencies significantly decreased plant growth, foliar N and P contents, chlorophyll content, photosynthesis, and instantaneous photosynthetic N- and P-use efficiencies (PNUE and PPUE) in both sexes. Males had higher photosynthesis, higher PNUE and PPUE rates, and a lower accumulation of plastoglobules in chloroplasts than did females when exposed to N- and P-deficiency conditions. Nitrogen-deficient males had higher glutamate dehydrogenase and peroxidase activities, and a more intact chloroplast ultrastructure, but less starch accumulation than did N-deficient females. Phosphorus-deficient males had higher nitrate reductase, glutamine synthetase and acid phosphatase activities, but a lower foliar N : P ratio and less PSII damage than did P-deficient females. These results suggest that N and P deficiencies cause greater negative effects on females than on males, and that the different sexes of P. cathayana may employ different strategies to cope with N and P deficiencies. PMID:24739232

  16. Neurologic Factors in Female Sexual Function and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Siroky, Mike B.

    2010-01-01

    Sexual dysfunction affects both men and women, involving organic disorders, psychological problems, or both. Overall, the state of our knowledge is less advanced regarding female sexual physiology in comparison with male sexual function. Female sexual dysfunction has received little clinical and basic research attention and remains a largely untapped field in medicine. The epidemiology of female sexual dysfunction is poorly understood because relatively few studies have been done in community settings. In the United States, female sexual dysfunction has been estimated to affect 40% of women in the general population. Among the elderly, however, it has been reported that up to 87% of women complain of sexual dissatisfaction. Several studies have shown that the prevalence of female sexual arousal disorders correlates significantly with increasing age. These studies have shown that sexual arousal and frequency of coitus in the female decreases with increasing age. The pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction appears more complex than that of males, involving multidimensional hormonal, neurological, vascular, psychological, and interpersonal aspects. Organic female sexual disorders may include a wide variety of vascular, neural, or neurovascular factors that lead to problems with libido, lubrication, and orgasm. However, the precise etiology and mechanistic pathways of age-related female sexual arousal disorders are yet to be determined. In the past two decades, some advances have been made in exploring the basic hemodynamics and neuroregulation of female sexual function and dysfunction in both animal models and in human studies. In this review, we summarize neural regulation of sexual function and neurological causes of sexual dysfunction in women. PMID:20664775

  17. Physiological basis of starvation resistance in Drosophila leontia: analysis of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Dau Dayal

    2014-06-01

    Geographically varying starvation stress has often been considered as a natural selector that constrains between-population differences for starvation resistance (SR) in Drosophila species. On the Indian subcontinent, a dozen Drosophila species have shown clinal variations in SR across latitude, but the evolved physiological basis of such contrasting adaptations is largely unknown. In the present study, I untangled the physiological basis of sex-specific as well as between-population divergence for SR in D. leontia, collected across a latitudinal transect of the Indian subcontinent (11°45'-31°19'N). Secondly, I tested the assumptions that hardening to starvation stress facilitates an increased survival under subsequent lethal levels of starvation, and such plastic effects differ between the sexes. I observed several interesting results. In contrast to a steeper cline of starvation-related traits with latitude in females, a shallower gradient was observed for males. Females stored higher (~1.3-fold) dry-mass-specific levels of body lipids and glycogen contents, and utilized these both of these energy resources under starvation stress, whereas the starved males metabolized only body lipids as a source of energy. Conversely, the rate of body lipid utilization and threshold need were considerably higher in females as compared with males. Between-population differences were significant for storage levels of energy reserves only, but not for other avenues (rate of metabolite utilization and threshold need) of SR for both sexes. These findings indicate that multiple pathways shape the physiological basis of sexual dimorphism for SR in D. leontia. Further, single or multiple bouts of starvation hardening conferred an increased longevity (~4-9 h; P<0.001) under subsequent lethal levels of starvation stress for females only, and such plastic responses were consistent with a decrease in rate of metabolite utilization. Nevertheless, between-population effects were non

  18. Noradrenergic Modulation of Arousal

    PubMed Central

    Berridge, Craig W.

    2008-01-01

    Through a highly divergent efferent projection system, the locus coeruleus-noradrenergic system supplies norepinephrine throughout the central nervous system. State-dependent neuronal discharge activity of locus coeruleus neurons has long-suggested a role of this system in the induction of an alert waking state. More recent work supports this hypothesis, demonstrating robust wake-promoting actions of the locus coeruleus-noradrenergic system. Norepinephrine enhances arousal, in part, via actions of β- and α1-receptors located within multiple subcortical structures, including the general regions of the medial septal area and the medial preoptic areas. Recent anatomical studies suggest that arousal-enhancing actions of norepinephrine are not limited to the locus coeruleus system and likely include the A1 and A2 noradrenergic cell groups. Thus, noradrenergic modulation of arousal state involves multiple noradrenergic systems acting with multiple subcortical regions. Pharmacological studies indicate that the combined actions of these systems are necessary for the sustained maintenance of arousal levels associated with spontaneous waking. Enhanced arousal state is a prominent aspect of both stress and psychostimulant drug action and evidence indicates that noradrenergic systems likely play an important role in both stress-related and psychostimulant-induced arousal. These and other observations suggest that the dysregulation of noradrenergic neurotransmission could well contribute to the dysregulation of arousal associated with a variety of behavioral disorders including insomnia and stress-related disorders. PMID:18199483

  19. Sexual and affective responses to same- and opposite-sex stimuli in heterosexual and homosexual men: assessment and manipulation of visual attention.

    PubMed

    Samson, Lelia; Janssen, Erick

    2014-07-01

    Affective and cognitive factors play an important role in the activation and regulation of men's sexual arousal. Barlow (1986) argued that initial affective reactions determine the allocation of attention to sexual stimuli. We applied Barlow's model to our understanding of the role of sexual arousal in sexual orientation, where sexual arousal patterns have consistently been found to be congruent with self-reported orientation in men, but not in women. Visual attention of 28 heterosexual and 22 homosexual men to same- and opposite-sex erotic stimuli was assessed and experimentally-directed by means of a newly developed software application, while genital (penile rigidity) and affective responses (self-reported and physiological) were measured. In line with previous research, we found "category specificity" in men's sexual arousal, in that sexual responses were strongest to orientation-congruent stimuli. Also, both homosexual and heterosexual men experienced stronger sexual responses to conditions in which their attention was directed to sexual versus nonsexual content of orientation-congruent stimuli. Only homosexual men manifested higher sexual responses when their visual attention was directed towards the sexual content of orientation-incongruent stimuli. Heterosexual men experienced weaker positive and stronger negative affective responses to orientation-incongruent content, suggestive of potential avoidance or inhibitory mechanisms. PMID:24473940

  20. Sequential Analysis of Autonomic Arousal and Self-Injurious Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoch, John; Symons, Frank; Sng, Sylvia

    2013-01-01

    There have been limited direct tests of the hypothesis that self-injurious behavior (SIB) regulates arousal. In this study, two autonomic biomarkers for physiological arousal (heart rate [HR] and the high-frequency [HF] component of heart rate variability [HRV]) were investigated in relation to SIB for 3 participants with intellectual…

  1. THE INFLUENCE OF PRESESSION FACTORS IN THE ASSESSMENT OF DEVIANT AROUSAL

    PubMed Central

    Reyes, Jorge R; Vollmer, Timothy R; Hall, Astrid

    2011-01-01

    Three adult male sex offenders with developmental disabilities participated in an evaluation of presession factors that may influence levels of sexual arousal measured with a penile plethysmograph. We evaluated the effects of presession masturbation (1 participant) and arousal-suppression strategies (2 participants). Results showed that presession masturbation lowered arousal levels and both participants suppressed arousal to varying degrees. These outcomes suggest the potential for consideration and manipulation of presession factors as treatment components for sex offenders with developmental disabilities. PMID:22219524

  2. Sexual Problems in Women

    MedlinePlus

    There are many problems that can keep a woman from enjoying sex. They include Lack of sexual desire Inability to become aroused Lack of orgasm, or sexual climax Painful intercourse These problems may have physical or psychological causes. Physical causes ...

  3. Pedunculopontine arousal system physiology—Implications for schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Rill, Edgar; D’Onofrio, Stasia; Mahaffey, Susan; Bisagno, Veronica; Urbano, Francisco J.

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by major sleep/wake disturbances including increased vigilance and arousal, decreased slow wave sleep, and increased REM sleep drive. Other arousal-related symptoms include sensory gating deficits as exemplified by decreased habituation of the blink reflex. There is also dysregulation of gamma band activity, suggestive of disturbances in a host of arousal-related mechanisms. This review examines the role of the reticular activating system, especially the pedunculopontine nucleus, in the symptoms of the disease. Recent discoveries on the physiology of the pedunculopontine nucleus help explain many of these disorders of arousal in, and point to novel therapeutic avenues for, schizophrenia. PMID:26483949

  4. On the function of groaning and hyperventilation during sexual intercourse: intensification of sexual experience by altering brain metabolism through hypocapnia.

    PubMed

    Passie, Torsten; Hartmann, Uwe; Schneider, Udo; Emrich, Hinderk M

    2003-05-01

    Sexual arousal is accompanied by some typical physiological reaction patterns. Another typical feature of sexual intercourse is involuntary sound production implying in its more intense forms acceleration of breathing (hyperventilation). Up to now no study examined spCO2 during intense sexual intercourse, but there is evidence that some degree of hyperventilation with its physiological consequences may often be induced during sexual intercourse. This article discusses implications of hyperventilation during sexual intercourse for alterations of consciousness and subjective experience in the light of recent studies of brain metabolic changes during states of hyperventilation. Groaning and hyperventilation are interpreted in this context as a psychophysiological mechanism to deepen states of sexual trance. PMID:12710899

  5. Psychological factors predicting the distress to female persistent genital arousal symptoms.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Joana; Veríssimo, Ana; Nobre, Pedro J

    2015-01-01

    Symptoms of persistent genital arousal are expected to negatively affect women's sexual and emotional well-being. However, not all women who experience persistent genital arousal complain about their genital condition. Against this background, this study aimed to evaluate psychological predictors of the distress associated with persistent genital arousal symptoms, as well as psychological moderators influencing the conditions under which persistent genital arousal causes distress. A total of 117 women reporting symptoms of persistent genital arousal answered to online questionnaires measuring personality traits, sexual beliefs, and dyadic adjustment. Women have also completed a checklist measuring the frequency/severity of persistent genital arousal symptoms and the distress/impairment caused by these symptoms. Results showed that neuroticism, (low) openness, sexual conservatism, and (low) dyadic adjustment significantly predicted distress associated with genital symptoms. Furthermore, sexual conservatism was found to moderate the relation between the symptoms' severity and the distress associated with those symptoms. Overall, sexual conservatism seems to be a key differentiator factor, influencing the psychological conditions under which women may report higher levels of distress caused by persistent genital arousal. Because such findings focus on the distress to genital arousal symptoms rather than on persistent genital arousal disorder as a clinical entity, the results under consideration may or may not characterize women formally assigned to the persistent genital arousal disorder label. PMID:24328817

  6. Arousal-Augmented Priming Effects: Rock Music Videos and Sex Object Schemas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansen, Christine Hall; Krygowski, Walter

    1994-01-01

    Investigates effects of undergraduate students' physiological arousal induced by physical activity on schematic priming effects from music videos. Finds that in high-arousal conditions priming effects were more extreme and more closely resembled music video content than in low-arousal conditions. (SR)

  7. Physiology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kay, Ian

    2008-01-01

    Underlying recent developments in health care and new treatments for disease are advances in basic medical sciences. This edition of "Webwatch" focuses on sites dealing with basic medical sciences, with particular attention given to physiology. There is a vast amount of information on the web related to physiology. The sites that are included here…

  8. Anxiety, Arousability and Neuroticism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    El-Zahhar, Nabil; Hocevar, Dennis

    With the availability of so many definitions of and assessment devices for anxiety, researchers have stressed that the dimensionality of anxiety needs further investigation. To examine the dimensionality of three components of anxiety (trait anxiety, arousability, and neuroticism) two studies were conducted. In the first study, 123 high school…

  9. Sexual abuse in children - what to know

    MedlinePlus

    Sexual abuse - children ... abused before they turn 18. Sexual abuse of children is any activity that the abuser does to get sexually aroused, including: Touching a child's genitals Rubbing the abuser's genitals against a child's ...

  10. Physiological correlates of neurobehavioral disinhibition that relate to drug use and risky sexual behavior in adolescents with prenatal substance exposure.

    PubMed

    Conradt, Elisabeth; Lagasse, Linda L; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles R; Whitaker, Toni M; Hammond, Jane A; Lester, Barry M

    2014-01-01

    Physiological correlates of behavioral and emotional problems, substance use onset and initiation of risky sexual behavior have not been studied in adolescents with prenatal drug exposure. We studied the concordance between baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) at age 3 and baseline cortisol levels at age 11. We hypothesized that children who showed concordance between RSA and cortisol would have lower neurobehavioral disinhibition scores which would in turn predict age of substance use onset and first sexual intercourse. The sample included 860 children aged 16 years participating in the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a multisite longitudinal study of children with prenatal exposure to cocaine and other substances. Structural equation modeling was used to test pathways between prenatal substance exposure, early adversity, baseline RSA, baseline cortisol, neurobehavioral disinhibition, drug use, and sexual behavior outcomes. Concordance was studied by examining separate male and female models in which there were statistically significant interactions between baseline RSA and cortisol. Prenatal substance exposure was operationalized as the number of substances to which the child was exposed. An adversity score was computed based on caregiver postnatal substance use, depression and psychological distress, number of caregiver changes, socioeconomic and poverty status, quality of the home environment, and child history of protective service involvement, abuse and neglect. RSA and cortisol were measured during a baseline period prior to the beginning of a task. Neurobehavioral disinhibition, based on composite scores of behavioral dysregulation and executive dysfunction, substance use and sexual behavior were derived from questionnaires and cognitive tests administered to the child. Findings were sex specific. In females, those with discordance between RSA and cortisol (high RSA and low cortisol or low RSA and high cortisol) had the most executive dysfunction which, in

  11. Sexual Functioning in Young Women and Men: Role of Attachment Orientation.

    PubMed

    Dunkley, Cara R; Dang, Silvain S; Chang, Sabrina C H; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2016-07-01

    Prior research has documented various ways in which adult attachment styles are characteristic of differential behavioral and cognitive patterns within romantic relationships and sexuality. However, few studies have examined the direct influence of anxious or avoidant attachment orientation on sexual function. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of insecure attachment on sexual function. Undergraduate students completed questionnaires measuring attachment style and sexual functioning. Among women, attachment avoidance tended to be associated with impairments in all aspects of sexual function, whereas anxious attachment tended to be associated with declines in arousal, satisfaction, and ability to achieve orgasm. A different trend was seen in men: Anxious attachment tended to be associated with multiple facets of sexual dysfunction, while avoidant attachment did not correlate with any sexual function deficits and was associated with superior physiological competence. These results suggest that both anxious and avoidant attachment styles are important yet differential predictors of sexual function in men and women. PMID:26148210

  12. Short- and Long-term Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract on Sexual Dysfunction in Women

    PubMed Central

    Rellini, Alessandra H.; Telch, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) facilitates blood flow, influences nitric oxide systems, and has a relaxant effect on smooth muscle tissue. These processes are important to the sexual response in women and, hence, it is feasible that GBE may have a therapeutic effect. The present study was the first to provide an empirical examination of the effects of both short- and long-term GBE administration on subjective and physiological (vaginal photoplethysmography) measures of sexual function in women with Sexual Arousal Disorder. A single dose of 300 mg GBE had a small but significant facilitatory effect on physiological, but not subjective, sexual arousal compared to placebo in 99 sexually dysfunctional women. The long-term effects of GBE on sexual function were assessed in 68 sexually dysfunctional women who were randomly assigned to 8 weeks treatment of either (1) GBE (300 mg/daily), (2) placebo, (3) sex therapy which focused on training women to attend to genital sensations, or (4) sex therapy plus GBE. When combined with sex therapy, but not alone, long-term GBE treatment significantly increased sexual desire and contentment beyond placebo. Sex therapy alone significantly enhanced orgasm function compared with placebo. Long-term GBE administration did not significantly enhance arousal responses beyond placebo. It was concluded that (1) neither short- or long-term administration of GBE alone substantially impacts sexual function in women, (2) a substantial placebo effect on sexual function exists in women with sexual concerns, and (3) teaching women to focus on genital sensations during sex enhances certain aspects of women’s sexual functioning. PMID:18274887

  13. REPLICATIONS AND EXTENSIONS IN AROUSAL ASSESSMENT FOR SEX OFFENDERS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

    PubMed Central

    Reyes, Jorge R; Vollmer, Timothy R; Hall, Astrid

    2011-01-01

    Three adult male sex offenders with developmental disabilities participated in phallometric assessments that involved repeated measures of arousal when exposed to various stimuli. Arousal assessment outcomes were similar to those obtained by Reyes et al. (2006). Additional data-analysis methods provided further information about sexual preferences, thus replicating and extending previous research. The results provide preliminary data for establishing a preference gradient by age. Implications for the use of repeated measures and preference gradients in arousal assessments are discussed. PMID:21709795

  14. Trazodone Increases the Respiratory Arousal Threshold in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and a Low Arousal Threshold

    PubMed Central

    Eckert, Danny J.; Malhotra, Atul; Wellman, Andrew; White, David P.

    2014-01-01

    Study Objectives: The effect of common sedatives on upper airway physiology and breathing during sleep in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been minimally studied. Conceptually, certain sedatives may worsen OSA in some patients. However, sleep and breathing could improve with certain sedatives in patients with OSA with a low respiratory arousal threshold. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that trazodone increases the respiratory arousal threshold in patients with OSA and a low arousal threshold. Secondary aims were to examine the effects of trazodone on upper airway dilator muscle activity, upper airway collapsibility, and breathing during sleep. Design: Patients were studied on 4 separate nights according to a within-subjects cross-over design. Setting: Sleep physiology laboratory. Patients: Seven patients with OSA and a low respiratory arousal threshold. Interventions: In-laboratory polysomnograms were obtained at baseline and after 100 mg of trazodone was administered, followed by detailed overnight physiology experiments under the same conditions. During physiology studies, continuous positive airway pressure was transiently lowered to measure arousal threshold (negative epiglottic pressure prior to arousal), dilator muscle activity (genioglossus and tensor palatini), and upper airway collapsibility (Pcrit). Measurements and Results: Trazodone increased the respiratory arousal threshold by 32 ± 6% (-11.5 ± 1.4 versus -15.3 ± 2.2 cmH2O, P < 0.01) but did not alter the apnea-hypopnea index (39 ± 12 versus 39 ± 11 events/h sleep, P = 0.94). Dilator muscle activity and Pcrit also did not systematically change with trazodone. Conclusions: Trazodone increases the respiratory arousal threshold in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and a low arousal threshold without major impairment in dilator muscle activity or upper airway collapsibility. However, the magnitude of change in arousal threshold was insufficient to overcome the compromised upper airway

  15. The Influence of Presession Factors in the Assessment of Deviant Arousal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reyes, Jorge R.; Vollmer, Timothy R.; Hall, Astrid

    2011-01-01

    Three adult male sex offenders with developmental disabilities participated in an evaluation of presession factors that may influence levels of sexual arousal measured with a penile plethysmograph. We evaluated the effects of presession masturbation (1 participant) and arousal-suppression strategies (2 participants). Results showed that presession…

  16. Ontogeny of arousal.

    PubMed

    Crowell, David H; Brooks, Lee J; Corwin, Michael; Davidson-Ward, Sally; Hunt, Carl E; Kapuniai, Linda E; Neuman, Michael R; Silvestri, Jean; Tinsley, Larry; Weese-Mayer, Debra E; Di Fiore, Juliann; Peucker, Mark; Grove, John S; Pearce, James W

    2004-01-01

    Ontogeny of arousal data constitute a vital supplement to the sparse literature on spontaneous neuronal activity. These data demonstrate that measurable infant spontaneous arousals (SAs) with an inherent oscillatory entrainment occur six times more in active sleep than in quiet sleep of the same duration and are identifiable as a human neurobiologic function. These SAs are not significantly associated with race or ethnicity, gender, total hours spent sleeping, percent time spent in active or quiet sleep, preterm status, history of a life-threatening event, having had a sibling who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or having had a mother who smoked during this pregnancy. As measurable neurophysiologic events, SAs establish parameters for research at molecular and molar levels focusing on several critical areas: (1) the neuronal control of SA related to neurotransmitters, (2) as a significant antecedent factor in clinical cardiorespiratory events occurring in infants at high epidemiologic risk for SIDS; (3) as a regulatory biologic factor underlying temperament and executive cognitive functioning, and (4) morbidity and mortality effects possibly related to therapeutic interventions that alter SA levels. PMID:15509918

  17. Sexually compulsive men and inhibited sexual desire.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, B W

    1994-01-01

    Sexually compulsive males report extremely high rates of desire involving paraphiliac activity. Desire and arousal in partner sex is usually low or unstable. Cognitive-behavioral strategies and techniques are presented based on four components in the assessment/intervention process: 1) eliminating or reducing paraphiliac arousal; 2) sex education, changing sexual attitudes, self-disclosure, sexual assertiveness, and reduction of guilt and shame; 3) confronting secrecy and cognitive distortions, increasing empathy for victims, awareness of harm to others, and commitment to abstain from compulsive, abusive behavior; and 4) developing a healthy sexual desire and arousal pattern that nurtures and maintains an intimate relationship. The motivated male (especially with a partner he is comfortable with, attracted to, and trusts) can develop a pleasurable, erotic sexual pattern that allows him to maintain desire during partner sex. PMID:7996591

  18. Sexually different morphological, physiological and molecular responses of Fraxinus mandshurica flowers to floral development and chilling stress.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhu; Qi, Fenghui; Yan, Chaofu; Zhan, Yaguang

    2016-02-01

    Fraxinus mandshurica is considered a dioecious hardwood, and the temporal separation of the maturation of the male and female flowers is one reason that F. mandshurica has become an endangered species in China. Rainfall and low temperature influence pollen formation and dispersal and the blooming of female flowers. Therefore, low fertilization efficiency strongly influences the population of F. mandshurica. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated the sex-specific morphological, physiological and molecular differentiation of F. mandshurica during flowering and its responses to low temperature. In this study, we investigated the sexual differences in the morphological, physiological, and biochemical parameters of F. mandshurica during flowering and determined the physiological and biochemical parameters and expression levels of related genes in response to low-temperature stress induced by exposure to 4 °C (chilling stress) during pollen dispersal and fertilization. Our study supports the hypothesis that male flowers suffer more severe injuries while female flowers are more adaptable to environmental stress during flower development in F. mandshurica. The results showed higher physiological and biochemical levels of malondialdehyde, proline, and soluble sugar, as well as the expression of genes involved in calcium signaling, cold shock and DNA methylation in male flowers compared with female flowers, which suggested that male flowers suffer from more serious peroxidation than female flowers. In contrast, higher antioxidant capacity and FmaCAT expression were detected in female flowers, providing preliminary evidence that male flowers rapidly fade after pollination and further demonstrating that female flowers need a much stronger antioxidant enzyme system to maintain embryonic growth. Most peaks related to physiological and molecular responses were observed at 2-4 h and 8-10 h of exposure to chilling stress in the female and male flowers, respectively

  19. Anatomy and physiology of genital organs - women.

    PubMed

    Graziottin, Alessandra; Gambini, Dania

    2015-01-01

    "Anatomy is destiny": Sigmund Freud viewed human anatomy as a necessary, although not a sufficient, condition for understanding the complexity of human sexual function with a solid biologic basis. The aim of the chapter is to describe women's genital anatomy and physiology, focusing on women's sexual function with a clinically oriented vision. Key points include: embryology, stressing that the "female" is the anatomic "default" program, differentiated into "male" only in the presence of androgens at physiologic levels for the gestational age; sex determination and sex differentiation, describing the interplay between anatomic and endocrine factors; the "clitoral-urethral-vaginal" complex, the most recent anatomy reading of the corpora cavernosa pattern in women; the controversial G spot; the role of the pelvic floor muscles in modulating vaginal receptivity and intercourse feelings, with hyperactivity leading to introital dyspareunia and contributing to provoked vestibulodynia and recurrent postcoital cystitis, whilst lesions during delivery reduce vaginal sensations, genital arousability, and orgasm; innervation, vessels, bones, ligaments; and the physiology of women's sexual response. Attention to physiologic aging focuses on "low-grade inflammation," genital and systemic, with its impact on women sexual function, especially after the menopause, if the woman does not or cannot use hormone replacement therapy. PMID:26003238

  20. Anatomy of the Vulva and the Female Sexual Response.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Jennifer; Pauls, Rachel N

    2016-03-01

    The female vulva is an intricate structure comprising several components. Each structure has been described separately, but the interplay among them and physiologic significance remain controversial. The structures extend inferiorly from the pubic arch and include the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, vestibule, and clitoris. The clitoris is widely accepted as the most critical anatomic structure to female sexual arousal and orgasm. The female sexual response cycle is also very complex, requiring emotional and mental stimulation in addition to end organ stimulation. PMID:26880506

  1. Can Arousal Modulate Response Inhibition?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinbach, Noam; Kalanthroff, Eyal; Avnit, Amir; Henik, Avishai

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine if and how arousal can modulate response inhibition. Two competing hypotheses can be drawn from previous literature. One holds that alerting cues that elevate arousal should result in an impulsive response and therefore impair response inhibition. The other suggests that alerting enhances processing of…

  2. The motivation behind serial sexual homicide: is it sex, power, and control, or anger?

    PubMed

    Myers, Wade C; Husted, David S; Safarik, Mark E; O'Toole, Mary Ellen

    2006-07-01

    Controversy exists in the literature and society regarding what motivates serial sexual killers to commit their crimes. Hypotheses range from the seeking of sexual gratification to the achievement of power and control to the expression of anger. The authors provide theoretical, empirical, evolutionary, and physiological support for the argument that serial sexual murderers above all commit their crimes in pursuit of sadistic pleasure. The seeking of power and control over victims is believed to serve the two secondary purposes of heightening sexual arousal and ensuring victim presence for the crime. Anger is not considered a key component of these offenders' motivation due to its inhibitory physiological effect on sexual functioning. On the contrary, criminal investigations into serial sexual killings consistently reveal erotically charged crimes, with sexual motivation expressed either overtly or symbolically. Although anger may be correlated with serial sexual homicide offenders, as it is with criminal offenders in general, it is not causative. The authors further believe serial sexual murderers should be considered sex offenders. A significant proportion of them appear to have paraphilic disorders within the spectrum of sexual sadism. "sexual sadism, homicidal type" is proposed as a diagnostic subtype of sexual sadism applicable to many of these offenders, and a suggested modification of DSM criteria is presented. PMID:16882237

  3. Are rapists differentially aroused by coercive sex in phallometric assessments?

    PubMed

    Lalumière, Martin L; Quinsey, Vernon L; Harris, Grant T; Rice, Marnie E; Trautrimas, Caroline

    2003-06-01

    In this chapter we examine whether rapists are sexually aroused by coercive, nonconsensual sex. This question is theoretically important because it speaks to a potential sexual motivation underlying rape. It is also clinically important in that it may reveal an important assessment and treatment target. We first revisit and update quantitative reviews of studies that examined the phallometric responses of rapists and other men. We then present new data on the discriminative and diagnostic validity of a phallometric test for rapists. Finally, we discuss methodological and conceptual issues in phallometric assessment and the nature of rapists' sexual interests. PMID:12839900

  4. Stepping Up the Pressure: Arousal Can Be Associated with a Reduction in Male Aggression

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Andrew; Mann, Traci; Westling, Erika H.; Creswell, J. David; Ebert, Jeffrey P.; Wallaert, Matthew

    2009-01-01

    The attentional myopia model of behavioral control (Mann & Ward, 2007) was tested in an experiment investigating the relationship between physiological arousal and aggression. Drawing on previous work linking arousal and narrowed attentional focus, the model predicts that arousal will lead to behavior that is relatively disinhibited in situations in which promoting pressures to aggress are highly salient. In situations in which inhibitory pressures are more salient, the model predicts behavior that is relatively restrained. In the experiment, 81 male undergraduates delivered noise-blasts against a provoking confederate while experiencing either high or low levels of physiological arousal and, at the same time, being exposed to cues that served either to promote or inhibit aggression. In addition to supporting the predictions of the model, this experiment provided some of the first evidence for enhanced control of aggression under conditions of heightened physiological arousal. Implications for interventions designed to reduce aggression are discussed. PMID:18561301

  5. Sympathetic arousal increases a negative memory bias in young women with low sex hormone levels.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Shawn E; Barber, Sarah J; Chai, Audrey; Clewett, David V; Mather, Mara

    2015-12-01

    Emotionally arousing events are typically better attended to and remembered than neutral ones. Current theories propose that arousal-induced increases in norepinephrine during encoding bias attention and memory in favor of affectively salient stimuli. Here, we tested this hypothesis by manipulating levels of physiological arousal prior to encoding and examining how it influenced memory for emotionally salient images, particularly those that are negative rather than positive in valence. We also tested whether sex steroid hormones interact with noradrenergic activity to influence these emotional memory biases in women. Healthy naturally cycling women and women on hormonal contraception completed one of the following physiological arousal manipulations prior to viewing a series of negative, positive and neutral images: (1) immediate handgrip arousal-isometric handgrip immediately prior to encoding, (2) residual handgrip arousal-isometric handgrip 15min prior to encoding, or (3) no handgrip. Sympathetic arousal was measured throughout the session via pupil diameter changes. Levels of 17β-estradiol and progesterone were measured via salivary samples. Memory performance was assessed approximately 10min after encoding using a surprise free recall test. The results indicated that handgrip successfully increased sympathetic arousal compared to the control task. Under immediate handgrip arousal, women showed enhanced memory for negative images over positive images; this pattern was not observed in women assigned to the residual and no-handgrip arousal conditions. Additionally, under immediate handgrip arousal, both high estradiol and progesterone levels attenuated the memory bias for negative over positive images. Follow-up hierarchical linear models revealed consistent effects when accounting for trial-by-trial variability in normative International Affective Picture System valence and arousal ratings. These findings suggest that heightened sympathetic arousal interacts

  6. Arousal Modulation in Females with Fragile X or Turner Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Jane; Mazzocco, Michele M. M.; Murphy, Melissa M.; Hoehn-Saric, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    The present study was carried out to examine physiological arousal modulation (heart activity and skin conductance), across baseline and cognitive tasks, in females with fragile X or Turner syndrome and a comparison group of females with neither syndrome. Relative to the comparison group, for whom a greater increase in skin conductance was…

  7. Guilt about first intercourse: an antecedent of sexual dissatisfaction among college women.

    PubMed

    Moore, N B; Davidson, J K

    1997-01-01

    First sexual intercourse is often viewed as a rite of passage to adulthood. While one's initial coital experience may lead to affirmation of self-identity, it is disappointing for many, resulting in feelings of guilt and shame. If guilt feelings do emerge, the likelihood of future sexual dissatisfaction is greatly increased. In particular, women with high levels of sexual guilt tend to perceive less sexual arousal, resulting in less enjoyment from their sexual encounters. The purposes of this investigation were to identify those factors correlated with feeling guilty about first sexual intercourse and to examine the influence of guilt about first intercourse on current sexual satisfaction. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to never-married college women, with the subsample for this investigation consisting of 570 women. Significant variables correlated with guilt at first sexual intercourse include uncommunicative mother and father figures, overstrict father figure, uncomfortableness with sexuality, physiological and psychological sexual dissatisfaction with first intercourse, guilt feelings about current intercourse, and psychological sexual dissatisfaction. These findings have substantial implications for sex researchers, sex therapists, family therapists, and sexuality educators who wish to promote healthy sexuality, through both attitudes and behavior. PMID:9094034

  8. Age differences in arousal and vigilance in California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi).

    PubMed

    Hanson, M T; Coss, R G

    2001-11-01

    Newly emerged pup, juvenile, and adult California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi douglasii) were videorecorded at a seminatural field site in northern California. Video data revealed age differences in the budgeting of ground squirrel behavior, habitat use, and physiological arousal as indicated by morphometric analyses of tail piloerection. Adults and juveniles devoted their time to foraging in the open at feeding stations while displaying low to moderate levels of arousal, respectively. Pups remained vigilant on the fringe of covered habitats while displaying comparatively higher levels of arousal. Higher pup arousal may facilitate memory formation during early stages of development. PMID:11745313

  9. Comparing Indicators of Sexual Sadism as Predictors of Recidivism among Adult Male Sexual Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kingston, Drew A.; Seto, Michael C.; Firestone, Philip; Bradford, John M.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: In this longitudinal study, the predictive validity of a psychiatric diagnosis of sexual sadism was compared with three behavioral indicators of sadism: index sexual offense violence, sexual intrusiveness, and phallometrically assessed sexual arousal to depictions of sexual or nonsexual violence. Method: Five hundred and eighty six…

  10. Arousal-Enhanced Location Memory for Pictures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mather, Mara; Nesmith, Kathryn

    2008-01-01

    Four experiments revealed arousal-enhanced location memory for pictures. After an incidental encoding task, participants were more likely to remember the locations of positive and negative arousing pictures than the locations of non-arousing pictures, indicating better binding of location to picture. This arousal-enhanced binding effect did not…

  11. Sexual selection and the physiological consequences of habitat choice by a fiddler crab.

    PubMed

    Allen, Bengt J; Levinton, Jeffrey S

    2014-09-01

    In mid-Atlantic salt marshes, reproductively active male sand fiddler crabs, Uca pugilator, use a single greatly enlarged major claw as both a weapon to defend specialized breeding burrows from other males and an ornament to attract females for mating. During the summer breeding season, females strongly prefer to mate with males controlling burrows in open areas high on the shore. Food availability decreases while temperature and desiccation stress increase with increasing shore height, suggesting that the timing and location of fiddler crab mating activity may result in a potential trade-off between reproductive success and physiological condition for male crabs. We compared thermal preferences in laboratory choice experiments to body temperatures of models and living crabs in the field and found that from the perspective of a fiddler crab, the thermal environment of the mating area is quite harsh relative to other marsh microhabitats. High temperatures significantly constrained fiddler crab activity on the marsh surface, a disadvantage heightened by strongly reduced food availability in the breeding area. Nevertheless, when the chance of successfully acquiring a mate was high, males accepted a higher body temperature (and concomitantly higher metabolic and water loss rates) than when the chances of mating were low. Likewise, experimentally lowering costs by adding food and reducing thermal stress in situ increased fiddler crab waving display levels significantly. Our data suggest that fiddler crabs can mitigate potential life history trade-offs by tuning their behavior in response to the magnitude of both energetic and non-energetic costs and benefits. PMID:24997775

  12. The effect of pre-existing affect on the sexual responses of women with and without a history of childhood sexual abuse.

    PubMed

    Rellini, Alessandra H; Elinson, Samantha; Janssen, Erick; Meston, Cindy M

    2012-04-01

    Women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at greater risk for experiencing sexual problems in their adult lives. Yet, little is known about the possible role of cognitive and affective mechanisms in the development of sexual arousal difficulties in this population. This study investigated the role of pre-existing affect (affect prior to exposure to sexual stimuli) on genital responses, subjective sexual arousal, and affect elicited during the presentation of erotic film excerpts in a community sample of 25 women with and 25 women without a history of CSA. The CSA group showed greater pre-existing negative affect and smaller genital responses to the erotic film stimuli compared to the NSA group. Findings support a moderating effect of CSA, in that pre-existing negative affect was associated with strength of genital responses in the NSA but not in the CSA group. The results did not support a mediation model of pre-existing negative affect as an explanation for smaller physiological sexual responses in the CSA group. Taken together, the findings suggest that pre-existing affect may be more relevant for women with no history of CSA and call for more research on factors implicated in impaired sexual responses in women with a history of CSA. PMID:21667233

  13. Arousal facilitates involuntary eye movements.

    PubMed

    DiGirolamo, Gregory J; Patel, Neha; Blaukopf, Clare L

    2016-07-01

    Attention plays a critical role in action selection. However, the role of attention in eye movements is complicated as these movements can be either voluntary or involuntary, with, in some circumstances (antisaccades), these two actions competing with each other for execution. But attending to the location of an impending eye movement is only one facet of attention that may play a role in eye movement selection. In two experiments, we investigated the effect of arousal on voluntary eye movements (antisaccades) and involuntary eye movements (prosaccadic errors) in an antisaccade task. Arousal, as caused by brief loud sounds and indexed by changes in pupil diameter, had a facilitation effect on involuntary eye movements. Involuntary eye movements were both significantly more likely to be executed and significantly faster under arousal conditions (Experiments 1 and 2), and the influence of arousal had a specific time course (Experiment 2). Arousal, one form of attention, can produce significant costs for human movement selection as potent but unplanned actions are benefited more than planned ones. PMID:26928432

  14. Sexuality and headache.

    PubMed

    Del Bene, E; Conti, C; Poggioni, M; Sicuteri, F

    1982-01-01

    Ten percent of 362 headache sufferers reported sexual arousal during migraine attack. Clinical investigations on sexuality in 16 headache sufferers, according to some studies showing correlations between idiopathic headache and sexual behavior, were performed. Patients responding by questionnaire listed each sexual experience, headache attack, and number of sleeping hours every day for 1 month. In both men and women, the number of coiti, erotic dreams, and sleeping hours were similar in headache sufferers and controls, while the frequency of masturbation was significantly reduced in the former. Sexual excitement and fantasies appeared more often in female headache sufferers than in controls, while the opposite occurred in the male group. Among the clinical analogies between the crises of migraine and morphine abstinence, sexual arousal may be included. PMID:7054999

  15. Sexual Behavior in Adults with Autism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Bourgondien, Mary E.; And Others

    1997-01-01

    A survey of the sexual behavior of 89 adults with autism living in group homes found that the majority of individuals were engaging in some form of sexual behavior. Masturbation was the most common sexual behavior; however, person-oriented sexual behaviors with obvious signs of arousal were also found. Information regarding group home sexuality…

  16. Mind over Matter: Reappraising Arousal Improves Cardiovascular and Cognitive Responses to Stress

    PubMed Central

    Jamieson, Jeremy P.; Nock, Matthew K.; Mendes, Wendy Berry

    2012-01-01

    Researchers have theorized that changing the way we think about our bodily responses can improve our physiological and cognitive reactions to stressful events. However, the underlying processes through which mental states improve downstream outcomes are not well-understood. To this end, we examined whether reappraising stress-induced arousal could improve cardiovascular outcomes and decrease attentional bias for emotionally-negative information. Participants were randomly assigned to either a reappraisal condition in which they were instructed to think about their physiological arousal during a stressful task as functional and adaptive, or to one of two control conditions: attention reorientation and no instructions. Relative to controls, participants instructed to reappraise their arousal exhibited more adaptive cardiovascular stress responses – increased cardiac efficiency and lower vascular resistance – and decreased attentional bias. Thus, reappraising arousal shows physiological and cognitive benefits. Implications for health and potential clinical applications are discussed. PMID:21942377

  17. Histological Correlates of Penile Sexual Sensation: Does Circumcision Make a Difference?

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Guy; Krieger, John N; Morris, Brian J

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The question of whether removal of sensory receptors in the prepuce by circumcision affects sensitivity and/or sexual pleasure is often debated. Aims To examine histological correlates relevant to penile sensitivity and sexual pleasure. Methods Systematic review of the scientific literature on penile structures that might affect sensitivity and sexual sensation. Articles were included if they contained original data on human male penile histology or anatomy. Individual articles, including reference lists, were evaluated. They were then considered in relation to physiological data from articles retrieved by a previous systematic review. Results We retrieved 41 publications on penile structure. Considered in the light of 12 reporting physiological measurements, our evaluation finds that sexual response is unlikely to involve Meissner’s corpuscles, whose density in the prepuce diminishes at the time of life when male sexual activity is increasing. Free nerve endings also show no correlation with sexual response. Because tactile sensitivity of the glans decreases with sexual arousal, it is unrelated to sexual sensation. Thermal sensitivity seems part of the reward mechanism of intercourse. Vibrational sensitivity is not related to circumcision status. Observations that penile sexual sensation is higher post circumcision are consistent with greater access of genital corpuscles to sexual stimuli after removal of the prepuce. This is based on the distribution of these corpuscles (which are located in the glans) and, in uncircumcised men, the position of the retracted prepuce during intercourse, rather than any change in the number of genital corpuscles. The scientific literature suggests that any sexual effect of circumcised men may depend solely on exposure of the glans and not on the absence of the prepuce. Conclusion Based on histological findings and correlates of sexual function, loss of the prepuce by circumcision would appear to have no adverse

  18. Arousal shifts in quiescent locusts

    PubMed

    Schuppe; Burrows

    1998-06-01

    Locusts are usually quiescent at night, but this state can be interrupted by spontaneous periods of motor activity, or arousals, that can also be induced by exposure to light stimuli. To investigate whether repeated arousing stimulation has any lasting effect on behaviour, locusts were confronted at night with a series of 1 s light stimuli. Groups of three stimuli at intervals of 60 s were repeated 11 times at 10 min intervals during the first experimental night, and three stimuli at intervals of 90 s were repeated at 15 min intervals during the next night. Arousals and the effects of stimulation were monitored as changes in the spike activity of muscles in the basal part (the scapus) of the right antenna. In the early part of the night preceding the presentation of the light stimuli, neither 60 s nor 90 s periods were present as significant peaks in spontaneous changes in spike activity. The initial stimulus of a series evoked an arousal response that habituated on repetition of the stimulus. The end of the series of stimuli was followed by changes in spike activity that tended to have the same periodicity as the preceding stimuli. Furthermore, a single light stimulus at the end of the night evoked changes in spike activity that again tended to have the same periodicity as the preceding entraining stimuli. Repeated stimulation may therefore establish a memory trace for the period of stimulation that can be recalled either spontaneously or by the application of an appropriate external stimulus. PMID:9576882

  19. Irrational Beliefs and Anger Arousal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hazaleus, Susan L.; Deffenbacher, Jerry L.

    1985-01-01

    Investigated the relationship between irrational beliefs and anger arousal in college students (N=342) who completed two questionnaires. Results showed men were more likely to endorse irrational beliefs regarding blame proneness and helplessness. Women reported more endorsement of the irrational belief regarding dependency. (BH)

  20. Arousal and Anxiety Correlates of Gymnastic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basler, Marilyn L.; And Others

    1976-01-01

    Tests on a women's gymnastic team to explore correlation between arousal, anxiety, and performance, revealed limited relationships between performance and arousal/anxiety measures and indicated that gymnastic ability is the best correlate of gymnastic performance. (JD)

  1. Amelioration of sexual fantasies to sexual abuse cues in an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse: a case study.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Jane E; Wilson, Keith M

    2008-12-01

    Although sexual dysfunction of childhood sexual abuse survivors has received considerable attention, other sexual difficulties experienced by survivors of CSA, such as sexual fantasies to cues of sexual abuse, have received less attention. In this A-B design case study, a young adult female survivor of childhood sexual abuse presented for treatment at a Midwest rape crisis center. After successful treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, she complained of unwanted sexual fantasies to sexual abuse cues and concomitant guilt and shame. Following baseline data collection, treatment consisted of self-applied aversion therapy to unwanted sexual arousal to sexual abuse cues. Decrease in sexual arousal to these cues was concurrent with the introduction of treatment. A concomitant decrease in guilt and shame occurred while self-ratings of control increased. PMID:18355799

  2. Cardiovascular Arousal in Individuals with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodwin, Matthew S.; Groden, June; Velicer, Wayne F.; Lipsitt, Lewis P.; Baron, M. Grace; Hofmann, Stefan G.; Groden, Gerald

    2006-01-01

    Despite the hypothesized link between arousal and behavior in persons with autism, there is a lack of idiographic research that directly assesses arousal responses to novel stimuli or social situations in this population. The current study used heart rate as a measure of sympathetic activity to compare arousal responses to the presentation of…

  3. Emotional arousal predicts intertemporal choice.

    PubMed

    Lempert, Karolina M; Johnson, Eli; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2016-08-01

    People generally prefer immediate rewards to rewards received after a delay, often even when the delayed reward is larger. This phenomenon is known as temporal discounting. It has been suggested that preferences for immediate rewards may be due to their being more concrete than delayed rewards. This concreteness may evoke an enhanced emotional response. Indeed, manipulating the representation of a future reward to make it more concrete has been shown to heighten the reward's subjective emotional intensity, making people more likely to choose it. Here the authors use an objective measure of arousal-pupil dilation-to investigate if emotional arousal mediates the influence of delayed reward concreteness on choice. They recorded pupil dilation responses while participants made choices between immediate and delayed rewards. They manipulated concreteness through time interval framing: delayed rewards were presented either with the date on which they would be received (e.g., "$30, May 3"; DATE condition, more concrete) or in terms of delay to receipt (e.g., "$30, 7 days; DAYS condition, less concrete). Contrary to prior work, participants were not overall more patient in the DATE condition. However, there was individual variability in response to time framing, and this variability was predicted by differences in pupil dilation between conditions. Emotional arousal increased as the subjective value of delayed rewards increased, and predicted choice of the delayed reward on each trial. This study advances our understanding of the role of emotion in temporal discounting. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26882337

  4. Arousal-Enhanced Location Memory for Pictures

    PubMed Central

    Mather, Mara; Nesmith, Kathryn

    2008-01-01

    Four experiments revealed arousal-enhanced location memory for pictures. After an incidental encoding task, participants were more likely to remember the locations of positive and negative arousing pictures than the locations of non-arousing pictures, indicating better binding of location to picture. This arousal-enhanced binding effect did not have a cost for the binding of nearby pictures to their locations. Thus, arousal can enhance binding of an arousing picture’s content to its location without interfering with picture-location binding for nearby pictures. In addition, arousal-enhanced picture-location memory binding is not just a side effect of enhanced memory for the picture itself, as it occurs both when recognition memory is good and when it is poor. PMID:19190722

  5. Rape Myth Acceptance and Rape Proclivity: Expected Dominance Versus Expected Arousal as Mediators in Acquaintance-Rape Situations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiroro, Patrick; Bohner, Gerd; Viki, G. Tendayi; Jarvis, Christopher I.

    2004-01-01

    Individuals who are high in rape myth acceptance (RMA) have been found to report a high proclivity to rape. In a series of three studies, the authors examined whether the relationship between RMA and self-reported rape proclivity was mediated by anticipated sexual arousal or anticipated enjoyment of sexually dominating the rape victim. Results of…

  6. Predicting internet pornography use and arousal: the role of individual difference variables.

    PubMed

    Paul, Bryant

    2009-01-01

    This study considers the relation between a number of theoretically relevant individual difference variables and individuals' online pornography use and arousal patterns. In doing so, an attempt is also made to determine whether self-reports of arousal can be collapsed into meaningful empirically derived content groupings. An exploratory factor analysis produces 3 factors for men: standard fare, specialized, and male-focused; and two factors for women: standard fare and specialized. Findings indicate that sexual disposition is a strong predictor of standard fare use and arousal for both genders. Men and women higher in psychopathy were more likely to use all forms of content. For those high in psychopathy, however, men were only slightly, and women not at all, more likely to find standard fare content arousing. Results are discussed in terms of their potential value for understanding an often overlooked first step in the process of pornography consumption. PMID:19219657

  7. [Brain mechanisms of male sexual function].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Dou, Xin; Li, Jun-Fa; Luo, Yan-Lin

    2011-08-01

    In this paper, we reviewed the brain imaging studies of male sexual function in recent years from three aspects: the brain mechanism of normal sexual function, the brain mechanism of sexual dysfunction, and the mechanism of drug therapy for sexual dysfunction. Studies show that the development stages of male sexual activities, such as the excitement phase, plateau phase and orgasm phase, are controlled by different neural networks. The mesodiencephalic transition zone may play an important role in the start up of male ejaculation. There are significant differences between sexual dysfunction males and normal males in activation patterns of the brain in sexual arousal. The medial orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in the abnormal activation pattern are correlated with sexual dysfunction males in sexual arousal. Serum testosterone and morphine are commonly used drugs for male sexual dysfunction, whose mechanisms are to alter the activating levels of the medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula, claustrum and inferior temporal gyrus. PMID:21899000

  8. The Development of the Sexual Self-Concept Inventory for Early Adolescent Girls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Sullivan, Lucia F.; Meyer-Bahlburg, Heino F. L.; McKeague, Ian W.

    2006-01-01

    The Sexual Self-Concept Inventory (SSCI) was developed to assess sexual self-concept in an ethnically diverse sample of urban early adolescent girls. Three scales (Sexual Arousability, Sexual Agency, and Negative Sexual Affect) were shown to be distinct and reliable dimensions of girls' sexual self-concepts. Validity was established through…

  9. Online sexual activity experience of heterosexual students: gender similarities and differences.

    PubMed

    Shaughnessy, Krystelle; Byers, E Sandra; Walsh, Lindsay

    2011-04-01

    This study compared male and female university students' experiences with online sexual activity (OSA) and tested a model explaining gender differences in OSA. OSAs were categorized as non-arousal (e.g., seeking sexuality information), solitary-arousal (e.g., viewing sexually explicit materials), or partnered-arousal (e.g., sharing sexual fantasies). Participants (N = 217) completed measures of OSA experience, sexual attitudes, and sexual experience. Significantly more men than women reported engaging in solitary-arousal and partnered-arousal OSA and doing so more often. However, the men and women who reported having engaged in partnered-arousal activities reported equal frequencies of experience. There were no significant gender differences for engaging in non-arousal OSA experience. These results support the importance of grouping OSAs in terms of the proposed non-arousal, solitary-arousal, and partnered-arousal categories. Attitude toward OSA but not general attitudes toward or experiences with sexuality partially mediated the relationship between gender and frequency of engaging in arousal-oriented OSA (solitary and partnered OSA). This suggests that attitude toward OSA specifically and not gender socialization more generally account for gender differences in OSA experience. PMID:20467798

  10. Role of Partner Novelty in Sexual Functioning: A Review.

    PubMed

    Morton, Heather; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2015-01-01

    This review investigates whether sexual desire and arousal decline in response to partner familiarity, increase in response to partner novelty, and show differential responding in men and women. These questions were considered through the perspective of two leading evolutionary theories regarding human mating strategies: sexual strategies theory and attachment fertility theory. The hypotheses emerging from these theories were evaluated through a critical analysis of several areas of research including habituation of arousal to erotic stimuli, preferences regarding number of sexual partners, the effect of long-term monogamous relationships on sexual arousal and desire, and prevalence and risk factors associated with extradyadic behavior. The current literature best supports the predictions made by sexual strategies theory in that sexual functioning has evolved to promote short-term mating. Sexual arousal and desire appear to decrease in response to partner familiarity and increase in response to partner novelty in men and women. Evidence to date suggests this effect may be greater in men. PMID:25222339

  11. A Psychophysiological Study of Processing HIV/AIDS Public Service Announcements: The Effects of Novelty Appeals, Sexual Appeals, Narrative Versus Statistical Evidence, and Viewer's Sex.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jueman Mandy; Chen, Gina Masullo; Chock, T Makana; Wang, Yi; Ni, Liqiang; Schweisberger, Valarie

    2016-07-01

    This study used self-reports and physiological measures-heart rate (HR) and skin conductance level (SCL)-to examine the effects of novelty appeals, sexual appeals, narrative versus statistical evidence, and viewer's sex on cognitive and emotional processing of HIV/AIDS public service announcements (PSAs) among heterosexually active single college students. Novelty or sexual appeals differently affected self-reported attention and cognitive effort as measured by HR. High- rather than low-novelty HIV/AIDS PSAs, perceived as more attention-eliciting, did not lead to more cognitive effort. High- rather than low-sex HIV/AIDS PSAs, not perceived as more attention-eliciting, led to more cognitive effort as reflected by greater HR deceleration. Novelty or sexual appeals also affected self-reported emotional arousal and SCL differently. HIV/AIDS PSAs with high rather than low levels of novelty or sexual appeals led to greater self-reported arousal, but not greater SCL. Message evidence interacted with message appeals to affect cognitive effort. Participants exerted greater cognitive effort during high- rather than low-novelty narrative HIV/AIDS PSAs, and during low- rather than high-novelty statistical ones. The advantage of high over low sexual appeals was more obvious in statistical than in narrative HIV/AIDS PSAs. Males reported greater emotional arousal than females during high- rather than low-sex HIV/AIDS PSAs. PMID:26642917

  12. Can arousal modulate response inhibition?

    PubMed

    Weinbach, Noam; Kalanthroff, Eyal; Avnit, Amir; Henik, Avishai

    2015-11-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine if and how arousal can modulate response inhibition. Two competing hypotheses can be drawn from previous literature. One holds that alerting cues that elevate arousal should result in an impulsive response and therefore impair response inhibition. The other suggests that alerting enhances processing of salient events and can therefore enhance processing of a cue that indicates to withhold a response and improve response inhibition. In a stop-signal task, participants were required to withhold prepotent responses when a stop signal followed target onset. Abrupt alerting cues preceded the target in one half of the trials. The results showed that alerting improved response inhibition as indicated by shorter stop-signal reaction times following an alerting cue compared with a no-alerting condition. We conclude that modulation of low-level operations can influence what are considered to be higher cognitive functions to achieve optimal goal-directed behavior. However, we stress that such interactions should be treated cautiously as they do not always reflect direct links between lower and higher cognitive mechanisms. PMID:25867610

  13. Assessment of Wakefulness and Brain Arousal Regulation in Psychiatric Research.

    PubMed

    Sander, Christian; Hensch, Tilman; Wittekind, Dirk Alexander; Böttger, Daniel; Hegerl, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    During the last few decades, much knowledge has been gained about sleep being a heterogeneous condition with several distinct sleep stages that represent fundamentally different physiological states. The same applies for the wake state which also comprises distinct global functional states (called vigilance stages). However, various terms and concepts have been introduced describing different aspects of wakefulness, and accordingly several methods of assessment exist, e.g. sleep laboratory assessments (Multiple Sleep Latency Test, Maintenance of Wakefulness Test), questionnaires (Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Karolinska Sleepiness Scale), behavioural tasks (Psychomotor Vigilance Test) or electroencephalography (EEG)-based assessments (Alpha Attenuation Test, Karolinska Drowsiness Test). Furthermore, several theoretical concepts about the regulation of sleep and wakefulness have been put forward, and physiological correlates have been identified. Most relevant for healthy functioning is the regulation of brain arousal and the adaption of wakefulness to the environmental and situational needs so that the optimal balance between energy conservation and responsiveness can be obtained. Since one approach to the assessment of brain arousal regulation is the classification of EEG vigilance stages, a computer-based algorithm (Vigilance Algorithm Leipzig) has been introduced, allowing classification of EEG vigilance stages in EEG recordings under resting conditions. The time course of EEG vigilance stages in EEGs of 15-20 min duration allows estimation of the individual arousal regulation (hyperstable, adaptive, or unstable vigilance pattern). The vigilance model of affective disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder links a disturbed arousal regulation to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders and accordingly helps to explain and possibly also predict treatment effects of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for these conditions. PMID:26901462

  14. Yawning, acute stressors, and arousal reduction in Nazca booby adults and nestlings.

    PubMed

    Liang, Amy C; Grace, Jacquelyn K; Tompkins, Emily M; Anderson, David J

    2015-03-01

    Yawning is a familiar and phylogenetically widespread phenomenon, but no consensus exists regarding its functional significance. We tested the hypothesis that yawning communicates to others a transition from a state of physiological and/or psychological arousal (for example, due to action of a stressor) to a more relaxed state. This arousal reduction hypothesis predicts little yawning during arousal and more yawning (above baseline) during and after down-regulation of arousal. Experimental capture-restraint tests with wild adult Nazca boobies (Sula granti), a seabird, increased yawning frequency after release from restraint, but yawning was almost absent during tests. Natural maltreatment by non-parental adults also increased yawning by nestlings, but only after the maltreatment ended and the adult left. CORT (corticosterone) was a logical a priori element of the stress response affecting the stressor-yawning relationship under the arousal reduction hypothesis, and cannot be excluded as such for adults in capture-restraint tests but is apparently unimportant for nestlings being maltreated by adults. The arousal reduction hypothesis unites formerly disparate results on yawning: its socially contagious nature in some taxa, its clear pharmacological connection to the stress response, and its temporal linkage to transitions in arousal between consciousness and sleep. PMID:25498600

  15. Specificity of autonomic arousal to anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Tabitha A; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Brian, Jessica; Chau, Tom; Kushki, Azadeh

    2016-04-01

    Anxiety is one of the most concerning comorbidities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) due to its high prevalence, negative impact on physical and psychological well-being, and interaction with core deficits of ASD. Current assessment and treatment of anxiety, which rely on the observation of behavior and self-reports, are often ineffective as ASD is associated with deficits in communication and diminished introspective ability. In this light, autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity has been suggested as a marker of physiological arousal associated with anxiety. However, physiological arousal measured by ANS indices also occurs with other cognitive and emotional processes, and it is unclear whether anxiety-related arousal can be differentiated from that related to other cognitive processes. To address this gap, we investigated the use of linear and nonlinear classification techniques for differentiating anxiety-related arousal from arousal due to three cognitive processes (attention, inhibitory control, and social cognition) and physical activity based on electrocardiography signal features. Our results indicate that over 80% classification accuracy can be achieved, suggesting that ANS response can be used as a specific marker of anxiety-related arousal in a subgroup of children with ASD who demonstrate an increase in heart rate in response to anxiogenic stimuli. PMID:26389543

  16. Acoustic features to arousal and identity in disturbance calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri).

    PubMed

    Schehka, Simone; Zimmermann, Elke

    2009-11-01

    Across mammalian species, comparable morphological and physiological constraints in the production of airborne vocalisations are suggested to lead to commonalities in the vocal conveyance of acoustic features to specific attributes of callers, such as arousal and individual identity. To explore this hypothesis we examined intra- and interindividual acoustic variation in chatter calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri). The calls were induced experimentally by a disturbance paradigm and related to two defined arousal states of a subject. The arousal state of an animal was primarily operationalised by the habituation of the subject to a new environment and additionally determined by behavioural indicators of stress in tree shrews (tail-position and piloerection). We investigated whether the arousal state and indexical features of the caller, namely individual identity and sex, are conveyed acoustically. Frame-by-frame videographic and multiparametric sound analyses revealed that arousal and identity, but not sex of a caller reliably predicted spectral-temporal variation in sound structure. Furthermore, there was no effect of age or body weight on individual-specific acoustic features. Similar results in another call type of tree shrews and comparable findings in other mammalian lineages provide evidence that comparable physiological and morphological constraints in the production of airborne vocalisations across mammals lead to commonalities in acoustic features conveying arousal and identity, respectively. PMID:19445967

  17. The effect of exercise-induced arousal on chosen tempi for familiar melodies.

    PubMed

    Jakubowski, Kelly; Halpern, Andrea R; Grierson, Mick; Stewart, Lauren

    2015-04-01

    Many previous studies have shown that arousal affects time perception, suggesting a direct influence of arousal on the speed of the pacemaker of the internal clock. However, it is unknown whether arousal influences the mental representation of tempo (speed) for highly familiar and complex stimuli, such as well-known melodies, that have long-term representations in memory. Previous research suggests that mental representations of the tempo of familiar melodies are stable over time; the aim of the present study was to investigate whether these representations can be systematically altered via an increase in physiological arousal. Participants adjusted the tempo of 14 familiar melodies in real time until they found a tempo that matched their internal representation of the appropriate tempo for that piece. The task was carried out before and after a physiologically arousing (exercise) or nonarousing (anagrams) manipulation. Participants completed this task both while hearing the melodies aloud and while imagining them. Chosen tempi increased significantly following exercise-induced arousal, regardless of whether a melody was heard aloud or imagined. These findings suggest that a change in internal clock speed affects temporal judgments even for highly familiar and complex stimuli such as music. PMID:25056004

  18. Arousal Cues Arousal-Related Material in Memory: Implications for Understanding Effects of Mood on Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Margaret S.; And Others

    1983-01-01

    Discusses research showing that material people learn when in a high arousal state and material they learn when in a normal arousal state is subsequently best recalled when they are in a similar arousal state. Speculates that this effect may partially underlie mood cuing, mood-related material from memory. (EKN)

  19. The influence of atypical antipsychotic drugs on sexual function

    PubMed Central

    Just, Marek J

    2015-01-01

    Human sexuality is contingent upon many biological and psychological factors. Such factors include sexual drive (libido), physiological arousal (lubrication/erection), orgasm, and ejaculation, as well as maintaining normal menstrual cycle. The assessment of sexual dysfunction can be difficult due to the intimate nature of the problem and patients’ unwillingness to discuss it. Also, the problem of dysfunction is often overlooked by doctors. Atypical antipsychotic treatment is a key component of mental disorders’ treatment algorithms recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, the American Psychiatric Association, and the British Society for Psychopharmacology. The relationship between atypical antipsychotic drugs and sexual dysfunction is mediated in part by antipsychotic blockade of pituitary dopamine D2 receptors increasing prolactin secretion, although direct correlations have not been established between raised prolactin levels and clinical symptoms. Variety of mechanisms are likely to contribute to antipsychotic-related sexual dysfunction, including hyperprolactinemia, sedation, and antagonism of a number of neurotransmitter receptors (α-adrenergic, dopaminergic, histaminic, and muscarinic). Maintaining normal sexual function in people treated for mental disorders can affect their quality of life, mood, self-esteem, attitude toward taking medication, and compliance during therapy. PMID:26185449

  20. General Anesthesia and Altered States of Arousal: A Systems Neuroscience Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Emery N.; Purdon, Patrick L.; Van Dort, Christa J.

    2011-01-01

    Placing a patient in a state of general anesthesia is crucial for safely and humanely performing most surgical and many nonsurgical procedures. How anesthetic drugs create the state of general anesthesia is considered a major mystery of modern medicine. Unconsciousness, induced by altered arousal and/or cognition, is perhaps the most fascinating behavioral state of general anesthesia. We perform a systems neuroscience analysis of the altered arousal states induced by five classes of intravenous anesthetics by relating their behavioral and physiological features to the molecular targets and neural circuits at which these drugs are purported to act. The altered states of arousal are sedation-unconsciousness, sedation-analgesia, dissociative anesthesia, pharmaco-logic non-REM sleep, and neuroleptic anesthesia. Each altered arousal state results from the anesthetic drugs acting at multiple targets in the central nervous system. Our analysis shows that general anesthesia is less mysterious than currently believed. PMID:21513454

  1. Sexual Knowledge among Norwegian Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kraft, Pal

    1993-01-01

    Studied sexual knowledge among Norwegian adolescents (n=1,855) aged 17-19 years. Found knowledge gaps among adolescents on sexual physiology and anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases, and fecundation/contraception. Level of sexual knowledge was higher among girls than boys and increased with increasing age. Sexual knowledge did not predict…

  2. Factors Associated with Sexual Behavior Problems in Young Sexually Abused Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Darlene Kordich; Mathews, Fred; Pearce, John

    1998-01-01

    Analysis of data from the clinical records of 100 sexually abused boys and girls, ages 3-7 years, identified five variables predictive of sexual behavior problems, including sexual arousal of the child during the abuse, perpetrator's use of sadism, a history of physical and emotional abuse, and who the child blames for the abuse. (DB)

  3. Chronic stress and sexual function in women

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Lisa Dawn; Meston, Cindy M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Chronic stress is known to have negative effects on reproduction, but little is known about how it affects the sexual response cycle. The present study examined the relationship between chronic stress and sexual arousal and the mechanisms that mediate this relationship. Aim To test the relationship between chronic stress and sexual arousal and identify mechanisms that may explain this relationship. We predicted that women experiencing high levels of chronic stress would show lower levels of genital arousal & DHEAS and higher levels of cortisol and cognitive distraction compared to women with average levels of stress. Methods Women who were categorized as high in chronic stress (high stress group, n = 15) or average in chronic stress (average stress group; n = 15) provided saliva samples and watched an erotic film while having their genital and psychological arousal measured. Main Outcome Measures Main outcome measures were vaginal pulse amplitude, psychological arousal, salivary cortisol, salivary DHEAS, and heart rate and compared them between women with high and average levels of chronic stress. Results Women in the high stress group had lower levels of genital, but not psychological arousal, had higher levels of cortisol, and reported more distraction during the erotic film than women in the average stress group. The main predictor of decreased genital sexual arousal was participants’ distraction scores. Conclusions High levels of chronic stress were related to lower levels of genital sexual arousal. Both psychological (distraction) and hormonal (increased cortisol) factors were related to the lower levels of sexual arousal seen in women high in chronic stress, but distraction was the only significant predictor when controlling for other variables. PMID:23841462

  4. EEG and autonomic arousal measures in schizophrenics.

    PubMed

    Joseph, C

    1989-04-01

    EEG and autonomic indices were measured in basal, tonic, and phasic conditions in order to delineate the nature of arousal dysfunction in schizophrenics as compared to normals. The experimental procedure involved six continuous recording sessions consisting of a basal recording before and after four experimental series. Sequentially, these were the visual nonsignal (VNS), the auditory nonsignal (ANS), the visual signal (VS), and the auditory signal (AS) series. The main findings indicated significant differences between the two groups in cardiovascular indices during the basal and tonic conditions and in the EEG and EMG indices of phasic response. These results suggest a dysfunction of basal and tonic autonomic arousal and a modulatory impairement of the central phasic arousal reaction. The findings are in accordance with the two arousal hypothesis postulated by Routtenberg (1968) and disconfirm the unitary concept of arousal for the explanation of psychophysiological abnormality in schizophrenia. PMID:2744968

  5. Trazodone Effects on Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Non-REM Arousal Threshold

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Bradley A.; Deyoung, Pam N.; McSharry, David G.; Wellman, Andrew; Velasquez, Adrian; Owens, Robert; Orr, Jeremy E.; Malhotra, Atul

    2015-01-01

    Rationale: A low respiratory arousal threshold is a physiological trait involved in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) pathogenesis. Trazodone may increase arousal threshold without compromising upper airway muscles, which should improve OSA. Objectives: We aimed to examine how trazodone alters OSA severity and arousal threshold. We hypothesized that trazodone would increase the arousal threshold and improve the apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) in selected patients with OSA. Methods: Subjects were studied on two separate nights in a randomized crossover design. Fifteen unselected subjects with OSA (AHI ≥ 10/h) underwent a standard polysomnogram plus an epiglottic catheter to measure the arousal threshold. Subjects were studied after receiving trazodone (100 mg) and placebo, with 1 week between conditions. The arousal threshold was calculated as the nadir pressure before electrocortical arousal from approximately 20 spontaneous respiratory events selected randomly. Measurements and Main Results: Compared with placebo, trazodone resulted in a significant reduction in AHI (38.7 vs. 28.5 events/h, P = 0.041), without worsening oxygen saturation or respiratory event duration. Trazodone was not associated with a significant change in the non-REM arousal threshold (−20.3 vs. −19.3 cm H2O, P = 0.51) compared with placebo. In subgroup analysis, responders to trazodone spent less time in N1 sleep (20.1% placebo vs. 9.0% trazodone, P = 0.052) and had an accompanying reduction in arousal index, whereas nonresponders were not observed to have a change in sleep parameters. Conclusions: These findings suggest that trazodone could be effective therapy for patients with OSA without worsening hypoxemia. Future studies should focus on underlying mechanisms and combination therapies to eliminate OSA. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 01817907). PMID:25719754

  6. Synchronized arousal between performers and related spectators in a fire-walking ritual

    PubMed Central

    Konvalinka, Ivana; Xygalatas, Dimitris; Bulbulia, Joseph; Schjødt, Uffe; Jegindø, Else-Marie; Wallot, Sebastian; Van Orden, Guy; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Collective rituals are present in all known societies, but their function is a matter of long-standing debates. Field observations suggest that they may enhance social cohesion and that their effects are not limited to those actively performing but affect the audience as well. Here we show physiological effects of synchronized arousal in a Spanish fire-walking ritual, between active participants and related spectators, but not participants and other members of the audience. We assessed arousal by heart rate dynamics and applied nonlinear mathematical analysis to heart rate data obtained from 38 participants. We compared synchronized arousal between fire-walkers and spectators. For this comparison, we used recurrence quantification analysis on individual data and cross-recurrence quantification analysis on pairs of participants' data. These methods identified fine-grained commonalities of arousal during the 30-min ritual between fire-walkers and related spectators but not unrelated spectators. This indicates that the mediating mechanism may be informational, because participants and related observers had very different bodily behavior. This study demonstrates that a collective ritual may evoke synchronized arousal over time between active participants and bystanders. It links field observations to a physiological basis and offers a unique approach for the quantification of social effects on human physiology during real-world interactions. PMID:21536887

  7. Rape myth acceptance and rape proclivity: expected dominance versus expected arousal as mediators in acquaintance-rape situations.

    PubMed

    Chiroro, Patrick; Bohner, Gerd; Viki, G Tendayi; Jarvis, Christopher I

    2004-04-01

    Individuals who are high in rape myth acceptance (RMA) have been found to report a high proclivity to rape. In a series of three studies, the authors examined whether the relationship between RMA and self-reported rape proclivity was mediated by anticipated sexual arousal or anticipated enjoyment of sexually dominating the rape victim. Results of all three studies suggest that the anticipated enjoyment of sexual dominance mediates the relationship between RMA and rape proclivity, whereas anticipated sexual arousal does not. These findings are consistent with the feminist argument that rape and sexual violence may be motivated by men's desire to exert power over women. Theoretical and practical implications of our findings are discussed. PMID:15038883

  8. A Prospective Examination of the Role of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Physiological Asymmetry in the Development of Psychopathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shenk, Chad E.; Noll, Jennie G.; Putnam, Frank W.; Trickett, Penelope K.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Recent literature has emphasized the simultaneous assessment of multiple physiological stress response systems in an effort to identify biobehavioral risk factors of psychopathology in maltreated populations. The current study assessed whether an asymmetrical stress response, marked by activation in one system and a blunted response in…

  9. Swimming physiology of European silver eels (Anguilla anguilla L.): energetic costs and effects on sexual maturation and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Palstra, Arjan P; van den Thillart, Guido E E J M

    2010-09-01

    The European eel migrates 5,000-6,000 km to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce. Because they venture into the ocean in a pre-pubertal state and reproduce after swimming for months, a strong interaction between swimming and sexual maturation is expected. Many swimming trials have been performed in 22 swim tunnels to elucidate their performance and the impact on maturation. European eels are able to swim long distances at a cost of 10-12 mg fat/km which is 4-6 times more efficient than salmonids. The total energy costs of reproduction correspond to 67% of the fat stores. During long distance swimming, the body composition stays the same showing that energy consumption calculations cannot be based on fat alone but need to be compensated for protein oxidation. The optimal swimming speed is 0.61-0.67 m s(-1), which is approximately 60% higher than the generally assumed cruise speed of 0.4 m s(-1) and implies that female eels may reach the Sargasso Sea within 3.5 months instead of the assumed 6 months. Swimming trials showed lipid deposition and oocyte growth, which are the first steps of sexual maturation. To investigate effects of oceanic migration on maturation, we simulated group-wise migration in a large swim-gutter with seawater. These trials showed suppressed gonadotropin expression and vitellogenesis in females, while in contrast continued sexual maturation was observed in silver males. The induction of lipid deposition in the oocytes and the inhibition of vitellogenesis by swimming in females suggest a natural sequence of events quite different from artificial maturation protocols. PMID:20390348

  10. Personal space invasions in the lavatory: suggestive evidence for arousal.

    PubMed

    Middlemist, R D; Knowles, E S; Matter, C F

    1976-05-01

    The hypothesis that personal space invasions produce arousal was investigated in a field experiment. A men's lavatory provided a setting where norms for privacy were salient, where personal space invasions could occur in the case of men urinating, where the opportunity for compensatory responses to invasion were minimal, and where proximity-induced arousal could be measured. Research on micturation indicates that social stressors inhibit relaxation of the external urethral sphincter, which would delay the onset of micturation, and that they increase intravesical pressure, which would shorten the duration of micturation once begun. Sixty lavatory users were randomly assigned to one of three levels of interpersonal distance and their micturation times were recorded. In a three-urinal lavatory, a confederate stood immediately adjacent to a subject, one urinal removed, or was absent. Paralleling the results of a correlational pilot study, close interpersonal distances increased the delay of onset and decreased the persistence of micturation. These findings provide objective evidence that personal space invasions produce physiological changes associated with arousal. PMID:1271224