Compulsive sexual behavior: Prefrontal and limbic volume and interactions

Casper Schmidt, Laurel S. Morris, Timo L. Kvamme, Paula Hall, Thaddeus Birchard, Valerie Voon

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB) are relatively common and associated with significant personal and social dysfunction. The underlying neurobiology is still poorly understood. The present study examines brain volumes and resting state functional connectivity in CSB compared with matched healthy volunteers (HV). Methods: Structural MRI (MPRAGE) data were collected in 92 subjects (23 CSB males and 69 age-matched male HV) and analyzed using voxel-based morphometry. Resting state functional MRI data using multi-echo planar sequence and independent components analysis (ME-ICA) were collected in 68 subjects (23 CSB subjects and 45 age-matched HV). Results: CSB subjects showed greater left amygdala gray matter volumes (small volume corrected, Bonferroni adjusted P < 0.01) and reduced resting state functional connectivity between the left amygdala seed and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (whole brain, cluster corrected FWE P < 0.05) compared with HV. Conclusions: CSB is associated with elevated volumes in limbic regions relevant to motivational salience and emotion processing, and impaired functional connectivity between prefrontal control regulatory and limbic regions. Future studies should aim to assess longitudinal measures to investigate whether these findings are risk factors that predate the onset of the behaviors or are consequences of the behaviors.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1182-1190
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2017

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