Neurobiology of sexual desire

Suck Won Kim, Carlos H. Schenck, Jon E. Grant, Gihyun Yoon, Peter I. Dosa, Brian L. Odlaug, Liana R.N. Schreiber, Thomas D. Hurwitz, James G. Pfaus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The aim of this paper is to elucidate the anatomical and molecular nature of sexual desire. As such we have focused our attention to the telodiencephalic reproductive complex and the functional interactions with the cortico-limbic circuit that regulate sexual and non-sexual motivation. Major focus of our review was on the animal studies that included hormones, peptides, neurotransmitters and the unique study paradigms that were designed to separate sexual motivation from the consumatory behavior. We also have covered limited number of clinical trials but our primary goal was to review the animal study results. We present rapidly evolving animal research data that we hope will contribute toward the development of new drugs that ameliorate the symptoms of hypoactive sexual desire disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-359
Number of pages28
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Estrogen
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorders
  • Medial preoptic area
  • Sexual desire
  • Sexual motivation
  • Testosterone
  • Ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus


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