Brain activation patterns in women with acquired hypoactive sexual desire disorder and women with normal sexual function: A cross-sectional pilot study

Terri L. Woodard, Nicole T. Nowak, Richard Balon, Manuel Tancer, Michael Peter Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Objective To examine and compare brain activation patterns of premenopausal women with normal sexual function and those with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) during viewing of validated sexually explicit film clips. Design Cross-sectional pilot study. Setting University-based clinical research center. Patient(s) Premenopausal women. Intervention(s) None. Main Outcome Measure(s) Areas of brain activation during viewing of sexually explicit film clips. Result(s) Women with normal sexual function showed significantly greater activation of the right thalamus, left insula, left precentral gyrus, and left parahippocampal gyrus in comparison with women with HSDD, who exhibited greater activation of the right medial frontal gyrus and left precuneus regions. Conclusion(s) Women with HSDD may have alterations in activation of limbic and cortical structures responsible for acquiring, encoding, and retrieving memory, the processing and memory of emotional reactions, and areas responsible for heightened attention to one's own physical state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Brain activation patterns
  • female sexual dysfunction
  • functional neuroimaging
  • hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)
  • sexual stimuli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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