Functional imaging of brain activity in conscious monkeys responding to sexually arousing cues

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Anterior Hypothalamic Nucleus; Brain Mapping; Callithrix; *Cues; Female; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Olfactory Bulb; Ovariectomy; Ovulation; Preoptic Area; Sex Attractants; Sexual Behavior, Animal




Olfactory cues can elicit intense emotional responses. This study used fMRI in male common marmoset monkeys to identify brain areas associated with sexual arousal in response to odors of ovulating female monkeys. Under light anesthesia, monkeys were secured in a specially designed restrainer and positioned in a 9.4 T magnetic resonance spectrometer. When fully conscious, they were presented with the scents of both ovariectomized and ovulating monkeys. The sexually arousing odors of the ovulating monkeys enhanced signal intensity in the preoptic area and anterior hypothalamus compared to the odors of ovariectomized monkeys. These data corroborate previous findings in monkeys based on invasive electrical lesion and stimulation techniques and demonstrate the feasibility of using non-invasive functional imaging on fully conscious common marmosets to study cue-elicited emotional responses.

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Citation: Neuroreport. 2001 Jul 20;12(10):2231-6.

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