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Physiol Behav. 1984 Jan;32(1):79-84.

Medial preoptic connections with the midbrain tegmentum are essential for male sexual behavior.


The medial preoptic area appears to play a major role in the control of sexual behavior. Efferents from the medial preoptic area course through the medial forebrain bundle to pass through and/or terminate in the dorsolateral and ventral tegmentum of the midbrain. Bilateral lesions of the dorsolateral tegmentum eliminate mating behavior in male rats, reproducing the effect of bilateral medial preoptic lesions. Sexual behavior is also eliminated when a preoptic lesion on one side of the brain is combined with a lesion of the dorsolateral tegmentum on the other side of the brain. In other words, asymmetric brain damage which bilaterally destroys the preoptic connections with the dorsolateral tegmentum eliminates male sexual behavior, and we conclude that the connections between these two regions are essential for copulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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