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Eur J Radiol. 2011 Nov;80(2):418-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2010.05.021. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

Neural circuits of disgust induced by sexual stimuli in homosexual and heterosexual men: an fMRI study.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Abstract

Few studies demonstrated neural circuits related to disgust were influenced by internal sexual orientation in male. Here we used fMRI to study the neural responses to disgust in homosexual and heterosexual men to investigate that issue. Thirty-two healthy male volunteers (sixteen homosexual and sixteen heterosexual) were scanned while viewing alternating blocks of three types of erotic film: heterosexual couples (F-M), male homosexual couples (M-M), and female homosexual couples (F-F) engaged in sexual activity. All the participants rated their level of disgust and sexual arousal as well. The F-F and M-M stimuli induced disgust in homosexual and heterosexual men, respectively. The common activations related to disgusting stimuli included: bilateral frontal gyrus and occipital gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, right cerebellum, and right thalamus. Homosexual men had greater neural responses in the left medial frontal gyrus than did heterosexual men to the sexual disgusting stimuli; in contrast, heterosexual men showed significantly greater activation than homosexual men in the left cuneus. ROI analysis showed that negative correlation were found between the magnitude of MRI signals in the left medial frontal gyrus and scores of disgust in homosexual subjects (p<0.05). This study indicated that there were regions in common as well as regions specific for each type of erotic stimuli during disgust of homosexual and heterosexual men.

Crown Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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