Doctoral thesis
Open access

Reward processing in sexual desire

ContributorsSennwald, Vanessa
DirectorsSander, David
Defense date2017-12-04

The main purpose of the present thesis was to explore reward processing in sexual desire. More specifically, we aimed to apply the incentive salience hypothesis to sexual desire. We investigated the influence of sexual reward-related Pavlovian cues on instrumental actions to potentially elucidate variations of sexual desire. Accordingly, we showed evidence that inter-individual differences are key in determining effort mobilization for sexual rewards and importantly, that there is a relationship between intensity of the participants' perceived sexual desire and the intensity of the effort they are willing to mobilize, which was not the case for the reward's hedonic impact. Moreover, we also validated a paradigm that is suitable to measure both outcome specific and general Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfers involving sexual rewards within the same participants. Altogether, these empirical studies are an initial step in showing that the incentive salience hypothesis could be a promising theory to explain variations of sexual desire.

  • Sexual reward
  • Wanting
  • Liking
  • Pavlovian-instrumental transfer
Citation (ISO format)
SENNWALD, Vanessa. Reward processing in sexual desire. 2017. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:101069
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Technical informations

Creation12/18/2017 4:57:00 PM
First validation12/18/2017 4:57:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 7:42:44 AM
Status update03/15/2023 7:42:43 AM
Last indexation01/29/2024 9:20:15 PM
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