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Reward processing in sexual desire

Defense Thèse de doctorat : Univ. Genève, 2017 - FPSE 693 - 2017/12/04
Abstract 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.
Keywords Sexual rewardWantingLikingPavlovian-instrumental transfer
URN: urn:nbn:ch:unige-1010696
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Research group Emergence et expression de l'émotion (E3 Lab)
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SENNWALD, Vanessa. Reward processing in sexual desire. Université de Genève. Thèse, 2017. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:101069 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:101069

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Deposited on : 2018-01-03

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