Neuroimaging studies on the characteristics of hypersexual disorder have been accumulating, yet alternations in brain structures and functional connectivity in individuals with problematic hypersexual behavior (PHB) has only recently been studied. This study aimed to investigate gray matter deficits and resting-state abnormalities in individuals with PHB using voxel-based morphometry and resting-state connectivity analysis. Seventeen individuals with PHB and 19 age-matched healthy controls participated in this study. Gray matter volume of the brain and resting-state connectivity were measured using 3T magnetic resonance imaging. Compared to healthy subjects, individuals with PHB had significant reductions in gray matter volume in the left superior temporal gyrus (STG) and right middle temporal gyrus. Individuals with PHB also exhibited a decrease in resting-state functional connectivity between the left STG and left precuneus and between the left STG and right caudate. The gray matter volume of the left STG and its resting-state functional connectivity with the right caudate both showed significant negative correlations with the severity of PHB. The findings suggest that structural deficits and resting-state functional impairments in the left STG might be linked to PHB and provide new insights into the underlying neural mechanisms of PHB.
Keywords: Caudate nucleus; Functional connectivity; Problematic hypersexual behavior; Superior temporal gyrus; Voxel-based morphometry.
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