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The Role of Brain Opioid Transmission in the Conditioned Ejaculatory Preference of the Male Rat


The Role of Brain Opioid Transmission in the Conditioned Ejaculatory Preference of the Male Rat

Quintana Zunino, Gonzalo Renato (2018) The Role of Brain Opioid Transmission in the Conditioned Ejaculatory Preference of the Male Rat. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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The experiments presented in this thesis examined the role of opioids in sexual pleasure, particularly during early formative sexual experiences, on the ability of male rats to associate an olfactory or somatosensory cue with their ejaculation-induced sexual reward state. The results show that opioids are an important substrate of the sexual reward state, and that this state feeds forward to form a conditioned ejaculatory preference (CEP), in which male rats ejaculate preferentially with females bearing or wearing the cue associated with sexual reward. This suggests that sexual reward (a presumably “proximate” cause of behavior) lies at the root of monogamous mate choice in the rat. These data also contribute to a growing body of evidence that the species’ specific sexual strategies of the male rat, often described as promiscuous, evidence a degree of plasticity that can move toward a monogamous mate choice when features of a familiar female (odor or jacket) are associated with sexual pleasure. This conditioned ejaculatory preference for familiar cues suggests that proximate pleasure-related states act as a Pavlovian US that can reinforce cue-related CSs to create partner and mate preferences. Such preferences bring proximate reward states into synch with reproductive choice, potentially enhancing reproductive success. Findings are discussed, as well as further directions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Quintana Zunino, Gonzalo Renato
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:April 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Pfaus, James Gregory
Keywords:Sexual behavior, First sexual experiences, conditioned ejaculatory preference, us pre‐exposure, cs pre-exposure, fetishism, opioid, naloxone, mPOA, VTA
ID Code:984385
Deposited By: Gonzalo Renato Quintana Zunino
Deposited On:31 Oct 2018 17:28
Last Modified:31 Oct 2018 17:28
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