The structure of the amygdala associates with human sexual permissiveness: Evidence from voxel-based morphometry

Hikaru Takeuchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Rui Nouchi, Hiroshi Hashizume, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Seishu Nakagawa, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Yuko Sassa, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Sexual behavior is a critical function of human procreation. Despite previous studies that investigated the neural mechanisms of basic human physiological sexual functions, the neural mechanisms that underlie individual differences in human sexual permissiveness remain unknown. We used voxel-based morphometry and a questionnaire (scale for sexual attitudes) to measure sexual permissiveness to investigate the gray matter and white matter structural correlates of sexual permissiveness. Sexual permissiveness was negatively correlated with regional gray matter density of the structures involving the right amygdala and surrounding areas, and positively correlated with regional white matter density of the white matter area that spread around the left amygdala to the hypothalamus area. There were no gender-specific relationships in the neural correlates of our findings. These findings suggest that structural variations in regions that play key roles in the basic physiological aspects of human sexuality underlie individual complex sexual attitudes in social life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-448
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1


  • Amygdala
  • Gray matter
  • Hypothalamus
  • Sexual permissiveness
  • Voxel-based morphometry
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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