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Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00460

Altered Prefrontal and Inferior Parietal Activity During a Stroop Task in Individuals with Problematic Hypersexual Behavior

  • 1Chungnam National University, South Korea

Accumulating evidence suggests a relationship between problematic hypersexual behavior (PHB) and diminished executive control. Clinical studies have demonstrated that individuals with PHB exhibit high levels of impulsivity; however, relatively little is known regarding the neural mechanisms underlying impaired executive control in PHB. This study investigated the neural correlates of executive control in individuals with PHB and healthy controls using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty-three individuals with PHB and 22 healthy control participants underwent fMRI while performing a Stroop task. Response time and error rates were measured as surrogate indicators of executive control. Individuals with PHB exhibited impaired task performance and lower activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and inferior parietal cortex relative to healthy controls during the Stroop task. In addition, blood oxygen level-dependent responses in these areas were negatively associated with PHB severity. The right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and inferior parietal cortex are associated with higher-order cognitive control and visual attention, respectively. Our findings suggest that individuals with PHB have diminished executive control and impaired functionality in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and inferior parietal cortex, providing a neural basis for PHB.

Keywords: Problematic hypersexual behavior, executive control, Stroop task, functional magnetic resonance imaging, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, Inferior parietal cortex

Received: 31 Mar 2018; Accepted: 04 Sep 2018.

Edited by:

Young-Chul Jung, Yonsei University, South Korea

Reviewed by:

Kesong Hu, DePauw University, United States
Alessio Simonetti, Baylor College of Medicine, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Seok and Sohn. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ji-Woo Seok, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea,