Central Neural States Relating Sex and Pain
Hormones strongly influence and even "drive" certain primitive behaviors. In Central Neural States Relating Sex and Pain, Richard J. Bodnar, Kathryn Commons, and Donald W. Pfaff examine hormonal, neural, and genetic mechanisms of reproductive, pain-sensing, and pain-inhibitory systems. The authors show that there are remarkable neuroanatomical, biochemical, and functional overlaps among these systems. They consider sensory inputs triggering both classes of behaviors and focus on the role of sex hormones in modulating both forms of behavior. Sex hormones acting in different regions of the brain not only energize reproductive behaviors but also modulate opioid-dependent pain-inhibitory pathways. The authors also summarize some intriguing gender differences in hormone actions and responsivity to pain.
The clinical implications of this field of research are numerous. Central Neural States Relating Sex and Pain will appeal to anyone interested in new ways of looking at behavioral dispositions as they are influenced by specific genetic, neural, and hormonal states.
About the Authors
Richard J. Bodnar is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Queens College of the City University of New York. Kathryn Commons is a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior at the Rockefeller University. Donald W. Pfaff is professor and head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior at the Rockefeller University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
"This book is welcome in that it makes connections between two well studied but related neural systems: the systems that control sex and pain. This is a timely attempt that [will] be of great interest to neuroscientists. The scholarly achievement of this study is apparent; the authors have mastered a substantial literature."
"This scholarly and articulate book explores the authors' novel and provocative hypothesis that neural mechanisms controlling reproductive behavior and pain are intricately intertwined. In the process of such exploration, the reader is provided with extensive, up-to-date, and unique reviews—highly valuable regardless of how one views the hypothesis—of behavioral, neurophysiological, hormonal, neurochemical, and genetic research on mechanisms of arousal, analgesia, stress, and reproductive behavior."
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