Don't get aroused
Strong data link sexual arousal level and sexual risk behaviors. In fact, sexual arousal predicts risky behaviors better than how much alcohol is consumed! However, people rarely want to decrease their sexual arousal. How hard is that to do? What individual factors and situations impact our ability to regulate our sexual arousal? These studies are in the very early stages, but build on the EEG asymmetry studies and use fMRI and genital measures. These data will be collected at the Mind Research Network just as soon as the IRB gives us the green light. It will be the first study in the USA to collect MRI and peripheral genital data simultaneously.
The effects of drinking and sexual arousal on decision making
Previous research suggests that sexual arousal may explain the apparent link between alcohol consumption and sexual risk-taking. This laboratory study tests these ideas using acute alcohol administration and studying two novel laboratory analogues of sexual risk-taking. Data collection is ongoing at Idaho State University, but primary analyses and writing occur at Mind Research Network.
I cheated on my partner because I am a sex addict
Stepping into the hornets nest, we are conducting some of the first research to assess whether some neuropsychological differences exist in people who feel they cannot control their sexual behaviors and/or feelings. This is the dissertation project of Cameron Staley at Idaho State University. Data collection is complete. Analysis is ongoing.
Sex makes me: (a) reward sensitive (b) unable to recall past events (c) crazy
We all know something happens when we are sexually aroused. In particular, people often make decisions to take sexual risks with their health! They might regret it afterwards, but what lead them to make that decision at the time? This is Maxwell Moholy's thesis project studying decision parameters that change durign sexual arousal as compared to general arousal. Data collection is just beginning at Idaho State University with collaborative data analysis at Mind Research Network.
Labial thermistor validity: New evidence supporting an old measure
This study, in collaboration with Julia Heiman, Ph.D., tests important measurement properties of the labial thermistor. This instrument is used to measure changes in the temperature of labia in women and may be a better measure of sexual arousal than a widely used instrument called the vaginal photoplethysmograph.
Sexual orientation and cognitive processing
A person’s sexual orientation affects the way that they process cues that provide information about potential partners. It is unclear how quickly and automatically this occurs. The study uses a reaction time task to provide information about how information about attraction is accessed and may affect sexual preferences.
Neuropsychological indices of approach motivation
Problems like depression often are characterized, in part, by a lack of motivation to engage in daily activities of living, such as showering or attending social events. Yet, it is very difficult to study motivation broadly in the laboratory. This study is testing a psychophysiological model of motivation that also may provide a continuous measure of sexual motivation that does not rely on participants' self-reports.
Wavelet analysis in biosignal processing.
One of the many challenges of using the vaginal photoplethysmograph are the many artifacts typically present in the vaginal pulse amplitude signal. Wavelet analysis offers a method for improving artifact detection and reduction. This is a joint project with ISU engineering.