RESEARCH INTERESTS: My research program investigates the neuroendocrine control of male rat sexual behavior. We have shown that dopamine is released in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) as soon as a male rat encounters a receptive female; release is further increased during copulation. Stimulation of dopamine receptors in the MPOA controls genital reflexes and sexual motivation. This brain area is essential for male sexual behavior in all vertebrate species that have been studied, from fish through humans. Testosterone promotes copulation, in part, by up-regulating nitric oxide synthase in the MPOA; the resultant production of nitric oxide increases both basal and female-stimulated dopamine release. We have also shown that serotonin is released in the anterior lateral hypothalamus at the time of ejaculation and contributes to the postejaculatory sexual quiescence, in part by decreasing mesolimbic dopamine release. Recent research centers on the roles of dopamine and glutamate in the increase in sexual proficiency due to sexual experience. Similar mechanisms may underlie other forms of memory and drug addiction. Finally, we are interested in how the circuitry underlying sexual behavior is integrated with that subserving other motivated behaviors.
Elaine M. Hull
Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
Florida State University
Department of Psychology
Tallahassee, Fla. 32306-1270
Office: (850) 645-2389
Fax: (850) 644-7739
McGuffey Longevity Awards: Recognizing textbooks and learning materials for excellence and longevity.
Hull, E. M. Study Guide for Kalatís Biological Psychology, Wadsworth Press, 1981; Second Edition, 1984; Third Edition, 1987; Fourth Edition, 1991; Fifth Edition, 1995; Sixth Edition, 1997. Seventh Edition, 2000; Eighth Edition, 2003; Ninth Edition, 2006; Tenth Edition, in press.
Kalat, James W. Biological Psychology. Belmont, Calif.: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2007.
This textbook was awarded the McGuffey Longevity Award in June 2007 from the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA), a nonprofit professional membership association that serves textbook and academic materials authors. The "McGuffey Longevity Award" recognizes works for their excellence in the areas of content, presentation, appeal, teachability, and longevity. These awards are given each year in several academic disciplines for both elementary and high school works and college titles. TAA's panel of judges are all noted textbook authors in these disciplines.