Professor of Psychology, Concordia University.
My research is generally concerned with the neurochemical and molecular
events that subserve sexual behavior and neuroendocrine functions. I am interested
in the role of brain monoamine and neuropeptide systems in sexual arousal, desire,
reward, and inhibition in laboratory animals. I am also interested in the inhibitory
and disinhibitory effects of drugs of abuse on sexual behavior. Current research
examines the role played by steroid hormones, neurotransmitter systems, and cell
signalling mechanisms, in the neuronal and behavioral responses to primary and
conditioned sexual stimuli, especially those that induce sexual partner preferences.
The neurochemical and molecular systems activated by primary and conditioned sexual
stimuli are being explored using a combination of in vivo techniques such as
microdialysis, and ex vivo techniques such as immunocytochemistry, in situ
hybridization histochemistry, and autoradiography.
My research in human sexual function focuses on subjective and objective measures
of sexual desire in women and men, and how such measures are altered by different
types of erotic stimuli. We are also exploring the sexual functioning of individuals
under stress or with anxiety disorders.
Pfaus JG, Kippin TE, Coria-Avila GE, Gelez H, Afonso VM, Ismail N, Parada M (2011)
Who, what, where, when, (and maybe even why): How the experience of sexual reward influences sexual desire, preference, and performance.
Arch Sex Behav (in press).
Pfaus JG, Wilkins MF, Dipietro N, Benibgui M, Toledano R, Rowe A, Couch MC (2010)
Inhibitory and disinhibitory effects of psychomotor stimulants and depressants on the sexual behavior of male and female rats.
Horm Behav 58:163-176. [PubMed] [Content]
Pfaus JG (2009)
Pathways of sexual desire.
J Sex Med 6:1506-1533. [PubMed] [Content]
Pfaus JG, Tse TL, Werk CM, Chanda ML, Leblonde A, Harbour VL, Chapman CA (2009)
Enhanced synaptic responses in the piriform cortex associated with sexual stimulation in the male rat.
Neuroscience 164:1422-1430. [PubMed] [Content]
Pfaus J, Giuliano F, Gelez H (2007)
Bremelanotide: an overview of preclinical CNS effects on female sexual function.
J Sex Med 4:269-279. [PubMed] [Content]
Pfaus JG (2006)
Of rats and women: preclinical insights into the nature of female sexual desire.
Sexual and Relationship Therapy 21:463-476. [Content]
Pfaus JG, Manitt C, Coopersmith CB (2006)
Effects of pelvic, pudendal, or hypogastric nerve cuts on Fos induction in the rat brain following vaginocervical stimulation.
Physiol Behav 89:627-636. [PubMed] [Content]
Selected Student/Postdoctoral Publications
Ismail N, Jones SL, Graham MD, Sylvester S, Pfaus JG (2011)
Partner preference for strain of female in Long-Evans male rats.
Physiol Behav 102:285-290. [PubMed] [Content]
Parada M, Abdul-Ahad F, Censi S, Sparks L, Pfaus JG (2011)
Context alters the ability of clitoral stimulation to induce a sexually-conditioned partner preference in the rat.
Horm Behav 59:520-527. [PubMed] [Content]
Paredes-Ramos P, Pfaus JG, Miquel M, Manzo J, Coria-Avila GA (2011)
Sexual reward induces Fos in the cerebellum of female rats.
Physiol Behav 102:143-148. [PubMed] [Content]
Graham MD, Pfaus JG (2010)
Differential regulation of female sexual behaviour by dopamine agonists in the medial preoptic area.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav 97:284-292. [PubMed] [Content]
Afonso VM, Mueller D, Stewart J, Pfaus JG (2009)
Amphetamine pretreatment facilitates appetitive sexual behaviors in the female rat.
Psychopharmacology, 205:35-43. [PubMed] [Content]
Georgescu M, Sabongui C, Del Corpo A, Marsan L, Pfaus JG (2009).
Vaginocervical stimulation induces Fos in glutamate neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus: attenuation by estrogen and progesterone.
Horm Behav 56:450-456. [PubMed] [Content]
Coria-Avila GA, Solomon CE, Vargas EB, Lemme I, Ryan R, Ménard S, Gavrila AM, Pfaus JG (2008)
Neurochemical basis of conditioned partner preference in the female rat: I. Disruption by naloxone.
Behav Neurosci 122:385-395. [PubMed] [Content]
About Jim Pfaus
Jim Pfaus received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1990. Following postdoctoral training in molecular biology and behavior with Dr. Donald Pfaff at the Rockefeller University (1990-1992), he joined the Department of Psychology and the Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology at Concordia University where he is a full professor. Jim was the 1995 recipient of the Frank A. Beach Award in Behavioral Endocrinology from the Society for Neuroscience, and in 1997 was inducted into the International Academy of Sex Research. He received the Frank A. Beach Comparative Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association in 2009. Jim serves on the Standards Committee of the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM), and on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH). Jim is an associate editor of the Journal of Sexual Medicine and serves on the editorial boards of the Annual Review of Sex Research, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Physiology and Behavior. He is also an associate editor of the APA Handbook of Sexuality. Full CV
My laboratory is funded by operating grants from CIHR and NSERC. In addition, I hold consulting grants from several pharmaceutical and biotech companies, for example, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, and Lundbeck, to examine potential sexual side-effects of different psychiatric medications and for work on the identification of new pharmacological tools to treat male and female sexual dysfunctions.