Dept. Medical Neurobiology, Institute for Medical Research, IMRIC, Hebrew University School of Medicine, Jerusalem
Our broad goal is to understand how the brain integrates sensory information with the individual’s internal physiological state to control reproductive physiology and behavior. After all, thinking is unnecessary and usually even disruptive for sex. Nevertheless, sexual motivation and behavior are both outcomes of non-trivial computations. To execute these computations, the brain must evaluate information about the potential partner, the environment, and the individual itself. Integration of sensory inputs with internal states is a general issue that the brain has to solve for various types of behaviors, not just reproduction. One reason for focusing on reproduction is that it involves relatively stereotyped neuronal circuitry – this facilitates their analysis. More importantly, these behaviors are simply fascinating to us, in animals, and even more so in humans.