This study examined the effects of electrolytic and ibotenic acid (IA) lesions of the medial preoptic area (MPOA) on the temporal pattern of female sexual behavior in the laboratory rat. Both electrolytic and IA MPOA lesions significantly increased the female's latency to return to the male after an intromission or an ejaculation, thereby decreasing the percentage of time spent with a male. Both types of MPOA lesions significantly increased the percentage of times the female left the male's chamber following intromissions. These results demonstrate that neurons in the MPOA regulate the female's temporal copulatory behavior, and the authors suggest that they do so by virtue of their response to vaginocervical stimulation. Studies of female pacing draw attention to parallels between male and female sexual behaviors, including the possibility that they are regulated by similar neural substrates in the MPOA.
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