Barry R. Komisaruk, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor

Rutgers University Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor

Adjunct Professor, Department of Radiology, Director, NIH Minority Biomedical Research Support Program at Rutgers-Newark

Ph.D, Rutgers University

Rutgers University, Psychology Dept.
101 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Smith Hall
phone: office - (973) 353-5440 x3941 cell - (973) 462-0178
fax: (973) 353-1171

Research Interests

We are identifying the brain regions that respond to genital stimulation to generate orgasm in women and men, and the neural pathways by which genital stimulation gains access to the brain via the spinal cord and vagus nerves. We study the neural basis and therapies for genital-related pathologies including persistent genital arousal disorder, orgasmic pain. We study sexual response after spinal cord injury and also the neural basis of genital stimulation-induced pain blockage. While most of our research involves functional MRI of the brain in humans, we also perform parallel pharmacological and hormonal studies in laboratory rats.

Selected Recent Publications


Komisaruk, B.R., Beyer-Flores, C., and Whipple, B. (2006) The Science of Orgasm. In press. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 358 pages.

Komisaruk, B.R., Whipple, B., Nasserzadeh, S., and Beyer-Flores, C. (2010) The Orgasm Answer Guide. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, in preparation.

Selected Recent Review/Research Publications

Komisaruk, B.R. & Del Cerro, M.C.R. (2014). The Neurology of Sex. In Whelehan, P., & Bolin, A., Eds., The Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality. Wiley-Blackwell, In press.

Komisaruk, B.R. & Whipple, B. (2012). Non-genital orgasms. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, DOI:10.1080/14681994.2011.649252; 2012, iFirst article, 1-17.

Komisaruk, B.R. & Lee, H-J. (2012). Prevalence of sacral spinal (Tarlov) cysts in Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder. J. Sexual Medicine, 9: 2047-2056.

Komisaruk, B.R. (2012). A scientist's dilemma: follow my hypothesis or my findings? Behav Brain Res. 231: 262-265.

Komisaruk, B.R., Wise, N., Frangos, E., & Liu, W-C, Whipple, B., and Brody, S. (2011) Women's clitoris, vagina and cervix mapped on the sensory cortex, using fMRI. J Sexual Medicine 8: 2822-2830.

Komisaruk, B.R., Frangos, E., & Whipple, B. (2011). Hysterectomy improves sexual response? Addressing a crucial omission in the literature. J Minimally Invasive Gynecology 18: 288-295.

Komisaruk, B.R., Whipple, B., & Beyer, C. (2009). Sexual Pleasure. In "Pleasures of the Brain: Neural Bases of Sensory Pleasure," K.C. Berridge and M. Kringelbach, Eds., Oxford University Press. P. 169-177.

Komisaruk, B.R., Whipple, B., and Beyer, C. (2008). Orgasm. The Psychologist. Vol 21 100-103 plus cover

Komisaruk, B.R., and Whipple, B. (2006). Neurological Impairment of Sexuality in Men and Women. In M. Tepper and A. Owens, (eds.), Sexual Health. Chapter 13, Vol. 2, 351-390.

Komisaruk, B.R., Whipple, B., Crawford, A., Grimes, S., Liu, W-C., Kalnin, A., and Mosier, K. (2004). Brain activation during vaginocervical self-stimulation and orgasm in women with complete spinal cord injury: fMRI evidence of mediation by the Vagus nerves. Brain Research, 1024: 77-88.

Recent Media

The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, New York Times, US News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Scientific American Mind, Women's Health, Men's Health, The Doctors-(CBS TV)

Courses, 2014-2015

Physiological Psychology: Selected Lecture slides

Pleasure and Pain: Selected Lecture slides

Neuroscience of Sex