Odors and classically conditioned behavior
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2015 — Is there such a thing as love at first smell? There are hundreds of spray-on pheromone products that claim to put you on the fast track to romance. While pheromones are a prevalent form of chemical communication across the animal kingdom, can they really help humans land a mate? Reactions has the answers in this week’s episode
The same pathway links food odors and pheromones to their epigenetic effects on hormones that affect behavior in all vertebrates and invertebrates. Classically conditioned responses to pheromones are species-specific, which may explain why there is no mention of androsterone in the American Chemical Society (ACS) video misrepresentation of biologically-based cause and effect.
Unlike the chemicals mentioned in the ACS video, androsterone is one of two primary metabolites of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA levels are maximized in primates, and DHEA is an indicator of human male reproductive fitness. When combined with androstenol, it alters the observed flirtatious behavior of women and their self-reported level of attraction to the man wearing the mixture.
Excerpt: “I was shocked and horrified to see just how common these chemicals are. This stuff is everywhere. We’re wiping it on our hands and desktops. It’s in my kitchen at home. It’s everywhere,” Hrubec says.
My comment: Is anyone else dying to see the ACS video representation of biologically-based cause and effect attributed to toxic chemicals? Human pheromones are not toxic. If you can convince people that they have no epigenetic effects of behavior, you can probably downplay the role of chemicals in our food and in everything else. That’s where the money is.