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The "yuck" factor: aversion to social odors?

July 25, 2011 James V. Kohl 0

Visual input does not directly activate the hypothalamus. Olfactory input (i.e., food odors and social odors) directly activate the hypothalamus. Only via association with odors can what we see influence hormone driven behavior associated with activation of the hypothalamus.

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Cosmetics: are they useful or do they just make us feel good?

July 22, 2011 James V. Kohl 0

“…the Darwinist approach to attraction – beautiful faces and well-formed bodies are important biological indicators of a person’s value as a sexual partner.”

A Darwinist approach would be biologically based and modeled in other species. In other species, mate preferences develop via associations with social odors: olfactory/pheromonal cues of reproductive fitness. Food odors and social odors activate the same evolved neurophysiological mechanisms in all mammals. How might we have come to prefer beautiful faces and well-formed bodies if not via their association with human scent signatures?

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Avian 'Axe effect' attracts attention of females and males

July 20, 2011 James V. Kohl 0

Body-spray commercials feature young men dousing themselves with fragrance and – voila – hordes of beautiful women or even bands of angels descend upon them. Male birds deploy a similar tactic when they release their cologne – or preen oil – secreted from a gland at the base of their tail.