Human pheromones and autism spectrum disorders

Study shows gene defect’s role in autism-like behavior

August 10, 2012 in Autism spectrum disorders

Excerpt: “The research showed that, when defective, pten’s protein interacts with the protein of a second gene known as p53 to dampen energy production in neurons. This severe stress leads to a spike in harmful mitochondrial DNA changes and abnormal levels of energy production in the cerebellum and hippocampus — brain regions critical for social behavior and cognition.”

My comment:

It will be interesting to see how much longer it is before researchers link p53 to the diet-responsive hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurogenic niche. The epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals, endocrine disruptors, and pheromones on GnRH are more clearly viewed in the context of the genetically predisposed development of ASDs during the first two years of postnatal life in humans. That’s when the epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input have their most important developmental effects on GnRH and other hormones that affect behavior.

If I were a molecular biologist I would attempt to look at cause and effect as has been done in this article: Using perceptual signatures to define and dissociate condition-specific neural etiology: autism and fragile X syndrome as model conditions. I think, however, at this point, that the level of specialization required may be prohibitive in the context of modeling the development of atypical social behaviors.

My model suggests olfactory/pheromonal cause, but the current focus on oxytocin and social bonding makes it clear that few people are interested in the role that pheromones play in the development of human behavior. For example, I haven’t heard any of the oxytocin researchers mention how its release is centrally controlled.

Yet, here we have mice that might otherwise help us sniff out more information about cause and effect relationships that link sensory input directly to behavior and to disorders of behavioral development. See, for example:  Napoli E, Ross-Inta C, Wong S, Hung C, Fujisawa Y, et al. (2012) Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Pten Haplo-Insufficient Mice with Social Deficits and Repetitive Behavior: Interplay between Pten and p53. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42504.


Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338


About James V. Kohl 1307 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society