Human pheromones and brain development

Nature | News

Human brain shaped by duplicate genes

Multiple copies of a gene may have boosted the computational power of our ancestors’ brains.

——My comment: I’ve blogged here before about my friend, the late “Bob” Moss. But this latest work comes from UT Southwestern where he did his work.———–

It’s been more than 20 years since the late Robert L. Moss et al. published Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone and Human Sexual Behavior (Moss, Dudley, & Riskind, 1991). Vertebrate gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons produce one of three different peptides, presumably because three paralogous GnRH genes originated from gene duplications (Oka, 2010).

The prenatal migration of GnRH neurons into the brain of humans is responsible for the direct connection from olfactory/pheromonal input to changes in hypothalamic GnRH pulse frequency, luteinizing hormone secretion, and hippocampal neurogenesis, which links food odors and social odors to learning and memory required for adaptive behaviors based on nutrient chemical availability and the presence or absence of conspecifics. It is likely that anything that alters GnRH pulse frequency, whether it’s the gene or genes responsible for Kallmann’s syndrome, or nutrient chemical availability that alters maturation of the brain and behavior will alter learning and memory associated with food acquisition and mate choice as preferences develop based on prenatal chemical exchanges in placental mammals and the postnatal effects of food odors and pheromones.

Thus, the epigenetic effects of chemicals from our sensory environment on GnRH are probably essential to the development of an evolved brain and behavior involved in seeking out proper nutrition and reproductively “fit” mates. “Bob” Moss knew he would not be able to prove the cause and effect relationship that continues to show up in the newest literature on human brain development, but he also knew that someone would prove the link from GnRH to nutrition dependent human sexual behavior. Clearly, others are getting closer to that proof, as is seen in this latest news on gene duplications and human brain development. It may nevertheless be important to keep in mind that evolved brain development is dependent on nutrient chemicals and pheromones that alter receptor-mediated intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression in species from microbes to man, if only to keep evolved brain development in its proper context.

Moss, R. L., Dudley, C. A., & Riskind, P. N. (1991). Gonadotropin releasing hormone and human sexual behavior. In C. B. Nemeroff (Ed.), Neuropeptides and Psychiatric Disorders. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Press.

Oka, Y. (2010). Electrophysiological Characteristics of Gonadotrophin-Releasing Hormone 1-3 Neurones: Insights From a Study of Fish Brains. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 22(7), 659-663.

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