Human Pheromones: 2010 Powerpoint slides and 2011 poster presentation

Here are the slides with text from a 20 minute-long presentation: Human pheromones: linking neuroendocrinology and ethology (revisited)

20th Biennial Congress of the International Society for Human Ethology 2010, 1 – 5 Aug 2010, Parallel Session A

Background / Purpose: Their conversion from chemical signals to the mammalian brain’s common language of electrical signals allows food odors and pheromones to activate genes. In this mammalian model, electrostatic gene activation by pheromones links them to a marker of neuronal activity, gene expression, and changes in hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion.

Main conclusion: Changes in GnRH secretion are evidenced in downstream effects on other hormone secretion throughout the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Food odors and pheromones activate the prenatal organization of the HPG and HPA axes and postnatally “calibrate” the genetically predisposed survival potential of individuals and species. Calibration of odor preferences occurs via effects on synaptogenesis, synaptolysis, and apoptosis throughout life. In mammals, these effects of odors are routinely associated with neurotransmission, hippocampal neurogenesis, learning, and memory during classically conditioned hormone-driven changes in behavior. In people, these neurophysiological effects of calibration by odors are typically consciously associated only with input from spectral senses (e.g., vision and hearing), or tactile sensations.

Next steps: Extension of this mammalian model to people explains how cerebral activation of hormone-secreting neurons and processes commonly attributed to individual components of the model, like genes or hormones, result in genetically predisposed phenotypic expression, which may or may not be physically or behaviorally manifested during development. The explanation includes (1) a cognitive component associated with the identification and categorization of some odors; (2) an emotional component associated with odors and increased or decreased arousal, appetite, and satiation; (3) a motivational component linked to processes that direct behavior toward or away from food odors and pheromones; and (4) a neurophysiological component, directly linked from odors to gene activation in hormone-secreting nerve cells of brain tissue; to HPG / HPA axis variability, and to behavior.


An updated poster presentation of the one presented in 2010 is also available: Human pheromones, epigenetics, physiology, and the development of animal behavior.

Association for Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting 2011, 13 – 17 Apr 2011, 301

Background/Purpose: We evaluated individual video-taped fifteen-minute interactions of fourteen women with fertile phase levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) during a cooperative task. During the task, our male accomplice wore either a standardized androstenol / androsterone mixture diluted in propylene glycol, or just the diluents; with sandalwood odor added to keep him blind to his condition.

Main conclusion: When he was wearing the mixture compared to when he wore the diluent, women were more likely to make eye contact (t (12) = 3.43, p = 0.01; IRR: r = 0.964, p = 0.01). They also laughed more (t (12) = 5.20, p < 0.01; IRR: r = 0.810, p = 0.01), and they subsequently rated themselves as being more attracted to him (t (12) = 2.786, p = 0.016).

Our results combine the known effects of androstenol on LH and on mood with a likely behavioral affect of androsterone.


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