Odors and pheromones condition responses to visual rewards

Dopaminergic reward signals selectively decrease fMRI activity in primate visual cortex” [Subscription required]

Article excerpt with my emphasis  “…the highly selective behavioral and neural effects induced by stimulus-reward pairings must be reconciled with the apparent widespread and diffuse nature of neuromodulatory reward signals. A potential explanation for this seeming contradiction is that selectivity arises through an interaction between a broadly distributed reward signal and coincident bottom-up, cue-driven activity. In this way, a diffuse dopaminergic reward signal is rendered selective, allowing reward to specifically modulate activity within reward-predicting cue representations.”

My comment: In my model selectivity associated with visual stimulus-reward pairings arises through the interaction with olfactory input and its bottom-up epigenetic effects on the microRNA / messenger RNA balance, which are controlled by the epigenetic effects of pheromones from the top-down. The molecular mechanisms for this are conserved across species as per Darwin’s nutrient-dependent “conditions of existence’ that precede control of reproduction by the metabolism of nutrients to pheromones.

In some insects, the dopaminergic / serotoninergic balance enables nutrient reward selectivity so that toxic plants are avoided and pollen with higher nutritional value is selected (e.g., in honeybees). In humans, Buspirone functions as a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist that supposedly mediates its anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. Additionally, it functions as a presynaptic dopamine agonist D2,D3, dopamine antagonist D4, as well as a partial α1 receptor agonist.

In humans, after ruling out effects of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin,  it was reported that  “…the most important genetic effects on attachment might be hidden in interaction with environmental factors….[and that] …epigenetic processes merit consideration, as these can modify gene expression and neural function without changing nucleotide sequence….

See also: “Reward linked to image is enough to activate brain’s visual cortex.

Excerpt: Once rhesus monkeys learn to associate a picture with a reward, the reward by itself becomes enough to alter the activity in the monkeys’ visual cortex.

About James V. Kohl 1308 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