Olfactory modulation of visual perception

Nostril-Specific Olfactory Modulation of Visual Perception in Binocular Rivalry The Journal of Neuroscience, 28 November 2012, 32(48): 17225-17229  Wen Zhou, Xiaomeng Zhang,Jennifer Chen, Li Wang, and Denise Chen

The article [subscription required] links the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemical-dependent calibration and pheromone-controlled perception of visual cues to movement required for food acquisition, socialization, and mate choice in organisms that sexually reproduce.

My comment: Cognition is not required at the macro level of environmental affect. The affect is driven by epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input on hormones that affect behavior via the life-long link between in utero conditioning  and postnatal responses to visual input via  chemical exchanges in placental mammals.

The molecular mechanisms that enable the epigenetic effects, however, are the same in species from microbes to man. Cause and effect can now be addressed at the level of the microRNA / messenger RNA balance required for cellular homeostasis in different cell types of different tissues including our adaptively evolved glucose-dependent brain tissue. It is the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones that cause changes in intracellular signaling changes that cause intermolecular changes in DNA that result in the finely tuned (e.g., bottom up / top-down) stochastic gene expression of olfactory receptor genes that enable adaptation to an ever-changing environment across the lifetime of organisms, which are primarily dependent on chemical ecology — not visual or auditory input — for species survival.

This does not discount the role of other sensory input in human interactions or the interaction of other species with eyes and ears; it merely addresses incentive salience from a perspective on adaptive evolution. Wen’s work with Denise and others has been fast-forwarding us in that context, but the systems biology involved may be obscuring the insight others have provided. Also, there’s the fact that many people still think that human pheromones don’t exist. If not, there would be no direct link from the eye to the mind and behavior.

Without food odors we would not survive long enough to develop hormone-controlled food preferences for the visual appeal of food. Similarly, and via the same molecular mechanisms, without human pheromones we would not survive long enough to develop genetically predisposed hormonally controlled preferences for the visual appeal of other people, as detailed in The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences and in my other published works.

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