Pheromonemotionally speaking

Endocrine disruptors, diet, and human pheromones epigenetically alter the socioaffective nature of evolved behavior

Excerpt from Kohl (2012): Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors:

“…endocrine disruptors and pheromones may act on species-specific and sex-specific GnRH feedback pathways to alter the estrous cycle and alter pubertal onset via changes in gene expression that result in significant physiological and behavioral changes throughout life (Cao, Mickens, McCaffrey, Leyrer, & Patisaul, 2011).”


Now see:  Anxiogenic effects of developmental bisphenol a exposure are associated with gene expression changes in the juvenile rat amygdala and mitigated by soy Patisaul et al (2012).  (I met Heather Patisaul during a prosocial behavior conference at Emory University last year and am happy to learn she has followed her earlier published works with one that helps to extend my model across species).

Excerpt: “…the rat is an appropriate animal model for understanding how the interaction of BPA and diet influence sociosexual behaviors, and identifying the neural mechanisms by which these changes are induced.”


BPA is an endocrine disruptor. BPA, nutrient chemicals in our diet, and pheromones alter GnRH secretion, which alters levels of other hormones. It goes without saying that the rat is an animal model used to investigate the role of pheromones and of GnRH in the development of human behavior. It is also generally agreed that sexual experience can induce short-term and long-term alterations in levels of other hormones that are controlled by GnRH.

Patisaul et al (2012) brings to the table the epigenetic effects of diet, endocrine disruptors, and pheromones on the GnRH neuronal system and extends the epigenetic effects of pheromones to the regulation of oxytocin and vassopressin. Until now, there has been no direct link from the sensory environment to behavioral affects of oxytocin and vassopressin.  The direct link was predicted.

Excerpt 2 from Kohl (2012): “Collectively, effects on hormones help to extend animal models of food selection and social selection to sexual selection because they involve the same pathway. In theory, this GnRH-directed neurophysiological pathway may be the FDA’s ‘Critical Path’, which is recommended for crucial consideration in the development of new therapeutic drugs. In fact, it incorporates the hypothalamic GnRH pulse as the epigenetically effected neurophysiological mechanism that links the effects of food odors and pheromones to the secretion of other hormones and to the affects of many different hormones on behavior.”

Patisaul et al (2012) makes it clearer that the effects of pheromones on GnRH in the rat extend to the effects of pheromones on oxytocin, which have until now been only indirectly linked to a variety of human behaviors in the absence of any model for sensory cause and effects on hormones that affect behavior. It is the absence of a model that leaves many researchers floundering when they attempt to explain cause and effect. At best, their theories may determine what they think they have  observed and meaningfully interpreted.  For comparison, models determine what can be explained in context. The role of oxytocin, for example, must be explained in the context of how pheromones, food odors, and endocrine disruptors epigenetically effect sociosexual behavior.



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