Pheromones & epigenetically-effected circuit-based brain development

Re: NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC),  pheromones, and epigenetically-effected circuit-based dimensions during the adaptively evolved development of the human brain and behavior

(RDoC) 1.  Environmental aspects. “The central nervous system is exquisitely sensitive to interactions with various elements of its environment virtually from the moment of conception.”

See for example: From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior (vertebrates; a mammalian model).

(RDoC)  2. Environmental aspects. “The social and physical environment comprises sources of both risk and protection for many different disorders occurring at all points along the life span, and methods for studying such phenomena as gene expression, neural plasticity, and various types of learning are rapidly advancing.”

See for example: Organizational and activational effects of hormones on insect behavior (invertebrates; the honeybee model organism) Conclusion: While the insect literature contains numerous examples of hormone activation, explicit use of the organization concept provides a window into the developmental origins of phenotypic variation in behavior. It also broadens the time course over which hormonal actions on insect behavior are considered, from egg to adult.’

(RDoC)  3. Environmental aspects. “As with developmental aspects, environmental influences may thus be considered as another critical dimension of the RDoC matrix. The effects of a particular interaction with the environment, e.g., the effects of early child abuse, may pose risk for a wide variety of disorders. As another example, illicit drug use may cause sensitization of mesolimbic dopamine circuits that generalizes to other drugs of abuse and addictive behaviors. Thus, it is hoped that a research program organized around the relevant circuit-based dimensions that are affected, independent of a particular disorder, will accelerate knowledge regarding such environmental influences along the entire range of analysis from genes to behavior.”

See for example: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology

My comments on this section (paragraphs 1-3) of RDoC: In mammals, circuit-based dimensions that are epigenetically effected by sensory input from the social environment in species from microbes to man include the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled epigenetic effects on hypothalamic gondadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). The epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input link a direct effect from nutrient stress and social stress to gene activation in hormone-secreting nerve cells of tissue in an organ (i.e., the brain), which is adaptively evolved to control organ systems via the feedback loops of multisensory integration, which are responsible for behavior. The central role of vertebrate GnRH is conserved across 400 million years of adaptive evolution. Its receptor diversifies and enables ecological and social niche construction, which results in neurogenic niche construction and socio-cognitive niche construction as is required for the adaptive evolution of embodied cognition. My model eliminates the mind/body dichotomy.

See for example: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences and the comment on my model by Simon Le Vay in Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. p. 210 ‘This model is attractive in that it solves the “binding problem” of sexual attraction. By that I mean the problem of why all the different features of men or women (visual appearance and feel of face, body, and genitals; voice quality, smell; personality and behavior, etc.) attract people as a more or less coherent package representing one sex, rather than as an arbitrary collage of male and female characteristics. If all these characteristics come to be attractive because they were experienced in association with a male- or female-specific pheromone, then they will naturally go together even in the absence of complex genetically coded instructions.”

And now, Simon’s caveat: “Still, even in fruit flies, other sensory input besides pheromones — acoustic, tactile, and visual stimuli — play a role in sexual attraction, and sex specific responses to these stimuli appear to be innate rather than learned by association [36.]. We simply don’t know where the boundary between prespecified attraction and learned association lie in our own species, nor do we have compelling evidence for the primacy of one sense over another.”

There is overwhelming evidence for the primacy of olfaction and pheromones in the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled development of behavior in species from microbes to man. Responses to olfactory/pheromonal input (e.g., nutrients that metabolize to pheromones) are innate. Species-specific responses to acoustic, tactile, and visual stimuli are learned via association with olfactory/pheromonal input.  Model organisms: yeast, nematodes, flies, ants, honeybees, mice, rats, sheep et al., exemplify nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled development of behavior associated with single amino acid substitutions and genes of large effect. These genes are clearly responsible for species diversity that include nutrient-dependent sexually-selected phenotypic diversity in a human population that arose during the past ~30,000 years (Kohl, submitted).

See for example: Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. “”The concept that is extended is the epigenetic tweaking of immense gene networks in ‘superorganisms’ (Lockett, Kucharski, & Maleszka, 2012) that ‘solve problems through the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals (Bear, 2004, p. 330)’. It is now clearer how an environmental drive probably evolved from that of food ingestion in unicellular organisms to that of socialization in insects. It is also clear that, in mammals, food odors and pheromones cause changes in hormones such as LH, which has developmental affects on sexual behavior in nutrient-dependent, reproductively fit individuals across species of vertebrates.”

What remains to be seen is whether my model will ever be incorporated into study designs based on the NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC).

If it is not, I think we can expect progress to be slow in attempts to understand more about Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled Adaptive EvolutionNutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and thermoregulation; Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled symbiosis; Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled morphogenesis; Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled epistasis; Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled embodied cognition; or mammalian nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled Hypothalamic programming of systemic ageing involving IKK-b,NF-kB and GnRH.


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