Pheromones and Physiology: Faculty of 1000: Naturally Selected

Bruce McEwen has joined Allen Cowley and Denis Noble as joint Head of Physiology among the Faculty of 1000. There is a brief audiotape about the ongoing importance of physiology even as new perspectives are being offered —  given the accumulating knowledge of molecular networks.

I’ve added some comments to “Naturally Selected,” where this announcement about Dr. McEwen was posted, but will post details here.

Bruce was inspirational to my pursuit of knowledge that links sensory input from the social environment to human behavior. In 1993, he spent several hours discussing the animal model I had developed when we met at my home in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bruce reassured me that the model seemed to be an accurate representation of how mammalian pheromones effected hormones that affect behavior. He also cautioned me that the model was incomplete because I did not address how pheromones — the sensory stimuli from the social environment — activated genes in hormone-secreting neurons of the brain.

I was blind-sided because of my very limited knowledge of the required molecular biology.  However, Bruce directed me to Donald Pfaff, who I also had arranged to meet with the next day.  I’m not sure whether Donald would have taken me seriously had the question about gene activation not come from Bruce. Unlike Bruce, Donald seemed a bit perturbed about my lack of academic credentials. However, he vaguely recalled a poster session he had seen and told me to contact “Bob” (Robert L) Moss in Texas.

After I forwarded Bob a copy of my model, I spoke with him and he confirmed, after some argumentative joking with me,  that his group had shown gene activation in gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons of the brain of rats that resulted from pheromone exposure. His group had not yet published the paper I just linked to, but Bob mailed me a copy of it and two other papers that were in-press.  When I met with Bob at the 1994 Endocrine Society meeting in Annaheim, California, he urged me to move forward with what I had already learned, and simply put, to “write the book” on it, which I did with my co-author Robert Francoeur.  The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality was published in 1995 (and again in 2002).  Tragically, Bob Moss died waiting for a heart transplant in 1999.  His obituary is very telling with regard to his outstanding abilities and helpful nature. Had he not stressed with me, as did Bruce McEwen, the need to show gene activation in GnRH-secreting nerve cells of brain tissue, my mammalian model that links pheromones to human behavior would be incomplete. Instead, every level of biological organization that is required to link sensory input from the social environment to behavior is detailed in my model. And, given the new information about ….

Those of you who have read this will probably be interested in what’s next. I’ll get back to you on that!

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