Social decision-making in vertebrates (Part 2)

Science 1 June 2012:
Evolution of a Vertebrate Social Decision-Making Network

Lauren A. O’Connell, Hans A. Hofmann | 2 Comments

Across vertebrates, behaviorally relevant brain regions are remarkably conserved over 450 million years of evolution.


An additional comment:

Re: The Intersection of Neurotoxicology and Endocrine Disruption. NeuroToxicology, by Bernard Weiss

Abstract excerpts:

…hormones help steer the process of brain development.

…sex differences in behavior are primarily the outcomes of differences in how the brain is sexually differentiated during early development by gonadal hormones (the Organizational Hypothesis).

… environmental chemicals are capable of altering these underlying events and processes. Among those chemicals, the group labeled as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) offers the clearest evidence of such selectivity…


In Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors,  I concluded that the clearest evidence for chemicals that alter the underlying events and processes of brain development and its sexual differentiation is found in the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones, which are responsible for the adaptive evolution of species from microbes to man.

Focus on endocrine disruption establishes what happens when toxic chemicals alter the same events and processes of brain development and its sexual differentiation via epigenetic effects on gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) pulsatility, luteinizing hormone, olfactory bulb neurogenesis, hippocampal neurogenesis, learning, and memory in vertebrates.

For contrast, I’ve modeled the epigenetic effects of food odors and pheromones on homeostasis and species diversification, and for many years, my friend Teresa Binstock stressed the importance of endocrine disruption (specifically due to bisphenol A and phthalates) on J. Michael Bailey’s “Sexnet”. Now that the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization, which link sensory input from the environment directly to behavior via intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression, have been clarified by work with model organisms, I look forward to learning if there are any reasons to avoid the incorporation of current information on endocrine disruption into existing studies of the development of human sexual behavior.

Comparing typical and atypical epigenetic effects that appear to extend to transgenerational epigenetic inheritance seems even more important now than in 1996, when with Milton Diamond, Teresa Binstock and I co-authored: From fertilization to adult sexual behavior, which appeared in the journal Hormones and 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