Dogs and humans: Then and now

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: March 15, 2011

It may interest some people to learn the amount of time it takes for new concepts, like the concept of human pheromones, to be accepted.  During the past two decades I have repeatedly seen others mention how the human sense of smell does not compare well with the sense of smell in other mammals. Typically, dogs are mentioned as an example – not because they are a good example, but because most people think they are. With such thoughts in mind, it is no wonder that some people think that human pheromones don’t exist. Of course human pheromones exist! How could they not, regardless of what anyone thinks?
THEN (more than 2 decades ago): Dobb, E. (1989) The scents around us. Sciences, November‑December, 46‑53.
“What human beings lack in acuity… they make up in powers of discrimination, which rival those of any other mammal.”
And NOW
“Dogs have roughly 20 times more olfactory receptor cells than we do and, for tracking purposes, long snouts positioned closer to the ground.  But we don’t have their complex infection-preventing filtering system and so, even with these fewer receptors, more odor molecules get to them.
But we also have our brains as a powerful compensatory device, which means, smell can be associated with emotion, memory, motor reaction and multimodal integration.”



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