Human pheromones and food odors

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: February 6, 2012

Kohl, JV (in press). Human pheromones and food odors: Epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology.
Abstract: Olfactory cues directly link the environment to gene expression. Two types of olfactory cues, food odors and social odors, alter genetically predisposed hormone-mediated activity in the mammalian brain. The honeybee is a model organism for understanding the epigenetic link from food odors and social odors to neural networks of the mammalian brain, which ultimately determine human behavior. Pertinent aspects that extend the honeybee model to human behavior include bottom-up followed by top-down gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ-system, and organism reciprocity; neurophysiological effects of food odors and of sexually dimorphic, species-specific social odors; a model of motor function required for social selection that precedes sexual selection; and hormonal effects that link current neuroscience to social science affects on the development of animal behavior. As the psychological influence of food odors and social orders is examined in detail, the socioaffective nature of olfactory cues on the biologically based development of sexual preferences across all species that sexually reproduce becomes clearer.

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