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Pheromones and their relevance to the state of mind

  1. May 12, 2004 #1
    According to the Webster dictionary the word Pheromone refers to a "chemical substance secreted and released by an animal for detection and response by another."

    Popular press you may recall have often referred to these hormones as the basis of instinctive reactions such as sexual desire and other mood and emotional aspects including fear.

    I was wondering if readers have anything to say about how potentially it could be our reaction to pheromones secreted by others and ourselves that could be "part" of the causation of mental and emotional disturbances.

    Has there been any research as to the effect of sensing (smelling) these some what influential chemicals that we secrete on a daily basis?
    Could it be that our emotional and mental states are dependent on the subliminal smelling of these hormonal chemicals?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2004 #2
    I'm not sure if I understand your question, but it may help that pheremones, at least in humans, are not recognized in our daily lives. Male glands secrete androstenol-- what they believe is a pheremone-- that repels other males and attracks females. The below link doesn't mention this, but it is also interesting that at concentrations of androstenol high enough to be consciously noticed, females are also repelled by the pheremone. So, if human pheremones exist, we process them without ever noticing. Since the brain area responsible for smell is a very old section of our brain, with few connections to our language processing areas, and since smell often dictates our moods, it would seem that the pheremones would have a greater affect on our emotions than our emotions would on the perception of the smell.
    http://zebra.biol.sc.edu/smell/mary-amy/mary_amy_doc.html
     
  4. May 17, 2004 #3
    Actually, pheromones have been proven to exist and to have powerful effects in humans. Here is a University of Chicago Press Release for a paper entitled "Regulation of Ovulation by Human Pheromones", published in Nature.

    This same researcher has more recently found other pheromones which cause elevated mood in women.

    I have purchased pheromones from Pherone pheromones and found them to work surprisingly well for me, particularly one called V-5. I am somewhat imposing and V-5 seems to make women feel more relaxed around me and to defuse any negative impression.

    That company also has some good references in their pheromone facts section, such as this review paper, Human Pheromones: Integrating Neuroendocrinology and Ethology.
     
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