Smell affects mating, aggression in mice

  • #1
Health News


Smell affects mating, aggression in mice
Dec 22, 2005, 0:50 GMT
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States (UPI) -- University of California-San Francisco scientists have shed light on how the odor detecting system in mice sends signals that affect their social behavior.

'Understanding how mice process cues from the olfactory system ... should provide insight into the fundamental principles that mammalian brains use to transform sensory information into behavior,' said lead investigator Dr. Nirao Shah, an assistant professor of anatomy.

'There are striking genetic and neuroanatomic similarities between mice and humans. We hope such basic knowledge of how the brain functions will eventually be useful in understanding how the human brain generates behaviors in humans,' he added.

Shah said researchers have long thought rodents detect pheromones through a specialized nasal organ -- the vomeronasal organ - that`s separate from the main olfactory system.

The study showed male mice require intact functioning of their main olfactory epithelium, or MOE, to detect pheromones eliciting sexual behavior and fighting.

Shah said the study is important because it establishes a hitherto unsuspected role for the MOE in regulating mating and aggressive behavior in mice. He adds that while it appears humans do not have an intact vomeronasal organ, they do possess a functioning MOE.

The findings appear in in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
http://news.monstersandcritics.com/health/article_1070706.php/Smell_affects_mating_aggression_in_mice [Broken]


Wonder if we are just attracted to certain people cause they smell good and we want to smack others cause they smell bad. :rofl:
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Chances seem remote....Mice are nocturnal animals who rely on smell for nearly everything....from finding directions to finding mates. Their olfactory cortex occupies a large part of their brain. We, on the other hand, are very dependent on our visual senses...with the occipital (visual) cortex comprising the largest part of our sensory cortex. So, looks seem to be the predominant factor in our initial decisions regarding the attractiveness or repulsiveness of people (unfortunately!).
 

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