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    Default Psychological effects of musky compounds: comparison of androstadienone with


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    Psychological effects of musky compounds: comparison of

    androstadienone with androstenol and muscone.

    Hormones and Behavior
    Volume 42, Issue 3 , November 2002, Pages


    Suma Jacob, Sheila Garcia, Davinder Hayreh and Martha K. McClintock*

    Department of Psychology,

    Institute for Mind and Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 60637

    Previously, we

    have shown that delta4,16-androstadien-3-one modulates psychological state, reducing negative mood and increasing

    positive mood (Jacob and McClintock, 2000; Jacob et al., 2001a). In order to determine whether similar musky

    compounds also produce these effects, we compared the effects of androstadienone to those of androstenol and

    muscone, measuring the psychological states of 37 participants. Androstenol and muscone were chosen because they too

    have a musky odor at high concentrations, while androstenol is a steroid like androstadienone and muscone is not. In

    a controlled laboratory setting, we conducted a double-blind, within-subject, repeated-measures experiment

    counterbalanced for order of presentation. Under each participant's nose, a nanomolar amount of each compound was

    presented, masked by clove oil to minimize perceptible olfactory differences. Participants completed a baseline

    psychological battery and twice again at 25-min intervals after exposure. Androstadienone's effects on

    psychological state were unique in comparison with those of androstenol and with muscone. Exposure through passive

    inhalation, rather than dermal contact, was sufficient for these effects. Although this is additional evidence that

    androstadienone may be a pheromone, it is yet to be determined whether humans exude concentrations into the air

    adequate for social communication or process this chemical information within natural social contexts.


    Keywords: chemosignals; pheromone; odor; mood; musky compounds; steroids

    *To whom correspondence and reprint

    requests should be addressed at Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago, 5730 S. Woodlawn Avenue,

    Chicago, IL 60637. Fax: 773-702-0320. E-mail:


    Clinical Trial
    Randomized Controlled Trial

    Discussion on this topic can be found by

    clicking here.
    Last edited by oscar; 07-29-2004 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Inserting Link

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