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    Default American Psychology Association article 'Pheromones, in context ' March 2002

    What follows is an article that I found on Pheromones by the

    American Psychology Association not necessarialy a positive article, but there are nuggets. The following excerpt

    has to do with androstadienone and estratetraenol and I didn't see this mentioned in the library...or maybe I

    haven't read far

    enough. /> nes.html

    Pheromones, in context

    In a field plagued by murky results

    and marketing hype, a few things are finally becoming clear.


    Monitor staff

    Print version: page


    ...In 1999, Noam Sobel, PhD, and his colleagues

    at Stanford University used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that the human brain responded to

    androstadienone even when subjects were unable to smell it, a result confirmed in a later study by Jacob, McClintock

    and their colleagues. In 2001, Ivanka Savic, PhD, and her colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden reported

    that androstadienone and estratetraenol affected men and women's brains differently: The former boosted

    hypothalamic activity only in women, while the latter increased hypothalamic activity only in men. The hypothalamus

    influences the pituitary gland's release of hormones, so it is in a key position to affect reproductive behavior.

    Despite these suggestive neuroimaging results, it

    remains unclear how the presence of pheromones is communicated to the brain. In many animals, a pair of tiny ducts

    in the nasal septum called the vomeronasal organ (VNO) is responsible for detecting pheromones, but the evidence for

    a working human VNO is mixed at best. Because the main olfactory epithelium, where ordinary smells are detected, can

    also detect pheromones in some animals, the absence of a VNO would not rule out the possibility of human pheromones.

    But its presence would be a major support for the pheromone boosters.

    In a series of experiments in the 1990s,

    researchers at the University of Utah claimed to have shown not only that the human VNO existed, but that

    adrostadienone and estratetraenol elicited different electrical responses in the VNOs of men and women. The result

    parallels that of Savic's neuroimaging study and, if true, would provide for a pathway for pheromones to influence

    the brain. However, because the Utah group is also heavily invested in a pheromone-based pharmaceutical company,

    many researchers are skeptical of their results, especially since no one has yet discovered a functional nerve

    linking the VNO to the human brain.

    "I don't see any serious scientific

    flaws in the experiments they've published, but then again, they haven't published everything they've done," says

    Michael Meredith, PhD, a professor of neuroscience at Florida State University, who recently reviewed the evidence

    for the human VNO. He concluded that the evidence remains equivocal, and that only further research--by other groups

    of researchers--will resolve the debate. Bernard Grosser, MD, chair of the psychiatry department at the University

    of Utah, acknowledges that a pathway from VNO to brain remains to be found, but he says he is confident that one

    exists. "Anyone who has gone in and duplicated the work we've done has found essentially the same results," he


    Discussion on this topic can be found by

    clicking here.
    Last edited by oscar; 09-28-2008 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Inserting Link

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