Pheromones humans and animals: is there love at first scentPictolic
Today to buy a special perfumes with pheromones guaranteeing a stunning success with the opposite sex, can be everywhere. They are offered not only for adults but ordinary perfume boutiques and even pharmacies. But should we trust the promises of the manufacturers, colorfully painted on the labels of these products?
Study of the effect of pheromones in sexual behavior of the person, science has done relatively recently. Last reviewed their role in the life of insects and some mammals, and that biologists have some progress. As for humans, we now have access to inventions, hunches or, at best, the results of the research, which was funded interested in the positive performance of the company.
Jean-Henri Fabre at work. Photos of the late XIX century
It all began in the nineteenth century with the usual butterflies. The French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre was the first to suggest that the male insects help to find females at a great distance it smells. Guess the scientist almost a century, no one can check, while in 1950-ies of the case did not come from a group of German researchers, led by Dr. Adolf Butenandt.
Scientific substantiation of the hypothesis Fabre was given to men of science is not easy. They had to spend several years and destroy more than half of the female silkworm to make sure that special volatile substances in the air force males to lose your head and go towards the female.
The study of gonadal insects extracted the contents, and then splits into the chromatograph for the individual components. One of the resulting protein sequence was thus the pheromone. It was called bombilla, so as to honor hundreds of thousands of dead silkworms, whose name in Latin language looks like Bombyx mori.
Silkworm. Bombyx mori
Inspired by the success of German colleagues, scientists around the world began to experiment with different types of insects and similar bombillo compounds found yet dozens of different flying and crawling fauna.
Carried out this work and mammals. Biologists quickly found that female mice prefer the smell of a dominant male. In this case, the pheromones not only attract individuals of the opposite sex, but also suppress puberty and sexual activity with other males. Sometimes the smell of a dominant male even helped to interrupt the beginning of the pregnancy, increasing the chances mouse "macho" for success.
In research laboratories have conducted many experiments on mice and came to the conclusion that rodents, relying in finding a partner just for the scent, from the set of options chosen individual with the most different from their own set of histocompatibility genes. This ensures the offspring increased immunity and the ability to adapt to environmental conditions.
Experts have suggested that a similar mechanism may exist in humans. To test this hypothesis was not easy, but the scientists found an original way. They gave the women used to smell men's t-shirt and asked to choose those that will be most attractive scent.
As expected, participants in the experiment were chosen men, and maximally different from them in the histocompatibility genes, but gave preference to members of his race. Probably, this limitation is due to the fact that too large differences in the genotypes can make viable offspring. It's possible that that's why people with white skin are often't stand the smell of blacks, and Asians unpleasant smell of Europeans.
But people still differ from butterflies and mice and, above all, that we are not guided by instincts, and the commands of the higher nervous system. The higher stage of evolution, the more controllable reaction. Butterfly, even pinned to the table with a pin, to flap my wings, feeling the air, the smell of butterflies of its kind. But the dog is already possible to "talk" to participate in "the dog wedding" teams "fu" and "me."
The human brain is exaggerated, and the sense of smell, on the contrary, immature, therefore, to accurately determine the degree of influence of pheromones on mating behavior is very difficult. Moreover, we still don't know whether to save our species, a working system to analyze the pheromones.
Reptiles and most mammals for pheromones are special "sensor" — vomeronasal, or protect themselves body. The processes of its neurons is introduced to the main and additional olfactory bulb and information about the pheromones in the highest parts of the Central nervous system receives parallel data about ordinary odors.
For a long time it was believed that the vomeronasal organ atrophies people still at the stage of fetal development, but it was a mistake. Such a body is, and in adults, and about its existence learned in the beginning of the XVIII century Dutch military doctor, who operated on the soldier, wounded in the face. Is to protect themselves on the nose, 15-20 mm from the edge of the nostrils.
While a person no additional olfactory bulb, no special nerve endings coming from vomeronasal apparatus. Surprisingly, despite this, there are many evidence that odors play a crucial role to Homo sapiens in choosing a partner.
Interesting experience held in 1998, psychologist Martha McClintock. She struck axillary highlight a woman on the upper lip and another that synchronized their menstrual cycles. So McClintock was able to explain the coincidence of the menstrual cycles of women living in the same apartment. Later she was able to prove that the menstrual cycles influence also male odors.
The smell of sweat of the man who is in a state of sexual arousal, annoying the woman's brain, the area responsible for receiving pleasure and sexual behavior. Clear scientific evidence of the action of pheromones no, but other than the action of these substances to explain many things in the behavior of people is simply impossible.
So is it worth to believe in the magic power of pheromones or better to avoid products which are poorly amenable to scientific explanation? Today it is officially considered that human pheromones do exist, and represent fragments of the molecules, hormones and other molecules, modified live on the skin bacteria.
Microflora of each person is unique, so they exuded the aroma is unique. The aroma of pheromones are odorless in the form in which we are accustomed to understand him, but is able to lead us. The baby has not yet learned to see the world accurately recognize his mother, and adults accurately determine in the pile of things the subject of the who wore their relative or loved one.
Mankind has invented many things, effectively masking pheromones. Sanitary pads, deodorants, antiperspirants and antibacterial soap, according to some experts, prevent many of modern people build their happiness. But to abandon the hygiene is also impossible, as the smell of a dirty body repels stronger than attracted to the pheromones.
As far as perfume with pheromones and other similar products, we, unfortunately or fortunately, they can't act on the person as described manufacturers and sellers. As you know, in the world of odors all very individual and universal remedy for all men or women simply do not exist. Yeah, don't act not only drugs with pheromones, but several other types of advertised products of such a plan.