What are pheromones
Pheromones in humans"A sensational discovery"
In animals, each and every one of these pheromones produces the same behavior in response. For example, a sow that perceives a certain messenger substance sent by the boar cannot help but agree to the mating.
In the case of the receptor discovered by the Bochum researchers, it was found that this receptor reacts to an olfactory molecule called hedion. It is the first time that one of the five remaining pheromone receptors in humans has been stimulated, says Hatt. Compared to animals, humans have far fewer pheromones, there is a simple explanation for this: The evolutionary pressure on humans, i.e. the pressure to constantly improve in order to survive, is no longer as strong.
The study found that there are cells in the human olfactory mucosa that make contact with the brain and activate regions in the brain that are completely different from those when a person is exposed to the scent of roses, for example. Not only the limbic system in the brain, which controls the urges, among other things, was affected, but also the hypothalamus, an area that is primarily responsible for hormone regulation. Hatt finds the discovery particularly interesting that this region is activated much more strongly in women than in men.
Now the natural smell has to be found that can stimulate the pheromone receptor, because Hedione is synthetic. It also remains questionable what effect the activation of the hypothalamus has on people's behavior. Only when a certain behavior is triggered does the messenger fulfill the properties of a pheromone.
You can listen to the entire conversation with Hanns Hatt in our media library for six months.
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