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Human Pheromones and Emotional Response

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Pheromone aphrodisiacs, pheromone, perfumes, pheromone extracts, those are all great, but are those chemical signals falling on deaf noses? Our sense of smell is a huge part of our world. Humans cover themselves with colognes and perfumes, wash with scented soaps, apply oils and extracts. Humans are obsessed with smell. In this article, I will discuss pheromones and how they affect our senses, particularly fear.

There's no one fear pheromone for all animals. Each pheromone is species specific and this is to an animals benefit.  This is because they want to be able to alert the members of its own species without tipping off the predator that they're on to them.

So does the fear pheromone exist in humans?


That's what Darpa wanted to know. They conducted a study in 2008 were subjects either smelled the sweat from people who had done normal exercise or sweat from first-time skydivers. MRI scans found that subjects who inhaled the skydiver sweat had increased brain activity in their amygdala and the hypothalamus to regions of the brain associated with our fear response.

We don't yet know exactly what the substances and human sweat that communicates. But we do know of some other odors that have caused a contagious state of fear. Relatively harmless odors like smoke from a brush, fire, pig excrement and even incense have caused widespread panic and physical illness simply because people believe they were toxic.

If odors are noxious or merely perceived that way, they can have an incredibly powerful effect on the body. That's because we don't just perceive odors with the conscious parts of our brains, but also the unconscious ones. When the Amygdala proceeds an odor, we don't think about it. We react to it instinctually and emotionally.  We react to it instinctually and emotionally, and of course, the Pentagon wants to take advantage of this too.

Pheromones and Scent


We all smell and we all smell different. It might be hard to tell on a city bus or in a crowded locker room, but your brain definitely picks up on it, so much so that you tend to favor people in things that smell differently than you do. You see, we're all covered in these molecules called major histocompatibility complex proteins. Animals use MHC peptides to find a mate, and scientists have found out that we might actually use them to see you. Learn more at http://astrobiosociety.org

Pheromone Parties


You probably heard of pheromone parties. This is a party where everybody brings a sweaty shirt in a plastic bag and then everyone passes around the plastic bags and smells them. And whatever shirt you liked the smell of the most is supposedly somebody you'd be a good romantic match. Personally, I think this is super gross. It's actually kind of scientifically sound. There was a 1995 study using sweaty shirts that showed that women prefer people with a particular MHC sent.

So are they looking for certain kinds of things? What kind of MHC sent appeals to the ladies? Well, don't worry about not having the kind of sent that your one true love is going to be into. It turns out that we're not all that sensitive. We're just basically looking for something that doesn't smell like us. Learn more at http://infospeak.org

Pheromone T-Shirt Study Follow-Up


As a follow-up to the stinky shirts study, scientists tested different scents and perfumes on people and some of them had their own MHC mixed in. And the ones with their own MHCs triggered a response in one region of the brain, and all the different smelling MHCs triggered a different one. The idea here is that you're probably choosing perfumes or deodorant for yourself that are amplifying and working with your own subtle smells to make them stronger. But you won't like that sent to a potential mate.

So how do you make this work for you other than having to go to a sweaty t-shirt party? Well, you're probably creepily sniffing your crush anyway.  Just take note of the scent and then try to wear something that smells is different from it as possible. And do not get caught smelling them for God's sake. I've made that mistake one time too many. Learn more at http://anatomist.info

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