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Epigenetic effects of human social odors and food odors

Posted by jvkohl on 31 Mar 2012 at 15:31 GMT

The data from this study seem to fit well into a model of how food odors and human social odors epigenetically effect hormones that affect behavior, which I detailed in the following published paper.

Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors

New data on how genetic predispositions are epigenetically linked to phenotypically distinct neuroanatomy and behaviors is provided in the honeybee model. Across-species comparisons from insects to vertebrates clearly show that the epigenetic influence of food odors and pheromones continues throughout the life of organisms that collectively survive whereas individuals do not. These comparisons also attest to the relative salience of sensory input from the rearing environment. For example, when viewed from the consistency of animal models and conditioned behaviors, food odors are obviously more important to food selection than is our visual perception of food. Animal models affirm that food odor makes food either appealing or unappealing. Animal models reaffirm that it is the pheromones of other animals that makes them either appealing or unappealing.

Socioaffective neuroscience and psychology may progress more quickly by keeping these apparent facts in mind: Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans (Keller et al., 2007; Kohl, 2007; Villarreal, 2009; Vosshall, Wong, & Axel, 2000).

Competing interests declared: I have financial and personal interests in the concept of human pheromones, and own the domain as well as others that market human pheromone-enhanced fragrance products and provide information for dissemination.