When we think of pheromones, we often think of love, lust, attraction, and desire. Pheromones are those little subconscious biological chemicals in each and every one of us that are released from our bodies and are picked up by another member of our same species, which generates an attraction or other type of response or behavior.
Although there are plenty of old wives’ tales as well as common myths about how pheromones work, there is also a great deal of scientific research that point to some pretty interesting facts. Read on to learn more about some these interesting facts, and how scientists are continuously working on pieces of the pheromone puzzle.
“Communicating” Through Pheromones
Pheromones are chemicals released from your body in order to elicit a response from another individual of your same species. Many people do not know that pheromones are released by every living kind of species whether it is plants, insects, animals or even bacteria.
In certain types of species, pheromones can also be a type of communication. These messages, transmitted by pheromones can be cooperative, sexual or territorial in nature. One of the easiest ways to understand how pheromones work is to examine the mating behaviors of animals. Females in heat draw in males for the purposes of mating.
Can You “Smell” the Love?
In humans, sex pheromones are odorless and invisible, although they can still be detected by the nasal passages. Recent studies have shown that despite the traditional belief that an organ known as the vomer nasal organ in the front of the nose was responsible for evaluating pheromones, there may not be such an organ or there could be blockage in this area.
Despite this, pheromones can still be sensed through human nasal passages. Then, the signal taken from the pheromones is transmitted to parts of the brain where desire and emotion are controlled.
The Science Behind Your Tears
Recent research shared by Smithsonian Magazine shows that smells associated with particular behaviors may have responses that you would not have expected. For example, the smell of tears could influence men.
Additionally, research from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel determined that the tears of women did not elicit empathy in their laboratory test but they did diminish the testosterone level and arousal levels of men participating in the study.
“Potent” Pheromone Perceptions
One of the most interesting outcomes of a study like this is that there are all kinds of perceptions associated with pheromones that we might not know yet. The most famous of pheromones are potent aphrodisiacs.
Doctors and scientists working in the field of human pheromone research know they have just scraped the surface when it comes to understanding how pheromones influence human behavior, but they suspect that the links may go much deeper.
Research so far has focused primarily on noticeable odors, which is why so much of the research you do see about pheromones has to do with sweat glands near the underarms. Actually, a recent study is now looking at the possibility of tears also releasing pheromone signals.
Researchers have been working for many years to identify a human sex pheromone but not one has turned up in the research thus far. But this doesn’t mean that one does not exist; one just has not yet been located.
Learn more about sex pheromones here.
Battle of the Sexes
Although scientists have not yet uncovered all of the information they wish to know about pheromones, they have put together more pieces of the puzzle.
For example, in a study from 2005, gay men who were given anonymous sweat samples overall preferred the scent of other gay men, while heterosexual men participating in the same study preferred the scent of women.
When women were asked to rate odors associated with various t-shirts worn by different men, the results of the study showed that women preferred men whose DNA was unique enough from their own. This attributes to the biological fact that women are drawn to men with strong immune systems for the purpose of reproducing children.
There are other indications that pheromones have a significant impact on humans and the way we interact with our surroundings. For example, newborns prefer to move towards the smell of breasts, and adults are often able to differentiate by their sense of smell whether or not a person who generated sweat was suffering from anxiety at the time.
A Puzzle Isn’t Without its Challenges…
Research for more information about human pheromones has been challenged by two separate obstacles until this point. First of all, the impacts seen by pheromones are not dramatic or substantial enough and no one has been able to identify the right chemicals that cue individuals about breath smells, mating compatibility or anxiety.
Connecting the Pieces
Although the most recent research only tells about one piece of the puzzle, it could be an important step forward so that scientists can uncover even more about the human pheromone network and how it works. With accomplishments like this, it’s likely that the scientific community will continue to invest funds and energy into more studies focused specifically on pheromones.
The Nose Knows – Call an ENT Specialist in Boynton Beach
The bottom line is that your nose may be giving your brain more cues than you are aware of. While it’s common to understand how your brain reacts to obvious nasal cues, pheromones might tell more of the story about the subtle ways in which humans may act and react.
Want to learn more about the inner workings of your nose and sinuses? Visit here to speak with an ENT specialist in Boynton Beach.