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Brain reward systems and social interaction

Jim Kohl jkohl at vegas.infi.net
Sun Nov 19 15:19:34 EST 1995

In article <48lqu6$b4h at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, jappel2188 at aol.com says...
>Social interaction must involve brain reward systems in the amygdala,
>hippocampus and septal regions.  Is any one interested in this
>relationship, or have any information about it?

It appears that the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal (GnRH) system 
may be actively involved in such rewards (especially in these brain 
regions), and that many of these rewards are likely to be associated with 
the effects of pheromones or other odors on the GnRH neuronal system. In 
the mammalian model, pheromones activate genes in GnRH neurosecretory 
neurons. GnRH (or a fraction thereof) acts first as a neurotransmitter 
with direct effects on neurotransmission. But GnRH also modulates the 
hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and in part the HP-adrenal 
(HPA) axis. Both axes also affect neurotransmission via modulation of 
steroidogenesis, which influences apoptosis, synaptolysis, and 
synaptogenesis throughout the concurrent maturation of the 
neuroendocrine, reproductive and central nervous systems. Thus, 
pheromones may have duel effects on neurotransmission associated with 
reward mechanisms along a developmental pathway towards behavior. GnRH 
pulsatility has been referred to as the biological core of mammalian 
reproduction; it may also be the psychological core of human 
behavior.That GnRH pulsatility appears to be influenced by pheromones, 
links genetic constitution (nature) with the social environment 

I continue to explore aspects of:
olfactory->genetic->neuronal->hormonal->behavioral-> <-reciprocity

And I welcome the comments of others who attest that the mammalian model
of pheromonally induced behaviorial associations is not directly 
applicable to human behavior. To encourage debate, I ask: Do you know of 
any other social-environmental stimuli, besides pheromones that appear to 
activate genes in GnRH neurosecretory neurons? This, because a model for 
the effects of the social environment on behavior should begin from the 
molecular/cellular level: gene->cell->tissue->organ->organ system being 
the operative pathway.

Jim Kohl

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