PNI: sexual attraction

Yukiharu Hadeishi yhadeish at BIOMED.MED.YALE.EDU
Thu Feb 29 00:21:39 EST 1996


I'm a bit confused by your first statement, that "strong sexual 
attraction is related to inverse odors associated with the immune system 
and the gene markers of the person doing the smelling."  I mean, it's my 
understanding that olfactory cues are critical to sexual attraction in 
mammalian systems as well as in the insect systems wherein pheromones 
were originally identified (I think pheromones were first identified in 
insects--- apologies, Dr. Ruth!)--- but what does this have to do with 
the immune system?  Are we saying that the olfactory system must use 
something like VD(J) recombination to generate the diversity of 
chemosensory receptors necessary to differentiate between the diversity 
of odor cues?  I've heard such things discussed from time to time.  Or 
are we ignoring the mechanistic details and just throwing these ideas out 
there to see what kinds of ideas, what kinds of criticisms they invoked?

  -- yh.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yukiharu "Yuki" Hadeishi, M.S.,M.Phil.  -  <yhadeish at biomed.med.yale.edu>
Now that I'm "self-employed," should I change my disclaimer to read that
*I* should not be held responsible for any of the opinions expressed here?


On Wed, 28 Feb 1996, Ron Blue wrote:

> 
> Jim,
> My understanding is that strong sexual attraction is related to inverse
> odors associated with the immune system and the gene markers of the person
> doing the smelling.  This is to maximize gene mixing.
> 
> At first I did not get the connection to correlational opponent processing.
> But lets see if you agree with the connection.  Imagine the females odor
> generated a simple sine wavelet stimulus.  She then would prefer a male
> who's odor was phase shifted by one cycle.  So that continual stimulation is
> occurring in the upper range of the olifaction and the bottom range of
> the stimulation.
> 
> A unfavorable odor would increase the in phase wavelets to abnormally
> high signal gains at all points in the wavelet.  So the irritation
> would force a female toward another male.
> 
> The correlational opponent process is that all signals are at balance or 
> zero for a mixed component wavelet.  Which we interpret as pleasure.
> 
> Pain must therefore mean that two wavelets are concordant for every data 
> point.
> ---
> Private replies to: Ron Blue <rcb1 at lex.lccc.edu>
> 



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