genetic control of inter-neuron signals

John H. johnh at
Tue Apr 6 00:11:00 EST 2004

"NMF" <nm_fournier at> wrote in message
news:_Gpcc.17066$wq4.870764 at
> > I suspect that lack of a prevalence of sibling mating is probably due
> > more to pheromones. These reflect the immune system. People tend to be
> > more attracted by pheromones from someone with a different set of
> > immunities than people with a similar set of immunities. Sibling would
> > obviously have very similar immunities.
> >
> Although I tend to agree with you, the unfortunate thing is that
> processing in humans has not been convincingly shown.  Even the existence
> a functional vomeronasal organ has been debated.  Although Martha
> McClintock's (one of the biggest researchers in the human pheromone area)
> work has been interesting, especially the androstadienone related
> there is much controversy regarding her findings.  Many have not been able
> to replicate her work.  In any case, the verdict is still out there
> regarding whether we can process pheromonal cues and whether pheromonal
> can regulate our behavior.

My memory is vague on this but I recall studies on kibbutz communal dynamics
which demonstrated that where people grow up in close proxmity together
(under the same roof) they are very much disinclined to enter into sexual
relations wtih those under the same roof. That undercuts the immune linkage
as kibbutz communities constitute many families and suggests other avenues
of cause. There might be some old evolutionary factor at play here, driving
mating towards those outside the immediate group

However, I tend to go for the pheromone research at another level, sweat
seems to increase sexual attractiveness, at least for sweaty males, but
again I can't be sure this has been finally demonstrated. A friend of mine
recently made this observation: being a student he often will be locked away
for a few days, during which time he will not shower or bath. He said that
during this time, when he goes out to the shops, it seems to him that women
find him more interesting!

John H.

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list