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Pheromones Essay

979 words - 4 pages

Pheromones were first introduced by Karlson and Luscher, as chemical messengers secreted from bodies into a surrounding environment (Grammer et al, 2004). This allows for the ability to trigger responses of members of the matching species either physiologically or behavioral (Grammer et al, 2004). Pheromones have been known to have many particular purposes that include acting as: opposite sex attractants, attractants for mother and infant bonding, repelling the same-sex, and regulation of the menstrual cycle (Grammer et al, 2004). Found in the axillary organs as well as the pubic region are the apocrine glands understood as the human pheromone manufacturers (Grammer et al, 2004). Pheromones generate sexual behavior changes as the hypothalamus becomes provoked that causes secretion of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH), which later causes the release of Luteinizing-releasing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the anterior pituitary gland (Grammer et al, 2004).

New research has looked towards the Vomeronasal organ (VNO), a region in the olfactory system whose main role is detecting pheromones (Grammer et al, 2004). Recent studies have stated that based on research in mammals that olfaction may lead to an even greater purpose in sexual reproduction for the selection of a mate (Bhutta, 2007). Uncertainty is then raised as the VNO is considered nonfunctioning in some primates and the accessory olfaction bulb is non-apparent in humans (Grammer et al, 2004). However, current studies have demonstrated that humans have an operative VNO that acts specifically in a sex related approach (Grammer et al, 2004). In one study done by Monti-Bloch and Grosser (1991), they observed at whether the human VNO was capable to respond to chemosensory signals. The study included forty-nine volunteers ranging in age from eighteen to fifty-five years of age that incorporated both men and women using electrodes (Monti-Bloch L. and Grosser B.I., 1991). Human recognized pheromones and a diluent (diluting agent) were administered to the Vomeronasal organ of participants (Monti-Bloch L. and Grosser B.I., 1991). A Teflon Catheter assisted in producing pulses of air that altered concentrations of a pheromone positioned at the nasal septum (Monti-Bloch L. and Grosser B.I., 1991). The results of the study indicated that the stronger the air pulse and concentration of the pheromone lead to a superior response from the VNO for sexual behavior (Monti-Bloch L. and Grosser B.I., 1991). Thus, the study illustrates that when the Vomeronasal organ is aroused by pheromones, it proposes that specific receptor sites do in fact exist and may imply sexual behavior (Monti-Bloch L. and Grosser B.I., 1991). There has been a pheromone receptor gene recognized in the mucosa of the human olfactory that provides deeper verification that the VNO does function and could play a larger role in pheromone recognition (Grammer et al, 2004). Another reason for modern research...

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