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by Karl Grammer on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of PHEROMONES

the quest for human pheromones in almost all animal species
life is controlled by
highly volatile substances
produced by specific glands communication types classic releasers olfactory system kin sex mate selection beauty fear human pheromones still persist
control our lives biological constraints karl grammer

human behavior research group
department of anthropology - university of vienna alarm inclusive fitness evolution of sex assymetric investment genetic fingerprint chemical warfare androstenone developmental stability mhc controversy copulins signalers modulators primers appetetive behavior
innate releasing mechanism
fixed action pattern
consummatory behavior kin recognition

incest avoidance immune system variability battle of the sexes
developmental stability sex differentiation androstadienone silent ovulation male-male competition behavior changes cognitive impairment hormone induction rural community in Southern Austria
16 families
4-5 generations
N=193 age 18-92
resampled sweat 5 times in 10 weeks
strict behavior rules
GC-MS of sweat 4941 different substances
373 repeatable substances

specific for individuals
specific for families sex-specific compounds same or different ? bio assays
triple forced choice

discrimination better on MHC than on kin T-shirt experiment
facial photographs
16 males 19 females age 23
morphometric measurements - body symmetry
cross sex attractiveness ratings attractive females smell sexy and are more symmetric

attractive and symmetric males smell sexy for ovulating women 290 females aged 23

hormonal contraceptives control

day of cycle general perception negative zero-acqaintance

sub-threshold 60 male-non smokers age 23
controls water
double blind 20 males age 26

three conditions randomized
double blind or don't they ? releasers male

pentadecanoic acid
hexadecanoic acid
12-methyhexadecanoic acid
heptadecanoic acid female
a dialkyl ether
isopropyl hexadecanoate
1-octyl-4-methoxycinnamate 101 males aged 24
double blind
lemon oil as control
cooperation game with virtual opponent fluctuating asymmetry

attractiveness aliphatic acids

vaginal secretions cooperation increases - testosterone decrases the quest will depend from the definition of the term

pheromone volatile substances produced by humans

immediate behaviour changes

modulation of cognitive processing

either direct or via emotion induction

short term hormone induction

long term changes of internal states socially and ecologically


situations androstenone - androstadienone

not sex specific !!!

although more males produce it F: 50% M:70% females prefer facultatively
MHC variability in genetically homogeneous environments MHC father likeness in genetically heterogenous environments
incest avoidance
trade off between
immune system competence Hamilton’s principle
no such effects in our study everybody is a mutant  

• • •

human pheromones still persist and control our lives
pheromones stabilize communication in biologically critical situations
kin recognition
mate selection
social anxiety

pheromones are honest signals
without primary cognitive access
choice of best partner
genetic compatibility
quality of partner

detection of ovulation
exploitation of male perception
camouflage fragrance use
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