Pheromones and Behavior
Terms in this set (15)
a chemical messenger that communicates information (such as fertility or sexual attractiveness) from one member of a species to another
Putative human pheromone
a chemical substance that is hypothesized to be a human pheromone such as androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST)
Where in the brain are pheromones processed?
In the vomeronasal organ (VNO) in mammals. The VNO is connected through nerves to the brain region called the accessory olfactory bulb. This region is adjacent to, but separate from, the brain area responsible for processing regular smells, the main olfactory bulb
Problems with the idea of being able to process pheromonal information in human brain
Accessory olfactory bulb regresses after birth and only some fetuses have the VNO
Two potential human pheromones
Androstadienone (AND) and Estratetraenol (EST)
Hare et al. (2017) aim
To investigate if androstadienone (AND) and estratetraenol (EST) signal gender and affect perceived attractiveness of the faces of the opposite sex.
Hare et al. (2017) method
Experiment; 2x2 experimental design (2 independent variables with 2 levels of each)
Hare et al. (2017) procedure
144 heterosexual adults completed 2 tasks. On one of the days they were exposed to the putative pheromone (AND or EST) masked with clove oil, on the other day they were exposed to the control scent (clove oil alone).
In the first task, participants were shown five "gender-neutral facial morphs" and had to indicate the gender.
In the second task they were shown photographs of individuals of the opposite sex and asked to rate their attractiveness on a scale from 1 to 10.
Hare et al. (2017) results
There was no difference in gender assigned to the morphed faces or average attractiveness ratings between conditions.
Hare et al. (2017) conclusion
The two chemicals (AND and EST) do not act as signals of gender or of attractiveness. Based on this result, researchers concluded that these chemicals do not qualify as human pheromones.
Lundstrom and Olsson (2005) aim
To investigate the effect of AND on the mood of women in the presence of men
Lundstrom and Olsson (2005) method
Experiment (questionnaires) ; repeated measures design
Lundstrom and Olsson (2005) procedure
38 Heterosexual women were assessed for changes in mood after being exposed to either AND or a control solution, and in the presence of either a male or female experimenter
The experimenter carried out a number of measurements including several questionnaires.
Lundstrom and Olsson (2005) results
AND increased women's mood in the presence of a male experimenter, but not a female experimenter
Lundstrom and Olsson (2005) conclusion
AND may serve the function of signaling sexual attractiveness, which supports its role as a pheromone
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