Archive for August, 2012
Copulins: Human pheromones effect physiology and affect social behavior
Finally, there’s news for women interested in pheromone enhancement. We showed that the active ingredients in Scent of Eros for Men increased women’s flirtatious behavior and self-reported level of attraction in the poster available here: Human pheromones, epigenetics, physiology, and the development of animal behavior. A poster presentation at this week’s XXI BIENNIAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HUMAN ETHOLOGY VIENNA/AUSTRIA is reported and linked below:
Human pheromones: Do “copulins” have an effect on men`s testosterone levels and social behavior? (SFA) Xenia Steinbach, Elisabeth Oberzaucher, Karl Grammer
Excerpted from the abstract: This study indicates that copulins affect males both in physiology and behavioral response.
My comment: So far as I know, the copulin formula is the same one used in Scent of Eros for Women. It originated with work by RP Michael et al., which Astrid Juette worked with under the professorship of Karl Grammer — as detailed in a 1997 presentation at the International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste XII and AChemS XIX.
We added androstenol (and fragrance) to the formula for its positive influence on the woman who wears it. I had no idea it would take this long for replication of the original work, but am glad to see it presented and hope to see it published soon.
For more information on my award-winning work with others from Vienna, including Karl Grammer, the co-presenter of this latest information, see Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology.
You may also be interested in the slides from my 2010 International Society for Human Ethology presentation.
If you’re still struggling to find accurate representations of what can be done with pheromone-enhancement, you’re in the right place. As you can see, the links to actual studies and reviews can be followed, as opposed to the wild-goose-chase you’re led on trying to find support for the claims of marketers who are not associated with Pheromones.com or Scent of Eros products.
Envisioning, hindsight bias, plagiarism, or cheating
By John Lauerman – Aug 30, 2012 5:32 PM ET
Excerpt: “Harvard is using the incident to increase student awareness of the importance of academic integrity…”
An example might help others recognize how likely they are to be caught if they are are tempted to plagiarize. Here’s the example: I detailed precisely how the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones cause adaptive evolution. An antagonist: Clarence “Sonny” Williams, who has repeatedly denigrated my work, then said in a public forum: “... I envision some unconditioned stimuli to have been such a prevalent and regular feature of past environments that it makes sense to bypass the normal learning mechanism and encode the process in the DNA.” Does anyone recognize that statement as plagiarism?
In case you need help: Nutrient chemicals and pheromones are unconditioned stimuli, and they are also a prevalent and regular feature of all past environments in all species. Their epigenetic effects on intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression bypass what most people consider to be normal learning mechanisms by encoding the molecular biology of learning in DNA, which actually is “normal” learning at the cellular level. That’s how the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones on stochastic gene expression in cells cause adaptive evolution from unicellular to multicellular organisms, or simply put, from microbes to man. Other sensory input from the environment plays a lesser role, via responses that are conditioned to occur due to nutrient chemical and pheromone exposure.
All organisms innately “know” how to acquire nutrient chemicals. Conspecifics also “know” whether or not to reproduce via their innate ability to recognize pheromones. How many different ways can someone say that — and then detail how nutrient chemicals and pheromones cause adaptive evolution — without exemplifying plagiarism.
I will add that this form of normal learning is innate, and not something that any organism must be trained to do, so that behaviorists and behavior analysts don’t bring up the importance of animal training experiments? I’ve already learned that many of them don’t know how to distinguish between Pavlovian (i.e., classical) conditioning, and operant conditioning (i.e., training). Perhaps someone from Harvard can teach them.
Until then, if (e.g., in the context of adaptive evolution, which has nothing to do with training), I said that olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans (e.g., via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction), would I be plagiarizing myself or someone else? Has anyone else detailed how the epigenetic effects of any sensory input from the environment cause adaptive evolution? Has anyone else detailed this “eco-evolution?” So far as I know, it can only occur via the four stages of niche construction: ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive.
Has anyone else detailed the required bottom-up / top-down reciprocity of the gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ system pathway, which is exemplified in the honeybee model organism that I used to link the adaptive evolution of microbes to man? If not, you will probably see more examples of plagiarism as more people become aware of the details of my model. Perhaps they too, will claim that they envisioned what I spent twenty years detailing in a series of presentations and published works. If it happens at Harvard, it’s probably happening elsewhere, and it may be more important to scientific progress than most people realize.
Why would anyone trained to integrate data from different scientific disciplines ever bother to do so, and publish their work, when there are people like Clarence “Sonny” Williams who stand ready and willing to blatantly claim it as their own vision after-the-fact?read more August 30, 2012 • 5:13 PM
Human pheromones, nutrition, DNA, epigenetics (2)
August 19, 2012 in Psychology & Psychiatry
“The large body of evidence that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers encourages the search for other mood modulators in food…”
My comment: The link from the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones to effects on mood is via receptor-mediated effects on the molecular biology of cells. Both types of chemicals are electrically charged, which means they cause receptor-mediated changes in intracellular electrostatic signaling. That is how these chemicals alter stochastic gene expression. Changes in gene expression that result in beneficial genetically predisposed behaviors are expected to be manifested as downstream changes in levels of proteins involved in, among other things, the production of hormones that affect behavior.
We now have evidence (from the article above) “…that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers…” We already had evidence that chemicals associated with plant odors cause changes in levels of estrogen. In women, increased estrogen levels are associated with positive changes in mood.
If not for the role of human pheromone-deniers and my antagonists that pop in and out of discussions in the various internet news groups where I participate, people would also be more fully aware that the effects of human pheromones on mood and on behavior are epigenetic effects — just like the effects of “good mood foods.” For example, the effect of androstenol on levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) links the effects of androgenic pheromones, like androstenol that is found in men’s natural body odor — and in Scent of Eros products — to changes in estrogen levels, positive mood changes, and in our study to increased observed flirtatious behaviors and increased self-reported levels of attraction to a man wearing a combination of androstenol with androsterone.
The androsterone, also found in the Scent of Eros product for men, adds a degree of species specificity to the mixture as well as being an indicator of reproductive fitness. Thus, my claim for pheromone-enhancement is one that can be validated by past and current research on studies of the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals, food odors, plant odors, and the chemicals in natural body odors to the behavior of people. The difference is that now I have modeled the cause and effect relationships that exist across species from microbes to man in a journal article published in March 2012. See: Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.
If you examine the claims made by others for the effectiveness of their products, you can now compare the science that’s behind the claims, unless the claims others make are for undisclosed active ingredients that somehow cause this affect on behavior (e.g., increased affection). Those claims cannot be compared to anything, especially the science of pheromone-enhancement.
What the citation to my own published research results means to consumers should be obvious. When it comes to claims by others that their particular product supposedly contains some unknown mixture of chemicals that does something to the behavior of the opposite sex, those claims can be compared to scientific evidence of epigenetic cause and effects that are consistent with the affects of food odors, plant odors — including flower odors — perfumes, colognes, and other fragrance-enhanced products designed to positively impact mood.read more August 20, 2012 • 11:22 AM
Woefully ignorant politicians and popular science
By Jennifer Abbasi Posted 08.21.2012 at 12:29 pm
Excerpt: There’s no direct evidence yet of sex-induced ovulation in humans, although there’s some very new research hinting at the possibility. The LH in semen has been shown to trigger ovulation in camels, alpacas and llamas.
My comment: 08/23/12 at 7:50 pm
In every other species of reflex ovulator its the effect of pheromones on LH that triggers ovulation. This brings up the question of what common neurophysiological mechanism evolved (e.g., in some but not other mammals) to allow semen to trigger ovulation in the absence of the pheromones. What evidence suggests that semen alone is the trigger? It also brings up the question about familiarity with existing evidence of sex-induced ovulation in humans. Is this the 1973 study that’s mentioned in the article?
Jochle, W. (1973) Coitus induced ovulation. Contraception, 7, 523-564.
The effect on LH could be expected to come from the influence of pheromones on gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurosecretory neurons. The olfactory/pheromonal stimulus doesn’t change when force is used and neither does its epigenetic effects on intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression that result in the GnRH-directed response common in mammals due to conservation of the GnRH molecule in vertebrates across 400 million years of Creation (e.g., via evolution).
I think this may indicate how many people can be offended by the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization required to link sensory stimuli to genetically predisposed effects on hormones and their affects on behavior. For example, there are similar effects reported in mammals that are linked directly to the pheromones of the female and testosterone increase in males: ”The functional significance of the conditioned change in LH secretion lies principally in the unequivocal demonstration that environmental cues can activate the pituitary-testis axis in a way that mimics, in every respect, the activation achieved by exposure to a female.”
But wait, what if the epigenetic effects of pheromones on hormones associated with the physical trauma caused PTSD in women that affected subsequent behavior? Would that not exemplify taking the understanding of socioaffective neuroscience too far? If so, there’s no immediate danger I may be the only researcher who is capable of understanding the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors, and detailing how “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans.” — as I did in Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.read more August 23, 2012 • 5:46 PM
Woefully ignorant politicians and popular science (2)
ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2012)
Excerpt: “Using a variety of techniques, the researchers compared OIF and NGF and found them to have the same size and to cause the same effects across species.”
The same effects across species literally screams CORRELATE, not cause and effect. It seems very unlikely that transport of OIF would occur and lead to the epigenetic effects on the GnRH neuronal system that prompt the LH increase, which is typically associated with the epigenetic effects of mammalian pheromones. The LH increase is also neuroendocrinologically linked to sex differences in estrogens and testosterone that are important to classically conditioned effects on other hormones (e.g., oxytocin and dompamine) and their affect on properly timed mammalian reproductive sexual behavior. Thus, the question is “Do these people really think its a protein in semen that acts on the female brain? If so, is there a model for that — in any species with or without a brain? How did they eliminate the possibility that OIF is a protein that is dependent on the ability of pheromones to classically condition whatever effect it has on ovulation?read more August 25, 2012 • 5:28 PM
Epigenetic effects on the evolution of behavior
I watched about 1/2 of this informative video. By then I was convinced that others need only realize that it’s the pheromones associated with the maternal behavior of mammals that provide the epigenetic “driving” force for the development of adaptively evolved behavior. The epigenetic effect of nutrient chemicals is clearly important, because no mammal survives without food. The metabolism of nutrient chemicals to species-specific pheromones is even more important. No mammal survives without the epigenetic effect of pheromones on species-specific differences in behavior, including sex differences in behavior.
Evolution in Four Dimensions
A word search via the following link to the book: Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology) provides the following results:
Pheromone: 1 result, which indicates that the pheromones of the ant queen alter the larval development of other queens
Olfactory: 1 result, which indicates the role of olfactory signs in in a complex combination with visual, vocal, and tactile signs.
Odor: 1 result, which indicates that the mother’s influence on her pups was due to her odor.
Scent: 1 result, which indicates that scent is important to courtship involving linking and dancing in flies.
Niche: 25 results, which clearly attest to the importance of niche construction in adaptive evolution.
Random: 43 results, which indicate some confusion about what “random variations” can be attributed to “random” mutations.
Collectively, these results show how far away we are from a reality-based approach to epigenetic influences. Even those who are among the best at providing today’s students with facts have minimal explanatory power in their works. In the context of adaptive evolution, with vague and disjointed attempts to integrate chemical ecology, the failure to include both the importance of olfactory epigenetic effects and the importance of pheromonal epigenetic effects on ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction can only continue to inhibit scientific progress. Jablonka exemplifies how much progress can be made without acknowledging the primary epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input. We are left somewhat short of a comprehensive model, which means we are still stuck with a theory for our evolved behavior in an age of neuroscientific progress that should by now have led to inclusion of facts about how epigenetic effects on genetic predisposition alter the development of behavior in species from microbes to man.
read more August 16, 2012 • 9:43 AM
Pheromones and multicellularity
A single-celled relative of animals forms colonies when exposed to a bacterial product, hinting at the possible origins of multicellularity. By Hayley Dunning | August 15, 2012
Excerpted from the article: “Who would have guessed a molecule like that could be involved in colonization?”
In Kohl (2012) I wrote that reproduction began with an active nutrient uptake mechanism in heterospecifics and that the mechanism evolved to become symbiogenesis in the conspecifics of asexual organisms, citing Margulis (1998). My speculation was based on the fact that nutrient chemicals are required for individual survival and the fact that metabolism of the nutrient chemical to pheromones controls reproduction via the molecular biology of intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression, which is common to all species. The common molecular biology makes it clear that integrated chemical ecology (i.e., the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones on gene expresssion) is required for adaptive evolution (e.g., via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction.)
The authors of this article make it clear to me that chemical signals akin to species-specific pheromones are responsible for the ligand-receptor binding that enables the progression to colony formation as a more effective means of nutrient acquisition. This must occur at the same time that quorum sensing ensures the supply of nutrients is not exhausted. Thus, the symbiotic relationship is maintained, which at least partially explains why one organism might produce a species-specific ‘pheromone’ that promoted it species’ survival via a signal of what’s for dinner to a heterospecific diner. Simply put, that conceptualization seems to be only a matter of pattern recognition in what would otherwise literally be a dog-eat-dog world. Species invariably prefer to eat heterospecifics and avoid cannibalism as a built-in requirement for adaptive evolution.read more August 17, 2012 • 3:14 PM
The Epigenetics of Drug Development and Cholesterol Levels
Results from a Phase II trial of an epigenetic therapy for cardiovascular disease show promise.
By Edyta Zielinska | August 28, 2012
Excerpt: “Resverlogix’s drug targets bromodomain proteins, which detect epigenetic modifications on histone proteins and recruits additional proteins to the site. As a result, the cells produce more Apo-A1, the main component of HDL, which helps remove atherosclerotic plaques already formed.”
Isn’t the diet-responsive and presumably exercise- and pheromone-responsive hypothalamic neurogenic niche most likely to be involved in the cause and effect regulation of HDL via nutrient chemical-dependent epigenetic effects on gonadotropin releasing hormone? If so, the epigenetic “tweaking” of immense gene networks that solve problems through the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals will almost no doubt be accompanied by unanticipated side effects that could be more important to health than raising HDL.read more August 29, 2012 • 9:48 AM
Epigenetic alterations due to stress
Acute stress alters control of gene activity August 15, 2012 in Psychology & Psychiatry
Excerpt: “Previous studies have shown that stressful experiences and psychological trauma in early life are associated with long-term altered DNA methylation. Whether the DNA methylation also changes after acute psychosocial stress, was, however, previously unknown.”
Nutritional and social stress act via the same central neuronal system in mammals, as detailed in Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.
Integrating what is currently known about chemical ecology and adaptive evolution via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction might help others to better realize that “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans.”
Excerpt 2 (from the article linked above): The work originated within the framework of an interdisciplinary research consortium with the University of Trier, the University of Basel and King’s College London. The German Research Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation supported the study.
This work originated within the framework of interdisciplinary research by two independent researchers with no financial support who collaborated with academically talented researchers beginning in the early 1990s. By 1996, for example, we had a section on Molecular Epigenetics in our Hormones and Behavior review article: From fertilization to adult sexual behavior.
Human pheromones and diet-mediated life-extension
August 14, 2012 By Julie Owens in Genetics
Excerpt: “Some of the new genes identified may have similar functions in humans and….were initially discovered in yeast, so we definitely want to continue this work with a view of ultimately tackling the human ageing process and developing treatments for age-related diseases.”
The essential genes tend to be located in the center of the interactome rather than in the periphery, which suggests the central role for regulation of cell division by nutrient chemicals, like glucose. Glucose also regulates gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from what might be called the center of the mammalian interactome: the hypothalamic GnRH pulse.
In mammals, the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones link GnRH pulse frequency to nutrient chemical-dependent species-specific behaviors via adaptive evolution through ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction. However, there is no denying the role of dietary fatty acids in GnRH-directed socio-cognitive niche construction, so continue taking your fish oil supplements.
The article makes that clear and also makes clear the likelihood that yeast cells managed to evolve into intelligent mammals, which means there is still hope that your co-workers might do so through the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones. Did I ever mention that the yeast mating pheromone is so similar to mammalian GnRH — a molecule conserved across 400 million years of vertebrate evolution — that it elicits a luteinizing hormone (LH) response from the cultured pituitary cells of a mammal: the rat? The LH response, for example, is a central focus of my model.
Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.read more August 15, 2012 • 9:36 AM