Comparing visual to olfactory/pheromonal input
Posted on October 13, 2010 by jim.
Three recent journal articles examine what some people might believe is a reduced human sense of smell compared to other animals. 1) Opposites attract: MHC-associated mate choice in a polygynous primate. 2) Human Ability to Recognize Kin Visually Within Primates.
A news article helps to bring home the point. So does the fact that other primates recognize differences in genetic diversity by using their 3) sense of smell and pheromones. If, as is frequently stated, humans have a reduced sense of smell compared with other species, we should be unable to recognize and differentiate among olfactory/pheromonal stimuli from other humans.
The fact that we have the same abilities as other animals strongly suggests that olfactory/pheromonal stimuli condition our response to visual input that’s consciously associated with the visual appeal of another person.
Retired medical laboratory scientist
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