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Luteinizing hormone: the link between sex and the sense of smell (18 years later)
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jvkohl
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Post: #31
RE: Luteinizing hormone: the link between sex and the sense of smell (18 years later)
12-20-2009 8:13 PM

I'm happy to be able to continue this discussion, when as you indicated, most people would have stopped at the first wrong inference.

Though the review of Pfaff's book doesn't alarm you, I think he asserts more than what is in print, if you read between the lines. Nowhere is there anything to suggest what another non-hormonal driver might be.

Since we are now relatively sure that non-olfactory/pheromonal stimuli from the social enviornment do not directly alter hormone levels, and are very sure that olfactory/pheromonal stimuli do directly alter hormone levels, the point of finding non-hormonal drivers of behavior might be mute. Thus, as the reviewer of my book chapter asked: Why can't it be visual, is a question that remains open-ended with no one to take on the task of answering.

Anyone who thinks that visual input might be the driver, should do more than ask why it might be. Minimally, an attempt to draw from the literature on how non-olfactory/pheromonal input might drive behavior would be expected -- or on how something other than hormones is the driving force. I'm just not reading anything about non-hormonal drivers in the available literature. In contrast, I'm sure that you've seen plenty of statements that oxytocin (a hormone) does this, or that norepinephrine (a hormone) does this, not to mention what the sex hormones do--all with regard to behavior. Then there's the pharmaceutical literature that show what altering levels of hormones, like the neurotransmitter serotonin, can do with behaviors associated with depression.

Nevertheless, I do not dissagree with your worldview. Of course we think about our actions and the consequences they might have. And we are able to avoid many of the worst consequences. On the other hand, there is a 50% divorce rate in the Western world, which makes me wonder what people are doing when they either are not thinking about consequences (acting like animals) or just not thinking (like animals). Deaths from lifestyle-associated choices are also an issue. Why do people continue to smoke cigarettes or gain weight when they know they are more likely to die as a result? I think that hormones are being effected by our habits and that habits form because the hormone responses are conditioned by olfactory/pheromonal stimuli (e.g, associated with food or cigarettes). Alcohol,. for example, effects levels of luteinizing hormone, as does olfactory/pheromonal input.

The human cortex may modify behavioral impulses, but it cannot modify the  electrical impulses that come from the transduction of chemical signals in our social environment. These electrical impulses are manifest in nerve cells that secrete hormones, which alter levels of other hormones, and behavior.

I'm relatively sure we can agree that most people, unlike other animals, modify their hormone-driven behaviors. That still leaves no explanation for why, at times, they don't. What I'm trying to say is that when they don't modify their hormone-driven behaviors, it may simply be a failure to realize that the behaviors that need to be modified are driven by hormones.

If it's something else that causes bad behavior, why hasn't someone discovered why the cortex can't control whatever it is--preferably at all times. With olfactory/pheromonal conditioning of hormone-associated behavior, there's no need to ever posit cortical override; it happens unconsciously, just as it happens in other animals, without thought.

If the female boar exposed to androstenone doesn't think about her presentation posture while accepting her male mate, what are the levels of biological organization that are required so that a woman can think about whether or not she will be or should be receptive to a male's advances? What additional part of the pathway from stimulus to response is involved. And why does it seem to the research community that ovulatory phase women are predisposed by their hormone levels to be more receptive (e.g., at the same time their olfactory acuity and specificity to androstenol peaks)? If it is the suppression of cortical function that leads us to behave in a manner more like other mammals, why can't many of us avoid the suppression?

If, like other mammals, we are conditioned to respond to olfactory/pheromonal stimuli, our default behavior would be animalistic, which I think is the case. That's my worldview. And I'm relatively certain that I can pheromonally influence the behavior of an ovulatory phase female so that her cortical override is less effective that she can consciously consider. These study findings require replication. For now, all we have is a model for experimentation, and some preliminary results. Yet, with regard to the relative salience of other sensory input, all we have is thoughts of cortical override and experiences with the failure of that override. I think that's because our cortical override does not very effectively override our hormonally-driven behaviors. So, what behaviors does it override, and when does the override kick in?

Perhaps it is time to look at a new conceptualization of human behavior that does not depend on a dysfunctional cortical override. One that allows for species survival, which minimally requires that we find food, and reproduce sexually, both of which are functions of olfactory/pheromonal input.

Adding our cortical mathematical ability to that equation: food + sex = species survival, does not change the outcome.  Remove the ability to process olfactory/pheromonal stimuli and no species that sexually reproduces survives.

Also, no amount of thinking about homosexuality is likely to explain why some people can't think (i.e., cortically override) their way out of it.  Thus, if we cannot think our way out of heterosexuality or out of homosexuality, perhaps all of the behaviors that we can think about are as hormonally driven as our sexual behavior, like in other animals. If they're not, someone should tell us something about another model. Even cortical suppression of hormone secretion is the same hormone-driven animal model.

James V. Kohl

http://www.pheromones.com

 

 

12-20-2009 8:13 PM
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Gone with the Wind
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Post: #32
RE: Luteinizing hormone: the link between sex and the sense of smell (18 years later)
12-20-2009 10:07 PM

James,

I am in violent agreement with most of what you have written in this last post.

One great illustration on the possiblitiy of people misunderstanding their own motives comes from stage hypnosis. If a person is given a post-hypnotic suggestion to do something unusual, they will often come up with a rational-sounding explanation of their behavior. Not only will they come up with the explanation, they will believe it. I think something very similar happens with many of our hormonally driven behaviors. This effect creates a "blind spot" for many humans, be they researchers or laymen.

Recognizing this and learning to model and manipulate the hormonally driven behaviors has potential great benefits to mankind. You have alluded to some of them above.

It is a great jump from hormone production to behavior though. It is intriguing to think that all behavioral drivers might be hormonal, but that is a great claim that requires large amounts of supporting evidence before most people would be ready to accept it. It is particulary hard to accept for some complex human behaviors that no animals lacking an evolved cortex appear to exhibit. Like doing pure mathematics, creating art, seeking mystical experiences, etc.

One of the primary functions of the cortex seems to be inhibitory. When this is suppressed, for instance with alcohol, individuals are more free to respond to hormonal behavioral drivers.

In some cases without any suppression of inhibitions, the drives may increase in strength until the inhibitions are overcome and a behavior is expressed.

Cortical activity also seems to be able to alter the hormonal environment. For instance, if one were to offer a teenage male $1000 if he could produce an erection in the next five minutes without any movement or exterior stimulus, most young males would be able to earn the grand. This indicates that there are feedback loops between the neurological activity and the hormonal activity. At the beginning of the causal chain is auditory input, and at the output is the observable "behavior" of an erection.

The mechanisims you are uncovering, of the direct links between olfactory stimulus and hormone production, are of great value. They are inputs to a complex neural/hormonal control system that finally determines behavior. The hormonal parts of this system are arguably the oldest parts, and quite probably the strongest and most effectual.

Gone with the Wind

<p align="center">Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate. Bodhi svaha!</p>
12-20-2009 10:07 PM
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jvkohl
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Post: #33
RE: Luteinizing hormone: the link between sex and the sense of smell (18 years later)
12-22-2009 9:21 PM

Here's a link to an article in a recent issue of The Scientist: "Hormones in concert"

http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/56170/

"We coined the acronym INTO, for Integrated Neurohormonal Therapy for Obesity, to describe our new obesity research strategy."

Again, I make reference to food preferences and the ability to control (or not) our choices. The above INT could apply equally well to the development of sexual preferences, and attempt to influence them, as it is what I have detailed. Instead of the initial stimulus being food odors, however, it is the odors from other people. Pheromones then become the Integrated Neurohormonal Therapy (though this might be a difficult concept to market). Discussing food is less threatening than discussing human sexuality, I think.

Your mention of hyponosis seems pertinent in this regard, since habits formed over years of development are notoriously not malleable even under hypnosis--or I'm sure there would be fewer smokers and less of a problem with obesity.

(12-20-2009 10:07 PM)Gone with the Wind Wrote:  It is a great jump from hormone production to behavior though. It is intriguing to think that all behavioral drivers might be hormonal, but that is a great claim that requires large amounts of supporting evidence before most people would be ready to accept it.

This is where we dissagree; I don't think there is any jump from hormones to behavior because you can read through articles on the hormones involved in food intake, and recognize that there is nothing else (besides hormones) driving the food intake behavior. People can't think their way out of obesity.

(12-20-2009 10:07 PM)Gone with the Wind Wrote:  It is particulary hard to accept for some complex human behaviors that no animals lacking an evolved cortex appear to exhibit.

My focus is on linking social environmental stimuli to hormones and sex differences in behavior, which are not complex in any species. People seem to think that we are so much more advanced because we have an evolved cortex, when there is plenty of information available that reinforces the fact that we often don't use our cortex when it comes to sexuality.

(12-20-2009 10:07 PM)Gone with the Wind Wrote:  Like doing pure mathematics, creating art, seeking mystical experiences, etc.

Impressive, but outside the realm of social interaction, especially sexual interaction. Even people who enjoy sharing formulas, art, or mysticism won't be "thinking" about these things when sexually aroused. Heterosexual men can equally enjoy discussions with other men and women. But when the discussions are over, and the party begins--the men aren't going to be interested in partying with men the same way they do with women.

(12-20-2009 10:07 PM)Gone with the Wind Wrote:  One of the primary functions of the cortex seems to be inhibitory. When this is suppressed, for instance with alcohol, individuals are more free to respond to hormonal behavioral drivers. In some cases without any suppression of inhibitions, the drives may increase in strength until the inhibitions are overcome and a behavior is expressed.

At some point, when it comes to sex, our inhibitions must be overcome to fully express our sexuality. And sexual reproduction is not a cortical function in any animal. You seem to be taking a snap-shot type of human adult sexual expression and making it out to be something that I'm convinced it is not. It is not a thoughtfull experience. Fools rush in, remember? But they don't think they are fools during the rush.

(12-20-2009 10:07 PM)Gone with the Wind Wrote:  Cortical activity also seems to be able to alter the hormonal environment. For instance, if one were to offer a teenage male $1000 if he could produce an erection in the next five minutes without any movement or exterior stimulus, most young males would be able to earn the grand. This indicates that there are feedback loops between the neurological activity and the hormonal activity.

The feedback loops always include links to the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system  that is directly effected by pheromones. If the GnRH neuronal system were not quiescent early in life, younger children would be able to earn that $1000. And if the effects of the GnRH pulse were maintained into old age, our great-grandfathers also could earn the $1000 -- if their sense of smell was relatively intact. Doesn't this suggest that hormones, especially GnRH are the driving force, not cortical activity?

(12-20-2009 10:07 PM)Gone with the Wind Wrote:  At the beginning of the causal chain is auditory input, and at the output is the observable "behavior" of an erection.

No! The beginiing of the causal change is the association between olfactory/pheromonal input and what we hear, but it is the olfactory/pheromonal input that caused hormonal change, not the auditory input. I think you can see why everything keeps coming back to olfactory/pheromonal input. Say nothing to the males being tested. Simply have them read a set of instructions. Does the causal chain start with the words that they read? No! It starts with associations that begin from birth (and probably some from before birth).

(12-20-2009 10:07 PM)Gone with the Wind Wrote:  The mechanisims you are uncovering, of the direct links between olfactory stimulus and hormone production, are of great value. They are inputs to a complex neural/hormonal control system that finally determines behavior. The hormonal parts of this system are arguably the oldest parts, and quite probably the strongest and most effectual.

Yes! And due to our evolved cortex and what we "think" --  the oldest, strongest, and most effectual inputs are typically ignored when it comes to discussions of human sexual preferences and how they develop.

James V. Kohl

scentoferos.com

12-22-2009 9:21 PM
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djAndarial
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Post: #34
RE: Luteinizing hormone: the link between sex and the sense of smell (18 years later)
05-26-2018 11:18 PM

"One could readily speculate that exposure to masculine pheromones would alter a woman's GnRH pulse frequency, which is how menstrual synchrony occurs " kohl


This would explain why my massive doses of mones would trigger early menstruation is some females I came into prolonged contact with.

This happened MANY times wearing mixes over 400mcg with -none and high a/b nol mixes
05-26-2018 11:18 PM
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