Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Probing Women's Response To Male Odor

Date:
February 17, 2008
Source:
Rockefeller University
Summary:
A single gene determines whether a whiff of androstadienone smells pleasant or foul, or like nothing at all. But researchers who last year discovered this genetic peculiarity were left wondering about its social implications. In an effort to find out, the team has now launched a series of new studies including one that explores a different link: whether women's perceptions of -- and sensitivity to -- androstadienone corresponds with their bodies' physiological responses to it.

A single gene determines whether a whiff of androstadienone smells pleasant or foul, or like nothing at all. But researchers who last year discovered this genetic peculiarity were left wondering about its social implications. In an effort to find out, the team has now launched a series of new studies including one that explores a different link: whether women’s perceptions of — and sensitivity to — androstadienone corresponds with their bodies’ physiological responses to it. This follow-up study, which specifically measures indices of emotional arousal and stress in ovulating women exposed to this chemical, a component of male sweat, may help the scientists better understand the role that genes play in social interaction.

“It has been shown that when women ovulate, their response to androstadienone is strongest,” says Andreas Keller, a postdoc in Leslie Vosshall’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior. “It is also a time when women are apt to reproduce.” By exposing ovulating women to androstadienone and measuring their physiological responses to it, Keller and Vosshall ultimately hope to figure out whether androstadienone, also a derivative of testosterone and potential social signal, affects how men and women interact with one another.

The study, the first in a series, will ultimately enroll 60 women, each of whom will complete four experimental test sessions within 48 hours of ovulation. While watching a relaxing video, these women will be periodically instructed to smell one of eight vials, which contain different concentrations of androstadienone, as well as a control odor and an odor present in oranges. Throughout the 40-minute session, electrodes attached to the participants’ feet will measure skin temperature and skin conductance, a value from which the researchers can calculate how much each participant sweats. Before and after each of the four sessions, the researchers will also collect a sample of the participants’ saliva to measure their level of cortisol, a stress hormone.

The group has already shown that a person’s genotype affects their perception of a potential social signal communicated through scent. Now, it is trying to see whether this direct link between genotype and perception holds true between genotype, perception and physiology, and ultimately behavior.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University. "Probing Women's Response To Male Odor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080215230043.htm>.
Rockefeller University. (2008, February 17). Probing Women's Response To Male Odor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080215230043.htm
Rockefeller University. "Probing Women's Response To Male Odor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080215230043.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins