Download The Great Pheromone Myth by Richard L. Doty PDF

By Richard L. Doty

Mammalian pheromones, audiomones, visuomones, and snarks -- Richard Doty argues that all of them belong within the similar type: items of imagination.

For greater than 50 years, researchers -- together with many famous scientists -- have pointed out pheromones because the triggers for quite a lot of mammalian behaviors and endocrine responses. during this provocative e-book, well known olfaction professional Richard L. Doty rejects this concept and states bluntly that, not like bugs, mammals do not need pheromones.

Doty systematically debunks the claims and conclusions of stories that purport to bare the life of mammalian pheromones. He demonstrates that there's no quite often approved medical definition of what constitutes a mammalian pheromone and that makes an attempt to divide stimuli and complicated behaviors into pheromonal and nonpheromonal different types have basically failed. Doty's debatable statement belies a persisted fascination with the pheromone thought, a variety of claims of its chemical isolation, and what he sees because the wasted expenditure of countless numbers of thousands of greenbacks by means of and government.

The nice Pheromone delusion at once demanding situations principles concerning the function chemical substances play in mammalian habit and reproductive procedures. it's a must-have reference for biologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and readers drawn to animal habit, ecology, and evolution.

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Indeed, only one criterion—that of assumed chemical simplicity for the isolated product—was met by all of the isolated substances. These authors concluded, “It would appear to us that the labeling of a compound as a pheromone, when it has not been demonstrated to meet a well-defined set of operational criteria, is problematic if the pheromone term is to have any meaning beyond that of being synonymous with a ‘chemical’” (p. 148). This early critique of the pheromone concept aroused considerable debate and consternation, with one well-established scientist withdrawing his chapter from the to-be-published volume after learning of the anti-pheromone chapter and another accusing the authors of jeopardizing his funding.

Hormones are rarely species-specific in mammals and, unlike putative pheromones, most have been identified and have a limited number of well-defined cognate receptors. Booth’s argument fails to address the issue of learning, although he did state that “it seems that, whereas the response to pheromones in insects is primarily innate, in mammals learning by association with other stimuli can be involved” (p. 303). The issue of learning, addressed in detail in Chapter 3, is critical to acceptance of whether putative mammalian pheromones differ from odorants in general.

Theoretically, such substances may act not only by olfaction but also by ingestion. In mammals, however, they are believed to act mainly via the sense of smell” (p. 243). Aron (1979) follows the original definition of Karlson and Lüscher (1959), but emphasizes olfaction, stat- 16 T H E G R E AT P H E R O M O N E M Y T H ing, “A sensory stimulus whose action is prevented by either olfactory bulb removal or peripheral anosmia should be considered a pheromone in nature until we obtain further information on the compounds involved” (p.

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