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Brain scans reveal human pheromones

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11:21am, October 9, 2001

More and more scientists believe that people, like insects and other animals, give

off pheromones. Such scents covertly influence the behavior and physiology of

other members of a species, particularly of the opposite sex (SN: 3/14/98, p.

164: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/3_14_98/fob1.htm). A research team reports in the Aug. 30 Neuron that the brains of men and

women respond differently to two putative pheromones, compounds related to the

hormones testosterone and estrogen.

When smelled, an estrogenlike compound triggers blood flow to the hypothalamus in

men's brains but not women's, report Ivanka Savic of the Karolinska Institute in

Stockholm and her colleagues. Using brain-imaging techniques, the researchers also

found that the testosteronelike compound stimulates blood flow to the same brain

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