When the Sense of Smell Meets Emotion: Good and Bad

For the masses: A shot of anxiety and the world stinks September 24th, 2013 in Neuroscience.

For other researchers [subscription required] When the Sense of Smell Meets Emotion: Anxiety-State-Dependent Olfactory Processing and Neural Circuitry Adaptation

Article excerpt 1) “…recent evidence further promotes the idea that affective valence represents the dominant dimension in olfactory perception, and affective experience is the primary behavioral correlate of odorant chemical properties (Khan et al., 2007; Yeshurun and Sobel, 2010).”

Article excerpt 2) “In light of the particular relevance of olfaction in fulfilling primitive biological needs, we thus posit that olfactory perception can be largely steered by the internal state to integrate hedonic value and biological utility with basic sensory encoding (Cabanac, 1971, 1979). ”

Article excerpt 3) “…we further incorporated neural connectivity analysis (using dynamic causal modeling and psychophysiological interaction analysis; Friston et al., 1997, 2003; Gitelman et al., 2003) to unveil the neural circuitry subserving this dynamic, state-dependent process.”

My comment: Been there, done that, got the award with co-authors for article 1)  See:

1) Human Pheromones: “Integrating Neuroendocrinology and Ethology”  (cited 72 times)

2) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors.

3) Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model.

In mammals the “neural circuitry subserving this dynamic, state-dependent process” involves epigenetic effects of glucose uptake and epigenetic effects of pheromones on feedback loops involving gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) pulse frequency.  I am certain I cannot make that clearer by adding more animal models. I am also certain others are not integrating the information about human pheromones, which is already available, to  help me present it as a model of how nutrient-stress and social-stress epigenetically effect the development of behavior in species from microbes to man via the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes sans mutations theory. I suspect we will continue to see articles like this one and that our award-winning 2001 review will be comparatively ignored.

Author: James Kohl

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