Stress Science: Neuroendocrinology (Pheromones)

Social modulation of decision-making: a cross-species review Ruud Van Den Bos, Jolle Jolles, and Judith Homberg

Article Excerpt: “The social environment in which humans and animals live is not devoid of psychosocial stress.”

My comment: The last chapter of Stress Science: Neuroendocrinology is titled: Pheromones. It addresses the biological fact that nutrient-stress and social stress act on the same neuroendocrines pathways that link sensory input directly to behavior in invertebrates and vertebrates. One of my mentors, the late Robert L. Moss, is listed as a co-author of the chapter because it is an updated version of work published during his lifetime.

It was “Bob” who provided the most encouragement for me in my pursuit of biological facts instead of mere acceptance of theories, which we agreed in the early 90’s had comparatively little explanatory value. During the past two decades of neuroscientific progress, I am not aware of any progress in the context of evolutionary theory that has incorporated what’s been learned about the direct link from the social environment to the same hormones that affect behavior in all vertebrates, which are the same hormones that affect behavior associated with food odors and nutrition.

The book description notes that it contains: Articles carefully selected by one of the world’s most preeminent stress researchers and contributors represent the most outstanding scholarship in the field, with each chapter providing fully vetted and reliable expert knowledge.

I don’t recognize the names of any ethologists or evolutionary biologists in the authors listed in the Table of Contents (which can be viewed for free). If anyone recognizes the name of any ethologist or evolutionary theorist whose works they think are important to the understanding of social modulation of decision-making in humans, please tell me so that I can scan the chapter while I have the book out on loan from the library.


Author: James Kohl

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