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Researchers Claim Pheromones Trigger Brain Cell Growth

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the crack-open-the-smelling-smarts dept.

User Journal 113

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that pheromones could enable the growth of new brain cells. "Pheromone signals from dominant males spark new brain cells in their female partners and could help repair injured brains, suggests a new study by a University of Calgary neuroscientist. Sam Weiss's findings, in the July issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, provide evidence that pheromones -- subtle chemical signatures that influence mating behavior -- can control stem cells in the brain."

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113 comments

Kinky! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19747461)

Pheromone signals from dominant males spark new brain cells in their female partners and could help repair injured brains
Dominant males and their female partners? Hmmmmmmmm, yeah. BDSM is fun! ^_^

Re:Kinky! (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 6 years ago | (#19753609)

Is that why girls keep dumping me. They keep getting smart above the threshold below which is required to tolerate me.

Fun.

Evolution? (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 6 years ago | (#19754111)

Explains why cave women could deal with being clubbed and dragged off by their hair. Or maybe its there to make sure their memory isn't damaged so remember to stay away? (nah, too many allow abuse and have clear memories of it.)

Oh really now? (5, Funny)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747471)

That's funny, I generally find that people become dumber when pheromones are involved.

Re:Oh really now? (2, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747499)

New pickup line: "Come on baby, stay the night and I'll make you smarter."

Old pickup line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19747967)

New pickup line: "Come on baby, stay the night and I'll make you smarter."
Old pickup line: "Come on baby, swallow it. It's good for you."

Re:Oh really now? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748477)

"Pheromone signals from dominant males spark new brain cells in their female partners and could help repair injured brains..."

"Hey Barbie, your brain still hurtin' from doin' that hard math? Well move a little closer..."

Re:Oh really now? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747555)

You mean the person exploiting the pheromes? No, they seem pretty smart.

I'm posting from a Wii btw.

Re:Oh really now? (0, Troll)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747575)

That's funny, I generally find that people become dumber when pheromones are involved.
I find that women most likely to cause men to "emit" pheromones are most often the dumber than the rest...

Re:Oh really now? (1, Funny)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748081)

That's funny, I generally find that people become dumber when pheromones are involved.


No kidding. That bitch in accounting who wears tons of perfume seems to think she's the smartest woman alive.

Re:Oh really now? (4, Insightful)

spikesahead (111032) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748239)

Of course, new brain cells don't mean more intelligence.

New brain cells will accelerate learning and cement patterns in place. If people under the influence learn dumb patterns they will find it harder to break out of those patterns later.

This is probably one of the major reasons women in abusive relationships can't seem to break away from their abusers. The patterns of behavior become ingrained through this process.

Re:Oh really now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748571)

New neuron != smarter. It really depends on where in the brain the new neurons grow. For instance, if they're in the amygdala, which is a controller for emotions, you just might end up with a more emotional woman. (Not that women are ever overly emotional. Cough.) If the neurons are related to memory, maybe the woman just develops a strong memory fix on the relationship.

Re:Oh really now? (2, Interesting)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#19750265)

Interesting... that may be a component, although I'd suspect it's more to do with variable-ratio reinforcement [wikipedia.org] - it's the percentage chance of a reward (abusive guy is actually nice) that makes it 'addictive' and hard for abused partners (it's not always women, I know of at least two cases of guys in this situation, one of whom actually committed suicide) to break out. It's the same scenario seen in problem gamblers and WoWcrack-heads, although arguably much more serious than either.

Dominate males don't abuse women... (3, Interesting)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 6 years ago | (#19754803)

This is probably one of the major reasons women in abusive relationships can't seem to break away from their abusers. The patterns of behavior become ingrained through this process.

One thing to remember is that men who abuse women are almost always NOT dominate / alpha males. My wife worked as a social worker for many years and I've had first hand experience with abusive guys. They abuse women because that allows them to have at least one person beneath them and work out their aggression at being such inferior guys themselves. That's also why most abusers commit suicide after they break and kill their ex's. They're too scared to go to prison.

Think back to Robert Heinlein - "Never frighten a little man. He'll kill you"

See, I told you! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#19754777)

And you guys laughed at me when I said that all Terry Schiavo needed was some love!! Well, ha ha, joke's on you!!

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19747477)

I guess this is just one more piece of evidence that men are addictive to women

Pheromone signals from dominant males (1)

zakeria (1031430) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747493)

so thats us all ruled out

Re:Pheromone signals from dominant males (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747623)

so thats us all ruled out

What about winners of the obfusicated Perl contests?....nevermind
     

Re:Pheromone signals from dominant males (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19747927)

They just can't compare to the winners of the obfuscated Perl necklace contests

A love potion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19747549)

From what I read in the article, the presence of pheromones only promotes growth of neurons in the olfactory "bulb" and some area for memory...
So it might not have as far reaching intellectually, but what about creating real desires in a woman using a purified/potent form of this?

Unfortunately, you're not going to find (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19747583)

many dominant males here.

Re:Unfortunately, you're not going to find (2, Insightful)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 6 years ago | (#19750755)

Since this seems to be a biological thing rather than a socially engineered one, I'd wonder who is considered the more dominant male in this case. Is it the guy who is big and strong enough to physically force other guys to succumb to him, or is it the guy who is rich enough to make a phone call and have other guys eliminated? I ask this because our economic system seems to give all of the power to the guys with money, but to me the ones who stand on their own seem more attractive.

Re:Unfortunately, you're not going to find (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 6 years ago | (#19752863)

It's neither. It's the one who knows he doesn't have to wave around cash or flex his bulging muscles because he is just that damn good. THAT is the dominant male. His mere presence, the calm and the haughty smirk will see to it that even the people with money and/or muscles will cower in fear of what this man might be able to do to them.

In our society, where the use of force is frowned upon, muscle only brings you so far. Cash can help you ruin other people but what does it help you if the other guy looks like he'd manage to get on top of that situation as well? In humans, the alphas are the oney who aren't easily scared.

Yet another loser nerd pickup line (3, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747647)

Yeah baby! Do you wanna smell my underarm??

Re:Yet another loser nerd pickup line (3, Funny)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747921)

Your Honour, it's evolutionary proof that you're supposed to hit them on the head and drag em back to your cave. See the article; they're built for it!

Re:Yet another loser nerd pickup line (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748309)

You may jest, but if you want to get a woman, DON'T take a shower before heading out for the night. You don't want to be totally stinky either, but you'll have much better "luck" if you're not exactly just-washed-fresh. Seriously. It's silly, and you yourself may think you smell faintly of decomposing celery, but women give you far more positive attention if the last time you had a shower was about 24 hours ago (obviously people are different, 24 hours seems to be what works for me).

Re:Yet another loser nerd pickup line (1)

st1d (218383) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748867)

He says as he sits at home alone typing... :)

Re:Yet another loser nerd pickup line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748923)

It's a wednesday night, got a girlfriend and work tomorrow, and I didn't say it was a guarantee for success anyway. You do better, but women aren't going to fling themselves at you as if they've been reprogrammed or something.

Re:Yet another loser nerd pickup line (1)

st1d (218383) | more than 6 years ago | (#19749131)

I was just kidding, but I agree, met a few women camping over the years. Wouldn't want to spend a week in backwoods country and try, but a day of roughing it can be an eye opener.

Re:Yet another loser nerd pickup line (2, Interesting)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 6 years ago | (#19749903)

And if you must shower, clean and dry your balls really well. While you're getting dressed, rub on your balls and rub the oily sweat on your neck, face, chest, and wrists. Women love the smell of balls.

No joke.

Re:Yet another loser nerd pickup line (2, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#19752641)

Yeah baby! Do you wanna smell my underarm??


There's an interesting social/cultural question here though: it's only a modern fashion that human scents are considered disgusting. In fact, research seems to suggest that, despite the fashion, the opposite is actually true.

So: if natural scents are good for us, then rejecting things that are good for us is potentially an attitude problem or even mental illness. At the very least, it makes me wonder how society is changing as a result, if people are rejecting something that makes their brains develop differently. I might even wonder which came first: rejecting something and losing brain cells, or having less braincells, and therefore rejecting something?

Sooo... (3, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747649)

what would be the effects in same-sex couples? Would be nice to know if this worked, then I could go to my submissive hubby and go "take a whiff, you'll get smarter!"

Re:Sooo... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748611)

Why is it that people insist on thinking that same-sex couples are exactly analogous to opposite-sex couples?

When you get right down to it, 'male' is not the same as 'female', at least in a biological sense. So of course you should expect that male-male, male-female, and female-female relationships can be pretty different from each other.

Re:Sooo... (2, Interesting)

st1d (218383) | more than 6 years ago | (#19749011)

Maybe not, but (and I'm totally freakin' guessing here...), it might be possible for people to attune their senses to a particular gender. Most people would be attuned to pheromones from members of the opposite sex, but if someone had a strong desire for someone of the same sex, it would seem natural for them to hone their skills in selecting one with a stronger sexual "signature". This is, of course, as long as some sensors for both sets of pheromones exist exist in both sexes, which is likely, considering most other animals tend to figure out which is the alpha male/female" with only a small portion of top members challenging for that role. You only get one or two animals in a pack of dogs that challenge each other, others tend to fight over lesser roles, as if they just kind of know, pheromones being a possible explanation for this.

The couple of same-sex folks I've known tend to ignore members of the opposite sex, like they've trained themselves to overlook what might be stronger pheromones from the opposite sex. But, like I said, I'm just guessing, but it makes sense, considering people are constantly retraining their brains after accidents and so on. Mix in a flush of sexual hormones, and I'm guessing the brain would be eager to adapt to the new paradigm.

Re:Sooo... (3, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#19749409)

>Why is it that people insist on thinking that same-sex couples are exactly analogous to opposite-sex couples?

A need for validation.

Re:Sooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19751695)

If both partners were equally dominant, or switched roles regularly, would their brains become supercharged? My god! I could take over the world!

Brave new plumber (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747659)

A plumber designing sex toys? Seems reasonable to me. Remember "Brave new world"? They had no sexy women, they had pneumatic woman.

In Lenina's case, the word is used by both Henry Foster and Benito Hoover to describe what she's like to have sex with. She herself remarks that her lovers usually find her "pneumatic," patting her legs as she does so. In reference to Lenina it means well-rounded, balloon-like, or bouncy, in reference to her flesh, and in particular her bosom. Huxley is not the only writer to use the word pneumatic in this sense, although it is an unusual usage. The use of this odd word to describe the physical characteristics of both a woman and a piece of furniture underscores the novel's theme that human sexuality has been degraded to the level of a commodity.

Source [sparknotes.com].

rap music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19752715)

> human sexuality has been degraded to the level of a commodity.

bringing you yesterday's tomorrow today;-}

I can see the courtroom scene now.. (1)

ruinous (1123167) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747665)

Pheromone signals from dominant males spark new brain cells in their female partners "But your honour, I only beat my wife to make her smarter."

Re:I can see the courtroom scene now.. (1)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 6 years ago | (#19754045)

Since when does dominance have anything to do with beating your wife? Statements like yours aren't funny, they're disgusting.

Human Alpha Males? (3, Insightful)

Hiween (1057790) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747669)

The question is how did they choose the dominant males and the subordinate?. You can well go to a company and test with a Manager and young new employee, but I don't think that biologically there are any significant difference (at least not correlated with the dominant/subordinate biological trait). The article is pretty short on details of how the test was conducted.

Re:Human Alpha Males? (2, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747773)

Well the test was done on mice. In mice dominant males are the ones that females are likely to mate with, so maybe they should say "matable males". For humans, it would probably translate "attractive males", or at least "males that the females in question find sexually attractive".

I think people are reading too much into the word "dominant".

Re:Human Alpha Males? (1)

Hiween (1057790) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748517)

Actually, I checked the Wikipedia entry for dominant male. A little quote:

In humans, the expression refers to a man who is powerful or high on the social ladder, similar to hegemonic masculinity. In Western cultures, the term is usually pejorative and describes a man who is overtly or affectedly masculine to the point of rejecting any affront to his ascribed status.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominant_male/ [wikipedia.org]

Re:Human Alpha Males? (3, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#19750799)

You can well go to a company and test with a Manager and young new employee, but I don't think that biologically there are any significant difference (at least not correlated with the dominant/subordinate biological trait).

Are you kidding? Very senior managers are exactly analogous to the silverback gorillas, the pack alpha males. Middle managers are more like their bitches to be honest than alpha males, though they'll bare their fangs at subordinates a bit if they can get away with it. Mind you as you go down the hierarchy it quickly becomes more meritocratic, mostly because it has to be if the troup is to survive. But watch some documentaries about primates and suddenly the management culture of companies, particularly small ones, will suddenly be sickeningly comprehensible.

I know... off topic. Cry about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19747717)

The explains why Peggy Hill regained her mobility when Cotton was bullying her.

Haha. I hate Peggy.

So the truth is finally revealed... (4, Funny)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747761)

Glad to lay this ages old argument to rest.. women are actually smarter than men.. but because men's pheromones make them that way?!?!

I sense a disturbance in the force! It's as if a million feminists shouted out at once and were suddenly silenced, if not utterly confused!

SixD

Re:So the truth is finally revealed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748175)

Ah hah. But I am male, and I smell myself all the time.

Elaine (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747813)

Hey, Seinfeld was right. Sex does make women smarter. Will they find evidence now that it makes men dumber, and abstaining causes increases, thus explaining /.?

Re:Elaine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748455)

I wouldn't say that sex makes men dumber, although it does seem to shift a man's focus. In my case, I was a geek in high school. My ideal "future" was to be successful / make a lot of money down the road. This meant that I was focused on getting good grades and staying out of trouble. Now in college, the ideal "future" that I focus on doesn't go much further than the next lay.

Re:Elaine (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 6 years ago | (#19749929)

Considering how utterly moronic most slashdot posters and readers are, that doesn't seem like a very good theory.

Cell growth != smarter (2, Funny)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747837)

"Pheromone signals from dominant males spark new brain cells in their female partners and could help repair injured brains, suggests a new study by a University of Calgary neuroscientist.
This goes against known logic, as battered women almost ALWAYS stay with the abusive man, regardless of all logic.

Re:Cell growth != smarter (2, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748137)

That's because in those situations, the male is actually emitting Fearomones.

Re:Cell growth != smarter (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#19750645)

While I think that saying all battered women behave the same is definitely a generality, I have known some women in this situation. It is much more an emotional/psychological based issue than a intellectual one.

It all makes sense (3, Funny)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747865)

According to the bible, God created Adam and Eve was created from Adam's rib. Now, God had to find a way to put brain cells in Eve's head ;-)

Re:It all makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19751185)

According to the bible, God created Adam and Eve was created from Adam's rib. Now, God had to find a way to put brain cells in Eve's head
And from the looks of things, He's still trying!

<rimshot>

for their own good (1)

indrek (590060) | more than 6 years ago | (#19747917)

Pheromone signals from dominant males spark new brain cells in their female partners
I do not know whether to sympathize with the girlfriends of the slashdot crowd (yep, both of them), as I am afraid they might end up being dominated tonight, or to be happy for them, as this will of course be for their own good.

mod 0qp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748057)

maintaine3 that t0o NEED TO JOIN THE your spare time halt. Even Emacs

Am I the only one trying to RTFA ? (1)

TheTapani (1050518) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748203)

There is no such article in the July issue of Nature Neuroscience:

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v10/n7/index.h tml [nature.com]

No papers by Sam Weiss or anything whose name sounds like the paper discussed. Or am I missing something?

//T

Re:Am I the only one trying to RTFA ? (1)

edsyc (1088833) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748397)

It appears that the article has not yet been published but is posted online in advance [nature.com]. Also, Samuel Weiss is the last author of seven. I find it a little weird that CBC article calls them "Sam Weiss's findings," as if he were the only one working on it.

author ordering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19752263)

Samuel Weiss is the last author of seven. I find it a little weird that CBC article calls them "Sam Weiss's findings," as if he were the only one working on it.
The last author is typically the lead PI on the project. First author is generally the grad student who did all the work. The Society for Neuroscience gives publication discounts based on the first and last authors being SfN memebers.

Re:Am I the only one trying to RTFA ? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748985)

if ((uid>1000000) && RTFA) n00b = true;

Re:Am I the only one trying to RTFA ? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19751243)

If this is the only place you make the decision then a better way would be like this:

n00b = (uid > 1000000) && RTFA;

This is generally the preferred way, unless your decision making formula is overly complex, then the code is bad just because of that :-)

Re:Am I the only one trying to RTFA ? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#19752615)

Yeah, but if you're trying to express a smart-alec joke in code on /., then the explicit conditional seems appropriate, if verbose. Verbosity is the friend of the n00b.

Mandatory insensitive clod post (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748205)

What about us non-dominant feminist sympathizing males, you insensitive clod!

Re:Mandatory insensitive clod post (1)

sheriff_cahill (996608) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748559)

What about us non-dominant feminist sympathizing males, you insensitive clod!


So...What about us sensitive clods, you insensitive clod!

Sam Weiss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748259)

As in: Sam Weiss Ganges? ;-)

Serious question... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748285)

And if you dont think it is, check out my MySpace page.... but what about dominant males and their male partners? I wonder if anyone has measured that? Is it something to do with the way the pheremones act only on a female partner? Any partner (male or female), or any person who has had sufficient exposure?

Serious Answer (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748343)

Can you test it out when you get home and get back to us?

thanks

Re:Serious Answer (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748863)

Can you test it out when you get home and get back to us?

thanks

Will you come over and help me? Thanks.

Sorry, no, I am single. No girlfriend, no boyfriend... not even a pet.

Maybe I waste too much time on /.?

:-)

Guys: For the sake of women's brains . . . (3, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748715)

. . . DON'T SHOWER!

Re:Guys: For the sake of women's brains . . . (1)

vikstar (615372) | more than 6 years ago | (#19751599)

. . . DON'T SHOWER!
before all the geeks on slashdot get too excited, TFA says that this only works for alpha males. So, better luck next time guys.

Gore-o-mones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19748883)

Al Gore now is an instrument of modern medicine.

CAN'T be true (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19748945)

If this were true, then dogs would be geniuses!

Re:CAN'T be true (1)

Ino (68074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19749055)

Don't think that licking your own balls counts... :)

After all - the entire thing would be a posive feedback loop - you produce said pheromones, you get smarterer...

Ino!~

About pheromones (3, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#19750687)


Here are the basic types
N = Androstenone R = Androsterone L = Androstenol
D = Androstadienone B = Beta-androstenol C = Copulins

Androstenone is lust/alpha. I've been told by women this "smells like man".
Androsterone is warm/father/trust type. Promotes conversation in both sexes.
Copulins have been shown to raise testosterone levels in about 20 minutes in healthy males (something females would use normally).

These work. In extremely tiny quantities. On about 40% of females in my experience and dramatically for about 15%. They are excellent for males with naturally low alpha pheromones including aging males (like me). If you overdose you will get into fights in bars, get headaches, and scare away females- you have been warned.

The rest (and oxytocin (sp?)) I haven't had luck with. They will not overcome yellow dirty teeth, bad B/O, acting like a wimp, hideous fashion sense. They give an edge and multiply positive emotions. They do not fix or overcome massive negative emotions. So dress well, have good hygiene, be cocky/funny, and add these in and you will have better luck. For the ladies, adding copulins in makes males more aggressive (if you like that).

They are not cheap. They are not expensive. $29 to $79 for about 6 months supply.

I use love-scent but there are other sites. I was attracted to love-scent because it has a long deep history and they had a research bias in their forums.

We are not dogs or insects. The brain matters. Both of you getting drunk will probably have a stronger effect than mones.

So when we meet dumb people .. (1)

ignavus (213578) | more than 6 years ago | (#19750823)

So when we meet dumb people, we shouldn't tell them to "grow a brain", we should just waft our pheromones at them.

Corollary: if the world had more dominant males to waft about their pheromones, the world would be a smarter place.

Puts one in the eye for feminism, though.

Not pheromones, scientists got it all wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19750957)

Sperm makes you more intelligent, babe.

Behind every smart lady is a smelly man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19751761)

Behind every smart lady is a smelly man

I've been waiting for something like this! (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 6 years ago | (#19755083)

Finally I can tell my wife that giving head will make her more intelligent.
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