Sensitivity to androstenone in female subjects is associated with an altered brain response to male body odor

  • Pause B
  • Rogalski K
  • Sojka B
 et al. 
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Androstenone is a boar pheromone. and has also been found within different human body fluids. However, it is still unclear whether it carries pheromonal information in humans and whether it contributes significantly to the complex human body odor at all. Some humans fail to perceive the odor of androstenone, but most of these anosmics can achieve sensitivity by daily sniffing. The following study was designed to investigate whether sensitivity to androstenone influences the perception of body odors. Four females osmic to and four females anosmic to androstenone attended two EEG sessions. Anosmics were successfully sensitized to androstenone between sessions. CSERPs (chemosensory event-related potentials) were obtained while subjects perceived their own body odor and a male body odor within an olfactory oddball paradigm. The CSERPs showed a general decrease in amplitude from the first to the second session except for the sensitized anosmics in response to male body odor. The results indicate that the sensitivity to androstenone in females is associated with a stronger brain response to male body odor.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Androstenes
  • *Electroencephalography
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex/physiology
  • Evoked Potentials/physiology
  • Female
  • Human
  • Male
  • Middle Age
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons/physiology
  • Sensory Thresholds/physiology
  • Sex Attractants/*physiology
  • Smell/*physiology

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  • B M Pause

  • K P Rogalski

  • B Sojka

  • R Ferstl

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