People without a sense of smell have enhanced social insecurity

March 21, 2012

People born without a sense of smell experience higher social insecurity and increased risk for depression, according to a study published Mar. 21 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The authors of the study, led by Ilona Croy of the University of Dresden Medical School in Germany, investigated 32 individuals born without a , known as isolated congenital anosmia.

They found that the non-smellers did not have significant deviations from the norm in terms of many daily smell-related functions, such as food preferences and eating behaviors, but they did have increased social insecurity, increased risk for depression, as well as increased risk for household accidents. The mechanism behind these is not yet known, but the results suggest that olfaction plays a role in these behaviors, the authors write.

More information: Croy I, Negoias S, Novakova L, Landis BN, Hummel T (2012) Learning about the Functions of the Olfactory System from People without a Sense of Smell. PLoS ONE 7(3): e33365. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033365

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JVK
not rated yet Mar 22, 2012
http://www.socioa...ew/17338 links to Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors, which was published last week in Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology. The article details why social odors are as important to food odors to individual and to species survival. The molecular biology of cause and effect is the same across all species. How could our social life not be influenced via precisely the same evolved neurophysiological mechanisms found in other animals? And, when is someone else going to make the connection between social odors and autism spectrum disorders.
JVK
not rated yet Mar 23, 2012
Critics already are claiming that the results of this study refute extension of my olfactory/pheromonal model to humans.

Excerpt from the article I linked to in my previous post: "A gene that codes for the mammalian olfactory receptor, OR7D4, links food odors to human hunger, dietary restraint, and adiposity (Choquette et al., 2012). OR7D4 exemplifies a direct link1 from human social odors to their perception (Keller, Zhuang, Chi, Vosshall, & Matsunami, 2007) and to unconscious affects2 on human behavior associated with human olfactory-visual integration (Zhou, Hou, Zhou, & Chen, 2011); human brain activation associated with sexual preferences (Savic, Heden-Blomqvist, & Berglund, 2009), human learned odor hedonics; and motor function (Boulkroune, Wang, March, Walker, & Jacob, 2007). Insect species exemplify one starting point along an evolutionary continuum from microbes to humans that epigenetically links food odors and social odors to multisensory integration and behavior.

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