Licensed books on medicine
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Why sleep in an embrace with anyone
Ludwig Jacobson, one of the first researchers of the vomeronasal organ, was actually a surgeon and treated people. According to Wikipedia, Jacobson first discovered the new sense organ from the person, which he reported to the conference of the Danish Academy of Sciences in 1809. Nevertheless, it is problematic to find the text of this report. In modern scientific articles on the vomeronasal organ, Jacobson, on the contrary, is periodically credited with the words that a person does not have such an organ. It is lamented that it is because of the authority of the discoverer that the vomeronasal organ in man has not been searched for and tried for many years by someone who will give a grant for studying a non-existent part of the body.
With a vomeronasal organ, a person has a really dark history6. If you want, you can confirm by the references to authoritative sources the statement that it does not exist; that he was in embryogenesis, but not in adults; that the vomeronasal organ is, but not at all; exists, but does not work; finally, that it exists and works. The authors of the articles, in which the opposing points of view are expressed, criticize each other, write about the incorrect methodology, insufficient scientific erudition, unfounded far-reaching conclusions. Those scientists who do not want to swear with anyone, have put into use the term putative vomeronasal organ - the alleged vomeronasal organ - and explore it for their own pleasure. So they write: we looked into the noses of 173 people, and at least two thirds of them, regardless of sex and age, have some kind of thing in the nasal cavity. Probably, it is a vomeronasal organ. But we do not say that it is he, this is just our working hypothesis, do not think bad!
By and large, the structure is not important, but the function. The question is whether people can perceive pheromones and modify their behavior and / or hormonal status as a result of the remote perception of molecules released by other people. And whether the vomeronasal organ, or the usual olfactory epithelium, or the little green men unknown to science is involved in this is a secondary matter. I tend to the first version, but I do not insist. But I insist that, yes, pheromones affect us quite accurately: not so much (and not so straightforward, and not as clear), as the advertising of magical spirits promises, but more than we are used to thinking. And most importantly, it's not just about the behavior (for him you can almost always come up with some alternative explanation), but also about purely physiological reactions.
In the winter of 1971, the journal Nature published an article by Martha McClintock, which opened a new era in the study of pheromones in humans. Up to this point, all experiments have been conducted only on animals, and individual observations about the possible effects of pheromones on humans have had the status of urban legends and anecdotes. Scientists retold them to each other in the smoking room: "But one of our colleagues noticed that his beard grows faster in the presence of his wife than on expeditions on a desert island, so he believes that these female pheromones stimulate the release of testosterone. It's funny, is not it? "And only Marta McClintock, a student yesterday (at the time of publication of the study she was 23 years old), set herself the goal of confirming or refuting by scientific methods the widespread myth that women living in the same room synchronize menstrual cycles. During the school year Martha interviewed girls living in the university dormitory, collecting data on their menstrual cycles and the amount of time they spent with their roommates, as well as the frequency of their visits to men. The collected material was enough to get statistically reliable data: for half a year of close communication the menstrual cycles of close friends and roommates really approach each other. Regular meetings with men, as analysis of the data showed, lead to the fact that the menstrual cycle is reduced (on average by two days) and becomes more regular.
Martha McClintock assumed that her results were related to the influence of pheromones, but she did not insist on this version; she also noted, for example, that students from the same college eat about the same food and experience stress at the same time, which can also affect the cycle time.
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Why sleep in an embrace with anyone
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