Pheromones don't exist!

Pheromones

Pheromones have long been believed to induce attraction between people. Now a new study says that the mysterious chemical signals, which trigger attraction, do not exist at all -- except in the mind.

The idea that mysterious chemicals can cause sparks to fly between people who follow their noses even before their hearts has been around since the late 1950s.

But, a team at Penn State University's School of Medicine, led by Richard Doty, has carried out the study and found that mammals, unlike insects, do not give off chemical signals that other mammals can then pick up.

According to the researchers, they don't believe that a single chemical emitted by a mammal can induce a behavioural change in another of the same species, the 'Daily Mail' said.

"The pheromone term seems to have mainly attracted perfume manufacturers and people looking for the fountain of youth. It's just not the way things are. It would be like saying a particular colour is why we choose a mate. That's just not how relationships are formed.

"It's an oversimplification of how chemicals work in the environment and how animals are affected by them. People have oversimplified the nature of the olfactory system. It's the brain that interprets what meaning is. Conditioning plays a significant role in aspects of human and mammal behaviour.

"People want (pheromones) to exist. It's part of our need as humans to have belief in the unknown. We have the need to believe that certain things are happening beyond our senses," said Doty, who has written a book called 'The Great Pheromone Myth'.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.