August 8, 2007
Is it possible that we humans have a “sixth sense” with regards to sexual attraction and mate selection? This notion may not be as far fetched as it might seem. While it is well known that chemicals known as pheromones influence the sexual arousal and breeding behaviors in animals such as insects and rodents, this connection has never been conclusively established among the human species.
But this may be changing in the near future.
The secret to our subliminal sexual attraction might very well lie with a little known – and rather controversial – cranial nerve known as “nerve zero.” Although it was discovered back in 1878, nerve zero has largely been overlooked as a potential conduit for transmitting human pheromone signals. In fact, you won’t find even nerve zero referenced in most brain anatomy textbooks.
In this program, we speak with Dr. R. Douglas Fields, Chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section, NICHD and adjunct professor at the University of Maryland. Dr. Fields has spearheaded much of the recent research with nerve zero, and he provides an excellent overview of some of the most recent findings surrounding this fascinating new area of scientific discovery.