Encoding human sexual chemosensory cues in the orbitofrontal and fusiform cortices.

Journal of Neuroscience 28(53):14416 (2008) PMID 19118174 PMCID PMC2667117

Chemosensory communication of affect and motivation is ubiquitous among animals. In humans, emotional expressions are naturally associated with faces and voices. Whether chemical signals play a role as well has hardly been addressed. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that the right orbitofrontal cortex, right fusiform cortex, and right hypothalamus respond to airborne natural human sexual sweat, indicating that this particular chemosensory compound is encoded holistically in the brain. Our findings provide neural evidence that socioemotional meanings, including the sexual ones, are conveyed in the human sweat.

DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3148-08.2008