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Perception of HLA-Related Body Odors During the Course of the Menstrual Cycle

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Advances in Chemical Signals in Vertebrates

Abstract

In the present study chemosensory event-related potentials (CSERP) were used to find objective evidence that body odor and the perception of body odor by females is related to the similarity of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (HLA in humans) of the subject and donor. Ten female subjects were examined three times during the course of their menstrual cycle (follicular, ovulatory and luteal phase). During a test session the responses of subjects to the odors of either three male or three female donors was measured. The HLA types of two donors were similar to each other but different to the HLA type of the test subject and the third donor, who shared a similar HLA type. Chemosensory event-related potentials were recorded from 7 electrode sites on the skull (Fz, Cz, Pz, F3, F4, P3, P4), referred to linked mastoids. Preliminary results show that during the ovulatory cycle phase, subjects responded with larger amplitudes to body odors of male donors with a similar HLA-type than to odors of male donors with a dissimilar HLA-type. When female odors were presented the speed of the neural response changed with the HLA-type of the odor donor during the luteal phase only.

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Pause, B.M. et al. (1999). Perception of HLA-Related Body Odors During the Course of the Menstrual Cycle. In: Johnston, R.E., Müller-Schwarze, D., Sorensen, P.W. (eds) Advances in Chemical Signals in Vertebrates. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-4733-4_16

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-4733-4_16

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4613-7145-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4615-4733-4

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