Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Chemical Signals

  • Jason N. BruckEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1654-1



Pheromones, Chemical cues, Olfactory cues, Gustatory cues, Kin-recognition, MHC, Arm-pit effect, Self-referent phenotype matching


Chemical signals can be defined as messages transmitted through chemosensory modalities (smell and taste) and include things like pheromones, which are secreted chemical signals used to trigger a response in another individual. This section includes chemical communication with little effort to distinguish between cues and signals. For some, the difference between a cue and a signal relates to intentionality or whether the communication is incidental (Maynard-Smith and Harper 2003). For others, costs and benefits to the sender and the receiver help make the determination between signals and cues, and this is tied closely to evolutionary analysis (Laidre and Johnstone 2013). Therefore, I will review the diversity of messages possible and the unique aspects of gustation and olfaction as...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Integrative BiologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Shannon Digweed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacEwan UniversityEdmontonCanada