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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2019 Jul 31;14(7):719-726. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsz051.

A scent of romance: human putative pheromone affects men's sexual cognition.

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Department of Psychology, University of Haifa, 199 Aba Khoushy Ave, Mount Carmel, Haifa 3498838, Israel.


Previous studies suggest that the putative human pheromone estratetraenol affects several systems underlying human functioning and appears to activate neural systems that are known to affect sexual behavior. In this study, we investigated whether exposure to estratetraenol affects men's social cognition abilities. In the first experiment, men performed the Interpersonal Perception task while being exposed to estratetraenol and to a control solution. Men performed the task with better accuracy while being exposed to estratetraenol. This improvement was evident especially in the Intimacy category where participants evaluated romantic relationships. In a second experiment, we exposed a different sample of men to estratetraenol and to a control solution while performing a task that implicitly measured their emotional reaction to photos depicting two humans either romantically touching or not, with a control condition of two inanimate objects either touching or not. We found that the participants' emotional reaction to touch was stronger under exposure to estratetraenol. Together, these results suggest that exposure to estratetraenol may trigger a change in men's social cognition, especially in sexually related situations.


affective touch; chemosignaling; estratetraenol; mating behavior; sexual cognition

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