Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things April 8, 2014 - 1:17pm

Anyone who follows my Facebook may already know that the next article in my IMOS series will be covering the science of looooooooooooove.

Because the topic is huge, I'm going to focus on addressing several tropes, namely "love at first site", "opposites attract", and so forth. Because I don't want to write an entire dissertation over the infinite different possibilities, and since I write these articles mainly for you guys, I'm interested in knowing if you have any specific ideas you want to see addressed. I can't promise that I'll cover everything, but if I see the same thing pop up a few times, I'll know it's definitely something I should write about.

Matt A.'s picture
Matt A. April 8, 2014 - 1:29pm

Pheremones...do they actually apply to us humans?

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things April 8, 2014 - 1:43pm

Pheremones is on the list. That's a good one.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 8, 2014 - 4:11pm

^

based on what happened to me the first time my wife got pregnant, i know they exist, and can be quite powerful...

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated April 8, 2014 - 5:03pm

I hope the answer is a simple "no"; followed by you explaining the fact that what little shakey evidence of the needed VNO openings shows that in humans they disapper in the womb like other primates [Smith TD, Siegel MI, Bhatnagar KP (August 2001)], that there is no evidence of the needed VNO structure itself besides the opening [Bhatnagar KP, Smith TD (2001)], no evidence of the accessory required olfactory bulb [Kimoto H, Haga S, Sato K, Touhara K. [(October 2005) & Witt M, Hummel T (2006)], no evidence of the needed nerve and axon connections in humans [Wysocki CJ, Preti G [(November 2004)], that the required genes no longer seem to work in humans [Bhatnagar KP, Kennedy RC, Baron G, Greenberg RA. (1987)], and that there is at best mixed evidence of predictable results with phremones [Warren S. T. Hays (2003)]. I know mixed results makes it sound like maybe, but you can say the same thing about studies showing if cigerates cause lung cancer, and these people are trying to sell you a product and so is Marlboro.  But yeah, if you belive in magic, we can run with another view point.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things April 8, 2014 - 7:54pm

Dwayne,

When I pet my cat, she purrs adorably.

Now let's say that you've never seen a cat before, and I hand you a perfect cat model to investigate. In your report, you would not have mentioned that cats purr, because there is actually no known organ that produces the purr. We aren't completely sure how they're doing it.

Yet, despite not having a purr organ, and despite our incomplete understanding of the mechanism, when I pet my cat, she purrs. Adorably.

You're correct that the organs we used to use to detect pheromones seems to have structurally become less prominent. But structure alone isn't the only way to determine whether a biological function exists. And as of a few years ago when I last studied this subject, there were experiments that showed effects that could be explained by pheromones. It's been a little while, so I'll have to take a look again, but I don't think the jury is quite as set as you are on the issue.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated April 9, 2014 - 5:09am

That is a straw man.  The cat purring can't be rationally debated. Assuming a rational universe, it must have a cause.  Phreomones not so much. 

I don't see how you can make any case for stimulators of the vomeronasal organ, since belivers can't prove humans have them.  I don't see how you could make any case for axillary steroids; women's menstration lining up as a result of a.s. has serious issues [Yang, Zhengwei; Jeffrey C. Schank (2006) & Strassmann BI (March 1999)] and evidence support often reads, at least in the abstract section, like the researchers had trouble sorting out scent from phreomones.  There is limited evidence of vaginal aliphatic acids, that to my knowledge doesn't have any direct contradictions.  I suppose one could work that and the various conflicted studies up to a proably not or extremely limited.

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong April 9, 2014 - 5:22am

Cool idea, Nathan! I can see you running into a problem with trying to define "love," though. Instead, maybe go with attraction?

In that vein, I've seen some stuff recently debunking the theory that symmetry = beauty. There was a photography project that took pictures of people and mirrored one side of their face on the other, showing that, not only did these people look very different, but in many cases, they looked deformed.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things April 9, 2014 - 5:32am

Dwayne, I'm not invested enough in this argument to present a straw man assertion. :)

I'll look over the evidence and write it as I see it. If you disagree with my article, I welcome you to say so in the comments.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 9, 2014 - 8:05am

I recently had a professional development session at work where a psychology teacher talked to us about..a lot of things i don't fully remember.  But one of the things is rational vs irrational emotions.  He said love was a rational emotion (surprised the fuck out of me - ha), and that the inverse of it - the irrational - was obsession. 

I have no specific question here.  I just thought of that and ...

HEY!  something shiny!!!
 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 9, 2014 - 8:13am

^

Now that's an interesting take.  I've never considered any emotions to be rational in the strictest sense.

You got a link to anything discussing this?

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters April 9, 2014 - 8:29am

No, it was in a "classroom" type setting. 

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong April 9, 2014 - 9:55am

I thought "rational emotion" was an oxymoron. But, I could see love qualifying because love is sort of something we've created in the sense that, when you feel love, you feel infatuation, attraction, etc. It's a cocktail of emotions that we interpret as love. So when you ask yourself, "is this love?", you're rationalizing the mix of emotions you're feeling.

Something like that maybe? (I'm obviously pulling all of this out of my bum.)

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 10, 2014 - 7:25am

Maybe it's our reactions to the emotions that we're touching on.  Or their purpose evolutionarily or something.  Love could easily be argued is necessary, or advantageous, to propegating the species.  And we have the ability to react to it at least somewhat rationally.

Obsession, that's a very different thing that, while perhaps can be honed to achieve something good, is usually detremental, and very, very difficult to justify logically.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things July 30, 2014 - 12:42pm

Bumparoonie.

I've been keeping myself busy with my new responsibilities here and with working on the draft of my novel. However, if you all are interested in seeing any more IMOS articles, I'd love to hear some ideas.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami July 30, 2014 - 1:03pm

A scientific explanation of love? Color me intrigued. I guess technically it does have to do with chemicals in the brain. Not much different from the body exhaling gas. (Apparently the chemical reason behind laughing matters.)

Matt A.'s picture
Matt A. August 3, 2014 - 8:12am

Nate, how about phantom limbs and phantom (false) pregnancies?

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things August 5, 2014 - 12:54pm
Matt A.'s picture
Matt A. August 5, 2014 - 7:10pm

Or maybe that huge proton collider that could supposedly destriy the world? IDK, maybe I'm getting too fantasy-land, but there's a lot of interesting things out there that you don't hear much about.

Cloning of humans--how would it REALLY work?

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things August 5, 2014 - 8:21pm

Hmm, cloning could be a good one.