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March 25, 2008

"O" Face: Scientists Discover "O Nerve" Linked To Sexual Response

I so believe this. I don't even need the data. I'm sure this is true.

Actually, this basic "news" is pretty old, I think. There's a novel twist later though.

What makes us fall in love? Is it lust, mutual interests, shared life goals, or something much more intangible? Recent research suggests the latter.

Well, the irony here is that it's actually quite tangible in the sense that it's, you know, real. Love -- at least the erotic/romantic craziness we call love -- actually seems to be fairly real. You can, in principle, test for it. And see it in a chemical analysis.

Researchers have only recently discovered an olfactory nerve that they believe is the route through which pheromones are processed. Nerve O, as it is called, slipped under the radar for many years because it is so tiny. However, when the nerve was discovered in a whale, scientists surmised that this little nerve might be found in humans as well. And it was!

So what is the role of Nerve O? Nerve O has endings in the nasal cavity, but the fibers go directly to the sexual regions of the brain. Indeed, these endings entirely bypass the olfactory cortex! Hence we know the role of Nerve O is not to consciously smell, but to identify sexual cues from our potential partners.


...

Research has also shown that these unconscious cues processed in Nerve O can make or break a relationship. Couples who have high levels of chemicals in common are more likely to encounter fertility issues, miscarriage and infidelity. The more dissimilar your and your partners chemical makeup, the better chance you will have at successfully procreating and staying together.

...

"However, if you are taking a hormonal contraceptive, you might be bucking an evolutionary tide. Women who are on the pill are more likely to be attracted to men with similar chemical makeup -- most likely because their bodies are fooling them into believing they are pregnant, and so much like actual pregnant women, their Nerve O leads them to kin and not mates."

Jim from PoliSat.com writes to ask how we, society I mean, would react if that were the case?

Eh, interesting question. I don't particularly like the question (yes, being a guy, I am pro-pill), but it does seem plausible.

At least as plausible as "If it's too dangerous for the President, send the First Lady."

Edit: Turns out that theory was right there in the article. I've quoted it. Thanks to someone.


Related: An old story I first saw on Hot Air but wasn't very interested in. Sort of maybe kinda-sorta fits here: strippers make more in tips during the fertile parts of their cycle.

Thanks to Liberrocky for the reminder.


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posted by Ace at 11:39 AM

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