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August 5th, 2007

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04:51 pm - Interesting study on sexual behavior in mice
Obviously, humans and mice are quite different, but a recent study on sexual behavior in mice yielded fairly unexpected results. Mice have pheromone receptors, that require a protein called TRPC2 to function, and these receptors clearly play a vital role in mouse sexual behavior.
In 2002, Dulac and her colleagues described how male mice genetically engineered to lack TRPC2 mate indiscriminately with the male and female cage-mates. Moreover, these mice did not put up a fight when other males intruded on their space (Science, vol 295, p 1493).

In the latest study, females engineered to lack TRPC2 also became more sexually aggressive, mounted mice of either sex, and made ultrasonic mating calls typically used by males.

But exactly how the lack of TRPC2 caused masculine mating behaviour in the females remained a mystery. Dulac wondered whether the lack of a functioning VNO produced this behavioural change because it had limited the development of female-specific brain areas.

To test this out, her team surgically removed the VNOs of normal adult female mice and observed the animals. Surprisingly, after the operation, the females behaved just like their counterparts that lacked TRPC2.
It's also worth noting that humans also lack this protein, but human response to pheromones is (depending upon the study you look at) either relatively small or utterly negligible, so what any of this might mean for humans is unknown.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 6th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC)
This reminds me a lot of the difference between the mating patterns of bi poly pagan kinky gamer geeks (bipolypagangeek) and the rest of the population.

I've had the theory for a while now that some kind of absent filter mechanism, heavily involved with the social system, that is found in more mainstream individuals accounted for the different mating behaviors and social patterns of bipolypagangeek versus the rest of the population.

bi-poly-kinky from not having the same jealousy mechanisms or evolutionary mate selection mechanisms as the rest of the population.

gamer-geek from being oriented more towards systems that people, sometimes even to the point of Asperger's

pagan from having looser filters between the conscious ego and the archetypal unconscious.

These generally manifest as tendancies rather than absolutes, so I suspect it is a complicated collection of mechanisms rather than anything binary, and that the filters can be partially functioning on a whole spectrum rather than just be binary on/off.

[User Picture]
Date:August 6th, 2007 10:45 am (UTC)
As someone who tends towards monogamy (but is far less jealous than many) games and is strongly atheistic in temperament, I'd strongly agree :->

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