Study: Variation in the Smell of Our Sweat Can Convey Fear or Disgust

The Atlantic:

PROBLEM: Some animals can communicate their emotional states through chemical signals called chemosignals. Can human animals do so as well?

METHODOLOGY: Researcher Gün Semin and company at Utrecht University in the Netherlands induced strong feelings in their subjects by showing them fear- or disgust-inducing films, then collected and froze their armpit sweat . The 10 male “sweat donors” had been decontaminated in the days leading up to the experiment by avoiding smoking, exercise, strong-smelling foods, and alcohol. The researchers then exposed their 36 female subjects — all of whom met the threshold for having a normal sense of smell — to the men’s defrosted, fear or disgust-containing perspiration. The women’s facial expressions and eye movements were carefully monitored as they completed a visual search task.

Read the whole story: The Atlantic

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