Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. M ate attraction involves multiple sensory modalities with almost as many variations as there are numbers of species. It broadly includes pheromones of single-celled organisms to those involved in uniting mates over distances of several kilometers, elaborate plumages and songs in birds, croaks and chucks in frogs, electrical discharges in fish, etc. In insects, a pattern of light flashes from a firefly or of chirps from a cricket are conspicuous signals used to attract mates, but the most common form of long-distant sex attraction in insects and many other animal species involves invisible odors chemicals!
The science of why people get together isn't a perfect one, notes Harvard University's blog Science in the News. But there are chemical components to the sexual chemistry equation. Get it? I'm talking about hormones. In a simple graphic , created by Tito Adhikary, the categories of love, lust, and attraction are paired with the hormones that contribute to each.
What It Really Means to Have “Chemistry,” According to the Science of Love
The chemical communication system used to attract mates involves not only the overt chemical signals but also indirectly a great deal of chemistry in the emitter and receiver. As an example, in emitting female moths, this includes enzymes and cofactors, mRNA, genes of the pheromone biosynthetic pathways, hormones and genes involved in controlling pheromone production, receptors and second messengers for the hormones, and host plant cues that control release of the hormone. In receiving male moths, this includes the chemistry of pheromone transportation in antennal olfactory hairs binding proteins and sensillar esterases and the chemistry of signal transduction, which includes specific dendritic pheromone receptors and a rapid inositol triphosphate second messenger signal. A fluctuating plume structure is an integral part of the signal since the antennal receptors need intermittent stimulation to sustain upwind flight.
Thousands of answers have been offered—but surprisingly few by biologists, including brain scientists. While scientists regard other complex emotional states such as depression, anxiety, or fear as complex, but not unfathomable, love is relegated to the poets and songsters. Certainly such love can be a joyous state, but it is also capable of producing deeply disturbing, even dangerous results. At least 25 percent of homicides in the United States involve spouses, sexual partners, or sexual rivals.