Sci. Signal., 18 January 2011
Neuroscience The Power of Womens Tears
Peter R. Stern
Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK
Emotional tears are thought to be uniquely human and have puzzled biologists and psychologists for many years. Using a double-blind study comparing female emotional tears with control saline, Gelstein et al. investigated whether human tears may convey a chemosignal. Even though the tears could not be smelled, tears nevertheless decreased the sexual appeal of womens faces. Female tears also lowered sexual arousal and reduced testosterone levels in men. A subsequent brain imaging study highlighted differences in functional activation in the brain. Emotional tears thus seem to contain chemosensory signals related to sociosexual behavior.
Citation: P. R. Stern, The Power of Womens Tears. Sci. Signal. 4, ec19 (2011).
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