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Pheromones: Behavioral and Biochemical Aspects

  • L. C. Drickamer
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 3)

Abstract

It is my intention in this chapter to provide an overview of behavioral and biochemical aspects of pheromones as they influence social behavior in vertebrates, and, where appropriate, to use selected examples from the literature. The chapter has three major goals: (1) Methods of approach and experimentation are extremely important for studies of pheromone-mediated effects on the social behavior and social biology of vertebrates. I will emphasize general lines of approach to pheromone investigations that explore the interrelationships between the signals and social behavior. (2) Studies of the manner in which pheromones influence social behavior are conducted at levels of organization that range from biochemical events within cells to the ecological surroundings in which the organisms live. The examination of pheromone effects across the levels of organization provides, perhaps, a better working perspective within which to conceptualize previous research and future endeavors than merely exploring the investigations being conducted at any one level of organization. (3) Lastly, useful information can be gained by employing the comparative approach. By utilizing cross-phyletic comparisons, with appropriate restrictions, it is possible to generate both a more comprehensive general picture of the manner in which pheromones affect social behavior, and hopefully, new hypotheses. Too often those working on pheromone effects concentrate their attention solely on the species or taxonomic group with which they are most familiar.

Keywords

Chemical Signal Olfactory Epithelium Biochemical Aspect Spiny Mouse Vomeronasal Organ 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. C. Drickamer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology-Life Sciences IISouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

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