The Scented Ape: The Biology and Culture of Human Odour

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Overview

This book examines the sense of smell in humans, comparing it with the known functions of the same sense in other animals. Odorous cues play a role in sexual physiology and behavior in animals and there are claims that odor can play the same role in humans. The place of odors and scents in aesthetics and in psychoanalysis serves to illustrate the link between the emotional centers and the brain. The book presents arguments to explain the way in which our ancestral past has given rise to our modern day olfactory enigmas. Containing a glossary and chapter summaries the book will be accessible to a wide audience.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521395618
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. The Human Nose - A Zoological Conundrum?: Part II. Chemoreception and the Origin of Sexual Reproduction: 1. Chemical communication and the hypophysis; 2. Neural connections between nose and brain; Part III. The Scented Ape: 3. The sebaceous glands; 4. The apocrine glands; 5. Axillary odours; 6. Saliva and urine; 7. Circumanal organ; 8. Hair Meibomian, ceruminous and vestibulum masi glands; 9. Human body odours; Part IV. The Naso-Genital Relationship: 10. Vaginal secretions; 11. The ovarian cycle; 12. The human menstrual cycle; 13. Olfaction in sexual development; Part V. Scent and the Psyche: 14. Evidence from philosophy, psychoanalysis, aesthetics and folklore; 15. Evidence from experimental studies; Part VI. Perfume: 16. Ancient perfumes and their uses; 17. Modern perfumes and their uses; 18. Why do humans wear perfumes?; Part VII. Incense: 19. Ancient uses of incense; 20. Ingredients of incense; 21. The odours of incense; 22. Support from animal studies; Part VIII. The Noselessness of Man: 23. Ecology of parental investment; 24. Bipedalism, hunting and human evolution Gregariousness, oestrus advertisement and the pair bond; 25. Human concealed ovulation and olfactory desensitisation; 26. Epigamic selection and male external genitalia; 27. Axillary scent organs as secondary sexual characters; 28. Conclusion; Part IX. The Human Nose and the Monkey's Tail; Glossary of technical terms; Bibliography; Index.

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