Effects of volatile and nonvolatile chemical signals on male sex behaviors mediated by the main and accessory olfactory systems


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Estrous hamster vaginal discharge (HVD) contains both volatile and nonvolatile chemical signals that collectively elicit both male attraction to females and male mating behavior. Three experiments with golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) determined whether the more consummatory aspects of sexual behavior (e.g., mounting, intromission attempts) could be elicited in situations in which only volatile materials from HVD were available to the male and, if so, whether the olfactory of vomeronasal input was primarily involved in processing these signals. In these experiments, a surrogate-female test was employed, wherein females were replaced by males scented with HVD. Results show that males were attracted to female odor and engaged in significant amounts of mating behavior with surrogate females when only the volatile components of HVD were available to them. These behaviors were further enhanced when both volatile and nonvolatile components of HVD were provided. Male attraction to females and male mating behavior were differentially affected by lesions involving afferents of the main and accessory olfactory systems. Lesions of the afferents reinforced the hypothesis that the main olfactory system is preferentially involved with processing those volatile chemical signals in HVD that denote female attractiveness, whereas the accessory olfactory system is preferentially involved with processing volatile and nonvolatile chemical signals that evoke subsequent steps in male sexual behavior. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

    loading  Loading Related Articles