Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2016, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 169–180
57.02 + 57.04

Identifying individual olfactory sensibility to pheromonal and non-pheromonal stimuli

Bedareva A. V. 1 (Kemerovo, Russian Federation), Zubrikova K. Y. 1 (Kemerovo, Russian Federation), Ganieva L. H. 1 (Kemerovo, Russian Federation), Litvinova N. A. 1 (Kemerovo, Russian Federation)
1 Kemerovo State University, Kemerovo, Russian Federation

Olfactory analyzer and the vomeronasal organ are able to perceive pheromonal and/or non-pheromonal stimuli and they interact to perform chemosensory information-processing functions. However, the human perception of chemosignals depends on individual sensibility. If the threshold of sensibility for the male and female olfactory analyzer perceiving any non-pheromonal stimulus has been identified, the perception of pheromonal stimuli has not been properly studied. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to investigate individual sensibility to pheromonal and non-pheromonal stimuli of men and women at reproductive age. In present study we identified the threshold of sensibility to pheromonal and non-pheromonal stimuli of 40 females and 26 males aged 18-24 years old using the method described by T.Hammel and H.R.Briner. In this study we tested the females during two phases of menstrual cycle: receptive (the period of ovulation) and non-receptive. All recipients participating in the olfactory test perceived male (osmopherone) and female (osmopherine) pheromones in different concentration. It was found that individual olfactory sensibility influenced the perception of non-pheromonal stimuli, on the other hand, subjective perception of pheromones was associated with the vomeronasal organ. In our study each concentration of osmopherone and osnopherine was analysed as a separate odour that had different associations. During the perception of osmopherine the participants had the following associations: putrefactive odour (10 %), flowery odour (66 %) and fruity odour (24 %). As far as osmopherone is concerned, the most frequent associations were putrefactive odour (14 %), flowery odour (60 %) and woody odour (26 %). The females were more sensitive to male's pheromones than man to female’s ones. It could be explained by the idea that females need acute sense of smell in order to fulfill their reproductive and parental functions. It is especially significant during the period of ovulation and choosing a sexual partner.


threshold of sensibility; pheromonal and non-pheromonal stimuli; osmopherone and osnopherin

For citation:
Bedareva A. V., Zubrikova K. Y., Ganieva L. H., Litvinova N. A. Identifying individual olfactory sensibility to pheromonal and non-pheromonal stimuli. Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2016, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 169–180. DOI:
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Date of the publication 31.10.2016