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Question about Vomeronasal Organ (VNO)?

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sun Aug 1 22:42:26 EST 1999

About time for me to pop off on the basis of dim memories of stuff
possibly not well understood (by me) when I read it, and possibly
revised by later work, anyway.  

Anyway, for what it's worth, I came to the conclusion, after a book by
C. Judson Herrick sent me (c. 30-40 yrs ago?) to the comparative
anatomy literature then available, that while one might consider the
rhinal cortex (indeed, the whole cerebral cortex, ultimately, but
rrhinal cortex immediately?) an outgrowth of the olfactory nerve
(hypertrophy of its central ganglion), the amygdala (or some parts of
it) could in the same sense be considered an outgrowth of the
vomeronasal organ.   

Conceivably, it might persist in phylogeny even after its ancestral
point of origin atrophied.

In the absence of a vomeronasal organ, are there alternative routes for
incoming pheromone signals?  One thinks of analogous non-geniculate and
even non-retinal routes for photoperiod synchronization and other
"non-visual" aspects of light influences on neuroendocrine activity and
behavior. Indeed, we don't even have to invoke the idea of light
filtering through your thinning hair to the pineal gland: one recent
study suggests that light to the back of the leg (behind the knee) can
be effective for something or other (was it SAD treatment? re-setting
circadian rhythm?  I forget.) 

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group

In <7nq0ut$rp5$1 at nnrp1.deja.com> *Hemidactylus*
<hemidactylus at my-deja.com> writes: 
>In article <19990725205613.06206.00001365 at ng-fu1.aol.com>,
>  holson1000 at aol.com (Howard Olson) wrote:
>> >Does anyone know if reconstruction of the nasal pathways (a nose
job) would
>> >typically damage or destroy the Vomeronasal Organ (VNO)?
>> >
>> >Thanks.
>>   It would obviously depend on the extent of the surgery. But the
real problem
>> is the fact that many medical experts did not believe in a human VNO
until it
>> was proven
>> that humans did have pheromones like the axillary androgens. Hope
>> helps.....
>One question I've had, which come from something I picked up in a
>anatomy class, is whether humans have cranial nerve O (aka the
>nerve). I think, if memory serves me correctly, the terminal nerve is
>developed in elasmobranchs but that there is controversy over whether
such a
>cranial nerve exists in mammals or humans especially. This might fit
in with
>the VNO / pheromone issue. I've had a literature search on menstrual
>on the backburner, so I should motivate myself to explore this
>issue (ie- pheromones and human physiology/behavior).
>The terminal nerve question really eats at me though, since I'm
interested in
>things that are conserved in evolution (ie- homologies). Do we share
>cranial nerve O feature with our elasmobranchian fellow vertebrates or
>our "lineage" (sic) abandoned this.
>Scott Chase
>Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
>Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

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