Night Lab: The Science of Sex and Attraction
Before you hit the usual moves this Valentine’s Day, stimulate your brain. Come down to Schubas for the second installation of Night Lab, Chicago’s science series for adults, where we’ll be hearing about the science of sex and attraction. Duquesne University biologist Dr. Sarah Woodley will be discussing her research on pheromones, which are chemical signals that are processed by the nervous system and influence reproductive behavior. We’ll hear about the biology of pheromones, learn how pheromones are recognized by the body and processed by the nervous system, and find out whether or not pheromones can influence our attraction to one person versus another.
Dr. Woodley describes her research this way: I study sex differences in the brain and behavior. I am particularly interested in chemical communication and the role of pheromones, odors that are transferred between members of the same species and that influence reproductive behavior and physiology. I study how pheromones are processed by the nervous system, how sex steroid hormones modulate olfactory behavior and neural processing, as well as sex differences in these processes.
I study many different animal models, each appropriate to the question being asked. I study mammals (mice, ferrets) to study the role of the main versus the vomeronasal olfactory system in processing pheromones found in urine and scent glands. I study terrestrial salamanders to examine the hormonal modulation of the processing of courtship pheromones that increase female receptivity.
One lucky trivia winner will receive a gift from Early to Bed (www.early2bed.com). Scientific valentines will be on hand to exchange, and Dr. Woodley will answer your questions about the molecular mysteries of love and sex.
Schubas (3159 N. Southport)
February 15, 2009
Red Line to Belmont
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