Jan Havlíček

Charles University Prague, Faculty of Science  

(Prague, Czech republic )

Graduated at Charles University Prague, Faculty of Science in biology (Bc.) and anthropology (Mgr.). In his doctoral dissertation (2004) he deals with human chemical communication. Since 2010 he works as Associate professor in anthropology. Between years 2001 and 2013 worked at Charles University Prague, Faculty of Humanities. On the faculty he established research group Ethology of Man and managed master's specialization Ethology of Man. Since the year 2013 he works as associate professor in department of ethology in Charles University Prague, Faculty of Science. He is senior researcher of National Institute of Mental Health. He participated in long-term field researching work (Cameroon, Namibia, Papua-New Guinea). He published more than 90 of international scientific papers and as well is co-author of several books (Human Face, Evolution of Culture, The Brain and his Man, the Mind and its Illness - in Czech). Professionally is Mr. Havlíček engaged in evolutionary aspects of social perception. His research unit is engaged in study of interaction among body odour, the face and voice and first impression in the context of choice of partner and physical competition. In addition, he studies pair relationship and interaction of biological and cultural evolution

FOLLOW YOUR NOSE: CHEMICAL COMMUNICATION OF HUMANS

Considerable number of new studies show, that olfactory stimuli play a relevant role in the different social interactions. Among the most important are i) interaction between a newborn child and mother ii) partnership iii) emotional tuning. Scent substances generated in the area of mother's breast partake in the beginning of breast feeding. Mutual recognition on the basis of body aroma take share in building of personal connection between mother and child. Another field where sense of smell plays substantiated role is choice of the partner. Similarly, as other mammals, is in humans detected that there is a tendency to prefer heterozygous individuals in the gene range of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Such genes play central role in immense system ability to recognize own and allochthonous substances. Heterozygous individuals exhibit more effective immunity. The results of latest comprehensive studies indicate that preferences for MHC different individuals are not proven. At the same time is premised, that similarly in the range of MHC genes in between two partners unfavourably influence sexual satisfaction. Human body aroma changes depending on emotional tuning of the given individual. Such changes can perceive people in our surroundings, even if not knowingly. For instance, it was identified that body odour of frightened people increases anxiety of the people around them. Equally such odours change treatment of the stimuli inside particular parts of the brain e.g. amygdala. Positive emotions as joy can influence body aroma of human being and affect feelings of the people in its surroundings. Presently it is still unclear which particular chemical compound affect gratifying perception of body aroma or change of the mood.