Complex Chemical Analysis
The Vomeronasal Organ
The Vomeronasal Organ in most vertebrates performs the complex chemical analysis.
If you see your dog or cat “licking” at urine and then seemingly pushing the tongue up on the palate, like a wine connoisseur, or if you see them sniff with their mouth partly open, eyes slit, and then maybe drool profusely, and maybe chomp or swish their lips like a fine wine taster, that’s the use of the vomeronasal complex. They are performing a phlehmen (pronounced flay-men) gesture, or phlehmen response. Some dogs may look like they are smiling, crinkling their nose, almost sneezing, while they perform the phlehmen response.
Human Sixth Sense
Click here for Bryn Mawr College’s Interdisciplinary Serendip Community discussion of “The Sixth Sense: The Vomeronasal Organ” in humans, and the scientific evidence that we may also have this sixth sense!
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