Adaptive Relationship Cognition: The Sights and Smells of Sexual Attraction

Jon Kenneth Maner, Saul L. Miller, Jennifer Leo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We organize our discussion into two main sections. First, we describe recent research on “the sights” of sexual attraction—ways in which the visual system functions to help people solve important mating related challenges. Second, we describe research on “the smells” of sexual attraction—ways in which olfactory systems attune people to important reproductively relevant information about other people. In both cases, these lines of research demonstrate ways in which evolved psychological mechanisms recruit perceptual, physiological, and neural systems to produce adaptive responses to important relationship challenges.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRelationship Science
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating Evolutionary, Neuroscience, and Sociocultural Approaches. Decade of Behavior 2000–2010
EditorsOmri Gillath, Glenn Adams, Adrianne Kunkel
Place of PublicationWashington, D.C.
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781433811234
StatePublished - 2012


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