Human Pheromones/Circadian Rhythms

Problems/Case Studies

"Love Potion #10". Susan Holt, New York State Biology Mentor Network. State University of New York at Buffalo’s National Center for Case Study Teaching
In this case, students are asked to consider whether there is evidence to adequately support a series of scientific claims made in an advertisement for pheromones. The case teaches students about the scientific method and the process of science.
The case was designed for use in advanced, average, and below average high school (grades 9-12) biology classes. It could also be used in AP Biology or in an introductory college biology course.

"A Case of Seasonal Affective Disorder" David F. Dean, Spring Hill College. State University of New York at Buffalo’s National Center for Case Study Teaching
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, results from abnormally high levels of the hormone melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland. The pineal gland normally secretes melatonin in a diurnal fashion in response to changes in exposure to ultraviolet light. Since light inhibits the production of melatonin, it is secreted by the pineal gland when most of us are asleep. The diurnal secretion of melatonin serves to regulate several physiological processes and events such as the sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, and blood pressure.
To prepare for this case study, students should have knowledge of the anatomic location of the pineal gland, the hormone it secretes, and the concept of circadian rhythms.
The case has been used in both a sophomore-level course in human anatomy and physiology and a senior-level course in general physiology.