Although during the early 20th century the pineal gland was considered to have littlefunctional significance, the activity of its secretory product, melatonin, has beenincreasingly appreciated during recent decades. Melatonin has a role in the sleep-wakecycle and recent studies have shown that it acutely enhances mating behaviour and libido.Since reproductive activity is obviously of primary importance for the survival of species, this could plausibly suggest a circadian control of mating behaviour. In this chapter, weargue that the coupling of mating behaviour to light-dark shifts by melatonin might haveinfluenced the survival of species, and this could throw fresh light on the evolutionarysignificance of the pineal gland.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Hypotheses in Clinical Medicine|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2013|
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