Archive for the ‘HTR2A’ Category

Lysergic acid diethylamideImage via Wikipedia Without a doubt, one of the low points of any marriage comes when you have to select a new paint colors. To avoid unnecessary strain, I usually just go along to get along, but Mother Nature allows no easy escape from this inevitable moment in our life cycle. After a third trip to the paint store, I found myself literally, up the wall, painting another test patch in a dark upper corner. Whilst brushing away, I was reminded of a lecture by V. S. Ramachandran who happened upon a colorblind subject who reported subtle differences in the colors of certain digits. In their article, “We also observed one case in which we believe cross activation enables a colorblind synesthete to see numbers tinged with hues he otherwise cannot perceive; charmingly, he refers to these as “Martian colors.” Although his retinal color receptors cannot process certain wavelengths, we suggest that his brain color area is working just fine and being cross-activated when he sees numbers.“Jay Gingrich and colleagues report (DOI) that the serotonin 2A receptors mediate the “synesthesia-like” effects of psychoactive hallucinogens such as LSD specifically via pertussis toxin-sensitive heterotrimeric G(i/o) proteins and src. Now, I’m a fan of genetic conflict hypotheses of all sorts, and perfectly willing to acknowledge that Mother Nature has stacked the deck against my Y-chromosome in many ways, but as my wife complained, yet again, that the new color was not, “the color in her head”, I began to wonder about natural mechanisms of synesthesia and the natural history of HTR2A and Mother Nature’s often dark sense of humor.

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