Gloomy gus? It may be in your genes

Some people just see the world more darkly than others. Scientists say that what people observe in everyday life may depend on their genetic blueprint. A particular gene, known to play a part in emotional memories, could also influence where people tend to focus their eyes and attention. Subjects who had a specific form of a gene in which certain amino acids are missing, found in about half of Caucasians, had a heightened awareness of negative stimuli. Memories are stamped into the brain with the help of a chemical called norepinephrine. Individuals with the missing amino acids in the ADRA2B gene have more norepinephrine in their brains and experience “memory more intensely,” said psychologist Rebecca Todd.

Washington Post