Article

Emergence of novel color vision in mice engineered to express a human cone photopigment

Neuroscience Research Institute and Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 04/2007; 315(5819):1723-5. DOI: 10.1126/science.1138838
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Changes in the genes encoding sensory receptor proteins are an essential step in the evolution of new sensory capacities. In primates, trichromatic color vision evolved after changes in X chromosome-linked photopigment genes. To model this process, we studied knock-in mice that expressed a human long-wavelength-sensitive (L) cone photopigment in the form of an X-linked polymorphism. Behavioral tests demonstrated that heterozygous females, whose retinas contained both native mouse pigments and human L pigment, showed enhanced long-wavelength sensitivity and acquired a new capacity for chromatic discrimination. An inherent plasticity in the mammalian visual system thus permits the emergence of a new dimension of sensory experience based solely on gene-driven changes in receptor organization.

Full-text

Available from: Gerald Jacobs, Jun 12, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
124 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Some biologists accept Wright's adaptive landscape idea, believing it is one of most profound concepts in evolutionary dynamics. Some wouldn't, believing that "the idea that there is such a quantity remains one of the most widely held popular misconceptions about evolution." The two groups usually have very limited communication with each other. Sometimes such isolation can be good, because it protects budding ideas in a harsh environment. Thanks to the theoretical and experimental progress during past few years, time may have arrived to consider both sides seriously. Present letter is a small attempt to bridge this gap.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The transgenic extension of a mouse's color vision and research in which the insertion of a gene enables blind mice to see provide a much firmer basis for a materialist theory of consciousness than has hitherto been available. Such seminal research offers empirical evidence that qualities are physical. In the Ontology Theory, consciousness is described as resulting from a process beginning with energies conveyed from noumena in the environment. The energies stimulate sense receptors which in a recursive exchange with memory result in qualities. The qualities consist of proteins or other neuronal molecules which, to the mind of the conscious individual, comprise semi-independent memory items (SIMIs), or phenomenal objects which are projected to the environment and are perceived as environmental objects. Thus, in the consciousness of the individual, environmental objects consist of the ontology of particular molecules.
    Imagination Cognition and Personality 01/2011; 31(3):217-235. DOI:10.2190/IC.31.3.e
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a hypothetical process of mind coalescence, where artificial connections are created between two or more brains. This might simply allow for an improved form of communication. At the other extreme, it might merge the minds into one in a process that can be thought of as a reverse split-brain operation. We propose that one way mind coalescence might happen is via an exocortex, a prosthetic extension of the biological brain which integrates with the brain as seamlessly as parts of the biological brain integrate with each other. An exocortex may also prove to be the easiest route for mind uploading, as a person's personality gradually moves away from the aging biological brain and onto the exocortex. Memories might also be copied and shared even without minds being permanently merged. Over time, the borders of personal identity may become loose or even unnecessary.
    International Journal of Machine Consciousness 06/2012; 04(01). DOI:10.1142/S1793843012400173