Feeling nostalgic? There's a polymorphism for that (maybe).
December 16, 2017
Nostalgia, or a sentimental longing for the past, is a common yet meaningful emotion. Whether it's reflecting on childhood memories, longing to re-experience friendships and relationships of the past, or late night Netflix binges of Stranger Things, nostalgic experiences can be bittersweet, yet inspire and reaffirm us. New work led by Yu Luo (lead author), in collaboration with the SPAN lab, Baldwin Way, C. Nathan DeWall, Brad Bushman, Tim Wildschut, and Constantine Sedikidessuggests that nostalgia proneness is related to the 5-HTTLPR single nucleotide polymorphism (snp), often dubbed the "Serotonin Transporter Gene." In particular, the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR snp indicated higher proneness to nostalgia. The link between the serotonin transporter gene and nostalgia appears to be mediated by the personality trait of neuroticism, which is associated with greater emotional negativity and instability. This work was recently published in the journal Social Neuroscience and can be accessed here.