The case of the artist who can see more colors thanks to a mutation

The case of the artist who can see more colors thanks to a mutation

We tend to associate genetic mutations with serious diseases, but the truth is that mutations are not always for the worse and, in fact, many beneficial mutations They have been selected for evolution since DNA exists.

For this reason, some mutations can be considered as true mutations, which make who carries them into someone special, different from the others.

This is the case of Antico Concetta, a Australian artist who has exploited from a very young age the mutation that allows her to see many more colors than most of us, making her a great painter and in a magnificent example for science.

Cones and tetrachromes

The disorder that allows Concetta to see so many colors is called tetrachroma and it is because it has a type of economy than the vast majority of human beings.

These cones are some light sensitive cells found inside the retina and they are in charge of absorbing the different light wavelengths, sending signals to the brain that will be interpreted by the brain in the form of different colors.

Usually the human eye it only has cones for the wavelengths that correspond to red, blue and green, which are mixed to give the rest of the colors we know.

However, some people have a mutation in their genetic material that leads them to distinguish colors with more nuances than the rest of us. This is what happens to this artist, but the most curious thing about her case is that she can still see many more colors than other people with tetrachromes, so her case has been attracting the attention of many for years. neuroscientists.

The neuroplasticity that could make Concetta Antico an artist

As I was saying, Concetta has one more cone; which, according to the researchers who have studied his case, absorbs wavelengths around the orange-yellow-reddish. This logically leads her to differentiate more colors, but the truth is that she has shown that she perceives much more than her due if we compare her with other people with same mutation.

This is a very curious case that has led scientists to suspect that it is related to a phenomenon known asneuroplasticity, according to which the brain connections they can be modified according to the use that is given to them.

Therefore, other people with tetrachroma don’t be so aware of your mutation, so they make no effort to adapt their brain connections to your ability; while Concetta, who claims to be able to see all those colors from a very young age, was able to unconsciously realize and make her brain will adapt to the new signs that come out of the retina.

How can Concetta Antico help people with color blindness?

This mutation appears to be linked to X chromosome in the same way as color blindness. In fact, Concetta has a color blind daughter, so the relationship between both factors seems clear.

And precisely the case of her little girl has been the one that has led the artist to become more involved with the researchers, since they think that thanks to her case it would be better to understand how the visual perception of color and, with this, help people with disorders such as color blindness.

Furthermore, the neuroplasticity It could be very useful to train the ability to perceive colors of those people who normally cannot do it in a normal way.

Until then, both Concetta and researchers continue to search for more cases of tetrachromates, to be able to carry out studies with more representative samples and delve into this curious case. So you know, if you think you can be one of them, do not hesitate to contact this woman.

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