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How Pain-Tolerant Are You? Look At Your Eye Color

By Essilor News

Your eyes may be more than just a window to your soul. Recent research out of the University of Pittsburgh touts how eye color is related topre-dispositional traits such as pain-tolerance and alcohol susceptibility. So how can the color of your eyes determine these traits? The answer: the genes that determine your eye color also impact how your body reacts to pain and alcohol.

Eye color is based on 12 to 13 individual variations in people's genes, and these different genes server various functions in the body. For example, the NCX-4 gene is related to darker eyes and controls many different proteins in the body. One of the proteins the NCX-4 gene controls is related to pain. Additionally, genes related to melanin are also related to pain. Melanin is the pigment that makes eyes darker. This explains why people with darker eyes are more susceptible to pain.

Melanin could also be the reason why people with darker eyes are more susceptible to alcohol. Because darker eyed individuals are more susceptible to alcohol, they do not need to drink as much to feel the effects. Scientists claim that this could be a reason why people with dark eyes are less likely to become alcoholics.

In addition to the eyes, melanin is also found in the brain. The more melanin in the brain, the quicker the brain works. One study in the 1990s showed that people with dark eyes performed better on timed tests because they think faster. The quick-thinking dark-eyed individuals should thank the high levels of melanin in their brain. Although lighter-eyed people do not have as much melanin in the brain and have slower reaction times than dark eyed individuals, research has found that the slower-thinking, light-eyed people tend to think more strategically than their dark-eyed counterparts.

Although these recent findings are very interesting, more research is still needed to further understand how multiple genes impact this complex array of dispositional traits.