A functional genetic variation of the 5-HT2a receptor affects human memory

Nat Neurosci. 2003 Nov;6(11):1141-2. doi: 10.1038/nn1146. Epub 2003 Oct 19.


Human memory capacity is highly variable across individuals and is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. A roughly 50% heritability estimate indicates that naturally occurring genetic variations have an important impact on this cognitive ability. Therefore, we investigated a functional variation of a memory-related serotonin receptor in 349 healthy young volunteers, and found 21% poorer memory performance in subjects with the rare variant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Histidine / genetics
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A / genetics
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A / physiology*
  • Tyrosine / genetics
  • Verbal Learning


  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A
  • Tyrosine
  • Histidine