Study: Light Color Affects Internal Clock


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According to a new study, the color of light has a tremendous effect on the body’s clock, and how the brain uses it relative to time of day.

The study, which hailed from the University of Manchester, looked at how light changes during dawn and dusk could actually help both animals and humans to figure out the certain time of day at that instance.

In the past, studies show that light intensity changes took place during dawn and dusk. However, scientists at the University of Manchester said the twilight light was actually bluer than daytime light.

Several mice were used during the research, with them being subjected to various types of visual stimuli and their brain’s electrical activity being recorded. The study revealed that many of their neurons were ultra-sensitive to color that changed from blue to yellow than when exposed to brightness changes.

The researchers simulated an artificial sky recreating brightness and color changes. When the mice were put under the sky for several days, the researchers noted their body temperatures were highest just after dusk when the sky became a darker blue – a resemblance of a normal body clock.

If just the brightness changed – not color – mice were extremely active at dusk, meaning their internal clocks were not adjusting to the day-night cycle. The scientists concluded the research a success – they proved color can affect mammals’ internal clocks.

Dr. Timothy Brown, who headed the study, said the findings on the mice could be interpreted on humans. He said the theory is color could actually manipulate the body’s clock, proving useful for shift workers and tourists who want to reduce their jet lag.

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Posted by on Apr 19 2015. Filed under Featured, New, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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