Orange lights in the workplace may be key to keeping employees alert and productive!
People exposed to orange light exhibit greater brain activity than those exposed to blue light, scientists have found. Researchers in Belgium studied brain activity in volunteers undergoing fMRI scanning while different coloured lights were shined into their eyes.
The idea was to find out if different light colours impacted melanopsin differently. Melanopsin is a light sensitive pigment in photoreceptor cells.
Prior research has suggested that the amount of melanopsin present has an impact on the circadian rhythm of certain animals, possibly including humans. Each of 16 volunteers in the study was treated to a ten minute shot of blue or orange light as their brains were being scanned.
During the test, the volunteers were asked to perform a memory test, to engage the brain. Afterwards, each participant had their eyes covered for 70 minutes, to allow melanopsin to relax.
They then went through the same test again, this time with green light. In studying the brain scans, the researchers noted increased brain activity when the volunteers were exposed to orange light, but not blue light, ‘phys.org’ reported.
They also found a slight increase when exposed to green light. The areas of the brain that became active, the researchers noted, were those that are believed to be related to cognitive abilities and an overall level of alertness.
The researchers speculated that melanopsin serves as a sort of switch, cueing the brain to when it is time to be more or less alert.
Researchers cautioned that the study does not prove that orange light makes people more alert, or that it has an impact on the circadian rhythm, but it does hint at a possible link, which suggests that more research needs to be done.
The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.