A new research suggests that a dose of the "blues" could help people overcome depression and other mood disorders. A team, led by Dr Gilles Vandewalle from the University of Liege in Belgium, found that exposure to blue light boosts activity in the parts of the brain that handle emotions. They believe the findings could explain why light appears to improve mood in both humans and animals.
Blue wavelengths within the spectral rainbow that makes up white light appear to be chiefly responsible for the effect, the research shows, reports the Scotsman.
In the experiment, 17 healthy volunteers aged 20 to 26 listened to angry and "neutral" actors' voices while having their brains scanned. At the same time, the group of volunteers was also exposed to alternating 40-second periods of blue or green ambient light, separated by 15 to 25 seconds of darkness.
The functional magnetic resonance imaging scans showed that "circuits" in their brains, which dealt with emotions, were more sensitive to shorter, wavelength-blue light.
The findings have been reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.