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article imageHappy music makes us see colors brighter

By Tim Sandle     Feb 13, 2016 in Science
London - How we perceive different colors, in terms of depth, intensity and vibrancy, is shaped by certain types of music according to a new study.
Research has previously been carried out to how we perceive colors differently and how our mood can affect how colors are perceived. A new science paper has centered on the effect of music and the 'brightness' of color. To ficus on brightness alone, the study has adopted a monochrome approach, where participants were asked to judge the brightness of a grey square
The research was run by Professors Joydeep Bhattacharya and Job Lindsen, who work at Goldsmiths College, which is part of the University of London, as psychologists.
With the research, 20 people were shown a grey square for one second; they were then played an unfamiliar randomized piece of music (the music had been composedspecially for research). The time for which the music was played varied between nine and 17 seconds. Each subject rated the music on a scale, and then they were shown a second grey square. The second square was identical; however, the subject were asked to rate the brightness of the square in contrast to the first square they had been shown.
The study found the perceived brightness of the square by the subject correlated with the emotional response to the music. The more uplifting the subject found the music, the more likely they were to conclude that the second square was brighter than the first square. In contrast, if the music was rated as sad or a similar other negative emotion, the second square viewed was considered duller than the first.
The inference is that even with the dull, grey days of winter, we can perceive this differently depending upon our emotional state and music is a sure way to influence our overall mood.
Professor Bhattacharya told The Daily Telegraph: “From everyday phrases like ‘look on the bright side’ and ‘the forces of darkness’ to the rituals and attire of weddings and funerals, a prevalent metaphor in our culture is the association of the concept of good and evil, or happiness and sadness, with brightness and darkness."
It is hoped the research can assist with the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (or 'SAD'). The research has been published in the journal PLOS One, in a paper titled "Music for a Brighter World: Brightness Judgment Bias by Musical Emotion."
More about color and music, Colors, Music, bright light, Emotions
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