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Use Colored LED Lights to Relax

Colored LED lights

Getting an MRI or CT scan is typically not a relaxing experience, and patient discomfort, anxiety or agitation can affect the quality of the image. Taking note of businesses that use lighting to create a mood, researchers from Pepperdine University demonstrated that patient unease in imaging centers can be modified with the use of colored LED lights. In a pilot study involving 35 subjects, 43 percent found blue lighting most relaxing, while 31 percent preferred yellow. The least relaxing lighting color was red, according to 69 percent of participants, followed by yellow (17 percent) and green (11 percent). Each subject was given a handheld device to set the hue, intensity and brightness of lighting, and most chose blue. No patient preferred the standard bright, white lighting of healthcare environments. “When given the opportunity to change a single aspect of the environmental or imaging facility experience, patients feel much more in control of the otherwise unfamiliar and uncomfortable setting,” write the authors in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
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