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FlaGator
02-07-2009, 07:17 AM
Interesting article


Blue the hue of creativity? Red for detail?

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer Thu Feb 5, 3:25 pm ET

WASHINGTON We learn from toddlerhood that red means danger so should we use red ink for medication warnings? And if blue signals the freedom of open skies, how about brainstorming in a room painted blue?

Maybe so, says new research into how the brain reacts to colors: Red seems to improve attention to detail while blue sparks creativity.

"People are not aware of this effect at all," marvels lead researcher Juliet Zhu of the University of British Columbia, who studies how environmental cues affect behavior.

The subconscious effect of color is a hot area of psychology research, in part because marketers try to use color to hook us on whatever they're trying to sell.

And the newest research, published Thursday by the journal Science, suggests they'd better be careful because red or blue can spark very different brain reactions depending on the task involved.

The study put college students through a series of cognitive tests, most involving computer screens colored either red or blue. Both colors could enhance performance but in very different ways.

Students memorized more words when the list was on a red screen, for instance. Told to think of different uses for a brick, those shown a red screen listed practical things like "build a house" while those who saw blue got more creative with "make a paperweight' and "build a pet scratching post."

Read the rest here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090205/ap_on_sc/med_color_psychology)