Color-dependent changes in humans during a verbal fluency task under colored light exposure assessed by SPA-fNIRS.

Zohdi, Hamoon; Egli, Rahel; Guthruf, Daniel; Scholkmann, Felix; Wolf, Ursula (2021). Color-dependent changes in humans during a verbal fluency task under colored light exposure assessed by SPA-fNIRS. Scientific reports, 11(1), p. 9654. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-021-88059-0

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Light evokes robust visual and nonvisual physiological and psychological effects in humans, such as emotional and behavioral responses, as well as changes in cognitive brain activity and performance. The aim of this study was to investigate how colored light exposure (CLE) and a verbal fluency task (VFT) interact and affect cerebral hemodynamics, oxygenation, and systemic physiology as determined by systemic physiology augmented functional near-infrared spectroscopy (SPA-fNIRS). 32 healthy adults (17 female, 15 male, age: 25.5 ± 4.3 years) were exposed to blue and red light for 9 min while performing a VFT. Before and after the CLE, subjects were in darkness. We found that this long-term CLE-VFT paradigm elicited distinct changes in the prefrontal cortex and in most systemic physiological parameters. The subjects' performance depended significantly on the type of VFT and the sex of the subject. Compared to red light, blue evoked stronger responses in cerebral hemodynamics and oxygenation in the visual cortex. Color-dependent changes were evident in the recovery phase of several systemic physiological parameters. This study showed that the CLE has effects that endure at least 15 min after cessation of the CLE. This underlines the importance of considering the persistent influence of colored light on brain function, cognition, and systemic physiology in everyday life.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (IKIM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Zohdi, Hamoon, Scholkmann, Felix Vishnu, Wolf, Ursula


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Springer Nature




Hamoon Zohdi

Date Deposited:

07 Jun 2021 14:55

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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