Telling time of the day by Colour

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Telling time of the day by Colour

Research
by scientists at The University of Manchester has shown that the colour of
light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how
the animals’ physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. This is scientifically
different from the previous discovery where Scientist
develop eye drops to improve eye sight at night
.

The discovery, for the
first time according to results, provides a neuronal mechanism for how our
internal clock can measure changes in light colour that accompany dawning and
dusk. Wonders of science never ends, similar to recent theory engulfing Probabilistic
Programming Simplifies Coding 

According to research published on April 17th in the Open Access journal
PLOS Biology, the researchers looked at the change in light around dawn and
dusk to analyze whether colour could be used to determine time of day. Besides
the well-known changes in light intensity that occur as the sun rises and sets,
the scientists found that during twilight light is reliably bluer than during
the day.

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The researchers next recorded electrical activity from the brain clock while
mice were shown different visual stimuli. They found that many of the neurons
were more sensitive to changes in colour between blue and yellow than to
changes in brightness.

The scientists then replicated an artificial sky that recreated the daily
changes in colour and brightness, as they were measured at the top of the
University’s Pariser Building for more than a month. As expected for nocturnal
animals, when mice were placed under this artificial sky for several days, the
highest body temperatures occurred just after dusk, when the sky turned a
darker blue, indicating that their body clock was working optimally. If only
the brightness of the sky was changed, with no change in colour, the mice
became more active before dusk, demonstrating that their body clock wasn’t
properly aligned to the day-night cycle.

Dr Timothy Brown from the Faculty of Life Sciences led the research:
“This is the first time that we’ve been able to test the theory that
colour affects our body clock in any mammal. It has always been very hard to
separate the change in colour to the change in brightness but using new
experimental tools and a psychophysics approach we were successful.”

He continues: “What’s exciting about our research is that the same
findings can be applied to humans. So, in theory, colour could be used to
manipulate our clock, which could be useful for shift workers or travellers
wanting to minimize jet lag.”

Citation: Walmsley L, Hanna L, Mouland J, Martial F, West A, Smedley AR, et
al. (2015) Colour As a Signal for Entraining the Mammalian Circadian Clock.
PLoS Biol 13(4): e1002127. doi:10.1371/journal. pbio.1002127.

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