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Spectral quality of light modulates emotional brain responses in humans

Vandewalle, G.
Grandjean, D.
Wuillaume, C.
Balteau, E.
Degueldre, C.
Schabus, M.
Phillips, C.
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Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2010, vol. 107, no. 45, p. 19549-19554
Abstract Light therapy can be an effective treatment for mood disorders, suggesting that light is able to affect mood state in the long term. As a first step to understand this effect, we hypothesized that light might also acutely influence emotion and tested whether short exposures to light modulate emotional brain responses. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 17 healthy volunteers listened to emotional and neutral vocal stimuli while being exposed to alternating 40-s periods of blue or green ambient light. Blue (relative to green) light increased responses to emotional stimuli in the voice area of the temporal cortex and in the hippocampus. During emotional processing, the functional connectivity between the voice area, the amygdala, and the hypothalamus was selectively enhanced in the context of blue illumination, which shows that responses to emotional stimulation in the hypothalamus and amygdala are influenced by both the decoding of vocal information in the voice area and the spectral quality of ambient light. These results demonstrate the acute influence of light and its spectral quality on emotional brain processing and identify a unique network merging affective and ambient light information.
Keywords AdultAmygdala/physiologyBrain/*physiologyEmotions/physiology/*radiation effectsFemaleHumansHypothalamus/physiology*LightMagnetic Resonance ImagingMale*PhototherapyVoiceYoung Adult
PMID: 20974959
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Research group Neuroimagerie du Sommeil et de la Cognition (832)
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VANDEWALLE, G. et al. Spectral quality of light modulates emotional brain responses in humans. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010, vol. 107, n° 45, p. 19549-19554. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1010180107 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:21364

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Deposited on : 2012-05-23

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