Project available for individuals with self arranged funding.
It is well-established that the brightness of the illumination is important in determining how well a visual task can be performed: for example, reading speed can be dramatically changed if light level is too low. However, it is not known whether the colour of the illumination is equally significant for task performance. There have also been suggestions that the colour of the light could affect mood and attention (the so-called biodynamic lighting): it is suggested that blue light wakes you up in the morning, and red light relaxes you in the evening. This is a topical subject, because current LED technology is making it increasingly easy to produce such light sources, which featured in “Home of the Future” on Channel 4. In addition to these effects on the average observer, there are additional specific phenomena which occur in particularly susceptible individuals. Examples are the improvement of reading performance in some people with dyslexia with coloured filters and lights, and the reported improvement in face recognition in individuals with autistic spectrum disorder. The PhD therefore aims to test how coloured lighting affects perception using a wide range of clinical and laboratory tests of vision, reaction times, search patterns and eye movements.