Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Interactive effects of unpleasant light and unpleasant sound

Abstract

IN tests of colour preference, rhesus monkeys have been found to have a strong aversion to light at the red end of the spectrum1,2. No comparable reaction to colours has been described in healthy human beings although in patients who are suffering from cerebellar or spinal disorders colours may assume a new potency. Thus it has been claimed that in cerebellar patients who exhibit the so-called ‘sensori-motor induction syndrome’, red light not only exacerbates the motor disorder but disrupts thought processes and leads to acute subjective distress, whereas blue-green light alleviates the symptoms3,4. Furthermore, Halpern and Feinmesser5 found that in such patients red light, besides causing discomfort in itself, increases the sensitivity to noxious auditory stimulation: in their experiments the ‘threshold of acoustic discomfort’ was consistently lowered when the patients wore red filters in front of their eyes. So we have investigated in monkeys whether the aversion to red light is increased when the preference tests are conducted in the presence of unpleasant background noise.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it

$39.95

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

References

  1. Humphrey, N. K., Nature, 229, 615–617 (1971).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Humphrey, N. K., Perception, 1, 395–416 (1972).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Goldstein, K., Occup. Ther., 21, 147–151 (1942).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Halpern, L., J. nerv. ment. Dis., 123, 334–350 (1956).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Halpern, L., and Feinmesser, M., Confinia neurol., 16, 309–320 (1956).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Humphrey, N. K., and Keeble, G. R., Nature, 251, 500–502 (1974).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Stevens, S. S., in Sensory Communication (edit. by Rosenblith, W. A.), 1–33 (MLT Press, 1961).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

HUMPHREY, N., KEEBLE, G. Interactive effects of unpleasant light and unpleasant sound. Nature 253, 346–347 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1038/253346a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/253346a0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing