2005 Volume 24 Issue 4 Pages 321-325
This article presents our recent studies on the effects of color temperature on the taste sense and the influence of color temperature on bright light exposure during night rest period. Ten male Japanese and ten male Chinese were exposed to four illumination conditions (200, 1500 lx×3000, 7500 K). Their taste threshold of four common tastes and amount of saliva were measured. It was found in both Japanese and Chinese subjects that sensitivities to sweet and bitter taste were decreased under the lower illuminance condition. Under the lower color temperature condition, sensitivity to bitter taste in Japanese and sweet taste in Chinese were decreased. Secretion of saliva increased under the lower illuminance condition in both Japanese and Chinese. Only in Chinese subjects, secretion of saliva increased under the lower color temperature condition. In a separate experiment, six male Japanese students were subjected to bright light exposure during a night rest period. They performed a mental task from 23:00 h till 02:00 h, and took a rest from 00:00 h to 01:00 h. During the rest period they were exposed to bright light (3000 lx) of three different color temperatures: 3000 K, 5000 K, and 7000 K. After exposure to bright light of 3000 K but not at other color temperatures, the EEG α1 band ratio and the β band ratio at 02:00 h were higher and lower, respectively, than that at 01:00 h. These findings indicated that lower color temperature bright light exposure during a night rest break led to a reduction of subjects' arousal level during the subsequent work. Herein, we discuss these results from the viewpoint of physiological anthropology.