The purpose of this review was to discuss the influence of light on humans in the environment, focusing the relation between the quality of light and human biological rhythms, and also to apply the results on lighting planning to a living space which takes into account human health and comfort. The main discussions were as follows: 1) The effects of light on the behavior of core temperature and melatonin vary depending on its wavelength. Light with long wavelengths, such as light with a low color temperature and red light, had little influence on the human biological rhythms. On the other hand, green and blue light -light of mid-short wavelength such as light with a high color temperature-had a greater influence. 2) From the relation between the stimulus received by each photoreceptor and the inhibition of core temperature and melatonin, it might be concluded that the photoreceptor responsible for transmitting light information that affects biological rhythms is M-cones. 3) A higher light intensity was required in the morning than in the evening to induce the inhibition of melatonin secretion. This result suggests the possibility of existence of a diurnal change of sensitivity of the photoreceptors (M-cones). 4) From all these results, it is proposed in the field of living environment and living engineering that light with a low color temperature should be used for low-level lighting at night, and high-level light with a high color temperature in the morning.
When people see a visual scene, certain parts of the visual scene are treated as belonging together and we regard them as a perceptual unit, which is called a “figure”. People focus on figures, and the remaining parts of the scene are disregarded as “ground”. In Gestalt psychology this process is called “figure-ground segregation”. According to current perceptual psychology, a figure is formed by binding various visual features in a scene, and developments in neuroscience have revealed that there are many feature-encoding neurons, which respond to such features specifically. It is not known, however, how the brain binds different features of an object into a coherent visual object representation. Recently, the theory of binding by neuronal synchrony, which argues that feature binding is dynamically mediated by neuronal synchrony of feature-encoding neurons, has been proposed. This review article portrays the problem of figure-ground segregation and feature binding, summarizes neurophysiological and psychophysical experiments and theory relevant to feature binding by neuronal/stimulus synchrony, and suggests possible directions for future research on this topic.
The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a low impact aerobic dance is a useful exercise mode for weight loss in obese middle-aged women. Sixty Japanese women, aged 50.9 ± 6.7 years (initial %fat = 35.2 ± 5.3%), participated in our 3-month weight-loss program consisting of diet and exercise prescription. To compare the effectiveness of exercise modes, the subjects were divided into the following two groups: aerobic dance group and jogging and/or cycling group. As a result, body mass (-3.1 and -3.3 kg respectively) and %fat (-6.1 and -5.3% respectively) significantly decreased (P<0.05) in both groups, while fat-free mass remained essentially unchanged. Aerobic power such as maximal oxygen uptake and oxygen uptake corresponding to lactate threshold significantly increased (P<0.05) in both groups. Significant differences in the alterations of these variables between groups could not be seen. The data of this study indicates that our weight-loss program with a low impact aerobic dance is as useful as jogging or cycling in improving body composition and aerobic power for mildly obese middle-aged women.
Bedroom and bed climate of the elderly in a nursing home were surveyed. Twenty-two elderly subjects were divided into four groups depending on their Activity of Daily Living (ADL) and gender. The four groups were: male and female subjects with almost no problems in daily life and an ADL score higher than 5 [H males, H females] and male and female subjects who normally stayed in bed all day with an ADL score lower than 2 [L males, L females]. The temperature and humidity of the bedroom and bed climate were measured continuously for 24 hours. Bedding and clothing condition, subjective sensational vote and subjective sleep evaluation were surveyed before and after sleep for five days continuously. In the daytime, bedroom and bed climate temperature was significantly lower in H females than in the other groups. At night, no significant effect of gender and ADL was observed in bed climate, which was maintained at 33-35°C, RH50-60% in all the groups. Bedding under the body increased significantly in L males and L females compared with H males and H females. The number of underwear increased significantly in H females. Subjective sleep evaluation was significantly better in H females than the other groups. These results suggest that ADL and gender based differences should be taken into account with regard to the care of the elderly in a nursing home.