Color Psychology,Chemicals and Brain Hacks for Mental Well Being

Color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior.Carl Jung has been credited as one of the pioneers in this field for his explorations into the properties and meanings of colors in our lives. Jung is quoted for saying, “colours are the mother tongue of the subconscious”.

Color influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food. Colors have qualities that can cause certain emotions in people.Colors can also enhance the effectiveness of placebos.For example, red or orange pills are generally used as stimulants .

 How color influences individuals may differ depending on age, gender, and culture. For instance, heterosexual men tend to report that red outfits enhance female attractiveness, while heterosexual females deny any outfit color impacting that of men. Although color associations can vary contextually between cultures, color preference is to be relatively uniform across gender and race.

Color psychology is also widely used in marketing and branding. Marketers see color as important, as color can influence a consumers’ emotions and perceptions about goods and services.Logos for companies are important, since the logos can attract more customers. This happens when customers believe the company logo matches the personality of the goods and services, such as the color pink heavily used on Victoria’s Secret branding.

Colors are also important for window displays in stores. Research shows that colors such as red tended to attract spontaneous purchasers, despite cool colors such as blue being more favorable.Red and yellow, as a combination, can stimulate hunger, which may help to explain, in part,the phenomenon has been referred to as the “ketchup & mustard” theory.

While marketing makes lucrative use of color psychology’s principles, the applications of the field touch many other domains such as in medical therapies, sports, hospital settings, and even in game design.

Neurochemistry is the study of chemicals, including neurotransmitters  and other molecules such as psychopharmaceuticals and neuropeptides, that control and influence the physiology of the nervous system. This particular field within neuroscience examines how neurochemicals influence the operation of neurons, synapses, and neural networks. Neurochemists analyze the biochemistry and molecular biology of organic compounds in the nervous system, and their roles in such neural processes including cortical plasticity, neurogenesis, and neural differentiation.

The most important aspect of neurochemistry is the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that comprise the chemical activity in the nervous system. There are many neurochemicals that are integral for proper neural functioning.

The neuropeptide oxytocin, synthesized in magnocellular neurosecretory cells, plays an important role in maternal behavior and sexual reproduction, particularly before and after birth. It is a precursor protein that is processed proteolytically to activate the neuropeptide as its shorter form. It is involved in the letdown reflex when mothers breastfeed, uterine contractions, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis where oxytocin inhibits the release of cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone.

Glutamate, which is the most abundant neurotransmitter, is an excitatory neurochemical, meaning that its release in the synaptic cleft causes the firing of an action potential. GABA, or Gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It binds to the plasma membrane in the synapses of neurons, triggering the influx of negatively charged chloride ions and the efflux of positively charged potassium ions. This exchange of ions leads to the hyperpolarization of the transmembrane potential of the neuron, which is caused by this negative change.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter with much importance in the limbic system which regulates emotional function regulation. Dopamine has many roles in the brain including cognition, sleep, mood, milk production, movement, motivation, and reward.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and other roles of the brain. It is a peripheral signal mediator and is found in the gastrointestinal tract as well as in blood. Research also suggests that serotonin may play an important role in liver regeneration.

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