Feeling Sad Turns Your World Gray—Literally

Random Musings

TIME

The world seems dreary, gloomy and gray when you’re feeling blue. In fact, being down in the dumps might even affect how you perceive the color blue.

A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science shows a direct connection between a person’s ability to perceive color and their emotions.

“Color is such an important part of our experience,” says lead author Christopher Thorstenson, a psychology professor at the University of Rochester. There’s a reason, he says, that common descriptive phrases of the world include “colorless,” “gray,” and “feeling blue” by sad people, and “bright” and “colorful” by happier folks.

MORE: This May Be Why You’re Seeing The Dress As White and Gold

Psychologists have long known that emotions have a direct influence on what is called “low-level visual processes,” or simple perceptions of space and form. That’s because your visual processes require some chemical input from your brain that…

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