The Effects of Lighting Conditions on the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Brain

Saturday, 14 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Ravi Rajmohan, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX
Relatively few studies have focused on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) individuals and their perceptions of the “built” environment. Thus, the present study was designed to explore the preferences and correlated brain activation patterns of ADHD and neurotypical (NT) adults when exposed to three different color temperatures (cool, daylight and warm) illuminating images of classrooms, offices, and hospital suites. Seventeen ADHD and six control participants were asked to rate their satisfaction of each image type while concurrent fMRI images were acquired. Behavioral results indicated that both groups had a marked preference for the cool and daylight conditions compared to warm colored lighting, and this preference pattern did not differ as a function of room type. The neuroimaging data showed that during exposure to warm lighting, there was decreased activity of the brain areas thought to mediate regulatory control in ADHD participants as compared to control subjects. Conversely, in both ADHD and control participants, cool and daylight lighting evoked heightened activity of those brain regions associated with selective attention, working memory and primary visual processing. This pattern suggest that warm lighting (2800 CCT) should be avoided when constructing interior designs to accommodate those with ADHD.