While "I see colors everywhere" is generally perceived as an artistic expression, recent psychological findings suggest that the phrase is scientifically linked. Higher levels of dopamine in the body may enable humans to identify colors more accurately.
Known as the happy hormone, dopamine is a compound in the human body that helps regulate movement and emotional responses, with the release of dopamine being associated with feelings of happiness.
In 2013, a paper led by Lea Hulka of the University of Zürich found that blue-yellow vision impairment was common among cocaine users, and linked that impairment to drug-induced changes in retinal dopamine neurotransmission.
On Aug. 25, another publication supported the claim of the previous research.
A research project, led by psychology researcher Christopher Thorstenson of the University of Rochester, concluded that sadder people were less accurate in identifying colors on the Blue-Yellow Axis.
During the first test, 127 participants were divided. A group was made to watch a sad animated clip and another was shown a stand-up comedy routine. Everyone was then tasked to identify colors in 48 consecutive, desaturated color swatches.
In identifying shades and tones along the blue-yellow axis, the group which viewed the glum clip scored lower than the group who enjoyed the happy flick. There was no significant difference in the groups' performance for sorting colors along the red-green axis, CNET reported.
A second test was conducted on 130 participants divided into two groups. The first group watched a sad clip. The second group viewed a video judge to be neutral. The first group turned out to be less accurate in identifying colors along the blue-yellow axis than the neutral group. Again, there was no difference in the two group's performance is recognizing colors along the red-green axis.