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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Color Me Confused


At one time there were only about 8 primary crayola crayons to chose from. Much like health insurance. However today we are faced with many more, not just in crayola colors, but the byzantine of flavors of health insurance coverage, with most having some blank spots somewhere or other.

Crayola Color Chart, 1903-2010

The Image above is a ‘Radial’ design, however the same data can be presented in ‘Cartesian” format, below:



This brought to  mind the charts and tables that appear in many medical journals and articles. Nothing can be more boring that trying to decipher what a chart or table lists.

The visual system does not organize tables into constructs for interpretation. Colors stimulate many more neurons, not just in the visual pathway but through interconnections that are sensory (ie, pain pathways which elicit photophobia in migraine attacks)  Some of these connections may also go to higher cortical centers in the parietal lobes, prefrontal cortex, limbic system and other centers connected with emotional reaction.  Consider the fact that blue elicits sadness, red-anger, and why do flashing strobe lights precipitate seizures in some people?  All food for thought. A bit off topic for health train express,

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