MONDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- People who are seeking
creative inspiration should try to look on the bright side, the
results of a new study suggest.
Canadian researchers used happy or sad video and music clips to
put participants into different moods and then had them learn to
classify sets of pictures with visually complex patterns.
People in a happy mood were better able to learn a rule to
classify the patterns than those with sad or neutral moods, said
Ruby Nadler, a graduate student at the University of Western
Ontario, and colleagues.
The happy music used in the study was a lively Mozart piece,
while the happy video featured a laughing baby. The sad music was
from the movie
Schindler's List, and the sad video was from a news report about an earthquake.
"If you have a project where you want to think innovatively, or you have a problem to carefully consider, being in a positive mood can help you to do that," Nadler said in an Association for Psychological Science news release.
The findings, published in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal
Psychological Science, may explain why some people watch funny videos on their computers at work.
"I think people are unconsciously trying to put themselves in a positive mood," Nadler suggested.
To learn about the anatomy of the brain, see
the Whole Brain Atlas.