A preliminary examination of background-color effects on the scores of computer-based english grammar tests using near-infrared spectroscopy

Atsuko Yamazaki, Kaoru Eto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A previous study of the effects of background colors on the scores of a computer-based English test indicated that a combination of black text and a background color with high luminance and high brightness, such as white or yellow, was not considered preferable for computer-based tests (CBTs). In this study, the authors conducted an experiment to see how a background color can affect the brain functions of CBT test takers by observing relative changes in hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations in their brains by using near-infrared spectroscopy. In the experiment, seven male subjects in their twenties took computer-based English tests with different background colors with black text. Two dimensional images of the Hb concentration changes obtained in the experiment showed that areas in the brain associated with memory retrieval tended to have higher Hb concentrations while the subjects were taking the tests with blue backgrounds. On the other hand, areas in the brain related to other functions, such as the frontal eye field, were observed to be more active than brain areas responsible for cognitive tasks while they were taking the test with white background. These results suggest that white color may not be the best choice for a background color of a CBT, in terms of activating brain functions associated with linguistic tasks, even though a white background is commonly used for CBTs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Pages31-39
Number of pages9
Volume6883 LNAI
EditionPART 3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event15th International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems, KES 2011 - Kaiserslautern
Duration: 2011 Sep 122011 Sep 14

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
NumberPART 3
Volume6883 LNAI
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349

Other

Other15th International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems, KES 2011
CityKaiserslautern
Period11/9/1211/9/14

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Keywords

  • background and text colors
  • brain functions
  • Brodmann's Area
  • computer-based test
  • near-infrared spectroscopy
  • test performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Theoretical Computer Science

Cite this

Yamazaki, A., & Eto, K. (2011). A preliminary examination of background-color effects on the scores of computer-based english grammar tests using near-infrared spectroscopy. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (PART 3 ed., Vol. 6883 LNAI, pp. 31-39). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 6883 LNAI, No. PART 3). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-23854-3_4