Colour – cognitive performance interaction in virtual reality (VR): a study of gender differences

Guobin Xia, Philip Henry, Francisco Queiroz, Stephen Westland, Luwen Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The immersive qualities of Virtual Reality (VR) technologies offer an enhanced environment for design research. In this study the potential of colour to influence cognitive performance in VR is explored. A series of psychometric experiments were conducted where selected colours were presented to the participants whist in a dark neutral VR room setting. Cognitive performance was evaluated via a series of single choice tests (i.e., tests assessing people’s logical and lateral thinking abilities) in a dark environment delivered via a HTC VIVE VR headset. A total of 18 male and 17 female Chinese students between the ages of 20-25 years participated in the experiments. The results indicate that colours delivered via a VR headset can have arousing and impulsive effects on people’s cognitive performance. Specifically, female participants made more errors with the yellow backgrounds but fewer errors with the orange backgrounds than male participants. This suggests that gender differences exist in the effects of colour stimuli on people’s cognitive performance in VR environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the International Colour Association
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022


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