Ever thought about how harmful your outfit choice could be for your health? Well, if your answer is no, you're not alone—because we haven't either. But according to research from the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC) in the Netherlands, scientists have found that, for some people, looking at vertical and parallel lines can cause activity in the brain that can lead to migraines or even epilepsy.
And as the research suggests, said stripe patterns can either be found in a photograph or moving in real life—say, for example, on the classic striped T-shirt you can usually be seen wearing on a weekly basis. Apparently, the pattern can trigger attacks, seizures, or just a general feeling of unease when a person looks at the vertical lines.
"Our findings imply that in designing buildings, it may be important to avoid the types of visual patterns that can activate this circuit and cause discomfort, migraines, or seizures," said Dr. Dora Hermes of UMC. "Even perfectly healthy people may feel modest discomfort from the images that are most likely to trigger seizures in photosensitive epilepsy."
The scientists were able to identify the way in which parallel lines sparked strong “gamma oscillations” in the brain, in a way that other images did not when participants looked at patterns.
“Vertical orientation of stripes are in general worse than horizontal,” said Dr. Dorothée Kasteleijn-Nolst Trenité, an epileptologist of UMC Utrecht. “Examples of striped patterns that are potentially provocative in daily life are rolling stairs, Venetian blinds, striped clothes, and buildings.”
Wow! Who knew that even your blinds can trigger such discomfort! But should you stop wearing your favorite stripe and opt for a complete wardrobe overhaul? Perhaps it's best to speak to your doctor first. Even if you're not prone to the effects, you could be still be a trigger for someone else.
This post was written by Amber Elias. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.