Smog in your Brain


page_1Image Explanation

I chose this magazine cover of Monitor on Psychology titled ‘Smog in your brain.’  It displays a smoke stack spewing smoke in a bright red and yellow color pallet.

My Reaction

The first thing I noticed were the colors. The intense saturated yellows and reds are so vibrant and signal some sort of danger. The bright yellow towards the bottom contrasts so much with the dark black. When I think of clouds, I think of nature, but the almost neon yellow reminds me of something toxic and the red makes me think that the sky is on fire. Over all the color of the sky is so unnatural. Then I see the pipe and automatically think of pollution. Next, I go to the title, ‘Smog in your brain’ with the sub title of “How air pollution affects our cognition and metal health.’ Overall I can definitely grasp that the message will be very negative and the effects of smog are incredibly dangerous.

Stranger Reaction

The first thing I see is the word ‘Monitor,’ then on psychology. I’m confused what that means?

I see the parallel between talking about smog and mental health and I see how air pollution affects but thought it was a metaphor… Also I think it’s weird that they’re talking about “peace builders” and the “super rich” in the same breath. It looks negative, like it’s about to explode because it’s super red. I’m curious what it’s actually about. It’s super weird but attention grabbing. Is the font like green? It’s slightly off.

About my stranger

This is Rachel. I found her doing homework at Javas. She’s a 4th year Biomedical Engineering Major with a minor in Spanish and Computer Science. She also does photography and plays rugby.


I think it’s interesting that my stranger first noticed the words and tried to dissect what the title meant and what the article was about while I first looked at the image behind the title and tried to dissect the meaning of the colors and composition before ever looking at the words. She was more interested in the meaning of these words while I was fully emerged in the meaning of the image and I looked at the words for the explanation afterwards almost to see if I was correct. She also definitely tuned into fine details on the cover which I honestly neglected and didn’t even notice like fine words.



3 thoughts on “Smog in your Brain

  1. I like that you actually went up to a complete stranger, I think that it helps in this type of situation. As far as the cover goes the first thing I noticed were the bright colors. These actually ended up giving me a headache. Next I saw what was actually in the picture and I too thought that it was a metaphor and not really about smog and how it affects you. Looking back I’m not really sure why I thought this, maybe because I also saw the word psychology so I couldn’t imagine how smog affects psychology? Either way I thought that this was a great choice and they do a nice job at grabbing your attention and then explaining it further.

  2. It’s interesting to me that you and the stranger that you approached honed in on two completely different aspects of the image. I too focused on the colors before anything else, admittedly never even considering the minor print. This particular image is interesting to me because it brings together two different areas of science that people may never think were related. This alone could cause very different reactions in different people, let alone the fact that we all will react to different parts of the image.

  3. I like that you chose a total stranger for this because since you’re both neutral to each other, her reaction is most likely unbiased. When I looked at this cover the first thing I noticed was actually the tones and hues of the colors in the background, not the word ‘Monitor’ or any other text. When I read the title it made more sense and I think the picture was actually chosen specifically for this title. It must have been a metaphor the writers came up with to catch the readers attention as opposed to just typing some plain and boring text about the subject.

    It’s interesting that you and the stranger you talked to have completely different views and react to different things on the cover instantly, but I also think this helps prove the point of this assignment too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s