Blue Light Exposure Can Have Lasting Effect on Cognitive Function

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Anna Alkozei

Dr. Anna Alkozei

Anna Alkozei, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
SCAN Lab, Psychiatry Department
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85724-5002

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Alkozei: We know that exposure to blue wavelength light, which is similar to the kind of light that we get on a bright sunny day, can improve attention and alertness during the day as well as at night. We wanted to extend previous findings by investigating whether blue light exposure can affect cognitive functioning after the blue light exposure period had already ended. We found that thirty minutes of exposure to blue wavelength light during the day, in comparison to an amber light exposure led to subsequently faster reaction times on a cognitive task forty minutes after the light exposure had already ended. Participants who were exposed to blue light also showed more efficient responding, which means they answered more items correctly per second, than individuals who were exposed to amber placebo light. Finally, we also found that individuals who were exposed to blue light showed greater activation within the prefrontal cortex when performing the task, an area necessary for optimal cognitive performance, than individuals who were exposed to amber light.

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