ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (2): 389-405.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00389

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


李芸1,2, 汝涛涛2,3(), 李丝雨1,2, 陈涵宇1,2, 谢舒雅1,2, 周国富2,3   

  1. 1华南师范大学心理学院, 光与身心健康实验室, 广州 510631
    2华南师范大学, 国家绿色光电子国际联合研究中心, 广州 510006
    3华南师范大学, 华南先进光电子研究院, 广东省光信息材料与技术重点实验室&彩色动态电子纸显示技术研究所, 广州 510006
  • 收稿日期:2020-09-23 出版日期:2022-02-15 发布日期:2021-12-24
  • 通讯作者: 汝涛涛
  • 基金资助:

Effects of ambient light on mood and its mechanism

LI Yun1,2, RU Taotao2,3(), LI Siyu1,2, CHEN Hanyu1,2, XIE Shuya1,2, ZHOU Guofu2,3   

  1. 1School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2Lab of Light and Physio-psychological Health, National Center for International Research on Green Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Information Materials and Technology & Institute of Electronic Paper Displays, South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2020-09-23 Online:2022-02-15 Published:2021-12-24
  • Contact: RU Taotao


环境光照作为重要的授时因子, 对多种生理和心理功能存在广泛影响, 其对情绪的非视觉作用尤其引起研究者们的关注。研究发现, 环境光照的照度、色温和波长均是影响情绪的重要物理因素; 短光周期、夜间人工光以及持续光照/黑暗等异常光照模式则会导致情绪障碍; 光照的情绪效应还受到光照时长、时间点、个体特征、主观偏好及基因类型等的调节。光照作用于情绪的路径主要包括两个方面, 一方面视网膜中的内在光敏感神经节细胞将光信号投射至情绪调节相关脑区直接影响情绪; 另一方面光信号通过同步内部生理节律及其调节下的激素分泌、神经传递和睡眠间接影响情绪。未来研究考察短时光照的视觉功效时需要采用更客观多样化的情绪测量技术, 综合非视觉与视觉作用路径深入对比健康与情绪障碍群体的差异性。

关键词: 环境光照, 情绪, 物理因素, 光照模式, 作用机制


As an essential timing factor, ambient light plays a vital role in synchronizing internal biological rhythms with external lighting and dark environments. Meanwhile, ambient light is also a critical mood regulator; its non-image-forming (NIF) effects on mood are especially concerned by researchers. Previous studies have demonstrated that illuminance, correlated color temperature (CCT), and wavelength of ambient illuminance are key physical factors affecting mood. Moreover, unusual lighting patterns such as short lighting periods, artificial lighting during the night, and constant lighting/darkness have destructive effects on emotion and mood that may induce affective disorders such as depression and anxiety.

To date, the conclusion that short-time light affects emotion is not quite consistent. Studies have found that the NIF effects of short-term light on mood was not only affected by the intensity and spectrum of light, but also modulated by exposure duration, timing, individual characteristics, subjective preferences, and gene types. In a period of time, the longer the subjects received bright light exposure and the earlier they received morning light exposure, the lower their depression score. However, in the short-term lighting experiment of simulating office lighting, prolonged exposure of bright light was not conducive to individuals’ subjective emotional experience; while the positive effect of CCT on emotion may depend on prolonged exposure. It is worth noting that receiving light exposure at different time in a day can advance or delay the circadian rhythms; thus, the timing could also regulate light’s emotional function. In addition, women were found to prefer higher illuminance and lower CCT than men; while young subjects were more sensitive to polychromatic light with shorter wavelength than older subjects. Compared with individuals with PER34/4 genotype, individuals with PER35/5 genotype were more sensitive to light exposure and had a higher risk of depression; the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism was also proved to regulate the effect of light on the functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex in healthy subjects. Lastly, the mechanisms by which light affects mood are shown from two aspects. On the one hand, the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells may project light signals to the brain areas responsible for emotion regulation. On the other hand, ambient light may affect mood by altering circadian rhythms, regulating hormone secretion, neurotransmission, and sleep.

Future research can employ neuroscience technology to simultaneously examine the changes of subjective emotional experience and objective neural activity under multi-levels of illuminance and CCT; and combine multimodal data such as subjective rating, behavioral measurement, physiological response, and neural activity to track the effects of ambient light on mood. Besides, except for the NIF of light, ambient light may convey specific emotional meanings via the visual system, thus leading to various visual experiences transmitted by illuminance or wavelength, or lighting mode (direct or indirect lighting). Therefore, whether the visual perception of light, dominated by rods and cones, also potentially contributes to light's emotional function and how to separate it from the non-visual effects could be a promising direction in future research.

Key words: Ambient light, mood, physical factors, light patterns, underlying mechanism