ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (8): 1348-1360.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01348

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The Nonvisual Effect of Lighting and Its Neural Mechanism

ZHU Yingying1; RU Taotao1; ZHOU Guofu1,2   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
    (2 South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
  • Received:2014-07-04 Online:2015-08-15 Published:2015-08-15
  • Contact: ZHOU Guofu, E-mail:


Lighting is playing a crucial role in people’s daily life. It not only provides us with the basic visual effects such as perceiving the objects’ color and size, distinguishing directions, but also has a significant impact on psycho-physiological activities. A growing number of studies have found that lighting, especially the bright light or light with high correlated color temperature, could significantly decrease sleepiness and enhance subjective alertness by suppressing melatonin secretion. Otherwise, lighting plays a positive role in regulating circadian rhythms so as to keep individuals’ normal activities. Additionally, previous findings indicated that exposure to bright light could improve cognitive performance, relieve seasonal affective disorders (SAD) and even to some extent had a beneficial influence on some social behaviors like altruistic behavior. Both these direct and indirect influences of lighting on physiological and psychological activities mentioned above were all regarded as nonvisual effect of lighting. In recent years, the nonvisual effect of lighting and its brain mechanisms has been attracting much more attention and yielded plenty of valuable results. Future research should focus on the construction of structural equation modeling and the utilization of dynamic lighting to further explore the nonvisual effect of lighting.

Key words: lighting, nonvisual effect, brain mechanism, model construction, dynamic lighting