ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (10): 1687-1702.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01687

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Acute cognitive effect of ambient light exposure and its moderators and underlying mechanism

RU Taotao1,2(), LI Yun3, QIAN Liu3, CHEN Qingwei1,3, ZHONG Luojin4, LI Jinghua5, ZHOU Guofu1,2()   

  1. 1National Center for International Research on Green Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2Guangdong 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
    3Lab of Light and Physio-psychological Health, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    4School of Professional Development and Research on Primary and Secondary Education, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    5Research Center for Intelligent Lighting and Mental Health, International Academy of Optoelectronics at Zhaoqing, Zhaoqing 526000, China
  • Received:2018-04-13 Online:2019-10-15 Published:2019-08-19
  • Contact: RU Taotao,ZHOU Guofu;


Since the discovery of the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), an increasing number of studies on Non-image forming effects (NIF) of light revealed evidence for acute changes in the level of alertness, mood and cognitive performance during the biological night and day. Regarding the influence of ambient light on cognitive performance in healthy day-active people, however, studies have revealed even more equivocal findings. Light’s effect on cognition is moderated by many factors, chief among them are the parameters of light (intensity and spectrum), lighting pattern, timing (time of day and year), personality characteristics and the nature of the task. For future research should pay more attention to investigating the relationship between light level and performance with multiple manipulations of light, exploring dynamic lighting system, developing customized personalized luminaire and testing molecular biological mechanism of NIF effect of light.

Key words: ambient light, non-image forming effect, cognitive function, circadian rhythm

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