ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 1213-1222.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01213

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Effects of light on alertness

MAO Tianxin1, XIONG Xiao1, LI Jinghua1, YAO Ying1, YANG Jian1, LI Xiaoran3, ZHOU Guofu2,3()   

  1. 1 School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2 Guangdong 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;
    3 Shenzhen Guohua Optoelectronics Tech. Co. Ltd., Shenzhen 518110, China
  • Received:2017-06-19 Online:2018-07-15 Published:2018-05-29
  • Contact: ZHOU Guofu


Besides affecting vision, light exerts powerful non-visual effects on a wide range of biological functions and behaviors, such as modulating circadian rhythm, melatonin suppression, and acute alertness. Comprehensive studies on the effect of light on human circadian rhythm now lead more researchers to pay attention to the effects of light on acute alertness. Here, we summarized (1) different measures of alertness, (2) factors that may influence the effect of light on alertness like illuminance, exposure, timing, wavelength and color temperature, (3) promising applications of the alerting effect of light in some affective disorders, circadian rhythm, and office lighting, and (4) future directions focusing on investigation of neural mechanisms, optimal lighting characteristics, and potential confounds.

Key words: light, alertness, melatonin, intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, circadian rhythm

CLC Number: