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Effect of light on the alertness during the day: Dependence on the spectral composition of light and the exposure time

Project number: F 2448 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2024-01-15


Light influences through non-visual, via intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) mediated effects, both physiological processes in the human body and the human cognitive abilities. Besides the light intensity, important parameters with regard to the non-visual effects of light are the spectral composition of light and its exposure duration.

Attention is an important occupational safety-related cognitive ability. It is currently assumed that light, and in particular its spectral blue components, influences the attention. However, a recent systematic study comparison shows that the effects are not nearly as clear as expected.

Against this background, the research project aims to clarify whether and how the attention of employees during the day under realistic conditions in the working context depends on the spectral composition of light and the duration of exposure to light. With this aim in laboratory investigations with test persons both objective (psychomotoric tests) and subjective methods (questionnaire) will be applied.


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