Temporal dynamics of EEG activity during short- and long-wavelength light exposures in the early morning

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Background: It is well known that exposure to light, especially of short wavelength, enhances human alertness during the nighttime. However, more information is needed to elucidate the effects of light wavelength on alertness at other times of day. The present study investigated how two narrowband light spectra affected human alertness during the morning after awakening. We measured electroencephalography (EEG) during 48-minute exposure to narrowband short- and long-wavelength light and darkness in the early morning. Results: Power densities of EEG during each light exposure were calculated. The time course of EEG power indicated that, compared with remaining in darkness, the power in the alpha frequency range (8-13 Hz) was significantly lower after approximately 30 minutes of exposures to both the short- and the long-wavelength light. Conclusions: These results suggest that not only short-wavelength light but also long-wavelength light, which does not suppress melatonin levels at night, can affect alertness in the early morning. These results suggest that the alerting effects of light in the early morning hours may be mediated by mechanisms other than those that are exclusively sensitive to short-wavelength light.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alertness
  • Alpha activity
  • EEG
  • Light exposure
  • Monochromatic light


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