Light as a central modulator of circadian rhythms, sleep and affect

Tara A. Legates, Diego C. Fernandez, Samer Hattar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Light has profoundly influenced the evolution of life on earth. As widely appreciated, light enables us to generate images of our environment. However, light-through intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs)-also influences behaviours that are essential for our health and quality of life but are independent of image formation. These include the synchronization of the circadian clock to the solar day, tracking of seasonal changes and the regulation of sleep. Irregular light environments lead to problems in circadian rhythms and sleep, which eventually cause mood and learning deficits. Recently, it was found that irregular light can also directly affect mood and learning without producing major disruptions in circadian rhythms and sleep. In this Review, we discuss the indirect and direct influence of light on mood and learning, and provide a model for how light, the circadian clock and sleep interact to influence mood and cognitive functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-454
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Volume15
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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Circadian Rhythm
Sleep
Light
Circadian Clocks
Learning
Retinal Ganglion Cells
Cognition
Quality of Life
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Light as a central modulator of circadian rhythms, sleep and affect. / Legates, Tara A.; Fernandez, Diego C.; Hattar, Samer.

In: Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 15, No. 7, 2014, p. 443-454.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Legates, Tara A. ; Fernandez, Diego C. ; Hattar, Samer. / Light as a central modulator of circadian rhythms, sleep and affect. In: Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2014 ; Vol. 15, No. 7. pp. 443-454.
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