Optimizing Light Flash Sequence Duration to Shift Human Circadian Phase

Article


Joyce, Daniel S., Spitschan, Manuel and Zeitzer, Jamie M.. 2022. "Optimizing Light Flash Sequence Duration to Shift Human Circadian Phase." Biology. 11 (12), pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11121807
Article Title

Optimizing Light Flash Sequence Duration to Shift Human Circadian Phase

ERA Journal ID210193
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsJoyce, Daniel S., Spitschan, Manuel and Zeitzer, Jamie M.
Journal TitleBiology
Journal Citation11 (12), pp. 1-10
Article Number1807
Number of Pages10
YearDec 2022
PublisherMDPI AG
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISSN2079-7737
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11121807
Web Address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2079-7737/11/12/1807
Abstract

Unlike light input for forming images, non-image-forming retinal pathways are optimized to convey information about the total light environment, integrating this information over time and space. In a variety of species, discontinuous light sequences (flashes) can be effective stimuli, notably impacting circadian entrainment. In this study, we examined the extent to which this temporal integration can occur. A group of healthy, young (n = 20) individuals took part in a series of 16-day protocols in which we examined the impact of different lengths of light flash sequences on circadian timing. We find a significant phase change of −0.70 h in response to flashes that did not differ by duration; a 15-min sequence could engender as much change in circadian timing as 3.5-h sequences. Acute suppression of melatonin was also observed during short (15-min) exposures, but not in exposures over one hour in length. Our data are consistent with the theory that responses to light flashes are mediated by the extrinsic, rod/cone pathway, and saturate the response of this pathway within 15 min. Further excitation leads to no greater change in circadian timing and an inability to acutely suppress melatonin, indicating that this pathway may be in a refractory state following this brief light stimulation.

Keywordscircadian rhythm; light; melatonin; sleep; dim light melatonin onset; flash
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520406. Sensory processes, perception and performance
321204. Vision science
Byline AffiliationsStanford University, United States
University of Nevada, United States
School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Technical University of Munich, Germany
VA Palo Alto Health Care System, United States
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