Targeting Light Exposure to Human Health - Non-Circadian Uses and Applications
Wednesday, February 14, 2018: 1:15 PM - 1:45 PM
The vast majority of research on light effects on human responses and health look at Circadian responses and patterns. However, this is just one slice of a much bigger pie. Because of individual differences in biology and behavior, understanding of Circadian effects has proved to be difficult to implement in real world settings. At the same time, there are a number of other addressable neurological and psychological health conditions that also respond to light exposure that are non-Circadian. In many cases these are much easier to study, have clearly established measurable outcome indicators, and can be implemented in practice without requiring a medical degree. In this presentation I will discuss some of these conditions, which include attention and alertness, depression, chronic headache, sensory gating and modulation, pain perception, and learning disabilities. I will describe what is known about the causes of these conditions, and discuss how light can be used to address them.