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  • 1.
    Beaven, C. Martyn
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Ekstrom, Johan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    A Comparison of Blue Light and Caffeine Effects on Cognitive Function and Alertness in Humans2013In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 10, p. e76707-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The alerting effects of both caffeine and short wavelength (blue) light have been consistently reported. The ability of blue light to enhance alertness and cognitive function via non-image forming neuropathways have been suggested as a non-pharmacological countermeasure for drowsiness across a range of occupational settings. Here we compare and contrast the alerting and psychomotor effects of 240 mg of caffeine and a 1-h dose of similar to 40 lx blue light in a non-athletic population. Twenty-one healthy subjects performed a computer-based psychomotor vigilance test before and after each of four randomly assigned trial conditions performed on different days: white light/placebo; white light/240 mg caffeine; blue light/placebo; blue light/240 mg caffeine. The Karolinska Sleepiness Scale was used to assess subjective measures of alertness. Both the caffeine only and blue light only conditions enhanced accuracy in a visual reaction test requiring a decision and an additive effect was observed with respect to the fastest reaction times. However, in a test of executive function, where a distraction was included, caffeine exerted a negative effect on accuracy. Furthermore, the blue light only condition consistently outperformed caffeine when both congruent and incongruent distractions were presented. The visual reactions in the absence of a decision or distraction were also enhanced in the blue light only condition and this effect was most prominent in the blue-eyed participants. Overall, blue light and caffeine demonstrated distinct effects on aspects of psychomotor function and have the potential to positively influence a range of settings where cognitive function and alertness are important. Specifically, despite the widespread use of caffeine in competitive sporting environments, the possible impact of blue light has received no research attention.

  • 2.
    Ekström, Johan G.
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Beaven, C. Martyn
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences.
    Effects of blue light and caffeine on mood2014In: Psychopharmacology, ISSN 0033-3158, E-ISSN 1432-2072, Vol. 231, no 18, p. 3677-3683Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Both short wavelength (blue) light and caffeine have been studied for their mood enhancing effects on humans. The ability of blue light to increase alertness, mood and cognitive function via non-image forming neuropathways has been suggested as a non-pharmacological countermeasure for depression across a range of occupational settings. This experimental study compared blue light and caffeine and aimed to test the effects of blue light/placebo (BLU), white light/240-mg caffeine (CAF), blue light/240-mg caffeine (BCAF) and white light/placebo (PLA), on mood. A randomised, controlled, crossover design study was used, in a convenience population of 20 healthy volunteers. The participants rated their mood on the Swedish Core Affect Scales (SCAS) prior to and after each experimental condition to assess the dimensions of valence and activation. There was a significant main effect of light (p = 0.009), and the combination of blue light and caffeine had clear positive effects on core effects (ES, ranging from 0.41 to 1.20) and global mood (ES, 0.61 +/- 0.53). The benefits of the combination of blue light and caffeine should be further investigated across a range of applications due to the observed effects on the dimensions of arousal, valence and pleasant activation.

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