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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

People are constantly exposed to blue light while engaging in work. It is thus crucial to understand if vast exposure to blue light influences cognitive control, which is essential for working efficiently. Previous studies proposed that the stimulation of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), a newly discovered photoreceptor that is highly sensitive to blue light, could modulate non-image forming functions. Despite studies that showed blue light (or ipRGCs) enhances brain activations in regions related to cognitive control, how exposure to blue light changes our cognitive control behaviorally remains elusive. We examined whether blue light influences cognitive control through three behavioral tasks in three studies: the sustained attention to response task (SART), the task-switching paradigm, and the Stroop task. Classic effects of the SART, switch cost, and the Stroop effect were found, but no differences were observed in results of different background lights across the six experiments. Together, we conclude that these domains of cognitive control are not influenced by blue light and ipRGCs, and whether the enhancement of blue light on brain activities extends to the behavioral level should be carefully re-examined.

Lee Hsing-Hao, Tu Yun-Chen, Yeh Su-Ling