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Home Industry News Spending time in dimly-lit rooms ‘may impair brain functions’

Spending time in dimly-lit rooms ‘may impair brain functions’

6th February 2018

Spending too much time in dimly-lit areas may have a negative impact on key brain functions, according to a new report.

The Michigan State University research examined the brains of rats that were exposed to dim and bright light for four weeks, revealing that animals exposed to dim light lost about 30 percent of capacity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that supports learning and memory functions.

These rats were also shown to perform poorly on a spatial task they had trained on previously, whereas animals exposed to bright light showed significant improvement on this same activity.

This is the first study to show that changes in environmental light led to structural changes in the brain, with dim light leading to significant reductions in a substance called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps to maintain healthy neural connections.

Joel Soler, a doctoral graduate student in psychology, who worked on the study, said: "Since there are fewer connections being made, this results in diminished learning and memory performance that is dependent upon the hippocampus."

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