Can dim light damage your memory?
Neuroscientists have found a correlation between a change in brain structure, low memory and dim light.
This new study, conducted by a group of neuroscientists from Michigan State University, revealed that dim, ambient light can actually affect somebody's brain. Stating that dim lighting in rooms, especially workplaces, might actually be damaging one's ability to remember and learn.
We knew we loved our bright lighting for a reason.
What did the study consist of?
The neuroscientists simply studied any changes in the brain, except they were on Nile grass rats. These rodents were exposed to both dim and bright light for four weeks. The Hippocampus's (the region in the brain mainly associated with memory and spatial navigation), of the rats that were exposed to dim light in the study, were found to have lost around 30% of capacity. Now, that's a big deal.
That's not all, this change in the hippocampus meant that actually performed worse on a spatial task that they had previously trained for. This is quite frightening albeit enlightening news.
How did the bright light rats perform?
If you're wondering, it wasn't just a coincidence. The rats exposed to bright light not only remained at the same level, but they improved their performance on the spatial task.
The neuroscientists were so confident with their findings, they decided to put the dimly lit rats in the bright light - their brain capacity fully recovered. This is obviously good news for all those who are working in dimly light conditions.
Obviously, this could very well mean that humans that are exposed to certain lightings, could be affecting their memory and brain functions. On the plus side, it seems to be reversible.
What kind of lighting was it?
The researchers created an environment that mimicked cloudy weather or a movie theater. If you have either of these kinds of lighting environments in your home or office, it might be time to swap them.
What does it all mean?
In short, sustained, constant exposure to dim light can cause significant reductions in brain-derived neurotrophic factor - a peptide that basically helps keep the neurons in the hippocampus healthy and busy.
When these neurons aren't as healthy, fewer connections are made and this affects your memory and learning performance. Really not desirable for those who are studying.
With everything healthy, preferably in bright lighting, your neurons will talk to one another.
These new findings are definitely something to consider when you are deciding on lighting. Especially for those places that require your brain to be on it's A game. In offices, libraries or studios, always aim for bright, white lighting - it'll also help you concentrate.
For the best (and the brightest) LED lighting, you can shop our collection here. Don't let your brain suffer.