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Elvidge, C. D., Baugh, K. E., Anderson, S. J., Sutton, P. C., & Ghosh, T. (2012). The Lumen Gini Coefficient: a satellite imagery derived human development index. Soc. Geogr. Discuss., 8(1), 27–59.
Abstract: The “Lumen Gini Coefficient” is a simple, objective, spatially explicit and globally available empirical measurement of human development derived solely from nighttime satellite imagery and population density. There is increasing recognition that the distribution of wealth and income amongst the population in a nation or region correlates strongly with both the overall happiness of that population and the environmental quality of that nation or region. Measuring the distribution of wealth and income at national and regional scales is an interesting and challenging problem. Gini coefficients derived from Lorenz curves are a well-established method of measuring income distribution. Nonetheless, there are many shortcomings of the Gini coefficient as a measure of income or wealth distribution. Gini coefficients are typically calculated using national level data on the distribution of income through the population. Such data are not available for many countries and the results are generally limited to single values representing entire countries. In this paper we develop an alternative measure of the distribution of “human development”, called the “Lumen Gini coefficient”, that is derived without the use of monetary measures of wealth and is capable of providing a spatial depiction of differences in development within countries.
Fonken, L. K., & Nelson, R. J. (2011). Illuminating the deleterious effects of light at night. F1000 Med Rep, 3, 18.
Abstract: Technological advances, while providing many benefits, often create circumstances that differ from the conditions in which we evolved. With the wide-spread adoption of electrical lighting during the 20(th) century, humans became exposed to bright and unnatural light at night for the first time in their evolutionary history. Electrical lighting has led to the wide-scale practice of 24-hour shift-work and has meant that what were once just “daytime” activities now run throughout the night; in many ways Western society now functions on a 24-hour schedule. Recent research suggests that this gain in freedom to function throughout the night may also come with significant repercussions. Disruption of our naturally evolved light and dark cycles can result in a wide range of physiological and behavioral changes with potentially serious medical implications. In this article we will discuss several mechanisms through which light at night may exert its effects on cancer, mood, and obesity, as well as potential ways to ameliorate the impact of light at night.
Fonken, L. K., & Nelson, R. J. (2014). The Effects of Light at Night on Circadian Clocks and Metabolism. In Endocrine Reviews (Vol. 35, pp. 648–670). Endocrine Society.
Abstract: Most organisms display endogenously produced approximately ~24 h fluctuations in physiology and behavior, termed circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are driven by a transcriptional-translational feedback loop that is hierarchically expressed throughout the brain and body, with the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus serving as the master circadian oscillator at the top of the hierarchy. Appropriate circadian regulation is important for many homeostatic functions including energy regulation. Multiple genes involved in nutrient metabolism display rhythmic oscillations and metabolically related hormones such as glucagon, insulin, ghrelin, leptin, and corticosterone are released in a circadian fashion. Mice harboring mutations in circadian clock genes alter feeding behavior, endocrine signaling, and dietary fat absorption. Moreover, misalignment between behavioral and molecular circadian clocks can result in obesity in both rodents and humans. Importantly, circadian rhythms are most potently synchronized to the external environment by light information and exposure to light at night potentially disrupts circadian system function. Since the advent of electric lights around the turn of the 20th century, exposure to artificial and irregular light schedules has become commonplace. The increase in exposure to light at night parallels the global increase in the prevalence of obesity and metabolic disorders. In this review, we propose that exposure to light at night alters metabolic function through disruption of the circadian system. We first provide an introduction to the circadian system, with a specific emphasis on the effects of light on circadian rhythms. Next we address interactions between the circadian system and metabolism. Finally, we review current experimental and epidemiological work directly associating exposure to light at night and metabolism.
Fotios, S., Yang, B., & Uttley, J. (2014). Observing other pedestrians: Investigating the typical distance and duration of fixation. Lighting Research and Technologying Res & Tech, 47(5), 548–564.
Abstract: After dark, road lighting should enhance the visual component of pedestriansâ interpersonal judgements such as evaluating the intent of others. Investigation of lighting effects requires better understanding of the nature of this task as expressed by the typical distance at which the judgement is made (and hence visual size) and the duration of observation, which in past studies have been arbitrary. Better understanding will help with interpretation of the significance of lighting characteristics such as illuminance and light spectrum. Conclusions of comfort distance in past studies are not consistent and hence this article presents new data determined using eye-tracking. We propose that further work on interpersonal judgements should examine the effects of lighting at a distance of 15 m with an observation duration of 500 ms.
Fuller, G. (Ed.). (2013). The Night Shift: Lighting and Nocturnal Strepsirrhine Care in Zoos. Ph.D. thesis, , .
Abstract: Over billions of years of evolution, light from the sun, moon, and stars has provided
organisms with reliable information about the passage of time. Photic cues entrain
the circadian system, allowing animals to perform behaviors critical for survival and
reproduction at optimal times. Modern artificial lighting has drastically altered
environmental light cues. Evidence is accumulating that exposure to light at night
(particularly blue wavelengths) from computer screens, urban light pollution, or as
an occupational hazard of night-shift work has major implications for human health.
Nocturnal animals are the shift workers of zoos; they are generally housed on
reversed light cycles so that daytime visitors can observe their active behaviors. As a
result, they are exposed to artificial light throughout their subjective night. The goal
of this investigation was to examine critically the care of nocturnal strepsirrhine
primates in North American zoos, focusing on lorises (Loris and Nycticebus spp.) and pottos (Perodicticus potto). The general hypothesis was that exhibit lighting design affects activity patterns and circadian physiology in nocturnal strepsirrhines. The
first specific aim was to assess the status of these populations. A multi-institutional husbandry survey revealed little consensus among zoos in lighting design, with both red and blue light commonly used for nocturnal illumination. A review of medical records also revealed high rates of neonate mortality. The second aim was to
develop methods for measuring the effects of exhibit lighting on behavior and
health. The use of actigraphy for automated activity monitoring was explored.
Methods were also developed for measuring salivary melatonin and cortisol as
indicators of circadian disruption. Finally, a multi-institutional study was conducted
comparing behavioral and endocrine responses to red and blue dark phase lighting.
These results showed greater activity levels in strepsirrhines housed under red light than blue. Salivary melatonin concentrations in pottos suggested that blue light
suppressed nocturnal melatonin production at higher intensities, but evidence for
circadian disruption was equivocal. These results add to the growing body of
evidence on the detrimental effects of blue light at night and are a step towards
empirical recommendations for nocturnal lighting design in zoos.