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Ruger, M., St Hilaire, M. A., Brainard, G. C., Khalsa, S. - B. S., Kronauer, R. E., Czeisler, C. A., et al. (2013). Human phase response curve to a single 6.5 h pulse of short-wavelength light. J Physiol, 591(Pt 1), 353–363.
Abstract: The photic resetting response of the human circadian pacemaker depends on the timing of exposure, and the direction and magnitude of the resulting shift is described by a phase response curve (PRC). Previous PRCs in humans have utilized high-intensity polychromatic white light. Given that the circadian photoreception system is maximally sensitive to short-wavelength visible light, the aim of the current study was to construct a PRC to blue (480 nm) light and compare it to a 10,000 lux white light PRC constructed previously using a similar protocol. Eighteen young healthy participants (18-30 years) were studied for 9-10 days in a time-free environment. The protocol included three baseline days followed by a constant routine (CR) to assess initial circadian phase. Following this CR, participants were exposed to a 6.5 h 480 nm light exposure (11.8 muW cm(-2), 11.2 lux) following mydriasis via a modified Ganzfeld dome. A second CR was conducted following the light exposure to re-assess circadian phase. Phase shifts were calculated from the difference in dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) between CRs. Exposure to 6.5 h of 480 nm light resets the circadian pacemaker according to a conventional type 1 PRC with fitted maximum delays and advances of -2.6 h and 1.3 h, respectively. The 480 nm PRC induced approximately 75% of the response of the 10,000 lux white light PRC. These results may contribute to a re-evaluation of dosing guidelines for clinical light therapy and the use of light as a fatigue countermeasure.