Optimal light conditions for improved memory and mood.
The ENLIGHT project investigates whether light therapy represents an effective way to improve the lives of people with dementia. The lack of studies on light as a non-pharmacological therapy including people with dementia makes this important for further theoretical and methodological development.
ENLIGHT wants to investigate how different light conditions affect cognition, mood and circadian rhythm. Furthermore, the project wants to elucidate how this can be used in a clinical context.
Work package (WP) 1 and 2 consist of exposure to different lighting conditions; red and blue light as well as high intensity white light. WP1 tests the effects of light on cognitive performance. WP2 includes two tests 1) an emotion recognition protocol, the perception of positive, negative and neutral facial expressions, and 2) implicit emotional learning (condition). The experiments will take place in the light laboratory at the Faculty of Psychology. Saliva samples are taken to measure melatonin. Electroencephalogram, heart rate variability and galvanic skin response are recorded.
WP1 and 2 will include three groups; young healthy adults, seniors with no cognitive impairment and people with dementia. This could give an insight into whether any variation in effect is due to dementia or age-related changes.
WP3 is a randomized controlled trial conducted in home-dwelling seniors with mild dementia. The goal is to see how therapy light in the participant's living room affects circadian rhythm, sleep, mood and functioning.