Light Modulates hippocampal function and spatial learning in a Diurnal Rodent Species: a study using male Nile Grass Rat (Arvicanthis niloticus).
The research, comissioned by the National Institute of Health (NIH), is the first to show evidence in which, changes in the envirnoment light in levels usually experimented by humans, can lead to structural changes in the brain. Americans spend in average 90% of their time in closed, poor lit envirnoments, according to the American Agency of Environmental Protection. So what can we do to change this?
A pioneer research released by Michigan University shows that by spending too much time in poor lit rooms and offices can actually change brain´s structures. The researchers studied the brain of rats after having been exposed to a poor lit envirnoment for 4 weeks. The results showed that the rats lost about 30% of hippocampus capacity; a critical area of the brain for learning and memory. In addition, they presented a poor performance in a previosly taught spacial task. Conversely, when the same rats were exposed to well lit envirnoment for the same amount of time, the results showed a significant improvement on brain´s capacity and the performance achievements on spacial tasks recovered completely.