Specific light spectrum improves contrast sensitivity

Experiments by researchers found visual acuity improved when viewers were exposed to light that stimulates melanopsin cells in the retina

A pair of spectacles sit on the open pages of a book

A new study published in Vision Research has highlighted that contrast sensitivity can be enhanced by light in a specific spectrum.

Researchers from Nagoya City University, National Taiwan University and Kagoshima University developed a lighting system that selectively targets melanopsin cells in the retina without changing the brightness or the colour of the light.

A series of five experiments involved seven participants with normal or corrected-to-normal vision. The average age of participants was 24.6.

The scientists found that contrast sensitivity was enhanced when the amount of stimulation of melanopsin cells increased by using light in a special spectrum. This could be achieved without changing the luminance or chromaticity of the light.

The findings could lead to the development of innovative new lighting devices rather than simply changing colour or light intensity.

The researchers highlighted that they would continue their research into human vision and propose optimal light environments by clarifying the mechanisms in the brain.