Subjective time expansion with increased stimulation of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells

Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 3;8(1):11693. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29613-1.


Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) contain photoreceptors that are especially sensitive to blue light. Nevertheless, how blue light and ipRGCs affect time perception remains unsolved. We used the oddball paradigm and manipulated the background light to examine whether and how blue light and ipRGCs affect perceived duration. In the oddball paradigm, participants were asked to judge the duration of the target (oddball), compared to that of the standard, with a two alternative-forced-choice procedure. When the background light was controlled to be either blue or red in Experiment 1, results showed that blue light led to longer subjective duration compared to red light. Experiment 2 further clarified the contribution of the ipRGCs. A set of multi-primary projector system that could manipulate the ipRGC stimulation were used, while the color and luminance of the background lights were kept constant throughout. Results showed that increased stimulation of ipRGCs under metameric background expanded subjective time. These results suggest that ipRGC stimulation increases arousal/attention so as to expand subjective duration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / radiation effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult