Individual differences and diversity in human physiological responses to light

EBioMedicine. 2022 Jan;75:103640. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103640. Epub 2022 Jan 10.


Exposure to light affects our physiology and behaviour through a pathway connecting the retina to the circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamus - the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Recent research has identified significant individual differences in the non-visual effects of light,mediated by this pathway. Here, we discuss the fundamentals and individual differences in the non-visual effects of light. We propose a set of actions to improve our evidence database to be more diverse: understanding systematic bias in the evidence base, dedicated efforts to recruit more diverse participants, routine deposition and sharing of data, and development of data standards and reporting guidelines.

Keywords: Circadian rhythms; Data sharing; Diversity; Individual differences; Non-visual effects of light; Open science.

Publication types

  • Review