Reduced Flicker Lighting Enhances Theta-Band Phase Synchrony during Working Memory Tasks

Jun-Sang Sunwoo, Sanghun Lee, Ki-Young Jung
2021 Journal of Sleep Medicine  
Objectives: We analyzed theta-band phase synchrony (TBPS) under reduced and ordinary flicker lighting to determine the effect of light flickers on neurocognitive processes. Methods: Nineteen healthy participants (mean age, 30.4±4.5 years; male, 63.2%) performed the Sternberg working memory tasks with eventrelated potential recording under reduced and control flicker conditions, respectively. We measured the P300 amplitude during memory retrieval, and for TBPS analysis, we calculated the
more » ... culated the weighted phase lag index within the P300 time window. Furthermore, we used standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) to determine differences in functional cortical source connectivity between the two flicker conditions. Results: The hit rate (F1,18=0.862, p=0.365), reaction time (F1,18=0.021, p=0.887), and P300 amplitude (F1,18=3.992, p=0.061) did not differ between the two flicker conditions. However, connectivity analysis at the scalp level showed that TBPS under reduced flicker lighting was significantly higher than that under control flicker lighting at higher memory loads (p=0.002). Cortical source imaging with sLORETA confirmed that reduced flicker lighting significantly increased TBPS between the left prefrontal cortex and right hippocampus compared with control flicker lighting (false discovery rate<0.1). Conclusions: Reduced flicker lighting enhanced TBPS during the working memory task compared with control flicker lighting. Reduced flicker light may improve cognitive functioning by facilitating information transfer within the brain network. Flicker conditions should be considered when optimizing lighting, especially in environments demanding high-level cognitive performance. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
doi:10.13078/jsm.210005 fatcat:ygh3awiejfbhbnq3na7pw7k3n4