This study tested the hypothesis that the core interthreshold zone (CIZ) changes during exposure to red or blue light via the non-visual pathway, because it is known that light intensity affects the central nervous system. We conducted a series of human experiments with 5 or 10 male subjects in each experiment.
The air temperature in the climatic chamber was maintained at 20 to 24°C. The subjects wore suits perfused with 25°C water at a rate of 600 cm3/min. They exercised on an ergometer at 50% of their maximum work rate for 10 to 15 minutes until sweating commenced, and then remained continuously seated without exercise until their oxygen uptake increased. The rectal temperature and skin temperatures at four sites were monitored using thermistors. The sweating rate was measured at the forehead with a sweat rate monitor. Oxygen uptake was monitored with a gas analyzer. The subjects were exposed to red or blue light at 500 lx and 1000 lx in both summer and winter.
The mean CIZs at 500 lx were 0.23 ± 0.16°C under red light and 0.20 ± 0.10°C under blue light in the summer, and 0.19 ± 0.20°C under red light and 0.26 ± 0.24°C under blue light in the winter. The CIZs at 1000 lx were 0.18 ± 0.14°C under red light and 0.15 ± 0.20°C under blue light in the summer, and 0.52 ± 0.18°C under red light and 0.71 ± 0.28°C under blue light in the winter. A significant difference (P <0.05) was observed in the CIZs between red and blue light at 1000 lx in the winter, and significant seasonal differences under red light (P <0.05) and blue light (P <0.01) were also observed at 1000 lx.