About LIGHTCAP

Light can make or break health, social and cognitive functioning. Given the rapid technological developments in light sources (LED, OLED) and the proliferation of intelligent infrastructures (IOT, data science), we are in a crucial period for the realization of truly human-centered lighting.

LIGHTCAP aims to address this challenge by providing a strong, innovative and necessary impulse to our insight in the intricate and complex relationship between light, perception, attention and cognition. The goal of LIGHTCAP is to prepare the next generation of experts able to deliver on the promise of truly intelligent, human-centric lighting.

We promise an international, interdisciplinary, cross-sectional and translational training program. The project unites experts from neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, chronobiology, psychology and lighting technology. It will train a generation of researchers who can look beyond the borders of their discipline and understand the implications of their findings for other fields. Most importantly: LIGHTCAP has assembled a team of 15 future experts on this important subject.

See below for the positions in the project (all vacancies have now been filled), and this page for more information on the project.

Vacancies

PhD position: Implementing effects of light on humans in the lighting design process The Building Lighting (BL) group is seeking one enthusiastic, ambitious young researcher to work in our team as PhD candidate on translating the knowledge on how light impacts visual performance, human health, behavior, and well-being into lighting design recommendations. In this project, under the MSCA LIGHTCAP…

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We will explore the role of (daylighting) design in non-visual effects, and more specifically, how the so-called non-visual responses to light (attention and cognition, alertness, phase-shifting effects) complement visual comfort requirements in order to better define what “healthy” (indoor) lighting conditions may be. We will aim to determine the extent to which it is relevant to consider non…

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We will investigate the importance of NIF effects in daily living and, more specifically, how lighting found in the built environment - in offices and residences in particular - influence the neurophysiological behavior of its occupants with a dedicated focus on daylighting aspects. We will put a special emphasis on alertness and circadian phase synchronization and will evaluate these effects both…

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We will investigate the influence of light directionality, considering different spectral characteristics, on visual comfort and NIF effects. In this project, user studies will be conducted in a fully LED backlit test room, which allows a high variety of luminance distributions for walls and ceiling with different spectral power distributions. In order to link the human responses to the lighting…

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Nighttime driving. We will investigate how lighting conditions affect drivers ability to detect and identify hazards, such as pedestrians, through the influence of light level and light spectrum on the visibility, conspicuity and alertness. This is likely to involve laboratory experiments, field study, and analyses of RTC data. The research will be conducted under the supervision of Professor…

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Lighting at pedestrian crossings. We will investigate how lighting conditions affect safety at pedestrian crossings, through the influence of light level and light spectrum on the visibility and conspicuity of the pedestrian, and the alertness of the driver and pedestrian. This is likely to involve laboratory experiments, field study, and analyses of RTC data. The research will be conducted under…

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PhD position: Effects of SPD on CAP in mesopic outdoor situations. We aim to investigate the acute non-image forming (NIF) and image-forming (IF) effects in pedestrians under mesopic conditions. For this purpose we will investigate the role of spectral power distributions (SPD), in particular in blue (NIF) and green (IF) wavelength ranges, in spatial brightness perceptions and safety judgements…

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PhD position: Effects of daytime light on CAP in persons with sleep disorders This project aims to investigate NIF effects of light on attention, cognition and sleep among patients suffering from chronic primary sleep disorder with reduced daytime vigilance (e.g., those suffering from Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and/or hypersomnia patients). You will perform studies both in the laboratory and in the…

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PhD position: Time-related factors in acute NIF effects on attention and cognition during daytime. We aim to quantify the magnitude and direction of acute non-image forming (NIF) effects on subjective and objective markers of attention and cognition. Important factors will be the timing of the light exposure in relation to internal circadian time and time awake, the duration of the light pulse…

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In this project, we will investigate the interaction of circadian time with NIF responses in teenagers, using a combination of field and laboratory-based measurements. Research will be conducted at the Centre for Chronobiology in Basel under the supervision of Dr. Manuel Spitschan, Dr. Oliver Stefani, and Prof. Christian Cajochen. We have planned secondments with Dr. Gilles Vandewalle at the…

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This project investigates the role of different photoreceptors (cones, rods, and ipRGCs) in the human retina and their role in driving non-visual responses during evening light exposure. The project will use novel spectrally tunable lighting sources to target different photoreceptors, with a view to characterize the contribution of the photoreceptors as a function of absolute light level on human…

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NIF impact on the brain in teenagers Teenagers are high consumers of light through screens. Yet their study in the light context remain scares. First, we will establish whether subcortical areas play an important role in NIF responses to light in teenagers and in the transition to adulthood. Second, we will show whether basic cortical function (as indexed by cortical excitability) is affected by…

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NIF impact on subcortical brain structures We will establish the fundamental role of the subcortical areas and identified NIF pathways beyond the retina in vivo in human. We will also strengthen our understanding of melanopsin retinal cell contribution to alertness and cognition. Studies will be laboratory based on healthy human participants. The project will use Ultra-high- field high-resolution…

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Among the most surprising recent discoveries in vision science is that rods and cones are not the only photoreceptors that we use to see. Melanopsin, a newly discovered photoreceptor in the inner retina, also appears to play an important supportive role in visual perception. We will apply the tools of modern experimental neuroscience in laboratory rodents to understand this role and to explore how…

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How is ambient light measured in the eye and translated by the brain into changes in mood, alertness, sleep propensity and biological timing? Addressing this question in laboratory rodents allows us to conceive of more mechanistic and fundamental answers than can be achieved by studying humans alone. This project will exploit an array of cutting-edge methods in experimental neuroscience (viral…

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