University of Groningen
- Prof. Roelof Hut
- Dr. Peter Meerlo
- dr. Robbert Havekes
Description of project
This February, I started my Ph.D. at the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences. We will be unraveling the effects of artificial light on animal behavior, physiology, and brain activity. In contrast to dynamic natural illumination that humans have evolved with, artificial lights are static and do not share the same intensity, spectral or temporal properties. These inconsistencies may affect our circadian rhythms and sleep, which can further influence our health and well-being.
To elucidate the diverse consequences of artificial light, we will expose diurnal and nocturnal mammals to varying levels of artificial light, either during the dark or the light phase of the circadian cycle. We will record the behavioral and physiological changes in circadian activity and sleep architecture with miniature electroencephalogram (EEG), electromyogram (EMG), and brain temperature dataloggers. After analyzing the effects, we will then study the molecular mechanisms responsible for the observed changes. This research will give important insights into the outcomes of artificial light exposure and the complex neuronal processes involved.
The BioClock Consortium is funded by the NWA-ORC programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO; project number 1292.19.077).