University of Cambridge > > Kenneth Craik Club > Latitude-of-birth and season-of-birth effects on human color vision in the Arctic

Latitude-of-birth and season-of-birth effects on human color vision in the Arctic

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Natural ambient light deprivation occurs during the winter season at very high latitudes (above the Arctic circle or 66°32´ North) that in turn results in increased exposure to artificial lighting. In contrast, during the summer season, sunlight can be present continuously for 24 hours a day. Little is known about these extreme changes to light exposure on human visual perception. Measuring color discriminations with the FM 100 Test revealed that Norwegians born above the Arctic Circle were less sensitive to yellow-green, green, and green-blue spectrum differences whereas they were more sensitive to hue variations in the purple range than individuals born below the Arctic Circle. Additionally, only Norwegian individuals born above the Arctic Circle and during autumn/winter showed an overall decrease in color sensitivity, whereas those born in the summer showed a relative increase.

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