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                             Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Contact:   Rebekah Mullaney
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Troy, N.Y. -  11/2/2019

LRC Recruiting Participants for New Paid Study: Investigating the Alerting Effects of Red and White Light

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is recruiting participants over 15 years of age for a new study that will take place over the course of three weeks, one session each week. The study will investigate the alerting effects of red and white light. The image at right shows how a luminous partition providing red light could potentially be used in an office environment to boost alertness.

This daytime study will be held from November 11 to 27, 2019. The study will take place on weekdays (Monday to Wednesday) of those weeks. Participants may choose the day of the week they wish to attend.
Participants need to attend all three scheduled sessions, unless they decide to withdraw from the experiment. In order to be eligible to participate in the experiment, participants need to have regular bed times no later than 11:00 p.m. and wake up no later than 8:00 a.m. This regular schedule must be kept throughout the study. Participants will be asked to wear an actigraph and keep a sleep log all the weeks of the study, starting one week before the study begins. If the actigraph data shows that the sleep schedule was not followed, the participant will not be allowed to continue in the study.
The study will investigate the alerting effects of light by measuring brain activities under different light exposures using electroencephalogram (EEG) and through auditory performance tests done on a computer. For each session, participants will arrive at the LRC at 1:00 p.m. for EEG setup. EEG is a non-invasive, safe procedure to record brain activities. In order to obtain an accurate EEG measurement, it is necessary to clean small areas of the skin with alcohol wipes and apply a water-soluble paste and medical tape to attach electrodes to the scalp. The study will begin at 2:00 p.m. and will be conducted for two hours. During each session, four sets of 3-minute EEG measurements, performance testing, and subjective responses will be collected.
One week prior to the start of the experiment (November 4 to 7), participants will come into the LRC for a one-hour training session during regular business hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and are given an actigraph to wear and a sleep log to complete.
Exclusions: You cannot participate in the experiment if you have major health problems, are colorblind, take prescription medication (except birth control pills), or are traveling more than one time zone the month before or during the weeks of the experiment.

Participants will be paid $50 for each session – a total of $150 for completing all three weeks of the study. In accordance with the graduate tuition policy, graduate students may not participate in this paid study. Payment will be processed by Rensselaer after each session. If a participant is not a U.S. citizen, taxes will be withheld from payment. If you are interested in participating in the study, please contact Madison Laks at or (518) 276-7112 for more information. Thank you!

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.