Bright light effects on working memory, sustained attention and concentration of elderly night shift workers
Night shift workers show a decline in performance during working time. Due to demographic change, the labour market requires more elderly people to work at night. Ageing is accompanied by a decrease in cognitive abilities, in the capabilities of the visual system and in coping with night work from the age of 40 onwards. This investigation focuses on the effects of bright light exposure on the working memory, concentration and sustained attention of elderly persons during three consecutive night shifts. After statistical control for neuroticism and intelligence as covariates, the results demonstrate that exposure to bright light at night reduces error rates for a working memory task and a concentration performance task but performance on a sustained attention task is completely unaffected.