In recent decades, the 24-hour light and dark cycle that humans evolved under has been altered significantly through the use of artificial nighttime lighting. However, exposure to light at night has been found to have severely damaging effects on human health, including increased risk for cancer, psychological disorders and cardiovascular problems. However, there is an enormous gap in the literature within this area, as studies have been conducted almost exclusively on males. Sex differences within the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus suggest that there are sex differences in circadian rhythms that may lead to sex differences in the effects of light at night. In this study, the effects of light at night on working memory were examined in 36 male and female SAS-Fisch344 rats in the Water Radial Arm Maze, and it was hypothesized that exposure to light at night would have a more severe impact on working memory in females. The results of this study did not demonstrate an effect of light at night on working memory, but supported previous findings on general sex differences in working memory performance in the Water Radial Arm Maze.


Stavnezer, Amy Jo




Behavioral Neurobiology | Mental and Social Health | Other Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Kathryn P. Reindel