Premenstrual mood and empathy after a single light therapy session

Aan Het Rot, M., Miloserdov, K., Buijze, A. L. F., Meesters, Y. & Gordijn, M. C. M. Oct-2017 In : Psychiatry Research. 256, p. 212-218 7 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle


  • Premenstrual mood and empathy after a single light therapy session

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To examine whether acute changes in cognitive empathy might mediate the impact of light therapy on mood, we assessed the effects of a single light-therapy session on mood and cognitive empathy in 48 premenstrual women, including 17 who met Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool criteria for moderate-to-severe premenstrual syndrome / premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS/PMDD). Using a participant-blind between-groups design, 23 women underwent 30min of morning light therapy (5,000lx; blue-enriched polychromatic light, 17,000K) while 25 women had a sham session (200lx, polychromatic light, 5,000K). We administered the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule and the Affect Grid right before and after the intervention, and 60min later upon completion of a computerized empathic accuracy task. There were no significant effects of light condition on cognitive empathy as assessed using the computer task. Nonetheless, bright light reduced negative affect, specifically in women not using hormonal contraceptives. No effects of bright light on mood were observed in women who were using contraceptives. If a single light-therapy session does not alter cognitive empathy, then cognitive empathy may not mediate the impact of light therapy on mood in premenstrual women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Early online date16-Jun-2017
StatePublished - Oct-2017


  • Journal Article

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