Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

December 2016:

Can I apply to participate?

Project LUMA is not currently accepting new applications. To receive updates, please send us a message using the Contact button to the left. 

 

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January 2016:

Where will the study take place?

The 'darkness sequestration' part of the study will take place in a modified apartment facility in the greater New York area. There will be ample space for participants.

 

Wait... total darkness... what does that mean?

For the brain to become more plastic, absolutely no light can hit the retinas. Our facility has been specially prepared to prevent any light at all from entering the space; not even a single photon.

 

How many people are going to be in the dark at a time?

Up to four participants will be sequestered per session.

 

What are people going to do for 10 days? Won't they get bored?

Activities include riding stationary bikes, listening to books on tape, conducting experiments, and playing games. Our participants will also be given personal time to journal or talk with friends and family.

 

If someone is accepted to the study, will they be guaranteed a spot in the dark?

No. Our participants will be placed by the research team into either an experimental group or a control group. If a participant is assigned to a control group, they will not spend any time in the dark.

 

I don’t live near New York. How do I do this on my own?

If you’re planning a multi-day dark retreat anyhow, and you have amblyopia and want to see whether time in the dark has an effect on your vision, then we recommend seeing an optometrist well before your retreat. A COVD-certified vision therapist would be a good choice. This optometrist can measure your visual ability, make sure your eyeglasses or contacts are up to date, and help with vision therapy exercises. We don’t know whether time in the dark will be effective as a treatment for amblyopia in humans. It might not be, which is why we're doing this as a controlled scientific study.