Huberman preaching EM Theory!

Well not preaching.

But skip to about 15 minutes in and Huberman almost recites word for word the main tenants of EM.

He bases his opinion off the epidemiology studies looking at children spending outdoor time reducing severity of myopia.

These studies can be found in the EM Wiki under Outdoor time & distance vision


Dr Huberman has a podcast series on YouTube, which covers a wide range of topics dealing with neuroscience. He posted a series on senses about a month ago.

Couple of podcasts that may be of interest to this community. Links below:

Science of human vision
The Science of Vision, Eye Health & Seeing Better

My first post here!


It’s not that Huberman promotes EM. He simply refers to the same studies and general knowledge that have been around long and that Jake found, too. My grandma was sending us outdoors all the time, too, basically we spent 99% of our time awake outdoors during the summer holidays. Summer meant sleeping in a tent in the garden, we had the dining table on the patio and had the meals there, we climbed trees and read the books there.

I like his podcasts a lot but I don’t agree with his statement that it doesn’t matter if the outdoor time is smart phone time or other activities. My theory is that outdoor time improves vision by a) natural lights b) changing focal planes dynamically c) raising the eyes to the upper part of the vision bubble (that we actually forgot to use). And this last one will not be done if the time outdoors is spent on the smartphone. Not to mention posture issues.
My other theory is that those people who feel pain in their eyes outdoors typically move their eyes in the lower half only and actually raising the eyes to real distances initially will cause them a bit of pain / discomfort in their eyes that they translate to “too bright lights”…


Anything Huberman embraces is of course amplified by the fact that he’s a famous professor of neurology who is also on the faculty of ophthalmology at one of the leading universities in the world.

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And while he’s confirming the same findings on myopia progression, he still cannot entertain the idea of myopia reversal. Just a slow down or stop in progression. There are drawbacks to being able to explain everything, too.


That was a bit of tongue and cheek :upside_down_face:

I assume that he’s just referring to the fact that these studies didn’t control for what the children did outside and only measured how much time they spent outside.

And from that link that @geosing linked to.
He does allude to ‘improving vision’ but yes I would agree there is no mention of “myopia reversal”


I absolutely loved that one - discussed here


He’s not really making that statement. He’s just sharing what the latest research indicates.

And that’s not an accurate way of describing what he means. He clarifies this more in his own podcast, but what he meant was that the research indicates the exposure to sunlight outdoors itself has a preventative effect on developing myopia. And the research indicates that this preventative effect is robust even if the participants spent their two hours outside on phones or books or whatever else.
He does also indicate that yes, dynamic vision is very beneficial for improving vision.
And in his own podcast he never “entertains” myopia reversal. But he does note that there are studies that found improvements in myopia reduction, doing some of the more eye-exercisey type stuff. And he also notes that obviously the eye-exercise stuff pales to actual dynamic activity.


I contest that theory.
I had a good look at the literature when making the EM Wiki Clinical Studies Page and couldn’t find any clinical trials in humans isolating sunlight as a contributing factor to preventing myopia.

If you look at the study Huberman is referring to it doesn’t explain how they control for other factors when being outdoors i.e. looking into the distance. (Note: I can only access the abstract so happy to stand corrected if someone can access the full paper and we can have a look).

There are animal trials that isolate Violet Light exposure through sunlight in chicks that show positive results.

I think we can only safely say that going outside is preventative. How that actually works in humans is not solid yet.
Happy to stand corrected with any trials other people can find.


This is the full paper btw:

Good catch. I wish Huberman had some shownotes with the studies. As he mentions there’s “a series of large clinical trials” And that study alone is not enough to back up the claims he made.

But At the same time I trust Huberman’s word. There seems to be a chain of anti-myopia studies coming out of Taiwan and I’m sure Huberman has gone through them

Also, wouldn’t be surprised if the claims do hold up Since Taiwan is one of those cultures where I I can stereotypically imagine kids who’s idea of recess is to spend it studying.


Ah great thanks. Good find.
Yeh had a read and there is a bit of speculation around the mechanism.
They hypothesise that its 1000-3000 lux exposure but the experiment wasn’t setup that way to prove it.

In conclusion, the school-based ROCT711 program may
stabilize the myopic shift effectively, may decrease the axial
length elongation, and may decrease the risk of myopia
onset and fast myopia shift. Both nonmyopic and myopic
children benefitted from this outdoor activity program for
myopia control. Although parents may be concerned about
children’s direct exposure to strong light intensities, we
found that longer duration of exposure to moderate light
intensities such as 1000 lux or more or 3000 lux or more
outdoors also may have a myopia prevention effect.

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I’m listening to one of his other video and I’ve just realized that this guy also has a degree in ophthalmology. @jakey how come you don’t have any podcast with him yet? :slight_smile:


haha, yeh it would be an interesting convo.
I was thinking while listening to this:
“is Huberman a phenomena first science follows person? Or is he a science first phenomena follows person?”

Obviously everyone wants to be the first kind of person. But I just feel like Huberman comes from institutions and quotes alot of studies when making his point. Will he be blinded a bit too much because he’s so well versed in the literature? Or would he be responsive to a renegade like Jake

Jake on the otherhand is clearly a phenomena first person then science to back that up. I hope we all are in here!

Would a convo Huberman vs Steiner make fireworks? or would they be in fierce agreement?