Dark pulses affect the circadian rhythm of activity in hamsters kept in constant light

G. B. Ellis, R. E. McKlveen, F. W. Turek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

We compared the effects of light pulses in constant darkness (DD) and dark pulses in constant light (LL) on the constant darkness (DD) and dark pulses in constant light (LL) on the free-running rhythm of locomotor activity in male golden hamsters. Light pulses yielded advances, delays, or no change in the rhythm of activity. These data conform to a typical phase-response curve; this curve was unaffected by pinealectomy. Dark pulses occurring either late in the subjective night or early in the subjective day had little effect. In contrast, dark pulses occurring either late in the subjective day or early in the subjective night altered the rhythm in one of three ways; advance of the rhythm; splitting into two components; or induction of a new component, in phase with the pulse. Because dark pulses in LL perturb the circadian system in a different manner than do light pulses in DD, they may have value in identifying heretofore unknown aspects of circadian systems. As such, the use of dark pulses to perturb circadian rhythmicity will be a useful tool in examining the formal properties of circadian systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R44-R50
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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