Quantitative analysis of the age-related fragmentation of hamster 24-h activity rhythms

Plamen D. Penev, Phyllis C. Zee, Fred W. Turek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The continuous monitoring of spontaneous locomotor activity has emerged as one of the most widely used metrics in rodent circadian research. This behavioral measure is also extremely useful for the description of the effects of aging on circadian rhythms. The present study describes the successful use of a log-survivorship approach to identify discrete bouts of hamster wheel-running activity and provides a detailed description of the age-related fragmentation in the 24-h profile of this behavioral variable. In addition, stepwise discriminant analysis identified the most important quantitative measures for distinguishing between the individual patterns of wheel-running activity of young (3 mo) and old (17-18 mo) golden hamsters. The results suggest that this method of bout analysis can be a valuable tool for the study of genetic, developmental, neurochemical, physiological, and environmental factors involved in the temporal control of rodent locomotor behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R2132-R2137
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 42-6
StatePublished - 1997


  • Activity bouts
  • Aging
  • Discriminant function
  • Log-survivorship analysis
  • Wheel-running behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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