Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN)

Phyllis C Zee*, Roneil Gopal Malkani, N. Dang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) regulates daily rhythms of nearly all physiological and behavioral processes. Pacemaker activity in the SCN arises from the synchronized activity of multiple single-cell circadian oscillators that are regulated at the molecular level, generating a near 24-h rhythm that is synchronized to the environmental light/dark cycle by light and nonphotic stimuli. The SCN primarily communicates rhythmic information to other brain regions and peripheral tissues via projections to other hypothalamic regions involved in the regulation of physiology and behavior, including sleep and wakefulness, autonomic function, cognition, metabolism, and pineal melatonin secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780123851574
ISBN (Print)9780123851581
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Hypothalamus
  • Light
  • Melanopsin
  • Melatonin
  • Pineal
  • Retinohypothalamic tract
  • Sleep
  • Subparaventricular zone
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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