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Interval timing in mice does not rely upon the circadian pacemaker

Lewis, Penelope A., Miall, R. C., Daan, S. and Kacelnik, A. 2003. Interval timing in mice does not rely upon the circadian pacemaker. Neuroscience Letters 348 (3) , pp. 131-134. 10.1016/S0304-3940(03)00521-4

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The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is a precise timekeeper that controls and synchronizes the circadian period of countless physiological and behavioural functions and entrains them to the 24 h light/dark cycle. We examined the possibility that it is also indirectly involved in measurement of a briefer interval by observing the effects of lesions targeted at the SCN, and abolishing circadian rhythmicity, upon interval timing behaviour. Fourteen house mice (Mus musculus) were trained to estimate a 10 s interval using a modified peak procedure, and then underwent electrolytic lesions. Six individuals became behaviourally arrhythmic. Peak interval performance was then assessed in 12:12 light/dark conditions and in constant darkness. No significant change in peak characteristics was observed as a consequence of the lesion for either rhythmic or arrhythmic groups. These results show that the accurate measurement of 10 s requires neither a functioning circadian pacemaker nor entrained behavioural rhythmicity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Circadian rhythms; Peak procedure; Interval timing; Suprachiasmatic nucleus; Operant conditioning; Time perception
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0304-3940
Date of Acceptance: 28 April 2003
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2019 09:02

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