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Interval timing in mice does not rely upon the circadian pacemaker

Lewis, Penelope A. ORCID:, 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: 31 Oct 2022 10:56

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