The Hamster pp 323-361 | Cite as

Biological Rhythms

  • Lawrence P. Morin


The most widely studied category of hamster biological rhythms is that for which the expected period is 24 hr. Such rhythms are considered to be true “circadian rhythms” if the periodicity of the event deviates slightly from 24 hr in the absence of known time-giving cues (Zeitgebern). Without a Zeitgeber, rhythms such as that for locomotor activity will assume a frequency unconstrained by an external synchronizing agent. This “free run” (Fig. 1) is considered to demonstrate an endogenous, self-sustained oscillation with a period near 24 hr, thus, a circadian rhythm. Timing for such a rhythm is presumed to be derived from a circadian “clock.” The existence of such clocks is now generally accepted, although a contrary view does exist (see Brown, 1976; Brown and Scow, 1978).


Circadian Rhythm Circadian Clock Estrous Cycle Phase Advance Golden Hamster 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence P. Morin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

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