Effects of Pacemaker Lesions on the Temporal Organization in Mammals

  • W. J. Rietveld
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Synergetics book series (SSSYN, volume 36)


Many physiological, biochemical and behavioural processes show functionally significant circadian rhythms. A host of recent experiments mainly in rats and hamsters have led to the recognition of the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus as a major regulator of circadian rhythmicity (1). The natural starting point of the search for the central pacemaker has been to trace the pathway for entrainment, as in the hierarchical multi-oscillator model the pacemaker interacts with the entrainment mechanism. Since in mammals the light-dark cycle is the predominant synchronizing agent, the Zeitgeber can be assumed to enter the organism via the retina. The possibility that extraretinal photoreception plays any significant role in the process of photic entrainment in adult mammals can at present be considered very unlikely.


Locomotor Activity Circadian Rhythm Period Length Free Running Anticipatory Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. J. Rietveld
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Physiology and Physiological Physics, Div. of Med. ChronobiologyUniversity of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands

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