Induction of Zugunruhe by photostimulation of encephalic receptors in white-crowned sparrows

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Science  07 Jul 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4350, pp. 76-79
DOI: 10.1126/science.566467


Daily 20-hour encephalic photophases (DEPP), transmitted (hours 0 to 20) via chronically implanted light-conducting fibers to selected sites in the basal hypothalamus of male white-crowned sparrows, were superimposed on daily 8-hour (hours 0 to 8) external ambient photophases (DAPP). Initially the birds displayed motor activity only during the 8-hour DAPP. After a delay of at least 2 weeks, some of the birds became intensively active during hours 8 to 20. We postulate that this period of "nocturnal" activity is equivalent to the nocturnal Zugunruhe shown by caged individuals of many nocturnally migratory species subjected to long days; such activity is generally regarded as the expression of migratory behavior.