Suprachiasmatic stimulation phase shifts rodent circadian rhythms

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Science  12 Mar 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4538, pp. 1407-1409
DOI: 10.1126/science.7063851


The integrity of the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus is essential to the expression of normal circadian rhythms in rodents. Electrical stimulation of the SCN caused phase shifts and period changes in the freerunning feeding rhythms of rats and activity rhythms of hamsters. The phase response curve for SCN stimulation appears to parallel that for light pulses. These findings strengthen the hypothesis derived from lesion studies that the SCN are the dominant light-entrained oscillators in the rodent circadian system.