Interval timing in mice does not rely upon the circadian pacemaker

P. A. Lewis, R. C. Miall, S. Daan, A. Kacelnik

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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. © 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-134
    Number of pages3
    JournalNeuroscience letters
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2003


    • Circadian rhythms
    • Interval timing
    • Operant conditioning
    • Peak procedure
    • Suprachiasmatic nucleus
    • Time perception


    Dive into the research topics of 'Interval timing in mice does not rely upon the circadian pacemaker'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this