Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 166, Issue 5, pp 643–649 | Cite as

A circadian rhythm in neural activity can be recorded from the central nervous system of the cockroach

  • Christopher S. Colwell
  • Terry L. Page


Evidence presented in this paper indicates that a robust circadian rhythm in the frequency of neural activity can be recorded from the central nervous system of intact cockroaches, Leucophaea maderae. This rhythmicity was abolished by optic lobe removal. Spontaneous neural activity was then used as an assay to demonstrate that the optic lobe is able to generate circadian oscillations in vitro. These results provide direct evidence that the cockroach optic lobe is a self-sustained circadian oscillator capable of generating daily rhythms in the absence of neural or hormonal communications with the rest of the organism.

Key words

Circadian rhythm Cockroach Optic lobe Neural activity 



central nervous system


constant dark


light/dark cycle


suprachiasmatic nucleus


Zeitgeber time


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher S. Colwell
    • 1
  • Terry L. Page
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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