Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 80–84 | Cite as

Phase relations between a circadian rhythm and its zeitgeber within the range of entrainment

  • Jürgen Aschoff
  • Hermann Pohl
Article

Abstract

The regular day-night changes in tissues, physiologic functions, and behavior of organisms are based on endogenous rhythmic processes which under constant conditions continue with periods slightly deviating from 24h. These ‘arcadian’ rhythms have properties of self-sustained oscillators. Under natural conditions, circadian rhythms are synchronized (entrained) to 24 h by periodic factors in the environment, the so-called ‘Zeitgebers’. In the laboratory, circadian rhythms can also be entrained to periods other than 24 h within certain limits. Data on the phase relationship between the circadian rhythm and an entraining light-dark cycle for vertebrates, insects, plants, and unicellular organisms are reviewed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Aschoff
    • 1
  • Hermann Pohl
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesen und Erling-Andechs

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