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Social Synchronization of Circadian Rhythms in Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus)

Michel Crowley and Jacques Bovet
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 7, No. 2 (1980), pp. 99-105
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4599313
Page Count: 7
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Social Synchronization of Circadian Rhythms in Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus)
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Abstract

Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), kept in individual cages under constant dim-light conditions, displayed steady free-running rhythms of activity, the period of which varied between individuals. When two previously isolated mice with different rhythms were placed in a common enclosure, under the same constant light conditions, they soon displayed a mutual synchronization of their activity rhythms. When separated again, the mice lost mutual synchronization (Figs. 1 and 2). The process by which mutual synchronization was attained in the common enclosure is typical of entrainment by an external synchronizer (Zeitgeber). Our results suggest that the activity rhythm of the dominant mouse entrains the activity rhythm of the subordinate, and is thus a 'social Zeitgeber.'

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