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Topic 1 - Biological Rhythms
· Circadian, infradian and ultradian rhythms
· Consequences of disrupting biological
rhythms
1 Biological Rhythms *…read more

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Types of Biological Rhythm
· Circadian
­ 24-hour rhythm cycle
­ e.g. sleep wake cycle
· Infradian
­ rhythm cycle lasts more than one day
­ e.g. Menstrual cycle
· Ultradian
­ rhythm cycle occurs more than once in 24 hours
­ e.g. Sleep stages (REM and slow wave) - a 90
minute cycle; animal feeding patterns
1 Biological Rhythms *…read more

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Circadian Rhythms
· Biological rhythms:
­ Fundamental processes
which happen in cycles
­ Influence levels of
hormones and
neurotransmitters in our
bodies and brains at
specific intervals of time
­ Circadian rhythms are
those which happen once
per day…read more

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Control of Circadian Rhythms
· Endogenous pacemakers (internal control
mechanisms, ie. suprachiasmatic nucleus &
pineal gland)
· Exogenous zeitgebers (external control
mechanisms, ie. light)
1 Biological Rhythms *…read more

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Endogenous (Internal) Pacemakers
"Biological clocks"
· Pineal gland
­ Responds to light;
­ Converts serotonin into melatonin (associated with
sleepiness) in darkness
· Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in hypothalamus
­ Main biological clock in humans
­ Regulates melatonin
secretion in pineal gland
­ (See SCN worksheet for
studies)
1 Biological Rhythms *…read more

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