Endogenous Pacemakers and Endogenous Zeitgebers

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What's the main endogenous pacemakers in mammals called?
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)
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What is the SCN made up of?
A tiny cluster of nerve cells
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Where is the SCN located?
In the hypothalamus, just above the place where the optic nerves from each eye cross over
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What does the SNC do?
Obtains info about light from the eye via the optic nerve
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What happens if our endogenous clock is running slow?
Morning light automatically shifts the clock ahead, putting the rhythm in step with the world outside
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Is SNC just one thing? Explain...
No it's a pair of structures, one in each hemisphere of the brain. Each of these is divided into the ventral and dorsal SCN
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Describe the ventral SCN in terms of external cues...
It's relatively quickly reset by external cues
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Describe the dorsal SCN in terms of external cues...
Much less affected by light and therefore more resistant to being reset
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Where does the SNC send signals to?
The pineal gland, directing it to increase production of the hormone melatonin at night
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How does melatonin induce sleep?
It inhibits the brain mechanisms that promote wakefulness
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What is entrainment?
The process of resetting the biological clock with endogenous zeitgebers
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Card 2

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What is the SCN made up of?

Back

A tiny cluster of nerve cells

Card 3

Front

Where is the SCN located?

Back

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Card 4

Front

What does the SNC do?

Back

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Card 5

Front

What happens if our endogenous clock is running slow?

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