Effects of 15 min light pulses given at various intervals (every 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 hr) under constant darkness on the locomotor rhythm were investigated in the adult male cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. A single pulse per 24 hr induced period modulation in a circadian phase dependent manner, yielding a period modulation curve (PMC): the 15 min light pulse lengthened the period in the early subjective night (CT11-16) and shortened it during the late subjective night to the early subjective day (CT20-5). Frequent light pulses modulated the freerunning period of the rhythm dependent on the interval of the pulses: when compared with the freerunning period in DD (23.74 ± 0.03 hr) the period was significantly shorter in intervals of 2 and 4 hr, but lengthened when the interval was 1 and 12 hr. Frequent light pulses also resulted in entrainment of the rhythm to run with the period of 24 hr and the ratio of the entrained animals varied from 12% to 72% depending on the interval of the light pulses. The period modulation and the entrainment by the repetitive light pulses could be interpreted according to the PMC. In about 15% of animals, the light pulses induced a rhythm dissociation, suggesting that the bilaterally paired circadian pacemakers have their own sensitivity to the entraining photic information. The light pulse caused a masking effect, i.e., an intense burst of activity. The magnitude of the light induced responses was dependent on the circadian phase. The strongest masking effect was observed in the subjective night. The phase of the prominent period modulation and of the marked masking effects well coincides with the previously reported sensitive phase of the photoreceptive system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology