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Behav Neurosci. 2001 Aug;115(4):895-9.

Association of intrinsic circadian period with morningness-eveningness, usual wake time, and circadian phase.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, USA.
Harvard Med Sch, Boston, MA


The biological basis of preferences for morning or evening activity patterns ("early birds" and "night owls") has been hypothesized but has remained elusive. The authors reported that, compared with evening types, the circadian pacemaker of morning types was entrained to an earlier hour with respect to both clock time and wake time. The present study explores a chronobiological mechanism by which the biological clock of morning types may be set to an earlier hour. Intrinsic period, a fundamental property of the circadian system, was measured in a month-long inpatient study. A subset of participants also had their circadian phase assessed. Participants completed a morningness-eveningness questionnaire before study. Circadian period was correlated with morningness-eveningness, circadian phase, and wake time, demonstrating that a fundamental property of the circadian pacemaker is correlated with the behavioral trait of morningness-eveningness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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