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Experientia. 1987 Dec 1;43(11-12):1205-7.

Phase-dependent shift of free-running human circadian rhythms in response to a single bright light pulse.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


Responsiveness of free-running human circadian rhythms to a single pulse of bright light was examined in a temporal isolation unit. Bright light (5000 lx) of either 3 or 6 h duration, applied during the early subjective day, produced phase-advance shifts in both the sleep-wake cycle and the rhythm of rectal temperature; the light pulse had essentially no effect on the phase of the circadian rhythms, when it was introduced during the late subjective day or the early subjective night. The results indicate that bright light can reset the human circadian pacemaker.

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