Electrophysiological Approaches to Studying the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus

Stephan Michel, Takahiro J. Nakamura, Johanna H. Meijer, Christopher S. Colwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In mammals, the part of the nervous system responsible for most circadian behavior can be localized to a bilaterally paired structure in the hypothalamus known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Understanding the mammalian circadian system will require a detailed multilevel analysis of neural SCN circuits ex vivo and in vivo. Many of the techniques and approaches that are used for the analysis of the circuitry driving circadian oscillations in the SCN are similar to those employed in other brain regions. There is, however, one fundamental difference that needs to be taken into consideration, that is, the physiological, cell, and molecular properties of SCN neurons vary with the time of day. In this chapter, we will consider the preparations and electrophysiological techniques that we have used to analyze the SCN circuit focusing on the acute brain slice and intact, freely moving animal.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Biological clock
  • Brain slice
  • Circadian
  • In vivo electrophysiology
  • Neural activity rhythms
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

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