Reply to-healy d. and waterhouse j.m. The circadian system and affective disorders: Clocks or rhythms? chronobiologic disorders, social cues and the light-dark cycle

Alfred J. Lewy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


In their monograph (1), Healy and Waterhouse quite thoughtfully distinguish between the altered shapes of circadian rhythms and their entrainment (synchronization). Although there is a great deal of evidence that various influences can alter the shape of circadian rhythms ("masking" the literature on multiple time cues (zeitgebers) entraining different pacemakers is less convincing. In humans, evidence for nonphotic (social and activity-rest cycle) zeitgebers is restricted to human studies of anchor sleep (2), to data from Wever (3) and Czeisler (4) and to animal studies by Mrosovksy (5) and Turek (6). Until proven otherwise, it seems most likely that social cues primarily affect the sleep-wake cycle (activity-rest cycle), which- being loosely coupled to the endogenous circadian pacemaker-can be dissociated from it and the overt rhythms that are driven by it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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