58 Hillhead Street
Department of Psychology
University of Glasgow
G12 8QB Scotland
Tel. +44 141 330 3625
Fax +44 141 339 8889
Consultation time: Wed 9am-11am
Biological Timing and Sleep:
What makes you tick?
Why do birds sing in the morning while crickets sing in the evening? Why do the dark days of winter seem particularly grim? What is the best time to write an essay, or study for that exam? To answer these questions and many more we must look at the internal body clock, and how it synchronizes with the external 24 hour cycle.
Organisms from foxes to fungi, and bugs to ballerinas- are full of clocks. A primary biological clock in mammals is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. This pacemaker orchestrates a multitude of cycles that occur on a daily basis. These cycles are known as circadian rhythms. You sleep, wake, feel hungry, feel alert, get sleepy, etc. - your body shows regular changes in the activity of enzymes, the production of proteins - all of these daily changes are gated by the internal clock.
My current research interests include how nonphotic and photic cues interact within the circadian system to maintain synchronization to the external light dark cycle. This includes how the clock organizes the physiological and behavioural changes that occur on a daily basis, and how this organization is accomplished at the cellular level.
Current projects in the lab are supported by
funds from the Biotechnology and Biological
Sciences Research Council , the Carnegie Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, the Scottish Hospital Endowment Research Trust,
the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust, Research into Ageing as well as an industrial
collaboration with the Neuroscience Research Centre of Merck Sharpe and Dohme.
Current Research Questions: