The tides of human consciousness: descriptions and questions

Am J Physiol. 1982 Mar;242(3):R163-6. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1982.242.3.R163.


A Rosetta Stone has appeared in our midst in the form of R. A. Wever's monograph The Circadian System of Man (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1979), describing the results of 20 years' experiments with J. Aschoff. In the January 1982 issue of this journal, Kronauer, Czeisler, Pilato, Moore-Ede, and Weitzman offer their decipherment: a mathematical description of man's circadian temperature rhythm and sleep timing based on their own experimental observations in the Bronx, confirming and substantially extending Wever's in Bavaria. This paper might have been as happily received by the Journal of Mathematical Biology or Biological Cybernetics. Accordingly I here attempt to disentangle numerical description from physiological hypothesis, emphasizing items that seem, at least in principle, susceptible to experimental test.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Sleep / physiology*