The spontaneous cardiac pacemaker activity and conformation were recorded in vitro, using intracellular recording methods, from heart tissue of summer- and winter-caught plaice. The effects of changing temperature on the pacemaker rate, duration of action potential and diastolic depolarization were investigated by altering the temperature of the superfusing medium. The resting intrinsic rate of discharge was significantly greater in pacemaker cells from winter plaice (P=0.05), but there was no significant difference between winter and summer fish in the apparent Arrhenius activation energies for this process. However, there was a significant difference in the estimated intercept, indicating a thermal shift in the processes underlying the spontaneous pacemaker rhythm. There was no significant difference in the diastolic depolarization duration recorded from winter and summer fish over the temperature range 4­22 °C. The major effect of previous environmental temperature was on the duration of the action potential (P<0.02), indicating that the observed changes in pacemaker discharge rate were not influenced by the processes that determine the duration of the pacemaker diastolic depolarisation but were modulated by the channel events that give rise to the action potential.