You are studying the sleep cycle of a newly discovered species of land-dwelling mammal.
a) Your first question is whether the animal sleeps at all. Describe observations or experiments you could do to determine if the animal sleeps.
b) If the animal does indeed sleep, what experiment you could do to determine what part of the brain regulates the sleep cycle?
c) Next, you want to know how the circadian rhythm is generated. Describe an experiment you could do to test the hypothesis that the rhythm is driven by pacemaker cells. (You need not describe the minute details of the experiment, just the broad outline.)
d) Finally, you want to investigate the cellular mechanisms of the rhythm. You record from the cells and determine that a specific type of potassium current is present at night but inactivated during daylight hours. Identify one type of potassium current that could cause this effect and explain how such a current could reduce firing rate.
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