University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mouse Actogram Model

This activity explores the patterns and changes in the circadian rhythms of mice, imitating the actual methods and tools that scientists use in real research laboratories. Access the Exploration Guide below for an introduction on how to use this game. An explanation of the circadian rhythm patterns you see are listed in the Mouse Actogram Responses (don't view this until you've had a chance to play the game). Additional teacher resources are available as part of the Circadian Rhythm Unit curriculum materials.

Exploration Guide (PDF)     Mouse Actogram Responses     Circadian Rhythm Unit

Choose a Light/Dark Cycle

The mice experience 12 hours of dark and 12 hours of light in a 24 hour day cycle. You can drag the bar above the actogram to change the start time of the dark period.

Copied actograms:

Light-Dark Cycle in Hours

  • 0
  • 6
  • 12
  • 18
  • 24

How does light affect sleep and activity patterns? This extensive activity mimics experiments that professional scientists perform to research these types of questions. It includes instructions and a worksheet as a guide on how to use the model and explore your own questions about light and sleep patterns.

Part of the curriculum unit: