Like night and day: Animal studies may not translate to humans if time of day is disregarded

Imagine being woken up at 3 a.m. to navigate a corn maze, memorize 20 items on a shopping list or pass your driver’s test. According to a new analysis out of West Virginia University, that’s often what it’s like to be a rodent in a biomedical study. Mice and rats, which make up the vast majority of animal models, are nocturnal. Yet a survey of animal studies across eight behavioral neuroscience domains showed that most behavioral testing is conducted during the day, when the rodents would normally be at rest.