bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2019‒08‒25
two papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Aug 20. pii: 201902653. [Epub ahead of print]
      Information coding by precise timing of spikes can be faster and more energy efficient than traditional rate coding. However, spike-timing codes are often brittle, which has limited their use in theoretical neuroscience and computing applications. Here, we propose a type of attractor neural network in complex state space and show how it can be leveraged to construct spiking neural networks with robust computational properties through a phase-to-timing mapping. Building on Hebbian neural associative memories, like Hopfield networks, we first propose threshold phasor associative memory (TPAM) networks. Complex phasor patterns whose components can assume continuous-valued phase angles and binary magnitudes can be stored and retrieved as stable fixed points in the network dynamics. TPAM achieves high memory capacity when storing sparse phasor patterns, and we derive the energy function that governs its fixed-point attractor dynamics. Second, we construct 2 spiking neural networks to approximate the complex algebraic computations in TPAM, a reductionist model with resonate-and-fire neurons and a biologically plausible network of integrate-and-fire neurons with synaptic delays and recurrently connected inhibitory interneurons. The fixed points of TPAM correspond to stable periodic states of precisely timed spiking activity that are robust to perturbation. The link established between rhythmic firing patterns and complex attractor dynamics has implications for the interpretation of spike patterns seen in neuroscience and can serve as a framework for computation in emerging neuromorphic devices.
    Keywords:  associative memory; oscillations; phase-to-timing; phasor networks; spiking neural network
  2. Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 19. 9(1): 12015
      Reduced sleep quality is associated with an increased risk of sarcopenia. However, the potential effects of disturbing the regular circadian rhythm, as occurs with shift work, on the risk of sarcopenia have not been established. Data from 9105 workers from the 2008-2011 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed. Sarcopenia, measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, was defined as one standard deviation below the mean of the appendicular skeletal muscle/body mass index value of a young reference group. Compared to the group that had never experienced shift work, the odds ratio (OR) for sarcopenia with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the shift work group was 1.7 (1.5-1.9); the association remained even after adjusting for confounding variables, including age, sex, total fat mass, insulin resistance profile, smoking, alcohol intake, diet, and physical activity. The results of the subgroup analysis indicated that the highest risk of sarcopenia was among workers engaging in shift work with an irregular schedule (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3-2.4). Disruption of circadian rhythm by shift work was associated with increased risk of sarcopenia. Intervention strategies are needed to prevent sarcopenia in shift workers.