ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0170.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: neuron; astrocyte; network; short-term memory; spatial frequency; computational biology
Online: 9 August 2022 (04:04:31 CEST)
Working memory refers to the capability of the nervous system to selectively retain short-term memories in an active state. The long-standing viewpoint is that neurons play an indispensable role and working memory is encoded by synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, some recent studies have shown that calcium signaling assists the memory processes and the working memory might be affected by the astrocyte density. Over the last few decades, growing evidence has also revealed that astrocytes exhibit diverse coverage of synapses which are considered to participate in neuronal activities. However, very little effort has yet been made to attempt to shed light on the potential correlations between these observations. Hence, in this article we will leverage a computational neuron-astrocyte model to study the short-term memory performance subject to various astrocytic coverage and we will demonstrate that the short-term memory is susceptible to this factor. Our model may also provide plausible hypotheses for the various sizes of calcium events as they are reckoned to be correlated with the astrocytic coverage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0110.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: associative learning; molecular circuits; synthetic biology; mathematical modeling; Hill equation; Pavlov’s dog; reinforcement; dissociation; non-dimensionalization
Online: 7 July 2022 (04:38:20 CEST)
The development of synthetic biology has enabled us to make massive progress on biotechnology and to approach research questions from a brand new perspective. In particular, the design and study of gene regulatory networks in vitro, in vivo and in silico, have played an increasingly indispensable role in understanding and controlling biological phenomena. Among them, it is of great interest to understand how associative learning is formed at the molecular circuit level. Noticeably, mathematical models have been increasingly used to predict the behaviors of molecular circuits. The Fernando’s model, which is thought to be one of the first works in this line of research using the Hill equation, attempted to design a synthetic circuit that mimics Hebbian learning in the neural network architecture. In this article, we carry out in-depth computational analysis of the model and demonstrate that the reinforcement effect can be achieved by choosing the proper parameter values. We also construct a novel circuit that can demonstrate forced dissociation, which was not observed in the Fernando’s model. Our work can be readily used as reference for synthetic biologists who consider implementing the circuits of this kind in biological systems.