Rae Silver headshot


On August 12, 2021, Rae Silver, the Helene L. and Mark N. Kaplan Professor of Natural & Physical Sciences at Barnard, published new research in eNeuro, a scientific journal published by the Society for Neuroscience, alongside Barnard graduate and Silver Lab research assistant Alana Taub ’18. The research, titled “Phase Gradients and Anisotropy of the Suprachiasmatic Network: Discovery of Phaseoids,” examines circadian oscillation through real-time imaging and modeling in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a tiny region of the brain located in the hypothalamus which aids in the regulation of our circadian rhythms. 

The study, completed by Silver, Taub, and their co-authors — Tomoko Yoshikawa, Scott Pauls, Nicholas Foley, Joseph LeSauter, Duncan Foley, Ken-Ichi Honma, and Sato Honma — discovered a new intermediate structure in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which the researchers call “phaseoids.” These phaseoids are groups of neurons whose stable local phases differ from their surrounding neighbors. This research is vital for the study of oscillation, which helps dictate how our brains sense and encode information.