On the inference of functional circadian networks using Granger Causality

Being able to infer one way direct connections in an oscillatory network such as the suprachiastmatic nucleus (SCN) of the mammalian brain using time series data is difficult but crucial to understanding network dynamics. Although techniques have been developed for inferring networks from time series data, there have been no attempts to adapt these techniques to infer directional connections in oscillatory time series, while accurately distinguishing between direct and indirect connections. In this paper an adaptation of Granger Causality is proposed that allows for inference of circadian networks and oscillatory networks in general called Adaptive Frequency Granger Causality (AFGC). Additionally, an extension of this method is proposed to infer networks with large numbers of cells called LASSO AFGC. The method was validated using simulated data from several different networks. For the smaller networks the method was able to identify all one way direct connections without identifying connections that were not present. For larger networks of up to twenty cells the method shows excellent performance in identifying true and false connections; this is quantified by an area-under-the-curve (AUC) 96.88%. We note that this method like other Granger Causality-based methods, is based on the detection of high frequency signals propagating between cell traces. Thus it requires a relatively high sampling rate and a network that can propagate high frequency signals.

Pourzanjani, A., Herzog, E. D., and Petzold, L. R.
PLoS ONE
Volume: 10
Number: 9
Pages: e0137540
Date: December, 2015
ICB Affiliated Authors: Linda R Petzold