Purpose of review
There is growing awareness of the importance of circadian rhythmicity in various research fields. Exciting developments are ongoing in the field of circadian neurobiology linked to sleep, food intake, and memory. With the current knowledge of critical clock genes' (genes found to be involved in the generation of circadian rhythms) and novel techniques for imaging cyclic events in brain and peripheral tissue, this field of research is rapidly expanding. We reviewed only some of the highlights of the past year, and placed these findings into a mutual circadian perspective. Recent findings
on the organization of the circadian clock systems are addressed, ranging from the retina to the suprachiasmatic nucleus and peripheral organs. Novel developments in sleep, food intake, and memory research linked to circadian aspects are discussed.
The neurobiology of circadian rhythms is pivotal to the orchestration of the temporal organization of an individual's physiology and behavior. Endogenous circadian timing systems underlie coupling and uncoupling mechanisms of many neuronal and physiological processes, the latter possibly inducing health risks to the organism. The integration of sleep, food intake and memory in a circadian setting has clear potential as a systems neurobiology line of research.