Skip to main content

Some Curious Phenomena in Coupled Cell Networks


We discuss several examples of synchronous dynamical phenomena in coupled cell networks that are unexpected from symmetry considerations, but are natural using a theory developed by Stewart, Golubitsky, and Pivato. In particular we demonstrate patterns of synchrony in networks with small numbers of cells and in lattices (and periodic arrays) of cells that cannot readily be explained by conventional symmetry considerations. We also show that different types of dynamics can coexist robustly in single solutions of systems of coupled identical cells. The examples include a three-cell system exhibiting equilibria, periodic, and quasiperiodic states in different cells; periodic 2n × 2n arrays of cells that generate 2n different patterns of synchrony from one symmetry-generated solution; and systems exhibiting multirhythms (periodic solutions with rationally related periods in different cells). Our theoretical results include the observation that reduced equations on a center manifold of a skew product system inherit a skew product form.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to M. Golubitsky, M. Nicol or I. Stewart.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Golubitsky, M., Nicol, M. & Stewart, I. Some Curious Phenomena in Coupled Cell Networks. J Nonlinear Sci 14, 207–236 (2004).

Download citation


  • Product System
  • Periodic Solution
  • Theoretical Result
  • Product Form
  • Identical Cell