About this book
In studying physiological systems bioscientists are continually faced with the problem of providing descriptions of cause-effect relationships. This task is usually carried out through the performance of stimulus-response experiments. In the past, the design of such experiments has been ad hoc, incomplete, and certainly inefficient. Worse yet, bioscientists have failed to take advantage of advances in fields directly related to their problems (specifically, advances in the area of systems analysis). The raison d'etre of this book is to rectify this deficiency by providing the physiologist with methodological tools that will be useful to him or her in everyday labora tory encounters with physiological systems. The book was written so that it would be practical, useful, and up-to date. With this in mind, parts of it give step-by-step descriptions of in the laboratory. It is hoped that this systematic procedures to be followed will increase the usefulness of the book to the average research physiologist and, perhaps, reduce the need for in-depth knowledge of some of the associated mathematics. Even though the material deals with state-of-the art techniques in systems and signal analysis, the mathematical level has been kept low so as to be comprehensible to the average physiologist with no extensive training in mathematics. To this end, mathematical rigor is often sacrificed readily to intuitive simple arguments.
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