Phase Plots of Temporal Oscillations
The last decade has witnessed an important development in biology, both theoretical and applied. It has come to be recognized that oscillatory processes play a central role in physiological systems (Chance et al. 1969; Winfree 1980; Yates 1982; Iberall and Soodak 1987). This is true at many scales, from the level of organ systems, such as the rhythmic behaviours of the heart, lung and endocrine systems, to the finer scales of cellular metabolism. An image has emerged of the typical physiological system as a system of loosely coupled oscillators cooperating to produce marginally stable collective behaviour modes. This image seems appropriate to the human circadian system.
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