Synchronization and rhythmic processes in physiology

Nature. 2001 Mar 8;410(6825):277-84. doi: 10.1038/35065745.


Complex bodily rhythms are ubiquitous in living organisms. These rhythms arise from stochastic, nonlinear biological mechanisms interacting with a fluctuating environment. Disease often leads to alterations from normal to pathological rhythm. Fundamental questions concerning the dynamics of these rhythmic processes abound. For example, what is the origin of physiological rhythms? How do the rhythms interact with each other and the external environment? Can we decode the fluctuations in physiological rhythms to better diagnose human disease? And can we develop better methods to control pathological rhythms? Mathematical and physical techniques combined with physiological and medical studies are addressing these questions and are transforming our understanding of the rhythms of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Models, Biological
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Oscillometry
  • Periodicity*
  • Physiology*
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Systems Theory