Metastable chimera states in community-structured oscillator networks

Chaos. 2010 Mar;20(1):013108. doi: 10.1063/1.3305451.


A system of symmetrically coupled identical oscillators with phase lag is presented, which is capable of generating a large repertoire of transient (metastable) "chimera" states in which synchronization and desynchronization coexist. The oscillators are organized into communities, such that each oscillator is connected to all its peers in the same community and to a subset of the oscillators in other communities. Measures are introduced for quantifying metastability, the prevalence of chimera states, and the variety of such states a system generates. By simulation, it is shown that each of these measures is maximized when the phase lag of the model is close, but not equal, to pi/2. The relevance of the model to a number of fields is briefly discussed with particular emphasis on brain dynamics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nerve Net*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Oscillometry / methods*
  • Thermodynamics
  • Time Factors