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Fractal Physiology

  • James B. Bassingthwaighte
  • Larry S. Liebovitch
  • Bruce J. West

Part of the Methods in Physiology Series book series (METHPHYS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Overview

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 3-7
  3. Properties of Fractals and Chaos

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 11-44
    3. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 45-62
    4. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 63-107
    5. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 108-135
    6. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 136-146
    7. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 147-173
  4. Physiological Applications

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 177-209
    3. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 210-235
    4. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 236-262
    5. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 263-284
    6. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 285-299
    7. James B. Bassingthwaighte, Larry S. Liebovitch, Bruce J. West
      Pages 300-327
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 328-364

About this book

Introduction

This volume delineates the use of fractal patterns and measures of fractal dimensions in describing and understanding general aspects of biology, particularly human physiology. After describing the ubiquitous nature of fractal phenomena, the authors give examples of the properties of fractals in space and time. Proceeding from mathematical definitions, they develop detailed practical methods for assessing the fractal characteristics of wave forms varying with time, tissue density variation, and surface irregularities. Most importantly, the authors show how fractal variation defines internal spatial or temporal correlations within the fractal system or object. Simple, recursively applied rules can give rise to complex biological structures by a variety of methods. This suggests that genetic rules govern the general structuring of an organism, while rules implied by interactions at the biochemical, cellular, and tissue levels govern ontogenic development and therefore play the major role in the growth of an organism. Chaos, or non-linear dynamics, is introduced as a stimulating way to examine biological behavior at the cellular and whole animal levels, even though proof of the chaotic nature of normal physiologic events is as yet meager. The later chapters give sets of examples of structural and behavioral fractal phenomena in nerve and muscle, in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and in growth processes. Why molecular interactions and complex systems give rise to fractals is explored and related to the ideas of emergent properties of systems operating at high levels of complexity.

Keywords

Fractals Humans behavior biology cardiovascular complexity development dynamics growth kinetics muscle physiology respiratory system tissue

Authors and affiliations

  • James B. Bassingthwaighte
    • 1
  • Larry S. Liebovitch
    • 2
  • Bruce J. West
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Complex SystemsFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  3. 3.Physics DepartmentUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

Bibliographic information

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