Perturbations of Next-Period Functions: Applications to Circadian Rhythms
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A circadian rhythm is an oscillation within a living organism with a period of about 24 hours. When the organism is kept isolated under constant conditions the circadian oscillator works with its own free-running period. When the organism is exposed to physical clues of the time of day the circadian rhythm is gradually entrained and assumes a precise 24 hour period. If the entraining stimuli are withdrawn, the circadian oscillator reverts gradually to its free-running period. A single stimulus under otherwise constant conditions elicits a transient of gradually changing period. A phase shift of an entraining oscillation is followed by a gradual synchronization to the new phase [1,2].
KeywordsPhase Shift Circadian Rhythm Phase Response Period Doubling Bifurcation Circadian Oscillator
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