Perturbations of Next-Period Functions: Applications to Circadian Rhythms

Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Synergetics book series (SSSYN, volume 39)


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 If the entraining stimuli are withdrawn, the circadian oscillator reverts gradually to its free-running period.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].


Phase Shift Circadian Rhythm Phase Response Period Doubling Bifurcation Circadian Oscillator 
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  1. 1.
    E. Bünning: The Physiological Clock, (Springer, New York 1973)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. Aschoff (editor): Biological Rhythms, Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology, Vol. 4, (Plenum, New York 1981)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    H. Degn: In Chemical Applications of Topology and Graph Theory, ed. by R.B. King, (Elsevier 1983)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Degn
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of BiochemistryOdense UniversityOdense MDenmark

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