Noise-sustained and controlled synchronization of stirred excitable media by external forcing

Changsong ZHOU*, Jürgen Kurths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Most of the previous studies on constructive effects of noise in spatially extended systems have focused on static media, e.g., of the reaction-diffusion type. Because many active chemical or biological processes occur in a fluid environment with mixing, we investigate here the interplay among noise, excitability, mixing and external forcing in excitable media advected by a chaotic flow, in a two-dimensional FitzHugh-Nagumo model described by a set of reaction-advection-diffusion equations. In the absence of external forcing, noise may generate sustained coherent oscillations of the media in a range of noise intensities and stirring rates. We find that these noise-sustained oscillations can be synchronized by external periodic signals much smaller than the threshold. Analysis of the locking regions in the parameter space of the signal period, stirring rate and noise intensity reveals that the mechanism underlying the synchronization behaviour is a matching between the time scales of the forcing signal and the noisesustained oscillations. The results demonstrate that, in the presence of a suitable level of noise, the stirred excitable media act as self-sustained oscillatory systems and become much easier to be entrained by weak external forcing. Our results may be verified in experiments and are useful to understand the synchronization of population dynamics of oceanic ecological systems by annual cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number018
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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