Europhys. Lett.
Volume 47, Number 3, August 1999
Page(s) 298 - 303
Section General
Published online 01 September 2002
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i1999-00388-9

Europhys. Lett, 47 (3), pp. 298-303 (1999)

Noise-induced spiral dynamics in excitable media

J. García-Ojalvo 1,2 and L. Schimansky-Geier 1

1 Institut für Physik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Invalidenstr. 110, D-10115 Berlin, Germany
2 Departament de Física i Enginyeria Nuclear, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Colom 11, E-08222 Terrassa, Spain

(received 11 February 1999; accepted in final form 2 June 1999)

PACS. 05.40-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
PACS. 47.54+r - Pattern selection; pattern formation.
PACS. 87.18Hf - Spatiotemporal pattern formation in cellular populations.


We report the existence of complex spiral dynamics induced by external noise in a simple two-dimensional model of excitable media, with local dynamics of the FitzHugh-Nagumo type. Different dynamical regimes can be observed, depending on the value of the activator diffusion, including complex states resembling deterministic spiral turbulence, and spiral meandering. The complex dynamical behavior is seen to be driven by spiral breakup. The complexity of these noise-induced states can be characterized by the number and size distribution of coherent space-time clusters. In particular, the turbulent-like regime is characterized by a cluster-size distribution that displays power law scaling.


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