Luís A. Nunes Amaral

co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy (by courtesy)
Professor of Medicine (by courtesy)

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIL 60208US
Phone: (847) 491-7850


We propose a general approach to the question of how biological rhythms spontaneously self-regulate, based on the concept of "stochastic feedback". We illustrate this approach by considering at a coarse-grained level the neuroautonomic regulation of the heart rate. The model generates complex dynamics and successfully accounts for key characteristics of cardiac variability, including the 1/f power spectrum, the functional form and scaling of the distribution of variations, and correlations in the Fourier phases indicating nonlinear dynamics.