Phase Resetting in an Asymptotically Phaseless System: On the Phase Response of Limit Cycles Verging on a Heteroclinic Orbit

Peter Thomas
Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics, Case Western Reserve University

(November 8, 2011 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM)

Phase Resetting in an Asymptotically Phaseless System: On the Phase Response of Limit Cycles Verging on a Heteroclinic Orbit

Abstract

Rhythmic behaviors in neural systems often combine features of limit cycle dynamics (stability and periodicity) with features of near heteroclinic or near homoclinic cycle dynamics (extended dwell times in localized regions of phase space). Proximity of a limit cycle to one or more saddle equilibria can have a profound effect on the timing of trajectory components and response to both fast and slow perturbations, providing a possible mechanism for adaptive control of rhythmic motions. Reyn showed that for a planar dynamical system with a stable heteroclinic cycle (or separatrix polygon), small perturbations satisfying a net inflow condition will generically give rise to a stable limit cycle (Reyn, 1980; Guckenheimer and Holmes, 1983). Here we consider the asymptotic behavior of the infinitesimal phase response curve (iPRC) for examples of two systems satisfying Reyn's inflow criterion, (i) a smooth system with a chain of four hyperbolic saddle points and (ii) a piecewise linear system corresponding to local linearization of the smooth system about its saddle points. For system (ii), we obtain exact expressions for the limit cycle and the iPRC as a function of a parameter $mu>0$ representing the distance from a heteroclinic bifurcation point. In the $mu o 0$ limit, we find that perturbations parallel to the unstable eigenvector direction in a piecewise linear region lead to divergent phase response, as previously observed (Brown, Moehlis and Holmes, 2004). In contrast to previous work, we find that perturbations parallel to the stable eigenvector direction can lead to either divergent or convergent phase response, depending on the phase at which the perturbation occurs. In the smooth system (i), we show numerical evidence of qualitatively similar phase specific sensitivity to perturbation. Having the exact expression for the iPRC for the piecewise linear system allows us to investigate its stability under diffusive couplin g. In addition, we qualitatively compare iPRCs obtained for systems (i) and (ii) to iPRCs for the Morris-Lecar equations near a bifurcation from limit cycles to a saddle-homoclinic orbit. Joint work with K. Shaw, Y. Park, and H. Chiel.