Kelly Paton


Wave propagation and spiral wave dynamics in
excitable media


Excitation and recovery, or the propagation of action potentials in an excitable media, can be modeled using the well-known FitzHugh-Nagumo system.  If the
waves encounter regions that have a lower excitability, the normal propagation patterns can be disrupted.  This disruption can lead to propagation failure or reflection, and possibly the birth of spiral wave dynamics. In the heart, this behaviour corresponds to potentially fatal arrhythmias and myocardial infarction (a heart attack).  I am interested in examining the conditions leading to the generation of spiral waves around a region of depressed excitability within an excitable media.