Branching pattern formation that reflects the history of signal propagation

Ikuko N. Motoike, Hisako Takigawa-Imamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In living organisms, branching structures are often observed in open systems. During the process of structure formation/deformation, signal propagation can be observed. Branching paths often deform depending on the history of signal propagation. To gain a better understanding of the process of pattern formation that results in characteristic geometrical paths, we adopt a system in which the dynamics of path formation are correlated with signal propagation. This model involves both branch-generation dynamics and signal-propagation dynamics, and we introduced positive feedback between these two dynamic processes. We studied the geometrical properties of path deformation and the pattern of signal propagation using a discretized reaction-diffusion model. The proposed model can qualitatively reproduce different branching patterns and means of signal propagation. One remarkable result is that the mutual interaction of these two dynamic processes leads to autonomous wave generation, similar to a pacemaker or the generation of spiral waves. Because the autonomous wave generation in the signal is spontaneous, the shapes of the branching paths become distorted. We discuss the correlation between path deformation and signal propagation as a first step in understanding signal processing for such complex deformable paths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046205
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 5


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