Synchronization Engineering of Physarum polycephalum
Networks of biological oscillators are pervasive throughout living systems, including the brain, vasculature, and ecosystems. Pathologies can arise when these oscillators diverge from natural rhythms. We propose to use Physarum polycephalum, an organism that: forms complex topologies, exhibits oscillatory behavior, and can be controlled by light, as a model for studying the control of oscillatory phenomena. By applying methodologies from synchronization engineering, we will characterize the ability to actively control oscillatory modes in networks of P. polycephalum. This will provide key insights into how synchronization engineering can guide therapies and interventions that alter and normalize oscillatory behavior in complex biological networks.