Synchronization in light-controlled oscillators

Gonzalo Marcelo Ramírez Ávila, J. L. Guisset, J. L. Deneubourg

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30 Scopus citations


We have built light-controlled oscillators (LCOs) that mimic gregarious fireflies in the sense that their interactions are episodic and almost pulse-like. The ability of the LCOs to synchronize their light emission constitutes a good experimental setup to validate different models of populations of integrate-and-fire oscillators and to analyze the role of the interactions and the spatial distribution of the LCOs. Experimental measurements on two and three interacting LCOs enable us to find synchronization ranges despite intrinsic differences among the oscillators. We develop a mathematical model that we have used to solve analytically the simplified case of two identical oscillators in which we have found synchronous and anti-synchronous states. We have constructed the phase response curve for an LCO. Finally, we solved the model numerically finding that it reproduces our different experimental results with two LCOs (master-slave interaction and mutual interaction) and three interacting LCOs in a linear configuration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-273
Number of pages20
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank G. Nicolis and F. Moss for valuable discussions. We are grateful to D. Sanders and G. Ramsay for careful reading of the manuscript. The authors thank the anonymous referees for the helpful comments. GMRA acknowledges support from Belgian Technical Cooperation. JLD is research associate of the Belgian National Foundation for Scientific Research.


  • Collective behavior
  • Coupled oscillators
  • Optoelectronic devices
  • Synchronization


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