Control of cardiac alternans in a mapping model with memory

Elena G. Tolkacheva, Mónica M. Romeo, Daniel J. Gauthier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A generic feature of cardiac muscle is that the duration of an action potential depends on the long-term history of previous action potentials, known as cardiac 'memory'. Even though memory is known to be an important physiological response, there have only been limited studies of its effect on cardiac dynamics. Here, we investigate a map-based model of paced myocardium in the presence of closed-loop feedback control. The model relates the duration of an action potential to the preceding diastolic interval as well as the preceding action potential duration and thus has some degree of memory. We find that the range of parameters over which control is effective can be enlarged or reduced by memory, a prediction that is independent of the specific functional form of the map. Our work suggests that modifying the degree of memory (e.g., pharmacological agents) with some form of feedback control may be an effective strategy for the maintenance of normal cardiac function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation under Grants PHY-0243584, DMS-9983320 (M.M.R), and National Institutes of Health under Grant RO1 HL-72831.


  • Alternans
  • Control of alternans
  • Mapping model
  • Memory


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