Razan Snari

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Kenneth Showalter

Committee Co-Chair

Harvey Diamond

Committee Member

Terry Gullion

Committee Member

Charles Jaffe

Committee Member

Justin Legleiter

Committee Member

Mark Tinsley


Physiological rhythms are essential in all living organisms. Such rhythms are regulated through the interactions of many cells. Deviation of a biological system from its normal rhythms can lead to physiological maladies. The tremor and symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease are thought to emerge from abnormal synchrony of neuronal activity within the neural network of the brain. Deep brain stimulation is a therapeutic technique that can remove this pathological synchronization by the application of a periodic desynchronizing signal. Herein, we used the photosensitive Belousov--Zhabotinsky (BZ) chemical reaction to test the mechanism of deep brain stimulation. A collection of oscillators are initially synchronized using a regular light signal. Desynchronization is then attempted using an appropriately chosen desynchronizing signal based on information found in the phase response curve.;Coupled oscillators in various network topologies form the most common prototypical systems for studying networks of dynamical elements. In the present study, we couple discrete BZ photochemical oscillators in a network configuration. Different behaviors are observed on varying the coupling strength and the frequency heterogeneity, including incoherent oscillations to partial and full frequency entrainment. Phase clusters are organized symmetrically or non-symmetrically in phase-lag synchronization structures, a novel phase wave entrainment behavior in non-continuous media. The behavior is observed over a range of moderate coupling strengths and a broad frequency distribution of the oscillators.