Tim Buchman, Emory University; External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute
The heart’s electric currents have been known for one hundred years, but three-quarters of a century later, the ECG is still giving up its secrets. Buchman explains the basic ECG signal and its relationship with the function of the human heart. He then turns to complex systems science to discover hidden structure within the ECG. These lie in frequencies (akin to musical tones); in variability (akin to the change in directions of a walker choosing not-quite-random steps); and in network design (akin to adding/losing elements of a power grid). Finally, he explores the ways in which the ECG might point towards the existence of fundamental laws of biology. Armed with these fundamental laws, we ask how complex systems science might allow us to guide care in the intensive care unit.
The lecture is generously underwritten by Los Alamos National Bank and by Maureen Mestas Abrams, Associate Broker, Prudential Santa Fe Real Estate