Editorial Views  |   October 2018
Flashes of Insight: Applying New Techniques to a Classic Model
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
  • Corresponding article on page 733.
    Corresponding article on page 733.×
  • Accepted for publication June 29, 2018.
    Accepted for publication June 29, 2018.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Hudson: ahudson@mednet.ucla.edu
Article Information
Editorial Views / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Ophthalmologic Anesthesia
Editorial Views   |   October 2018
Flashes of Insight: Applying New Techniques to a Classic Model
Anesthesiology 10 2018, Vol.129, 629-630. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002388
Anesthesiology 10 2018, Vol.129, 629-630. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002388
THE study of dynamical systems has developed to explain complicated emergent behaviors exhibited by coupled systems, and there are few systems with couplings more complicated than nervous systems. To gain meaningful insights about the resulting complexity, it helps to begin with models that are simple enough. A classic example of a simple dynamical system was provided by Christiaan Huygens, inventor of the pendulum clock, who noted in 1665 that two pendulum clocks mounted on the wall in his home would spontaneously synchronize so that their pendulums were swinging exactly opposite one another.1  While easily demonstrable, there was no reason even the inventor of the clocks would have predicted this behavior. Observation of the two clocks together in context was key to the detection of the dynamic interaction between them.