Wednesday, August 18, 2010 • 7:30 PM • James A. Little Theater, New Mexico School for the Deaf
Tim Buchman Emory University, SFI External Faculty
Secrets of the Heart: The Electrocardiogram, Complex Systems Science and Fundamental Laws of Biology
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 turn 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.