System analysis of Phycomyces light-growth response with gaussian white-noise test stimuli

R. C. Poe, E. D. Lipson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The light-growth response of the Phycomyces sporangiophore is a transient change of elongation rate in response to changes in ambient blue-light intensity. The white-noise method of nonlinear system identification (Wiener-Lee-Schetzen theory) has been applied to this response, and the results have been interpreted by system analysis methods in the frequency domain. Experiments were performed on the Phycomyces tracking machine. Gaussian white-noise stimulus patterns were applied to the logarithm of the light intensity. The log-mean intensity of the broadband blue illumination was 0.1 W m-2 and the standard deviation of the Gaussian white-noise was 0.58 decades. The results, in the form of temporal functions called Wiener kernels, represent the input-output relation of the light-growth response system. The transfer function, which was obtained as the Fourier transform of the first-order kernel, was analyzed in the frequency domain in terms of a dynamic model that consisted of a first-order high-pass filter, two secondorder low-pass filters, a delay element, and a gain factor. Parameters in the model (cutoff frequencies, damping coefficients, latency, and gain constant) were evaluated by nonlinear least-squares methods applied to the complex-valued transfer function. Analysis of the second-order kernel in the frequency domain suggests that the residual nonlinearity of the system lies close to the input.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Cybernetics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Nov 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Computer Science


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