We study the effect of delay on the synchronization of two nerve impulses traveling along two ephaptically coupled, unmyelinated nerve fibers. The system is modeled as a pair of delay-coupled Fitzhugh-Nagumo equations. A multiple-scale perturbation approach is used for the analysis of these equations in the limit of weak coupling. In the absence of delay, two pulses with identical speeds are shown to be entrained precisely. However, as the delay is increased beyond a critical value, we show that this precise entrainment becomes unstable. We make quantitative estimates for the actual values of delay at which this can occur in the case of squid giant axons and compare them with the relevant time-scales involved.
American Physical Society
Physical Review, 79(011910): 1-9