Stress responses vary drastically for a given set of stimuli, individuals, or points in time. A potential source of this variance that is not well characterized arises from the theory of stress as a dynamical system, which implies a complex, nonlinear relationship between environmental/situational inputs and the development/experience of stress. In this framework, stress vs. non-stress states exist as attractor basins in a physiologic phase space. Here, we develop a model of stress as a dynamical system by coupling closed loop physiologic control to a dynamic oscillator in an attractor landscape. By characterizing the evolution of this model through phase space, we demonstrate strong sensitivity to the parameters controlling the dynamics and demonstrate multiple features of stress responses found in current research, implying that these parameters may contribute to a significant source of variability observed in empiric stress research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Physiology (medical)