Document Type

Article - post-print

Publication Date



The collective behaviors of coupled, stochastically-excitable elements subjected to global periodic forcing are investigated numerically and analytically. We show that the whole system undergoes a period-doubling bifurcation as the driving period decreases, while the individual elements still exhibit random excitations. Using a mean-field representation, we show that this macroscopic bifurcation behavior is caused by interactions between the random excitation, the refractory period, and recruitment (spatial cooperativity) of the excitable elements.

Publisher Statement

This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Physical Review Letters following peer review. The version of record is available online at: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.044102.

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