The following is an (more or less unedited) excerpt from my dissertation, which is in progress.
Gradients run from most recently activated (black) to recovering (grey) to recovered (white). Black dots indicate locations of stimulus application. Black lines indicate propagation of activation from the region of the applied stimulus. Flat line endings mark termination of propagation, while the black arrow represents continued propagation. A: Resetting of re-entry in a ring following stimulus application in the excitable gap. B: Termination of re-entry in a ring following stimulus application in the excitable gap.
The classic model of re-entry is the one-dimensional system of a wave propagating within a ring composed of an excitable medium (see figure above). If the ring is longer than the wavelength of the wave of excitation, there will be an excitable gap between the tail of the wave and the head (white regions in figure). A stimulus applied in that gap can either reset or terminate re-entry. Resetting occurs when the stimulus results in an orthodromic wave (that is, moving in the same direction as the original wave) and an antidromic wave (that is, moving in the opposite direction from the original wave) in the excitable gap and the following happens: the antidromic wave collides with the original wavefront and terminates it, while the orthodromic wave follows the recovering tail of the original wave and becomes the starting point of a new re-entrant wave (figure panel A). If, however, the orthodromic wave collides with the recovering tail of the original wave and terminates, then re-entry will be terminated entirely (figure panel B). Thus, if a stimulus were applied at the appropriate time and position to consume the excitable gap, it would terminate re-entry.
Interesting aside. I was at first stumped on how to make ring gradients like what you see above. I used a combination of what I found here and going back and forth from GIMP to OmniGraffle Pro. They key appears to be the use of an asymmetrical conical gradient in GIMP.
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