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Many physical, chemical, and biological systems exhibit a cooperative or sigmoidal response with respect to the input. In biochemistry, such behavior is called an allosteric effect. Here, we demonstrate that a system with such properties can be used to discriminate the amplitude or frequency of an external periodic perturbation. Numerical simulations performed for a model sigmoidal kinetics illustrate that there exists a narrow range of frequencies and amplitudes within which the system evolves toward significantly different states. Therefore, observation of system evolution should provide information about the characteristics of the perturbation. The discrimination properties for periodic perturbation are generic. They can be observed in various dynamical systems and for different types of periodic perturbation.


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