Experimental and theoretical studies are presented on the design of perturbations that enhance desynchronization in populations of oscillators that are synchronized by periodic entrainment. A phase reduction approach is used to determine optimal perturbation timing based upon experimentally measured phase response curves. The effectiveness of the perturbation waveforms is tested experimentally in populations of periodically and stochastically synchronized chemical oscillators. The relevance of the approach to therapeutic methods for disrupting phase coherence in groups of stochastically synchronized neuronal oscillators is discussed.
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