A novel approach is suggested for detecting the presence or absence of synchronization between two or three interacting processes with different time scales in univariate data. It is based on an angle-of-return-time map. A model is derived to describe analytically the behavior of angles for a periodic oscillator under weak periodic and quasiperiodic forcing. An explicit connection is demonstrated between the return angle and the phase of the external periodic forcing. The technique is tested on simulated nonstationary data and applied to human heart rate variability data
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