Digestion is governed by a series of contractions in the gut, also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The gut contractions are in turn governed by a series of bioelectrical events known as slow waves, which reflect the highly specialised functions in each portion of the gut. For example, the stomach is responsible for breakdown and storage of food, while intestine is responsible the uptake of nutrients, which is associated with unique slow waves.
This image shows three types of slow waves from different portions of the gut: (top): stomach, (middle): intestine, (bottom): colon (large intestine). and the bottom: colonic activity. The three signals are shown to illustrate the propagating nature of the slow waves.