This volume constitutes the proceedings of a satellite symposium of the XXXth congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. The symposium has been held In Banff, Alberta Canada July 9-11 1986. The program was organized to provide a selective overview of current developments in cardiac biophysics, biochemistry, and physiology. In order to highlight areas of develop ing ideas and to stimulate the participants' inquisitiveness into the nature and complexity of the integrated cardiovascular system, lectures and discussions were presented that emphasized evolving and sometimes provocative concepts in the field. With the same goal in mind we have, for the readers of this volume, briefly summarized the general discussions. We would like to thank several individuals whose dedication made this sym posium and publication of the proceedings possible. Mrs. Lois Kokoski and Mrs. Madeleine Aldridge of the Conference Office of the University of Calgary seemingly effortlessly handled the details of the symposium. Peter de Tombe, Dr. Peter Backx and Dr. Jeroen Bucx transcribed the general discussions. Finally, we appreciate the extra effort of our secretaries, Lenore Doell and Gregory Douglas, and the work of Anna Tyberg who prepared the final manuscripts for publication. Henk E.D.J. ter Keurs, M.D. Ph.D. John V. Tyberg, M.D. Ph.D.