|Abstract:The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum performs chemotaxis under starvation conditions, aggregating towards clusters of cells following waves of the signaling molecule cAMP. Cells sense extracellular cAMP and produce internal caches of cAMP to be released, relaying the signal. These events lead to traveling waves of cAMP washing over the population of cells. While much research has been performed to understand the functioning of the chemotaxis network in D. discoideum, limited work has been done to link the operation of the signal relay network with the chemotaxis network to provide a holistic view of the system. We take inspiration from D. discoideum and propose a model that directly links the relaying of a chemical message to the directional sensing of that signal. Utilizing an excitable dynamical systems model that has been previously validated experimentally, we show that it is possible to have both signal amplification and perfect adaptation in a single module. We show that noise plays a vital role in chemotaxing to static gradients, where stochastic tunneling of transient bursts biases the system towards accurate gradient sensing. Moreover, this model also automatically matches its internal time scale of adaptation to the naturally occurring periodicity of the traveling chemical waves generated in the population. Numerical simulations were performed to study the qualitative phenomenology of the system and explore how the system responds to diverse dynamic spatiotemporal stimuli. Finally, we address dynamical instabilities that impede chemotactic ability in a continuum version of the model.