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Sample records for causal model approach

  1. Quantum Supersymmetric Models in the Causal Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, Dan-Radu

    2007-04-01

    We consider the massless supersymmetric vector multiplet in a purely quantum framework. First order gauge invariance determines uniquely the interaction Lagrangian as in the case of Yang-Mills models. Going to the second order of perturbation theory produces an anomaly which cannot be eliminated. We make the analysis of the model working only with the component fields.

  2. Wess-Zumino model in the causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, D. R.

    2001-07-01

    The Wess Zumino model is analysed in the framework of the causal approach of Epstein Glaser. The condition of invariance with respect to supersymmetry transformations is similar to gauge invariance in the Zürich formulation. We prove that this invariance condition can be implemented in all orders of perturbation theory, i.e. the anomalies are absent in all orders. This result is of a purely algebraic nature. We work consistently in the quantum framework based on the Bogoliubov axioms of perturbation theory, so no Grassmann variables are necessary.

  3. A developmental approach to learning causal models for cyber security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugan, Jonathan

    2013-05-01

    To keep pace with our adversaries, we must expand the scope of machine learning and reasoning to address the breadth of possible attacks. One approach is to employ an algorithm to learn a set of causal models that describes the entire cyber network and each host end node. Such a learning algorithm would run continuously on the system and monitor activity in real time. With a set of causal models, the algorithm could anticipate novel attacks, take actions to thwart them, and predict the second-order effects flood of information, and the algorithm would have to determine which streams of that flood were relevant in which situations. This paper will present the results of efforts toward the application of a developmental learning algorithm to the problem of cyber security. The algorithm is modeled on the principles of human developmental learning and is designed to allow an agent to learn about the computer system in which it resides through active exploration. Children are flexible learners who acquire knowledge by actively exploring their environment and making predictions about what they will find,1, 2 and our algorithm is inspired by the work of the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget.3 Piaget described how children construct knowledge in stages and learn new concepts on top of those they already know. Developmental learning allows our algorithm to focus on subsets of the environment that are most helpful for learning given its current knowledge. In experiments, the algorithm was able to learn the conditions for file exfiltration and use that knowledge to protect sensitive files.

  4. A Novel Approach for Identifying Causal Models of Complex Diseases from Family Data

    PubMed Central

    Park, Leeyoung; Kim, Ju H.

    2015-01-01

    Causal models including genetic factors are important for understanding the presentation mechanisms of complex diseases. Familial aggregation and segregation analyses based on polygenic threshold models have been the primary approach to fitting genetic models to the family data of complex diseases. In the current study, an advanced approach to obtaining appropriate causal models for complex diseases based on the sufficient component cause (SCC) model involving combinations of traditional genetics principles was proposed. The probabilities for the entire population, i.e., normal–normal, normal–disease, and disease–disease, were considered for each model for the appropriate handling of common complex diseases. The causal model in the current study included the genetic effects from single genes involving epistasis, complementary gene interactions, gene–environment interactions, and environmental effects. Bayesian inference using a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm (MCMC) was used to assess of the proportions of each component for a given population lifetime incidence. This approach is flexible, allowing both common and rare variants within a gene and across multiple genes. An application to schizophrenia data confirmed the complexity of the causal factors. An analysis of diabetes data demonstrated that environmental factors and gene–environment interactions are the main causal factors for type II diabetes. The proposed method is effective and useful for identifying causal models, which can accelerate the development of efficient strategies for identifying causal factors of complex diseases. PMID:25701286

  5. Exploring manual asymmetries during grasping: a dynamic causal modeling approach

    PubMed Central

    Begliomini, Chiara; Sartori, Luisa; Miotto, Diego; Stramare, Roberto; Motta, Raffaella; Castiello, Umberto

    2015-01-01

    Recording of neural activity during grasping actions in macaques showed that grasp-related sensorimotor transformations are accomplished in a circuit constituted by the anterior part of the intraparietal sulcus (AIP), the ventral (F5) and the dorsal (F2) region of the premotor area. In humans, neuroimaging studies have revealed the existence of a similar circuit, involving the putative homolog of macaque areas AIP, F5, and F2. These studies have mainly considered grasping movements performed with the right dominant hand and only a few studies have measured brain activity associated with a movement performed with the left non-dominant hand. As a consequence of this gap, how the brain controls for grasping movement performed with the dominant and the non-dominant hand still represents an open question. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment has been conducted, and effective connectivity (dynamic causal modeling, DCM) was used to assess how connectivity among grasping-related areas is modulated by hand (i.e., left and right) during the execution of grasping movements toward a small object requiring precision grasping. Results underlined boosted inter-hemispheric couplings between dorsal premotor cortices during the execution of movements performed with the left rather than the right dominant hand. More specifically, they suggest that the dorsal premotor cortices may play a fundamental role in monitoring the configuration of fingers when grasping movements are performed by either the right and the left hand. This role becomes particularly evident when the hand less-skilled (i.e., the left hand) to perform such action is utilized. The results are discussed in light of recent theories put forward to explain how parieto-frontal connectivity is modulated by the execution of prehensile movements. PMID:25759677

  6. Quantum causal modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Fabio; Shrapnel, Sally

    2016-06-01

    Causal modelling provides a powerful set of tools for identifying causal structure from observed correlations. It is well known that such techniques fail for quantum systems, unless one introduces ‘spooky’ hidden mechanisms. Whether one can produce a genuinely quantum framework in order to discover causal structure remains an open question. Here we introduce a new framework for quantum causal modelling that allows for the discovery of causal structure. We define quantum analogues for core features of classical causal modelling techniques, including the causal Markov condition and faithfulness. Based on the process matrix formalism, this framework naturally extends to generalised structures with indefinite causal order.

  7. A Novel Extended Granger Causal Model Approach Demonstrates Brain Hemispheric Differences during Face Recognition Learning

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Tian; Kendrick, Keith M.; Feng, Jianfeng

    2009-01-01

    Two main approaches in exploring causal relationships in biological systems using time-series data are the application of Dynamic Causal model (DCM) and Granger Causal model (GCM). These have been extensively applied to brain imaging data and are also readily applicable to a wide range of temporal changes involving genes, proteins or metabolic pathways. However, these two approaches have always been considered to be radically different from each other and therefore used independently. Here we present a novel approach which is an extension of Granger Causal model and also shares the features of the bilinear approximation of Dynamic Causal model. We have first tested the efficacy of the extended GCM by applying it extensively in toy models in both time and frequency domains and then applied it to local field potential recording data collected from in vivo multi-electrode array experiments. We demonstrate face discrimination learning-induced changes in inter- and intra-hemispheric connectivity and in the hemispheric predominance of theta and gamma frequency oscillations in sheep inferotemporal cortex. The results provide the first evidence for connectivity changes between and within left and right inferotemporal cortexes as a result of face recognition learning. PMID:19936225

  8. A causal model of positive health practices: the relationship between approach and replication.

    PubMed

    Yarcheski, A; Mahon, N E

    1989-01-01

    This study supports the position that causal models developed a priori preclude replication with varied samples. Based on a critique of a study of positive health practices among adults (Muhlenkamp & Sayles, 1986), a causal model of positive health practices for adolescents was developed a priori from a theoretical formulation. Using data from a sample of 165 adolescents who responded to the Personal Lifestyle Questionnaire, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Part 2 of the Personal Resource Questionnaire which measures a social support system, and a demographic data sheet, the intercorrelations among the study variables were analyzed using correlation coefficients. The causal model was then tested with the adolescent data using the LISREL VI program. The results showed a relatively good fit of the model to the data via a number of indicators. The model was then applied to data published from adults (Muhlenkamp & Sayles) using the LISREL VI program. The results indicated that there was a relatively poor fit of the model to the adult data, thus demonstrating the problem of replicating causal models with varied samples when the correct approach to causal modeling is used. The discussion focuses on theoretical and methodological reasons for the findings. PMID:2928152

  9. Spatial-temporal causal modeling: a data centric approach to climate change attribution (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lozano, A. C.

    2010-12-01

    Attribution of climate change has been predominantly based on simulations using physical climate models. These approaches rely heavily on the employed models and are thus subject to their shortcomings. Given the physical models’ limitations in describing the complex system of climate, we propose an alternative approach to climate change attribution that is data centric in the sense that it relies on actual measurements of climate variables and human and natural forcing factors. We present a novel class of methods to infer causality from spatial-temporal data, as well as a procedure to incorporate extreme value modeling into our methodology in order to address the attribution of extreme climate events. We develop a collection of causal modeling methods using spatio-temporal data that combine graphical modeling techniques with the notion of Granger causality. “Granger causality” is an operational definition of causality from econometrics, which is based on the premise that if a variable causally affects another, then the past values of the former should be helpful in predicting the future values of the latter. In its basic version, our methodology makes use of the spatial relationship between the various data points, but treats each location as being identically distributed and builds a unique causal graph that is common to all locations. A more flexible framework is then proposed that is less restrictive than having a single causal graph common to all locations, while avoiding the brittleness due to data scarcity that might arise if one were to independently learn a different graph for each location. The solution we propose can be viewed as finding a middle ground by partitioning the locations into subsets that share the same causal structures and pooling the observations from all the time series belonging to the same subset in order to learn more robust causal graphs. More precisely, we make use of relationships between locations (e.g. neighboring

  10. Review of aerospace engineering cost modelling: The genetic causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curran, R.; Raghunathan, S.; Price, M.

    2004-11-01

    The primary intention of this paper is to review the current state of the art in engineering cost modelling as applied to aerospace. This is a topic of current interest and in addressing the literature, the presented work also sets out some of the recognised definitions of cost that relate to the engineering domain. The paper does not attempt to address the higher-level financial sector but rather focuses on the costing issues directly relevant to the engineering process, primarily those of design and manufacture. This is of more contemporary interest as there is now a shift towards the analysis of the influence of cost, as defined in more engineering related terms; in an attempt to link into integrated product and process development (IPPD) within a concurrent engineering environment. Consequently, the cost definitions are reviewed in the context of the nature of cost as applicable to the engineering process stages: from bidding through to design, to manufacture, to procurement and ultimately, to operation. The linkage and integration of design and manufacture is addressed in some detail. This leads naturally to the concept of engineers influencing and controlling cost within their own domain rather than trusting this to financers who have little control over the cause of cost. In terms of influence, the engineer creates the potential for cost and in a concurrent environment this requires models that integrate cost into the decision making process.

  11. The causal model approach to nutritional problems: an effective tool for research and action at the local level.

    PubMed Central

    Tonglet, R.; Mudosa, M.; Badashonderana, M.; Beghin, I.; Hennart, P.

    1992-01-01

    Reported are the results of a case study from Kirotshe rural health district, Northern Kivu, Zaire, where a workshop on the causal model approach to nutrition was organized in 1987. The model has since been used in the field for research design, training of health professionals, nutrition intervention, and community development. The rationale behind this approach is reviewed, the experience accumulated from Kirotshe district is described, and the ways in which the causal model contributes to comprehensive health and nutrition care are discussed. The broad range of possible policy implications of this approach underlines its usefulness for future action. PMID:1486667

  12. Evaluating Causal Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watt, James H., Jr.

    Pointing out that linear causal models can organize the interrelationships of a large number of variables, this paper contends that such models are particularly useful to mass communication research, which must by necessity deal with complex systems of variables. The paper first outlines briefly the philosophical requirements for establishing a…

  13. A conditional Granger causality model approach for group analysis in functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Zhenyu; Wang, Xunheng; Klahr, Nelson J.; Liu, Wei; Arias, Diana; Liu, Hongzhi; von Deneen, Karen M.; Wen, Ying; Lu, Zuhong; Xu, Dongrong; Liu, Yijun

    2011-01-01

    Granger causality model (GCM) derived from multivariate vector autoregressive models of data has been employed for identifying effective connectivity in the human brain with functional MR imaging (fMRI) and to reveal complex temporal and spatial dynamics underlying a variety of cognitive processes. In the most recent fMRI effective connectivity measures, pairwise GCM has commonly been applied based on single voxel values or average values from special brain areas at the group level. Although a few novel conditional GCM methods have been proposed to quantify the connections between brain areas, our study is the first to propose a viable standardized approach for group analysis of an fMRI data with GCM. To compare the effectiveness of our approach with traditional pairwise GCM models, we applied a well-established conditional GCM to pre-selected time series of brain regions resulting from general linear model (GLM) and group spatial kernel independent component analysis (ICA) of an fMRI dataset in the temporal domain. Datasets consisting of one task-related and one resting-state fMRI were used to investigate connections among brain areas with the conditional GCM method. With the GLM detected brain activation regions in the emotion related cortex during the block design paradigm, the conditional GCM method was proposed to study the causality of the habituation between the left amygdala and pregenual cingulate cortex during emotion processing. For the resting-state dataset, it is possible to calculate not only the effective connectivity between networks but also the heterogeneity within a single network. Our results have further shown a particular interacting pattern of default mode network (DMN) that can be characterized as both afferent and efferent influences on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). These results suggest that the conditional GCM approach based on a linear multivariate vector autoregressive (MVAR) model can achieve

  14. A Causal Modeling Approach to the Analysis of Course Evaluation Data.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfe, Mary L.

    Five causal models relating several aspects of end-of-term student evaluation of a graduate course in nursing research methods were proposed and tested empirically. The course evaluation form consisted of four Likert-type subscales, on which students rated the following aspects of the course: (1) the extent to which the course met its objectives;…

  15. A Causal Modelling Approach to the Development of Theory-Based Behaviour Change Programmes for Trial Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardeman, Wendy; Sutton, Stephen; Griffin, Simon; Johnston, Marie; White, Anthony; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Kinmonth, Ann Louise

    2005-01-01

    Theory-based intervention programmes to support health-related behaviour change aim to increase health impact and improve understanding of mechanisms of behaviour change. However, the science of intervention development remains at an early stage. We present a causal modelling approach to developing complex interventions for evaluation in…

  16. A Causal, Data-driven Approach to Modeling the Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dun; Hogg, David W.; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Schölkopf, Bernhard

    2016-09-01

    Astronomical observations are affected by several kinds of noise, each with its own causal source; there is photon noise, stochastic source variability, and residuals coming from imperfect calibration of the detector or telescope. The precision of NASA Kepler photometry for exoplanet science—the most precise photometric measurements of stars ever made—appears to be limited by unknown or untracked variations in spacecraft pointing and temperature, and unmodeled stellar variability. Here, we present the causal pixel model (CPM) for Kepler data, a data-driven model intended to capture variability but preserve transit signals. The CPM works at the pixel level so that it can capture very fine-grained information about the variation of the spacecraft. The CPM models the systematic effects in the time series of a pixel using the pixels of many other stars and the assumption that any shared signal in these causally disconnected light curves is caused by instrumental effects. In addition, we use the target star’s future and past (autoregression). By appropriately separating, for each data point, the data into training and test sets, we ensure that information about any transit will be perfectly isolated from the model. The method has four tuning parameters—the number of predictor stars or pixels, the autoregressive window size, and two L2-regularization amplitudes for model components, which we set by cross-validation. We determine values for tuning parameters that works well for most of the stars and apply the method to a corresponding set of target stars. We find that CPM can consistently produce low-noise light curves. In this paper, we demonstrate that pixel-level de-trending is possible while retaining transit signals, and we think that methods like CPM are generally applicable and might be useful for K2, TESS, etc., where the data are not clean postage stamps like Kepler.

  17. Causal Rasch models

    PubMed Central

    Stenner, A. Jackson; Fisher, William P.; Stone, Mark H.; Burdick, Donald S.

    2013-01-01

    Rasch's unidimensional models for measurement show how to connect object measures (e.g., reader abilities), measurement mechanisms (e.g., machine-generated cloze reading items), and observational outcomes (e.g., counts correct on reading instruments). Substantive theory shows what interventions or manipulations to the measurement mechanism can be traded off against a change to the object measure to hold the observed outcome constant. A Rasch model integrated with a substantive theory dictates the form and substance of permissible interventions. Rasch analysis, absent construct theory and an associated specification equation, is a black box in which understanding may be more illusory than not. Finally, the quantitative hypothesis can be tested by comparing theory-based trade-off relations with observed trade-off relations. Only quantitative variables (as measured) support such trade-offs. Note that to test the quantitative hypothesis requires more than manipulation of the algebraic equivalencies in the Rasch model or descriptively fitting data to the model. A causal Rasch model involves experimental intervention/manipulation on either reader ability or text complexity or a conjoint intervention on both simultaneously to yield a successful prediction of the resultant observed outcome (count correct). We conjecture that when this type of manipulation is introduced for individual reader text encounters and model predictions are consistent with observations, the quantitative hypothesis is sustained. PMID:23986726

  18. Loop anomalies in the causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, Dan-Radu

    2015-01-01

    We consider gauge models in the causal approach and study one-loop contributions to the chronological products and the anomalies they produce. We prove that in order greater than 4 there are no one-loop anomalies. Next we analyze one-loop anomalies in the second- and third-order of the perturbation theory. We prove that the even parity contributions (with respect to parity) do not produce anomalies; for the odd parity contributions we reobtain the well-known result.

  19. Causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearl, Judea

    2000-03-01

    Written by one of the pre-eminent researchers in the field, this book provides a comprehensive exposition of modern analysis of causation. It shows how causality has grown from a nebulous concept into a mathematical theory with significant applications in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artifical intelligence, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Students in these areas will find natural models, simple identification procedures, and precise mathematical definitions of causal concepts that traditional texts have tended to evade or make unduly complicated. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in a wide variety of fields. Anyone who wishes to elucidate meaningful relationships from data, predict effects of actions and policies, assess explanations of reported events, or form theories of causal understanding and causal speech will find this book stimulating and invaluable.

  20. Granger causality for state-space models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnett, Lionel; Seth, Anil K.

    2015-04-01

    Granger causality has long been a prominent method for inferring causal interactions between stochastic variables for a broad range of complex physical systems. However, it has been recognized that a moving average (MA) component in the data presents a serious confound to Granger causal analysis, as routinely performed via autoregressive (AR) modeling. We solve this problem by demonstrating that Granger causality may be calculated simply and efficiently from the parameters of a state-space (SS) model. Since SS models are equivalent to autoregressive moving average models, Granger causality estimated in this fashion is not degraded by the presence of a MA component. This is of particular significance when the data has been filtered, downsampled, observed with noise, or is a subprocess of a higher dimensional process, since all of these operations—commonplace in application domains as diverse as climate science, econometrics, and the neurosciences—induce a MA component. We show how Granger causality, conditional and unconditional, in both time and frequency domains, may be calculated directly from SS model parameters via solution of a discrete algebraic Riccati equation. Numerical simulations demonstrate that Granger causality estimators thus derived have greater statistical power and smaller bias than AR estimators. We also discuss how the SS approach facilitates relaxation of the assumptions of linearity, stationarity, and homoscedasticity underlying current AR methods, thus opening up potentially significant new areas of research in Granger causal analysis.

  1. Effective connectivity: Influence, causality and biophysical modeling

    PubMed Central

    Valdes-Sosa, Pedro A.; Roebroeck, Alard; Daunizeau, Jean; Friston, Karl

    2011-01-01

    This is the final paper in a Comments and Controversies series dedicated to “The identification of interacting networks in the brain using fMRI: Model selection, causality and deconvolution”. We argue that discovering effective connectivity depends critically on state-space models with biophysically informed observation and state equations. These models have to be endowed with priors on unknown parameters and afford checks for model Identifiability. We consider the similarities and differences among Dynamic Causal Modeling, Granger Causal Modeling and other approaches. We establish links between past and current statistical causal modeling, in terms of Bayesian dependency graphs and Wiener–Akaike–Granger–Schweder influence measures. We show that some of the challenges faced in this field have promising solutions and speculate on future developments. PMID:21477655

  2. Analysing connectivity with Granger causality and dynamic causal modelling

    PubMed Central

    Friston, Karl; Moran, Rosalyn; Seth, Anil K

    2013-01-01

    This review considers state-of-the-art analyses of functional integration in neuronal macrocircuits. We focus on detecting and estimating directed connectivity in neuronal networks using Granger causality (GC) and dynamic causal modelling (DCM). These approaches are considered in the context of functional segregation and integration and — within functional integration — the distinction between functional and effective connectivity. We review recent developments that have enjoyed a rapid uptake in the discovery and quantification of functional brain architectures. GC and DCM have distinct and complementary ambitions that are usefully considered in relation to the detection of functional connectivity and the identification of models of effective connectivity. We highlight the basic ideas upon which they are grounded, provide a comparative evaluation and point to some outstanding issues. PMID:23265964

  3. A General Approach to Causal Mediation Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imai, Kosuke; Keele, Luke; Tingley, Dustin

    2010-01-01

    Traditionally in the social sciences, causal mediation analysis has been formulated, understood, and implemented within the framework of linear structural equation models. We argue and demonstrate that this is problematic for 3 reasons: the lack of a general definition of causal mediation effects independent of a particular statistical model, the…

  4. Causal reasoning with mental models

    PubMed Central

    Khemlani, Sangeet S.; Barbey, Aron K.; Johnson-Laird, Philip N.

    2014-01-01

    This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex. PMID:25389398

  5. Causal reasoning with mental models.

    PubMed

    Khemlani, Sangeet S; Barbey, Aron K; Johnson-Laird, Philip N

    2014-01-01

    This paper outlines the model-based theory of causal reasoning. It postulates that the core meanings of causal assertions are deterministic and refer to temporally-ordered sets of possibilities: A causes B to occur means that given A, B occurs, whereas A enables B to occur means that given A, it is possible for B to occur. The paper shows how mental models represent such assertions, and how these models underlie deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning yielding explanations. It reviews evidence both to corroborate the theory and to account for phenomena sometimes taken to be incompatible with it. Finally, it reviews neuroscience evidence indicating that mental models for causal inference are implemented within lateral prefrontal cortex. PMID:25389398

  6. Causal Models of Literacy Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goetz, Ernest T.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Examines seven articles that employed path analysis to test causal models of the acquisition of literacy or the reading-writing relationship. Reveals that, although such analysis holds promise for a better understanding of the components of literacy, several potential difficulties remain for those attempting to synthesize this body of literature.…

  7. A causal net approach to relativistic quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bateson, R. D.

    2012-05-01

    In this paper we discuss a causal network approach to describing relativistic quantum mechanics. Each vertex on the causal net represents a possible point event or particle observation. By constructing the simplest causal net based on Reichenbach-like conjunctive forks in proper time we can exactly derive the 1+1 dimension Dirac equation for a relativistic fermion and correctly model quantum mechanical statistics. Symmetries of the net provide various quantum mechanical effects such as quantum uncertainty and wavefunction, phase, spin, negative energy states and the effect of a potential. The causal net can be embedded in 3+1 dimensions and is consistent with the conventional Dirac equation. In the low velocity limit the causal net approximates to the Schrodinger equation and Pauli equation for an electromagnetic field. Extending to different momentum states the net is compatible with the Feynman path integral approach to quantum mechanics that allows calculation of well known quantum phenomena such as diffraction.

  8. Modeling of causality with metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smolyaninov, Igor I.

    2013-02-01

    Hyperbolic metamaterials may be used to model a 2 + 1-dimensional Minkowski space-time in which the role of time is played by one of the spatial coordinates. When a metamaterial is built and illuminated with a coherent extraordinary laser beam, the stationary pattern of light propagation inside the metamaterial may be treated as a collection of particle world lines, which represents a complete ‘history’ of this 2 + 1-dimensional space-time. While this model may be used to build interesting space-time analogs, such as metamaterial ‘black holes’ and a metamaterial ‘big bang’, it lacks causality: since light inside the metamaterial may propagate back and forth along the ‘timelike’ spatial coordinate, events in the ‘future’ may affect events in the ‘past’. Here we demonstrate that a more sophisticated metamaterial model may fix this deficiency via breaking the mirror and temporal (PT) symmetries of the original model and producing one-way propagation along the ‘timelike’ spatial coordinate. The resulting 2 + 1-dimensional Minkowski space-time appears to be causal. This scenario may be considered as a metamaterial model of the Wheeler-Feynman absorber theory of causality.

  9. Home Environment, Self-Concept, and Academic Achievement: A Causal Modeling Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Song, In-Sub; Hattie, John

    1984-01-01

    Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the relation between home environment, self-concept, and academic achievement. It was found and cross-validated over four samples of 2,297 Korean adolescents that self-concept is a mediating variable between home environment and academic achievement. (Author/BS)

  10. The metagenomic approach and causality in virology

    PubMed Central

    Castrignano, Silvana Beres; Nagasse-Sugahara, Teresa Keico

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays, the metagenomic approach has been a very important tool in the discovery of new viruses in environmental and biological samples. Here we discuss how these discoveries may help to elucidate the etiology of diseases and the criteria necessary to establish a causal association between a virus and a disease. PMID:25902566

  11. A Complex Systems Approach to Causal Discovery in Psychiatry

    PubMed Central

    Saxe, Glenn N.; Statnikov, Alexander; Fenyo, David; Ren, Jiwen; Li, Zhiguo; Prasad, Meera; Wall, Dennis; Bergman, Nora; Briggs, Ernestine C.; Aliferis, Constantin

    2016-01-01

    Conventional research methodologies and data analytic approaches in psychiatric research are unable to reliably infer causal relations without experimental designs, or to make inferences about the functional properties of the complex systems in which psychiatric disorders are embedded. This article describes a series of studies to validate a novel hybrid computational approach–the Complex Systems-Causal Network (CS-CN) method–designed to integrate causal discovery within a complex systems framework for psychiatric research. The CS-CN method was first applied to an existing dataset on psychopathology in 163 children hospitalized with injuries (validation study). Next, it was applied to a much larger dataset of traumatized children (replication study). Finally, the CS-CN method was applied in a controlled experiment using a ‘gold standard’ dataset for causal discovery and compared with other methods for accurately detecting causal variables (resimulation controlled experiment). The CS-CN method successfully detected a causal network of 111 variables and 167 bivariate relations in the initial validation study. This causal network had well-defined adaptive properties and a set of variables was found that disproportionally contributed to these properties. Modeling the removal of these variables resulted in significant loss of adaptive properties. The CS-CN method was successfully applied in the replication study and performed better than traditional statistical methods, and similarly to state-of-the-art causal discovery algorithms in the causal detection experiment. The CS-CN method was validated, replicated, and yielded both novel and previously validated findings related to risk factors and potential treatments of psychiatric disorders. The novel approach yields both fine-grain (micro) and high-level (macro) insights and thus represents a promising approach for complex systems-oriented research in psychiatry. PMID:27028297

  12. A Causal Model of Faculty Research Productivity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bean, John P.

    A causal model of faculty research productivity was developed through a survey of the literature. Models of organizational behavior, organizational effectiveness, and motivation were synthesized into a causal model of productivity. Two general types of variables were assumed to affect individual research productivity: institutional variables and…

  13. Effect of Age on Complexity and Causality of the Cardiovascular Control: Comparison between Model-Based and Model-Free Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Porta, Alberto; Faes, Luca; Bari, Vlasta; Marchi, Andrea; Bassani, Tito; Nollo, Giandomenico; Perseguini, Natália Maria; Milan, Juliana; Minatel, Vinícius; Borghi-Silva, Audrey; Takahashi, Anielle C. M.; Catai, Aparecida M.

    2014-01-01

    The proposed approach evaluates complexity of the cardiovascular control and causality among cardiovascular regulatory mechanisms from spontaneous variability of heart period (HP), systolic arterial pressure (SAP) and respiration (RESP). It relies on construction of a multivariate embedding space, optimization of the embedding dimension and a procedure allowing the selection of the components most suitable to form the multivariate embedding space. Moreover, it allows the comparison between linear model-based (MB) and nonlinear model-free (MF) techniques and between MF approaches exploiting local predictability (LP) and conditional entropy (CE). The framework was applied to study age-related modifications of complexity and causality in healthy humans in supine resting (REST) and during standing (STAND). We found that: 1) MF approaches are more efficient than the MB method when nonlinear components are present, while the reverse situation holds in presence of high dimensional embedding spaces; 2) the CE method is the least powerful in detecting age-related trends; 3) the association of HP complexity on age suggests an impairment of cardiac regulation and response to STAND; 4) the relation of SAP complexity on age indicates a gradual increase of sympathetic activity and a reduced responsiveness of vasomotor control to STAND; 5) the association from SAP to HP on age during STAND reveals a progressive inefficiency of baroreflex; 6) the reduced connection from HP to SAP with age might be linked to the progressive exploitation of Frank-Starling mechanism at REST and to the progressive increase of peripheral resistances during STAND; 7) at REST the diminished association from RESP to HP with age suggests a vagal withdrawal and a gradual uncoupling between respiratory activity and heart; 8) the weakened connection from RESP to SAP with age might be related to the progressive increase of left ventricular thickness and vascular stiffness and to the gradual decrease of

  14. Spin foam models as energetic causal sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortês, Marina; Smolin, Lee

    2016-04-01

    Energetic causal sets are causal sets endowed by a flow of energy-momentum between causally related events. These incorporate a novel mechanism for the emergence of space-time from causal relations [M. Cortês and L. Smolin, Phys. Rev. D 90, 084007 (2014); Phys. Rev. D 90, 044035 (2014)]. Here we construct a spin foam model which is also an energetic causal set model. This model is closely related to the model introduced in parallel by Wolfgang Wieland in [Classical Quantum Gravity 32, 015016 (2015)]. What makes a spin foam model also an energetic causal set is Wieland's identification of new degrees of freedom analogous to momenta, conserved at events (or four-simplices), whose norms are not mass, but the volume of tetrahedra. This realizes the torsion constraints, which are missing in previous spin foam models, and are needed to relate the connection dynamics to those of the metric, as in general relativity. This identification makes it possible to apply the new mechanism for the emergence of space-time to a spin foam model. Our formulation also makes use of Markopoulou's causal formulation of spin foams [arXiv:gr-qc/9704013]. These are generated by evolving spin networks with dual Pachner moves. This endows the spin foam history with causal structure given by a partial ordering of the events which are dual to four-simplices.

  15. Perturbative gravity in the causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, D. R.

    2010-01-01

    Quantum theory of the gravitation in the causal approach is studied up to the second order of perturbation theory in the causal approach. We emphasize the use of cohomology methods in this framework. After describing in detail the mathematical structure of the cohomology method we apply it in three different situations: (a) the determination of the most general expression of the interaction Lagrangian; (b) the proof of gauge invariance in the second order of perturbation theory for the pure gravity system—massless and massive; (c) the investigation of the arbitrariness of the second-order chronological products compatible with renormalization principles and gauge invariance (i.e. the renormalization problem in the second order of perturbation theory). In case (a) we investigate pure gravity systems and the interaction of massless gravity with matter (described by scalars and spinors) and massless Yang-Mills fields. We obtain a difference with respect to the classical field theory due to the fact that in quantum field theory one cannot enforce the divergenceless property on the vector potential and this spoils the divergenceless property of the usual energy-momentum tensor. To correct this one needs a supplementary ghost term in the interaction Lagrangian. In all three case, the computations are more simple than by the usual methods.

  16. Compact Representations of Extended Causal Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halpern, Joseph Y.; Hitchcock, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Judea Pearl (2000) was the first to propose a definition of actual causation using causal models. A number of authors have suggested that an adequate account of actual causation must appeal not only to causal structure but also to considerations of "normality." In Halpern and Hitchcock (2011), we offer a definition of actual causation…

  17. The Effects of a Model-Based Physics Curriculum Program with a Physics First Approach: A Causal-Comparative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liang, Ling L.; Fulmer, Gavin W.; Majerich, David M.; Clevenstine, Richard; Howanski, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a model-based introductory physics curriculum on conceptual learning in a Physics First (PF) Initiative. This is the first comparative study in physics education that applies the Rasch modeling approach to examine the effects of a model-based curriculum program combined with PF in the United…

  18. The Effects of a Model-Based Physics Curriculum Program with a Physics First Approach: a Causal-Comparative Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Ling L.; Fulmer, Gavin W.; Majerich, David M.; Clevenstine, Richard; Howanski, Raymond

    2012-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a model-based introductory physics curriculum on conceptual learning in a Physics First (PF) Initiative. This is the first comparative study in physics education that applies the Rasch modeling approach to examine the effects of a model-based curriculum program combined with PF in the United States. Five teachers and 301 students (in grades 9 through 12) in two mid-Atlantic high schools participated in the study. The students' conceptual learning was measured by the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). It was found that the ninth-graders enrolled in the model-based program in a PF initiative achieved substantially greater conceptual understanding of the physics content than those 11th-/12th-graders enrolled in the conventional non-modeling, non-PF program (Honors strand). For the 11th-/12th-graders enrolled in the non-PF, non-honors strands, the modeling classes also outperformed the conventional non-modeling classes. The instructional activity reports by students indicated that the model-based approach was generally implemented in modeling classrooms. A closer examination of the field notes and the classroom observation profiles revealed that the greatest inconsistencies in model-based teaching practices observed were related to classroom interactions or discourse. Implications and recommendations for future studies are also discussed.

  19. Nonlinear parametric model for Granger causality of time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marinazzo, Daniele; Pellicoro, Mario; Stramaglia, Sebastiano

    2006-06-01

    The notion of Granger causality between two time series examines if the prediction of one series could be improved by incorporating information of the other. In particular, if the prediction error of the first time series is reduced by including measurements from the second time series, then the second time series is said to have a causal influence on the first one. We propose a radial basis function approach to nonlinear Granger causality. The proposed model is not constrained to be additive in variables from the two time series and can approximate any function of these variables, still being suitable to evaluate causality. Usefulness of this measure of causality is shown in two applications. In the first application, a physiological one, we consider time series of heart rate and blood pressure in congestive heart failure patients and patients affected by sepsis: we find that sepsis patients, unlike congestive heart failure patients, show symmetric causal relationships between the two time series. In the second application, we consider the feedback loop in a model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons: we find that in this system causality measures the combined influence of couplings and membrane time constants.

  20. Model Averaging for Improving Inference from Causal Diagrams

    PubMed Central

    Hamra, Ghassan B.; Kaufman, Jay S.; Vahratian, Anjel

    2015-01-01

    Model selection is an integral, yet contentious, component of epidemiologic research. Unfortunately, there remains no consensus on how to identify a single, best model among multiple candidate models. Researchers may be prone to selecting the model that best supports their a priori, preferred result; a phenomenon referred to as “wish bias”. Directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), based on background causal and substantive knowledge, are a useful tool for specifying a subset of adjustment variables to obtain a causal effect estimate. In many cases, however, a DAG will support multiple, sufficient or minimally-sufficient adjustment sets. Even though all of these may theoretically produce unbiased effect estimates they may, in practice, yield somewhat distinct values, and the need to select between these models once again makes the research enterprise vulnerable to wish bias. In this work, we suggest combining adjustment sets with model averaging techniques to obtain causal estimates based on multiple, theoretically-unbiased models. We use three techniques for averaging the results among multiple candidate models: information criteria weighting, inverse variance weighting, and bootstrapping. We illustrate these approaches with an example from the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition (PIN) study. We show that each averaging technique returns similar, model averaged causal estimates. An a priori strategy of model averaging provides a means of integrating uncertainty in selection among candidate, causal models, while also avoiding the temptation to report the most attractive estimate from a suite of equally valid alternatives. PMID:26270672

  1. Dynamic causal models and autopoietic systems.

    PubMed

    David, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) and the theory of autopoietic systems are two important conceptual frameworks. In this review, we suggest that they can be combined to answer important questions about self-organising systems like the brain. DCM has been developed recently by the neuroimaging community to explain, using biophysical models, the non-invasive brain imaging data are caused by neural processes. It allows one to ask mechanistic questions about the implementation of cerebral processes. In DCM the parameters of biophysical models are estimated from measured data and the evidence for each model is evaluated. This enables one to test different functional hypotheses (i.e., models) for a given data set. Autopoiesis and related formal theories of biological systems as autonomous machines represent a body of concepts with many successful applications. However, autopoiesis has remained largely theoretical and has not penetrated the empiricism of cognitive neuroscience. In this review, we try to show the connections that exist between DCM and autopoiesis. In particular, we propose a simple modification to standard formulations of DCM that includes autonomous processes. The idea is to exploit the machinery of the system identification of DCMs in neuroimaging to test the face validity of the autopoietic theory applied to neural subsystems. We illustrate the theoretical concepts and their implications for interpreting electroencephalographic signals acquired during amygdala stimulation in an epileptic patient. The results suggest that DCM represents a relevant biophysical approach to brain functional organisation, with a potential that is yet to be fully evaluated. PMID:18575681

  2. Causality, Confirmation, Credulity, and Structural Equation Modeling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biddle, Bruce J.; Marlin, Marjorie M.

    1987-01-01

    Defines structural equation modeling (SEM) and points out its relation to other more familiar data-analytic techniques, as well as some of the potentials and pitfalls of SEM in the analysis of developmental data. Discussion focuses on causal modeling, path diagrams, ordinary least-squares regression analysis, and powerful methods for model…

  3. Exploring Causal Models of Educational Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parkerson, Jo Ann; And Others

    1984-01-01

    This article evaluates five causal model of educational productivity applied to learning science in a sample of 882 fifth through eighth graders. Each model explores the relationship between achievement and a combination of eight constructs: home environment, peer group, media, ability, social environment, time on task, motivation, and…

  4. A Quantum Probability Model of Causal Reasoning

    PubMed Central

    Trueblood, Jennifer S.; Busemeyer, Jerome R.

    2012-01-01

    People can often outperform statistical methods and machine learning algorithms in situations that involve making inferences about the relationship between causes and effects. While people are remarkably good at causal reasoning in many situations, there are several instances where they deviate from expected responses. This paper examines three situations where judgments related to causal inference problems produce unexpected results and describes a quantum inference model based on the axiomatic principles of quantum probability theory that can explain these effects. Two of the three phenomena arise from the comparison of predictive judgments (i.e., the conditional probability of an effect given a cause) with diagnostic judgments (i.e., the conditional probability of a cause given an effect). The third phenomenon is a new finding examining order effects in predictive causal judgments. The quantum inference model uses the notion of incompatibility among different causes to account for all three phenomena. Psychologically, the model assumes that individuals adopt different points of view when thinking about different causes. The model provides good fits to the data and offers a coherent account for all three causal reasoning effects thus proving to be a viable new candidate for modeling human judgment. PMID:22593747

  5. A Causal Model of Faculty Turnover Intentions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smart, John C.

    1990-01-01

    A causal model assesses the relative influence of individual attributes, institutional characteristics, contextual-work environment variables, and multiple measures of job satisfaction on faculty intentions to leave their current institutions. Factors considered include tenure status, age, institutional status, governance style, organizational…

  6. Applying Causal Discovery to the Output of Climate Models - What Can We Learn from the Causal Signatures?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebert-Uphoff, I.; Hammerling, D.; Samarasinghe, S.; Baker, A. H.

    2015-12-01

    The framework of causal discovery provides algorithms that seek to identify potential cause-effect relationships from observational data. The output of such algorithms is a graph structure that indicates the potential causal connections between the observed variables. Originally developed for applications in the social sciences and economics, causal discovery has been used with great success in bioinformatics and, most recently, in climate science, primarily to identify interaction patterns between compound climate variables and to track pathways of interactions between different locations around the globe. Here we apply causal discovery to the output data of climate models to learn so-called causal signatures from the data that indicate interactions between the different atmospheric variables. These causal signatures can act like fingerprints for the underlying dynamics and thus serve a variety of diagnostic purposes. We study the use of the causal signatures for three applications: 1) For climate model software verification we suggest to use causal signatures as a means of detecting statistical differences between model runs, thus identifying potential errors and supplementing the Community Earth System Model Ensemble Consistency Testing (CESM-ECT) tool recently developed at NCAR for CESM verification. 2) In the context of data compression of model runs, we will test how much the causal signatures of the model outputs changes after different compression algorithms have been applied. This may result in additional means to determine which type and amount of compression is acceptable. 3) This is the first study applying causal discovery simultaneously to a large number of different atmospheric variables, and in the process of studying the resulting interaction patterns for the two aforementioned applications, we expect to gain some new insights into their relationships from this approach. We will present first results obtained for Applications 1 and 2 above.

  7. Subjective spacetime derived from a causal histories approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunji, Yukio-Pegio; Haruna, Taichi; Uragami, Daisuke; Nishikawa, Asaki

    2009-10-01

    The internal description of spacetime can reveal ambiguity regarding an observer’s perception of the present, where an observer can refer to the present as if he were outside spacetime while actually existing in the present. This ambiguity can be expressed as the compatibility between an element and a set, and is here called a/{a}-compatibility. We describe a causal set as a lattice and a causal history as a quotient lattice, and implement the a/{a}-compatibility in the framework of a causal histories approach. This leads to a perpetual change of a pair of causal set and causal history, and can be used to describe subjective spacetime including the déjà vu experience and/or schizophrenic time.

  8. Causality in Psychiatry: A Hybrid Symptom Network Construct Model.

    PubMed

    Young, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    Causality or etiology in psychiatry is marked by standard biomedical, reductionistic models (symptoms reflect the construct involved) that inform approaches to nosology, or classification, such as in the DSM-5 [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition; (1)]. However, network approaches to symptom interaction [i.e., symptoms are formative of the construct; e.g., (2), for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)] are being developed that speak to bottom-up processes in mental disorder, in contrast to the typical top-down psychological construct approach. The present article presents a hybrid top-down, bottom-up model of the relationship between symptoms and mental disorder, viewing symptom expression and their causal complex as a reciprocally dynamic system with multiple levels, from lower-order symptoms in interaction to higher-order constructs affecting them. The hybrid model hinges on good understanding of systems theory in which it is embedded, so that the article reviews in depth non-linear dynamical systems theory (NLDST). The article applies the concept of emergent circular causality (3) to symptom development, as well. Conclusions consider that symptoms vary over several dimensions, including: subjectivity; objectivity; conscious motivation effort; and unconscious influences, and the degree to which individual (e.g., meaning) and universal (e.g., causal) processes are involved. The opposition between science and skepticism is a complex one that the article addresses in final comments. PMID:26635639

  9. Causality in Psychiatry: A Hybrid Symptom Network Construct Model

    PubMed Central

    Young, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    Causality or etiology in psychiatry is marked by standard biomedical, reductionistic models (symptoms reflect the construct involved) that inform approaches to nosology, or classification, such as in the DSM-5 [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition; (1)]. However, network approaches to symptom interaction [i.e., symptoms are formative of the construct; e.g., (2), for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)] are being developed that speak to bottom-up processes in mental disorder, in contrast to the typical top-down psychological construct approach. The present article presents a hybrid top-down, bottom-up model of the relationship between symptoms and mental disorder, viewing symptom expression and their causal complex as a reciprocally dynamic system with multiple levels, from lower-order symptoms in interaction to higher-order constructs affecting them. The hybrid model hinges on good understanding of systems theory in which it is embedded, so that the article reviews in depth non-linear dynamical systems theory (NLDST). The article applies the concept of emergent circular causality (3) to symptom development, as well. Conclusions consider that symptoms vary over several dimensions, including: subjectivity; objectivity; conscious motivation effort; and unconscious influences, and the degree to which individual (e.g., meaning) and universal (e.g., causal) processes are involved. The opposition between science and skepticism is a complex one that the article addresses in final comments. PMID:26635639

  10. The Specification of Causal Models with Tetrad IV: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Landsheer, J. A.

    2010-01-01

    Tetrad IV is a program designed for the specification of causal models. It is specifically designed to search for causal relations, but also offers the possibility to estimate the parameters of a structural equation model. It offers a remarkable graphical user interface, which facilitates building, evaluating, and searching for causal models. The…

  11. A Quantitative Causal Model Theory of Conditional Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernbach, Philip M.; Erb, Christopher D.

    2013-01-01

    The authors propose and test a causal model theory of reasoning about conditional arguments with causal content. According to the theory, the acceptability of modus ponens (MP) and affirming the consequent (AC) reflect the conditional likelihood of causes and effects based on a probabilistic causal model of the scenario being judged. Acceptability…

  12. Statistical Approaches for Enhancing Causal Interpretation of the M to Y Relation in Mediation Analysis

    PubMed Central

    MacKinnon, David P.; Pirlott, Angela G.

    2016-01-01

    Statistical mediation methods provide valuable information about underlying mediating psychological processes, but the ability to infer that the mediator variable causes the outcome variable is more complex than widely known. Researchers have recently emphasized how violating assumptions about confounder bias severely limits causal inference of the mediator to dependent variable relation. Our article describes and addresses these limitations by drawing on new statistical developments in causal mediation analysis. We first review the assumptions underlying causal inference and discuss three ways to examine the effects of confounder bias when assumptions are violated. We then describe four approaches to address the influence of confounding variables and enhance causal inference, including comprehensive structural equation models, instrumental variable methods, principal stratification, and inverse probability weighting. Our goal is to further the adoption of statistical methods to enhance causal inference in mediation studies. PMID:25063043

  13. Renewable Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in Nine OECD Countries: Bounds Test Approach and Causality Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hung-Pin, Lin

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate the short-run and long-run causality between renewable energy (RE) consumption and economic growth (EG) in nine OECD countries from the period between 1982 and 2011. To examine the linkage, this paper uses the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach of cointegration test and vector error-correction models to test the causal relationship between variables. The co-integration and causal relationships are found in five countries—United States of America (USA), Japan, Germany, Italy, and United Kingdom (UK). The overall results indicate that (1) a short-run unidirectional causality runs from EG to RE in Italy and UK; (2) long-run unidirectional causalities run from RE to EG for Germany, Italy, and UK; (3) a long-run unidirectional causality runs from EG to RE in USA, and Japan; (4) both long-run and strong unidirectional causalities run from RE to EG for Germany and UK; and (5) Finally, both long-run and strong unidirectional causalities run from EG to RE in only USA. Further evidence reveals that policies for renewable energy conservation may have no impact on economic growth in France, Denmark, Portugal, and Spain. PMID:24558343

  14. Reconstructing Constructivism: Causal Models, Bayesian Learning Mechanisms, and the Theory Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gopnik, Alison; Wellman, Henry M.

    2012-01-01

    We propose a new version of the "theory theory" grounded in the computational framework of probabilistic causal models and Bayesian learning. Probabilistic models allow a constructivist but rigorous and detailed approach to cognitive development. They also explain the learning of both more specific causal hypotheses and more abstract framework…

  15. A causal model of adolescent depression.

    PubMed

    Brage, D; Meredith, W

    1994-07-01

    We examined how family strengths, parent-adolescent communication, self-esteem, loneliness, age, and gender interrelate, and how this interaction influences depression in adolescents. The data were collected on a written questionnaire completed by 156 adolescents who were attending public schools in four communities in the midwestern United States. We developed a causal model to explicate the relationships among the variables hypothesized to affect adolescent depression and analyzed the data using path analysis via the LISREL VII program. Results showed a good fit of the model to the data. Loneliness and self-esteem had a direct effect on adolescent depression. Self-esteem had an indirect effect on depression through loneliness. Age directly and indirectly influenced depression through loneliness. Gender was significantly related to depression through self-esteem. Family strengths indirectly affected depression through self-esteem. PMID:7932297

  16. The structure of the anomalies of gauge theories in the causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, D. R.

    2002-02-01

    We consider the gauge invariance of the standard Yang-Mills model in the framework of the causal approach of Epstein-Glaser and Scharf and determine the generic form of the anomalies. The method used is based on the Epstein-Glaser approach to renormalization theory. In the case of quantum electrodynamics we obtain quite easily the absence of anomalies in all orders.

  17. Hindsight bias and causal reasoning: a minimalist approach.

    PubMed

    Yopchick, Jennelle E; Kim, Nancy S

    2012-02-01

    What factors contribute to hindsight bias, the phenomenon whereby the known outcome of an event appears obvious only after the fact? The Causal Model Theory (CMT) of hindsight bias (Nestler et al. in Soc Psychol 39:182-188, 2008a; in J Expl Psychol: Learn Mem Cog 34:1043-1054, 2008b; Pezzo in Mem 11:421-441, 2003; Wasserman et al. in Pers Soc Psychol Bull 17:30-35, 1991) posits that hindsight bias can occur when people have the opportunity to identify potential causal antecedents and evaluate whether they could have led to the outcome. Two experiments incorporating highly controlled minimalist scenarios supported the CMT. As predicted by the CMT, hindsight bias occurred when the causal factor explained the actual outcome better than the alternative outcome, and reverse hindsight bias occurred when the causal factor explained the alternative outcome better than the actual outcome. Moreover, we found new evidence that outcome knowledge alone was insufficient to elicit hindsight bias in the absence of a potential causal antecedent. Implications for future directions in hindsight bias research are discussed. PMID:21912981

  18. Hypothesis Formulation, Model Interpretation, and Model Equivalence: Implications of a Mereological Causal Interpretation of Structural Equation Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markus, Keith A.

    2008-01-01

    One can distinguish statistical models used in causal modeling from the causal interpretations that align them with substantive hypotheses. Causal modeling typically assumes an efficient causal interpretation of the statistical model. Causal modeling can also make use of mereological causal interpretations in which the state of the parts…

  19. Manifest Variable Granger Causality Models for Developmental Research: A Taxonomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Eye, Alexander; Wiedermann, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Granger models are popular when it comes to testing hypotheses that relate series of measures causally to each other. In this article, we propose a taxonomy of Granger causality models. The taxonomy results from crossing the four variables Order of Lag, Type of (Contemporaneous) Effect, Direction of Effect, and Segment of Dependent Series…

  20. A Causal Model of Factors Influencing Faculty Use of Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Katrina A.; Xu, Yonghong Jade

    2009-01-01

    Based on earlier studies using the 1999 and 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF) data [1, 2], a causal model explaining faculty technology use was constructed. Path analysis was used to test the causal effects of age, gender, highest degree, discipline (health science or not), recent research productivity, and teaching load on…

  1. Causal Inferences with Group Based Trajectory Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haviland, Amelia M.; Nagin, Daniel S.

    2005-01-01

    A central theme of research on human development and psychopathology is whether a therapeutic intervention or a turning-point event, such as a family break-up, alters the trajectory of the behavior under study. This paper lays out and applies a method for using observational longitudinal data to make more confident causal inferences about the…

  2. Causal interpretation rules for encoding and decoding models in neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Weichwald, Sebastian; Meyer, Timm; Özdenizci, Ozan; Schölkopf, Bernhard; Ball, Tonio; Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz

    2015-04-15

    Causal terminology is often introduced in the interpretation of encoding and decoding models trained on neuroimaging data. In this article, we investigate which causal statements are warranted and which ones are not supported by empirical evidence. We argue that the distinction between encoding and decoding models is not sufficient for this purpose: relevant features in encoding and decoding models carry a different meaning in stimulus- and in response-based experimental paradigms.We show that only encoding models in the stimulus-based setting support unambiguous causal interpretations. By combining encoding and decoding models trained on the same data, however, we obtain insights into causal relations beyond those that are implied by each individual model type. We illustrate the empirical relevance of our theoretical findings on EEG data recorded during a visuo-motor learning task. PMID:25623501

  3. Causality and quantum criticality in long-range lattice models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maghrebi, Mohammad F.; Gong, Zhe-Xuan; Foss-Feig, Michael; Gorshkov, Alexey V.

    2016-03-01

    Long-range quantum lattice systems often exhibit drastically different behavior than their short-range counterparts. In particular, because they do not satisfy the conditions for the Lieb-Robinson theorem, they need not have an emergent relativistic structure in the form of a light cone. Adopting a field-theoretic approach, we study the one-dimensional transverse-field Ising model with long-range interactions, and a fermionic model with long-range hopping and pairing terms, explore their critical and near-critical behavior, and characterize their response to local perturbations. We deduce the dynamic critical exponent, up to the two-loop order within the renormalization group theory, which we then use to characterize the emergent causal behavior. We show that beyond a critical value of the power-law exponent of the long-range couplings, the dynamics effectively becomes relativistic. Various other critical exponents describing correlations in the ground state, as well as deviations from a linear causal cone, are deduced for a wide range of the power-law exponent.

  4. Causal mediation analyses with rank preserving models.

    PubMed

    Have, Thomas R Ten; Joffe, Marshall M; Lynch, Kevin G; Brown, Gregory K; Maisto, Stephen A; Beck, Aaron T

    2007-09-01

    We present a linear rank preserving model (RPM) approach for analyzing mediation of a randomized baseline intervention's effect on a univariate follow-up outcome. Unlike standard mediation analyses, our approach does not assume that the mediating factor is also randomly assigned to individuals in addition to the randomized baseline intervention (i.e., sequential ignorability), but does make several structural interaction assumptions that currently are untestable. The G-estimation procedure for the proposed RPM represents an extension of the work on direct effects of randomized intervention effects for survival outcomes by Robins and Greenland (1994, Journal of the American Statistical Association 89, 737-749) and on intervention non-adherence by Ten Have et al. (2004, Journal of the American Statistical Association 99, 8-16). Simulations show good estimation and confidence interval performance by the proposed RPM approach under unmeasured confounding relative to the standard mediation approach, but poor performance under departures from the structural interaction assumptions. The trade-off between these assumptions is evaluated in the context of two suicide/depression intervention studies. PMID:17825022

  5. Effects of question formats on causal judgments and model evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Smithson, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Evaluation of causal reasoning models depends on how well the subjects’ causal beliefs are assessed. Elicitation of causal beliefs is determined by the experimental questions put to subjects. We examined the impact of question formats commonly used in causal reasoning research on participant’s responses. The results of our experiment (Study 1) demonstrate that both the mean and homogeneity of the responses can be substantially influenced by the type of question (structure induction versus strength estimation versus prediction). Study 2A demonstrates that subjects’ responses to a question requiring them to predict the effect of a candidate cause can be significantly lower and more heterogeneous than their responses to a question asking them to diagnose a cause when given an effect. Study 2B suggests that diagnostic reasoning can strongly benefit from cues relating to temporal precedence of the cause in the question. Finally, we evaluated 16 variations of recent computational models and found the model fitting was substantially influenced by the type of questions. Our results show that future research in causal reasoning should place a high priority on disentangling the effects of question formats from the effects of experimental manipulations, because that will enable comparisons between models of causal reasoning uncontaminated by method artifact. PMID:25954225

  6. The Mental Representation of Causal Conditional Reasoning: Mental Models or Causal Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Nilufa; Chater, Nick; Oaksford, Mike

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, two experiments are reported investigating the nature of the cognitive representations underlying causal conditional reasoning performance. The predictions of causal and logical interpretations of the conditional diverge sharply when inferences involving "pairs" of conditionals--such as "if P[subscript 1] then Q" and "if P[subscript…

  7. Causal nexus between energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission for Malaysia using maximum entropy bootstrap approach.

    PubMed

    Gul, Sehrish; Zou, Xiang; Hassan, Che Hashim; Azam, Muhammad; Zaman, Khalid

    2015-12-01

    This study investigates the relationship between energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission in the causal framework, as the direction of causality remains has a significant policy implication for developed and developing countries. The study employed maximum entropy bootstrap (Meboot) approach to examine the causal nexus between energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission using bivariate as well as multivariate framework for Malaysia, over a period of 1975-2013. This is a unified approach without requiring the use of conventional techniques based on asymptotical theory such as testing for possible unit root and cointegration. In addition, it can be applied in the presence of non-stationary of any type including structural breaks without any type of data transformation to achieve stationary. Thus, it provides more reliable and robust inferences which are insensitive to time span as well as lag length used. The empirical results show that there is a unidirectional causality running from energy consumption to carbon emission both in the bivariate model and multivariate framework, while controlling for broad money supply and population density. The results indicate that Malaysia is an energy-dependent country and hence energy is stimulus to carbon emissions. PMID:26282441

  8. Causal Latent Markov Model for the Comparison of Multiple Treatments in Observational Longitudinal Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolucci, Francesco; Pennoni, Fulvia; Vittadini, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    We extend to the longitudinal setting a latent class approach that was recently introduced by Lanza, Coffman, and Xu to estimate the causal effect of a treatment. The proposed approach enables an evaluation of multiple treatment effects on subpopulations of individuals from a dynamic perspective, as it relies on a latent Markov (LM) model that is…

  9. Causation or only correlation? Application of causal inference graphs for evaluating causality in nano-QSAR models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sizochenko, Natalia; Gajewicz, Agnieszka; Leszczynski, Jerzy; Puzyn, Tomasz

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we suggest that causal inference methods could be efficiently used in Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR) modeling as additional validation criteria within quality evaluation of the model. Verification of the relationships between descriptors and toxicity or other activity in the QSAR model has a vital role in understanding the mechanisms of action. The well-known phrase ``correlation does not imply causation'' reflects insight statistically correlated with the endpoint descriptor may not cause the emergence of this endpoint. Hence, paradigmatic shifts must be undertaken when moving from traditional statistical correlation analysis to causal analysis of multivariate data. Methods of causal discovery have been applied for broader physical insight into mechanisms of action and interpretation of the developed nano-QSAR models. Previously developed nano-QSAR models for toxicity of 17 nano-sized metal oxides towards E. coli bacteria have been validated by means of the causality criteria. Using the descriptors confirmed by the causal technique, we have developed new models consistent with the straightforward causal-reasoning account. It was proven that causal inference methods are able to provide a more robust mechanistic interpretation of the developed nano-QSAR models.In this paper, we suggest that causal inference methods could be efficiently used in Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR) modeling as additional validation criteria within quality evaluation of the model. Verification of the relationships between descriptors and toxicity or other activity in the QSAR model has a vital role in understanding the mechanisms of action. The well-known phrase ``correlation does not imply causation'' reflects insight statistically correlated with the endpoint descriptor may not cause the emergence of this endpoint. Hence, paradigmatic shifts must be undertaken when moving from traditional statistical correlation analysis to causal

  10. Developing a Causal Model from Liver Function Test Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inada, Masanori; Terano, Takao

    As Active Mining is a new concept among data mining and/or knowledge discovery in databases communities, in order to validate the effectiveness, it is important to carry out empirical studies using practical data. Based on the concept of Active User Reaction, this paper develops a causal model from liver function test data in a medical domain. To develop the model, we have set a problem to predict the values of ICG (indocyanine green) test from given observation data and experts' background knowledge. We therefore employ a framework of meta-learning and structural equation modeling. In this paper meta-learning means learning about mined results from multiple data-mining techniques. Structural equation modeling enables us to describe flexible models from background knowledge. The construction of the causal model contains two phases: meta-learning and the model building. The meta-learning phase utilizes both the linear regression and the neural network as data mining techniques, then examines the predictability on the given data set. Mining models are n-folded learned from the training data set. Each of the prediction accuracy of the mining models is compared using with the testing data. On the model building phase, we use structural equation modeling to develop a causal model based on results of meta-learning and background knowledge. We again compare the accuracy of the causal model with each of the mining models. Consequently we have developed the causal model, which is comprehensible and have good predictive performance, via the meta-learning phase. Through the empirical study, we have got the conclusion that the framework of meta-learning is effective in data mining in a difficult medical domain.

  11. Enhancing scientific reasoning by refining students' models of multivariable causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keselman, Alla

    Inquiry learning as an educational method is gaining increasing support among elementary and middle school educators. In inquiry activities at the middle school level, students are typically asked to conduct investigations and infer causal relationships about multivariable causal systems. In these activities, students usually demonstrate significant strategic weaknesses and insufficient metastrategic understanding of task demands. Present work suggests that these weaknesses arise from students' deficient mental models of multivariable causality, in which effects of individual features are neither additive, nor constant. This study is an attempt to develop an intervention aimed at enhancing scientific reasoning by refining students' models of multivariable causality. Three groups of students engaged in a scientific investigation activity over seven weekly sessions. By creating unique combinations of five features potentially involved in earthquake mechanism and observing associated risk meter readings, students had to find out which of the features were causal, and to learn to predict earthquake risk. Additionally, students in the instructional and practice groups engaged in self-directed practice in making scientific predictions. The instructional group also participated in weekly instructional sessions on making predictions based on multivariable causality. Students in the practice and instructional conditions showed small to moderate improvement in their attention to the evidence and in their metastrategic ability to recognize effective investigative strategies in the work of other students. They also demonstrated a trend towards making a greater number of valid inferences than the control group students. Additionally, students in the instructional condition showed significant improvement in their ability to draw inferences based on multiple records. They also developed more accurate knowledge about non-causal features of the system. These gains were maintained

  12. Causal Indicator Models: Unresolved Issues of Construction and Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Stephen G.; Grimm, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    These authors agree with Bainter and Bollen that causal effects represents a useful measurement structure in some applications. The structure of the science of the measurement problem should determine the model; the measurement model should not determine the science. They also applaud Bainter and Bollen's important reminder that the full…

  13. The TETRAD Project: Constraint Based Aids to Causal Model Specification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheines, Richard; Spirtes, Peter; Glymour, Clark; Meek, Christopher; Richardson, Thomas

    1998-01-01

    The TETRAD for constraint-based aids to causal model specification project and related work in computer science aims to apply standards of rigor and precision to the problem of using data and background knowledge to make inferences about a model's specifications. Several algorithms that are implemented in the TETRAD II program are presented. (SLD)

  14. What Is the Latent Variable in Causal Indicator Models?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Roy D.

    2014-01-01

    Building on the work of Bollen (2007) and Bollen & Bauldry (2011), Bainter and Bollen (this issue) clarifies several points of confusion in the literature regarding causal indicator models. This author would certainly agree that the effect indicator (reflective) measurement model is inappropriate for some indicators (such as the social…

  15. Models of Causation and the Semantics of Causal Verbs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolff, Phillip; Song, Grace

    2003-01-01

    This research examines the relationship between the concept of CAUSE as it is characterized in psychological models of causation and the meaning of causal verbs, such as the verb "cause" itself. According to focal set models of causation ([Cheng (1997]; [Cheng and Novick (1991 and Cheng and Novick (1992]), the concept of CAUSE should be more…

  16. Causal Discovery of Dynamic Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voortman, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Recently, several philosophical and computational approaches to causality have used an interventionist framework to clarify the concept of causality [Spirtes et al., 2000, Pearl, 2000, Woodward, 2005]. The characteristic feature of the interventionist approach is that causal models are potentially useful in predicting the effects of manipulations.…

  17. Nonlinear Dynamic Causal Models for fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Klaas Enno; Kasper, Lars; Harrison, Lee M.; Daunizeau, Jean; den Ouden, Hanneke E.M.; Breakspear, Michael; Friston, Karl J.

    2009-01-01

    Models of effective connectivity characterize the influence that neuronal populations exert over each other. Additionally, some approaches, for example Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) and variants of Structural Equation Modelling, describe how effective connectivity is modulated by experimental manipulations. Mathematically, both are based on bilinear equations, where the bilinear term models the effect of experimental manipulations on neuronal interactions. The bilinear framework, however, precludes an important aspect of neuronal interactions that has been established with invasive electrophysiological recording studies; i.e., how the connection between two neuronal units is enabled or gated by activity in other units. These gating processes are critical for controlling the gain of neuronal populations and are mediated through interactions between synaptic inputs (e.g. by means of voltage-sensitive ion channels). They represent a key mechanism for various neurobiological processes, including top-down (e.g. attentional) modulation, learning and neuromodulation. This paper presents a nonlinear extension of DCM that models such processes (to second order) at the neuronal population level. In this way, the modulation of network interactions can be assigned to an explicit neuronal population. We present simulations and empirical results that demonstrate the validity and usefulness of this model. Analyses of synthetic data showed that nonlinear and bilinear mechanisms can be distinguished by our extended DCM. When applying the model to empirical fMRI data from a blocked attention to motion paradigm, we found that attention-induced increases in V5 responses could be best explained as a gating of the V1→V5 connection by activity in posterior parietal cortex. Furthermore, we analysed fMRI data from an event-related binocular rivalry paradigm and found that interactions amongst percept-selective visual areas were modulated by activity in the middle frontal gyrus. In both

  18. Causal Model Progressions as a Foundation for Intelligent Learning Environments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Barbara Y.; Frederiksen, John R.

    This paper describes the theoretical underpinnings and architecture of a new type of learning environment that incorporates features of microworlds and of intelligent tutoring systems. The environment is based on a progression of increasingly sophisticated causal models that simulate domain phenomena, generate explanations, and serve as student…

  19. Nanoparticles in the environment: assessment using the causal diagram approach

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) cause concern for health and safety as their impact on the environment and humans is not known. Relatively few studies have investigated the toxicological and environmental effects of exposure to naturally occurring NPs (NNPs) and man-made or engineered NPs (ENPs) that are known to have a wide variety of effects once taken up into an organism. A review of recent knowledge (between 2000-2010) on NP sources, and their behaviour, exposure and effects on the environment and humans was performed. An integrated approach was used to comprise available scientific information within an interdisciplinary logical framework, to identify knowledge gaps and to describe environment and health linkages for NNPs and ENPs. The causal diagram has been developed as a method to handle the complexity of issues on NP safety, from their exposure to the effects on the environment and health. It gives an overview of available scientific information starting with common sources of NPs and their interactions with various environmental processes that may pose threats to both human health and the environment. Effects of NNPs on dust cloud formation and decrease in sunlight intensity were found to be important environmental changes with direct and indirect implication in various human health problems. NNPs and ENPs exposure and their accumulation in biological matrices such as microbiota, plants and humans may result in various adverse effects. The impact of some NPs on human health by ROS generation was found to be one of the major causes to develop various diseases. A proposed cause-effects diagram for NPs is designed considering both NNPs and ENPs. It represents a valuable information package and user-friendly tool for various stakeholders including students, researchers and policy makers, to better understand and communicate on issues related to NPs. PMID:22759495

  20. Nanoparticles in the environment: assessment using the causal diagram approach.

    PubMed

    Smita, Suchi; Gupta, Shailendra K; Bartonova, Alena; Dusinska, Maria; Gutleb, Arno C; Rahman, Qamar

    2012-01-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) cause concern for health and safety as their impact on the environment and humans is not known. Relatively few studies have investigated the toxicological and environmental effects of exposure to naturally occurring NPs (NNPs) and man-made or engineered NPs (ENPs) that are known to have a wide variety of effects once taken up into an organism. A review of recent knowledge (between 2000-2010) on NP sources, and their behaviour, exposure and effects on the environment and humans was performed. An integrated approach was used to comprise available scientific information within an interdisciplinary logical framework, to identify knowledge gaps and to describe environment and health linkages for NNPs and ENPs. The causal diagram has been developed as a method to handle the complexity of issues on NP safety, from their exposure to the effects on the environment and health. It gives an overview of available scientific information starting with common sources of NPs and their interactions with various environmental processes that may pose threats to both human health and the environment. Effects of NNPs on dust cloud formation and decrease in sunlight intensity were found to be important environmental changes with direct and indirect implication in various human health problems. NNPs and ENPs exposure and their accumulation in biological matrices such as microbiota, plants and humans may result in various adverse effects. The impact of some NPs on human health by ROS generation was found to be one of the major causes to develop various diseases. A proposed cause-effects diagram for NPs is designed considering both NNPs and ENPs. It represents a valuable information package and user-friendly tool for various stakeholders including students, researchers and policy makers, to better understand and communicate on issues related to NPs. PMID:22759495

  1. Modeling the Causal Regulation of Transversely Accelerated Ion (TAI) Outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varney, R. H.; Wiltberger, M. J.; Zhang, B.; Schmitt, P.; Lotko, W.

    2013-12-01

    TAIs are generated by wave particle interactions driven by waves at temporal and spatial scales which are inaccessible in global coupled geospace models. So far attempts to include TAI outflows in global models have focused on the use of empirical correlations between observed outflow fluxes and various inputs such as DC Poynting flux, Alfvénic Poynting flux, and electron precipitation fluxes. These treatments ignore feedbacks between the outflow and the state of the ionosphere and assume the spatial and temporal distributions of the outflows are identical to those of their drivers. This work presents an alternative approach which can overcome these deficiencies while still being sufficiently computationally efficient to couple into a global modeling framework. TAIs are incorporated into a 3-D fluid model of the ionosphere and polar wind by modeling them as a separate fluid which obeys transport equations appropriate for monoenergetic conic distributions. The characteristics of the TAI outflow produced depend on the assumed transverse heating rates and the 'promotion rate' which connects the TAI fluid to the thermal O+ fluid. Using drivers extracted from runs of the Coupled Magnetosphere Ionosphere Thermosphere (CMIT) model, different strategies for causally regulating these free parameters are explored. The model can reproduce many of the observed features of TAI outflows but also exhibits physical attributes that empirical relationships alone miss. These characteristics include flux limiting of the outflow from below when intense outflow creates high-altitude cavities, time delays between the onset of transverse heating and the appearance of outflow, and spatial distributions of outflow which are different from the spatial distributions of the applied transverse heating and which depend on the ionospheric convection pattern.

  2. Causal Models for Mediation Analysis: An Introduction to Structural Mean Models.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Cheng; Atkins, David C; Zhou, Xiao-Hua; Rhew, Isaac C

    2015-01-01

    Mediation analyses are critical to understanding why behavioral interventions work. To yield a causal interpretation, common mediation approaches must make an assumption of "sequential ignorability." The current article describes an alternative approach to causal mediation called structural mean models (SMMs). A specific SMM called a rank-preserving model (RPM) is introduced in the context of an applied example. Particular attention is given to the assumptions of both approaches to mediation. Applying both mediation approaches to the college student drinking data yield notable differences in the magnitude of effects. Simulated examples reveal instances in which the traditional approach can yield strongly biased results, whereas the RPM approach remains unbiased in these cases. At the same time, the RPM approach has its own assumptions that must be met for correct inference, such as the existence of a covariate that strongly moderates the effect of the intervention on the mediator and no unmeasured confounders that also serve as a moderator of the effect of the intervention or the mediator on the outcome. The RPM approach to mediation offers an alternative way to perform mediation analysis when there may be unmeasured confounders. PMID:26717122

  3. Models and Moves: Focusing on Dimensions of Causal Complexity To Achieve Deeper Scientific Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perkins, David N.; Grotzer, Tina A.

    This paper presents the results of a research project based on the Understandings of Consequence Project. This study motivated students to engage in inquiry in science classrooms. The complexity of the models is divided into four categories--underlying causality, relational causality, probabilistic causality, and emergent causality--and provides…

  4. Causal biological network database: a comprehensive platform of causal biological network models focused on the pulmonary and vascular systems

    PubMed Central

    Boué, Stéphanie; Talikka, Marja; Westra, Jurjen Willem; Hayes, William; Di Fabio, Anselmo; Park, Jennifer; Schlage, Walter K.; Sewer, Alain; Fields, Brett; Ansari, Sam; Martin, Florian; Veljkovic, Emilija; Kenney, Renee; Peitsch, Manuel C.; Hoeng, Julia

    2015-01-01

    With the wealth of publications and data available, powerful and transparent computational approaches are required to represent measured data and scientific knowledge in a computable and searchable format. We developed a set of biological network models, scripted in the Biological Expression Language, that reflect causal signaling pathways across a wide range of biological processes, including cell fate, cell stress, cell proliferation, inflammation, tissue repair and angiogenesis in the pulmonary and cardiovascular context. This comprehensive collection of networks is now freely available to the scientific community in a centralized web-based repository, the Causal Biological Network database, which is composed of over 120 manually curated and well annotated biological network models and can be accessed at http://causalbionet.com. The website accesses a MongoDB, which stores all versions of the networks as JSON objects and allows users to search for genes, proteins, biological processes, small molecules and keywords in the network descriptions to retrieve biological networks of interest. The content of the networks can be visualized and browsed. Nodes and edges can be filtered and all supporting evidence for the edges can be browsed and is linked to the original articles in PubMed. Moreover, networks may be downloaded for further visualization and evaluation. Database URL: http://causalbionet.com PMID:25887162

  5. Dynamical Causal Modeling from a Quantum Dynamical Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demiralp, Emre; Demiralp, Metin

    2010-09-01

    Recent research suggests that any set of first order linear vector ODEs can be converted to a set of specific vector ODEs adhering to what we have called "Quantum Harmonical Form (QHF)". QHF has been developed using a virtual quantum multi harmonic oscillator system where mass and force constants are considered to be time variant and the Hamiltonian is defined as a conic structure over positions and momenta to conserve the Hermiticity. As described in previous works, the conversion to QHF requires the matrix coefficient of the first set of ODEs to be a normal matrix. In this paper, this limitation is circumvented using a space extension approach expanding the potential applicability of this method. Overall, conversion to QHF allows the investigation of a set of ODEs using mathematical tools available to the investigation of the physical concepts underlying quantum harmonic oscillators. The utility of QHF in the context of dynamical systems and dynamical causal modeling in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience is briefly discussed.

  6. Dynamical Causal Modeling from a Quantum Dynamical Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Demiralp, Emre; Demiralp, Metin

    2010-09-30

    Recent research suggests that any set of first order linear vector ODEs can be converted to a set of specific vector ODEs adhering to what we have called ''Quantum Harmonical Form (QHF)''. QHF has been developed using a virtual quantum multi harmonic oscillator system where mass and force constants are considered to be time variant and the Hamiltonian is defined as a conic structure over positions and momenta to conserve the Hermiticity. As described in previous works, the conversion to QHF requires the matrix coefficient of the first set of ODEs to be a normal matrix. In this paper, this limitation is circumvented using a space extension approach expanding the potential applicability of this method. Overall, conversion to QHF allows the investigation of a set of ODEs using mathematical tools available to the investigation of the physical concepts underlying quantum harmonic oscillators. The utility of QHF in the context of dynamical systems and dynamical causal modeling in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience is briefly discussed.

  7. Measured, modeled, and causal conceptions of fitness

    PubMed Central

    Abrams, Marshall

    2012-01-01

    This paper proposes partial answers to the following questions: in what senses can fitness differences plausibly be considered causes of evolution?What relationships are there between fitness concepts used in empirical research, modeling, and abstract theoretical proposals? How does the relevance of different fitness concepts depend on research questions and methodological constraints? The paper develops a novel taxonomy of fitness concepts, beginning with type fitness (a property of a genotype or phenotype), token fitness (a property of a particular individual), and purely mathematical fitness. Type fitness includes statistical type fitness, which can be measured from population data, and parametric type fitness, which is an underlying property estimated by statistical type fitnesses. Token fitness includes measurable token fitness, which can be measured on an individual, and tendential token fitness, which is assumed to be an underlying property of the individual in its environmental circumstances. Some of the paper's conclusions can be outlined as follows: claims that fitness differences do not cause evolution are reasonable when fitness is treated as statistical type fitness, measurable token fitness, or purely mathematical fitness. Some of the ways in which statistical methods are used in population genetics suggest that what natural selection involves are differences in parametric type fitnesses. Further, it's reasonable to think that differences in parametric type fitness can cause evolution. Tendential token fitnesses, however, are not themselves sufficient for natural selection. Though parametric type fitnesses are typically not directly measurable, they can be modeled with purely mathematical fitnesses and estimated by statistical type fitnesses, which in turn are defined in terms of measurable token fitnesses. The paper clarifies the ways in which fitnesses depend on pragmatic choices made by researchers. PMID:23112804

  8. Multivariate dynamical systems models for estimating causal interactions in fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Ryali, Srikanth; Supekar, Kaustubh; Chen, Tianwen; Menon, Vinod

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of dynamical interactions between distributed brain areas is of fundamental importance for understanding cognitive information processing. However, estimating dynamic causal interactions between brain regions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) poses several unique challenges. For one, fMRI measures Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signals, rather than the underlying latent neuronal activity. Second, regional variations in the hemodynamic response function (HRF) can significantly influence estimation of casual interactions between them. Third, causal interactions between brain regions can change with experimental context over time. To overcome these problems, we developed a novel state-space Multivariate Dynamical Systems (MDS) model to estimate intrinsic and experimentally-induced modulatory causal interactions between multiple brain regions. A probabilistic graphical framework is then used to estimate the parameters of MDS as applied to fMRI data. We show that MDS accurately takes into account regional variations in the HRF and estimates dynamic causal interactions at the level of latent signals. We develop and compare two estimation procedures using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) and variational Bayesian (VB) approaches for inferring model parameters. Using extensive computer simulations, we demonstrate that, compared to Granger causal analysis (GCA), MDS exhibits superior performance for a wide range of signal to noise ratios (SNRs), sample length and network size. Our simulations also suggest that GCA fails to uncover causal interactions when there is a conflict between the direction of intrinsic and modulatory influences. Furthermore, we show that MDS estimation using VB methods is more robust and performs significantly better at low SNRs and shorter time series than MDS with MLE. Our study suggests that VB estimation of MDS provides a robust method for estimating and interpreting causal network interactions in fMRI data

  9. Dark matter perturbations and viscosity: A causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acquaviva, Giovanni; John, Anslyn; Pénin, Aurélie

    2016-08-01

    The inclusion of dissipative effects in cosmic fluids modifies their clustering properties and could have observable effects on the formation of large-scale structures. We analyze the evolution of density perturbations of cold dark matter endowed with causal bulk viscosity. The perturbative analysis is carried out in the Newtonian approximation and the bulk viscosity is described by the causal Israel-Stewart (IS) theory. In contrast to the noncausal Eckart theory, we obtain a third-order evolution equation for the density contrast that depends on three free parameters. For certain parameter values, the density contrast and growth factor in IS mimic their behavior in Λ CDM when z ≥1 . Interestingly, and contrary to intuition, certain sets of parameters lead to an increase of the clustering.

  10. Scale invariance in the causal approach to renormalization theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, Dan R.

    2001-06-01

    The dilation invariance is studied in the framework of Epstein-Glaser approach to renormalization theory. Some analogues of the Callan-Symanzik equations are found and they are applied to the scalar field theory and to Yang-Mills models. We find the interesting result that, if all fields of the theory have zero masses, then from purely cohomological consideration, one can obtain the anomalous terms of logarithmic type.

  11. There aren't plenty more fish in the sea: a causal network approach.

    PubMed

    Nikolic, Milena; Lagnado, David A

    2015-11-01

    The current research investigated how lay representations of the causes of an environmental problem may underlie individuals' reasoning about the issue. Naïve participants completed an experiment that involved two main tasks. The causal diagram task required participants to depict the causal relations between a set of factors related to overfishing and to estimate the strength of these relations. The counterfactual task required participants to judge the effect of counterfactual suppositions based on the diagrammed factors. We explored two major questions: (1) what is the relation between individual causal models and counterfactual judgments? Consistent with previous findings (e.g., Green et al., 1998, Br. J. Soc. Psychology, 37, 415), these judgments were best explained by a combination of the strength of both direct and indirect causal paths. (2) To what extent do people use two-way causal thinking when reasoning about an environmental problem? In contrast to previous research (e.g., White, 2008, Appl. Cogn. Psychology, 22, 559), analyses based on individual causal networks revealed the presence of numerous feedback loops. The studies support the value of analysing individual causal models in contrast to consensual representations. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in relation to causal reasoning as well as environmental psychology. PMID:25597224

  12. Foliations and 2+1 causal dynamical triangulation models

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Tomasz

    2006-01-15

    The original models of causal dynamical triangulations construct space-time by arranging a set of simplices in layers separated by a fixed timelike distance. The importance of the foliation structure in the 2+1 dimensional model is studied by considering variations in which this property is relaxed. It turns out that the fixed-lapse condition can be equivalently replaced by a set of global constraints that have geometrical interpretation. On the other hand, the introduction of new types of simplices that puncture the foliating sheets in general leads to different low-energy behavior compared to the original model.

  13. Causal models of trip replanning in TravTek

    SciTech Connect

    Schryver, J.C.

    1998-07-01

    The TravTek operational field test was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of route planning, route guidance and various navigational aiding modalities for Advanced Traveler Information Systems in ground vehicles. A causal network was constructed in order to achieve a better understanding of the dependencies among variables implicated in the replanning process. Causal inferences were modeled using path analysis techniques. The original Yoked Driver study reported that addition of real-time navigation planning did not increase trip efficiency during initial trip planning. Data mining of the relatively complete database revealed that the incidence of dynamic trip replanning was only 0.51% or 1 out of every 198 trips. Nevertheless, the replanning acceptance rate was 92.8%, suggesting that less conservative criteria might have been acceptable to drivers. Several points can be made based upon the path analysis techniques. Drivers who rejected better route offers were more likely to be male renters; rejected routes were apparently offered at earlier times with a lower predicted time savings and fewer maneuvers. Failure to accept a better route also apparently resulted in fewer wrong-turn deviations. Contrary to expectations, wrong-turn count and time loss appeared as semi-independent hubs in the resultant causal network. Implications of the path analysis are discussed. Proposals for in-vehicle information systems are formulated to increase driver participation as co-planner, and increase the likelihood that trip replanning will positively impact trip efficiency.

  14. Development of a causal model for elder mistreatment.

    PubMed

    Pickering, Carolyn E Ziminski; Phillips, Linda R

    2014-01-01

    Elder mistreatment (EM) is an act committed by a person in a trusted relationship with an elderly person. Through the process of theory synthesis, a new model was developed, which explains the development of aggression (physical and verbal) toward elders by adult children in EM. The proposed model is set within the context of intimate partner violence and emphasizes that rather than arising in caregiving, aggression may be evident in the pre-caregiving relationship and continue into caregiving situations. An understanding of the causal origins of EM is essential in designing intervention to help families have healthy relationships. PMID:24547693

  15. An Isometric Dynamics for a Causal Set Approach to Discrete Quantum Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gudder, S.

    2015-12-01

    We consider a covariant causal set approach to discrete quantum gravity. We first review the microscopic picture of this approach. In this picture a universe grows one element at a time and its geometry is determined by a sequence of integers called the shell sequence. We next present the macroscopic picture which is described by a sequential growth process. We introduce a model in which the dynamics is governed by a quantum transition amplitude. The amplitude satisfies a stochastic and unitary condition and the resulting dynamics becomes isometric. We show that the dynamics preserves stochastic states. By "doubling down" on the dynamics we obtain a unitary group representation and a natural energy operator. These unitary operators are employed to define canonical position and momentum operators.

  16. Tractography-based priors for dynamic causal models

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Klaas Enno; Tittgemeyer, Marc; Knösche, Thomas R.; Moran, Rosalyn J.; Friston, Karl J.

    2009-01-01

    Functional integration in the brain rests on anatomical connectivity (the presence of axonal connections) and effective connectivity (the causal influences mediated by these connections). The deployment of anatomical connections provides important constraints on effective connectivity, but does not fully determine it, because synaptic connections can be expressed functionally in a dynamic and context-dependent fashion. Although it is generally assumed that anatomical connectivity data is important to guide the construction of neurobiologically realistic models of effective connectivity; the degree to which these models actually profit from anatomical constraints has not yet been formally investigated. Here, we use diffusion weighted imaging and probabilistic tractography to specify anatomically informed priors for dynamic causal models (DCMs) of fMRI data. We constructed 64 alternative DCMs, which embodied different mappings between the probability of an anatomical connection and the prior variance of the corresponding of effective connectivity, and fitted them to empirical fMRI data from 12 healthy subjects. Using Bayesian model selection, we show that the best model is one in which anatomical probability increases the prior variance of effective connectivity parameters in a nonlinear and monotonic (sigmoidal) fashion. This means that the higher the likelihood that a given connection exists anatomically, the larger one should set the prior variance of the corresponding coupling parameter; hence making it easier for the parameter to deviate from zero and represent a strong effective connection. To our knowledge, this study provides the first formal evidence that probabilistic knowledge of anatomical connectivity can improve models of functional integration. PMID:19523523

  17. Causal Analysis After Haavelmo

    PubMed Central

    Heckman, James; Pinto, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    Haavelmo's seminal 1943 and 1944 papers are the first rigorous treatment of causality. In them, he distinguished the definition of causal parameters from their identification. He showed that causal parameters are defined using hypothetical models that assign variation to some of the inputs determining outcomes while holding all other inputs fixed. He thus formalized and made operational Marshall's (1890) ceteris paribus analysis. We embed Haavelmo's framework into the recursive framework of Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs) used in one influential recent approach to causality (Pearl, 2000) and in the related literature on Bayesian nets (Lauritzen, 1996). We compare the simplicity of an analysis of causality based on Haavelmo's methodology with the complex and nonintuitive approach used in the causal literature of DAGs—the “do-calculus” of Pearl (2009). We discuss the severe limitations of DAGs and in particular of the do-calculus of Pearl in securing identification of economic models. We extend our framework to consider models for simultaneous causality, a central contribution of Haavelmo. In general cases, DAGs cannot be used to analyze models for simultaneous causality, but Haavelmo's approach naturally generalizes to cover them. PMID:25729123

  18. Risk-Based Causal Modeling of Airborne Loss of Separation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geuther, Steven C.; Shih, Ann T.

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining safe separation between aircraft remains one of the key aviation challenges as the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) emerges. The goals of the NextGen are to increase capacity and reduce flight delays to meet the aviation demand growth through the 2025 time frame while maintaining safety and efficiency. The envisioned NextGen is expected to enable high air traffic density, diverse fleet operations in the airspace, and a decrease in separation distance. All of these factors contribute to the potential for Loss of Separation (LOS) between aircraft. LOS is a precursor to a potential mid-air collision (MAC). The NASA Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP) is committed to developing aircraft separation assurance concepts and technologies to mitigate LOS instances, therefore, preventing MAC. This paper focuses on the analysis of causal and contributing factors of LOS accidents and incidents leading to MAC occurrences. Mid-air collisions among large commercial aircraft are rare in the past decade, therefore, the LOS instances in this study are for general aviation using visual flight rules in the years 2000-2010. The study includes the investigation of causal paths leading to LOS, and the development of the Airborne Loss of Separation Analysis Model (ALOSAM) using Bayesian Belief Networks (BBN) to capture the multi-dependent relations of causal factors. The ALOSAM is currently a qualitative model, although further development could lead to a quantitative model. ALOSAM could then be used to perform impact analysis of concepts and technologies in the AOSP portfolio on the reduction of LOS risk.

  19. Reconstructing constructivism: Causal models, Bayesian learning mechanisms and the theory theory

    PubMed Central

    Gopnik, Alison; Wellman, Henry M.

    2012-01-01

    We propose a new version of the “theory theory” grounded in the computational framework of probabilistic causal models and Bayesian learning. Probabilistic models allow a constructivist but rigorous and detailed approach to cognitive development. They also explain the learning of both more specific causal hypotheses and more abstract framework theories. We outline the new theoretical ideas, explain the computational framework in an intuitive and non-technical way, and review an extensive but relatively recent body of empirical results that supports these ideas. These include new studies of the mechanisms of learning. Children infer causal structure from statistical information, through their own actions on the world and through observations of the actions of others. Studies demonstrate these learning mechanisms in children from 16 months to 4 years old and include research on causal statistical learning, informal experimentation through play, and imitation and informal pedagogy. They also include studies of the variability and progressive character of intuitive theory change, particularly theory of mind. These studies investigate both the physical and psychological and social domains. We conclude with suggestions for further collaborative projects between developmental and computational cognitive scientists. PMID:22582739

  20. Reconstructing constructivism: causal models, Bayesian learning mechanisms, and the theory theory.

    PubMed

    Gopnik, Alison; Wellman, Henry M

    2012-11-01

    We propose a new version of the "theory theory" grounded in the computational framework of probabilistic causal models and Bayesian learning. Probabilistic models allow a constructivist but rigorous and detailed approach to cognitive development. They also explain the learning of both more specific causal hypotheses and more abstract framework theories. We outline the new theoretical ideas, explain the computational framework in an intuitive and nontechnical way, and review an extensive but relatively recent body of empirical results that supports these ideas. These include new studies of the mechanisms of learning. Children infer causal structure from statistical information, through their own actions on the world and through observations of the actions of others. Studies demonstrate these learning mechanisms in children from 16 months to 4 years old and include research on causal statistical learning, informal experimentation through play, and imitation and informal pedagogy. They also include studies of the variability and progressive character of intuitive theory change, particularly theory of mind. These studies investigate both the physical and the psychological and social domains. We conclude with suggestions for further collaborative projects between developmental and computational cognitive scientists. PMID:22582739

  1. Interference between Cues Requires a Causal Scenario: Favorable Evidence for Causal Reasoning Models in Learning Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luque, David; Cobos, Pedro L.; Lopez, Francisco J.

    2008-01-01

    In an interference-between-cues design (IbC), the expression of a learned Cue A-Outcome 1 association has been shown to be impaired if another cue, B, is separately paired with the same outcome in a second learning phase. The present study examined whether IbC could be caused by associative mechanisms independent of causal reasoning processes.…

  2. Spatiotemporal causal modeling for the management of Dengue Fever

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Hwa-Lung; Huang, Tailin; Lee, Chieh-Han

    2015-04-01

    Increasing climatic extremes have caused growing concerns about the health effects and disease outbreaks. The association between climate variation and the occurrence of epidemic diseases play an important role on a country's public health systems. Part of the impacts are direct casualties associated with the increasing frequency and intensity of typhoons, the proliferation of disease vectors and the short-term increase of clinic visits on gastro-intestinal discomforts, diarrhea, dermatosis, or psychological trauma. Other impacts come indirectly from the influence of disasters on the ecological and socio-economic systems, including the changes of air/water quality, living environment and employment condition. Previous risk assessment studies on dengue fever focus mostly on climatic and non-climatic factors and their association with vectors' reproducing pattern. The public-health implication may appear simple. Considering the seasonal changes and regional differences, however, the causality of the impacts is full of uncertainties. Without further investigation, the underlying dengue fever risk dynamics may not be assessed accurately. The objective of this study is to develop an epistemic framework for assessing dynamic dengue fever risk across space and time. The proposed framework integrates cross-departmental data, including public-health databases, precipitation data over time and various socio-economic data. We explore public-health issues induced by typhoon through literature review and spatiotemporal analytic techniques on public health databases. From those data, we identify relevant variables and possible causal relationships, and their spatiotemporal patterns derived from our proposed spatiotemporal techniques. Eventually, we create a spatiotemporal causal network and a framework for modeling dynamic dengue fever risk.

  3. On inference of causality for discrete state models in a multiscale context

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, Susanne; Horenko, Illia

    2014-01-01

    Discrete state models are a common tool of modeling in many areas. E.g., Markov state models as a particular representative of this model family became one of the major instruments for analysis and understanding of processes in molecular dynamics (MD). Here we extend the scope of discrete state models to the case of systematically missing scales, resulting in a nonstationary and nonhomogeneous formulation of the inference problem. We demonstrate how the recently developed tools of nonstationary data analysis and information theory can be used to identify the simultaneously most optimal (in terms of describing the given data) and most simple (in terms of complexity and causality) discrete state models. We apply the resulting formalism to a problem from molecular dynamics and show how the results can be used to understand the spatial and temporal causality information beyond the usual assumptions. We demonstrate that the most optimal explanation for the appropriately discretized/coarse-grained MD torsion angles data in a polypeptide is given by the causality that is localized both in time and in space, opening new possibilities for deploying percolation theory and stochastic subgridscale modeling approaches in the area of MD. PMID:25267630

  4. Uncertainty in Propensity Score Estimation: Bayesian Methods for Variable Selection and Model Averaged Causal Effects

    PubMed Central

    Zigler, Corwin Matthew; Dominici, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    Causal inference with observational data frequently relies on the notion of the propensity score (PS) to adjust treatment comparisons for observed confounding factors. As decisions in the era of “big data” are increasingly reliant on large and complex collections of digital data, researchers are frequently confronted with decisions regarding which of a high-dimensional covariate set to include in the PS model in order to satisfy the assumptions necessary for estimating average causal effects. Typically, simple or ad-hoc methods are employed to arrive at a single PS model, without acknowledging the uncertainty associated with the model selection. We propose three Bayesian methods for PS variable selection and model averaging that 1) select relevant variables from a set of candidate variables to include in the PS model and 2) estimate causal treatment effects as weighted averages of estimates under different PS models. The associated weight for each PS model reflects the data-driven support for that model’s ability to adjust for the necessary variables. We illustrate features of our proposed approaches with a simulation study, and ultimately use our methods to compare the effectiveness of surgical vs. nonsurgical treatment for brain tumors among 2,606 Medicare beneficiaries. Supplementary materials are available online. PMID:24696528

  5. Mediation Analysis With Intermediate Confounding: Structural Equation Modeling Viewed Through the Causal Inference Lens

    PubMed Central

    De Stavola, Bianca L.; Daniel, Rhian M.; Ploubidis, George B.; Micali, Nadia

    2015-01-01

    The study of mediation has a long tradition in the social sciences and a relatively more recent one in epidemiology. The first school is linked to path analysis and structural equation models (SEMs), while the second is related mostly to methods developed within the potential outcomes approach to causal inference. By giving model-free definitions of direct and indirect effects and clear assumptions for their identification, the latter school has formalized notions intuitively developed in the former and has greatly increased the flexibility of the models involved. However, through its predominant focus on nonparametric identification, the causal inference approach to effect decomposition via natural effects is limited to settings that exclude intermediate confounders. Such confounders are naturally dealt with (albeit with the caveats of informality and modeling inflexibility) in the SEM framework. Therefore, it seems pertinent to revisit SEMs with intermediate confounders, armed with the formal definitions and (parametric) identification assumptions from causal inference. Here we investigate: 1) how identification assumptions affect the specification of SEMs, 2) whether the more restrictive SEM assumptions can be relaxed, and 3) whether existing sensitivity analyses can be extended to this setting. Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (1990–2005) are used for illustration. PMID:25504026

  6. Optimal causal inference: Estimating stored information and approximating causal architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Still, Susanne; Crutchfield, James P.; Ellison, Christopher J.

    2010-09-01

    We introduce an approach to inferring the causal architecture of stochastic dynamical systems that extends rate-distortion theory to use causal shielding—a natural principle of learning. We study two distinct cases of causal inference: optimal causal filtering and optimal causal estimation. Filtering corresponds to the ideal case in which the probability distribution of measurement sequences is known, giving a principled method to approximate a system's causal structure at a desired level of representation. We show that in the limit in which a model-complexity constraint is relaxed, filtering finds the exact causal architecture of a stochastic dynamical system, known as the causal-state partition. From this, one can estimate the amount of historical information the process stores. More generally, causal filtering finds a graded model-complexity hierarchy of approximations to the causal architecture. Abrupt changes in the hierarchy, as a function of approximation, capture distinct scales of structural organization. For nonideal cases with finite data, we show how the correct number of the underlying causal states can be found by optimal causal estimation. A previously derived model-complexity control term allows us to correct for the effect of statistical fluctuations in probability estimates and thereby avoid overfitting.

  7. Causal Inference and Model Selection in Complex Settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shandong

    Propensity score methods have become a part of the standard toolkit for applied researchers who wish to ascertain causal effects from observational data. While they were originally developed for binary treatments, several researchers have proposed generalizations of the propensity score methodology for non-binary treatment regimes. In this article, we firstly review three main methods that generalize propensity scores in this direction, namely, inverse propensity weighting (IPW), the propensity function (P-FUNCTION), and the generalized propensity score (GPS), along with recent extensions of the GPS that aim to improve its robustness. We compare the assumptions, theoretical properties, and empirical performance of these methods. We propose three new methods that provide robust causal estimation based on the P-FUNCTION and GPS. While our proposed P-FUNCTION-based estimator preforms well, we generally advise caution in that all available methods can be biased by model misspecification and extrapolation. In a related line of research, we consider adjustment for posttreatment covariates in causal inference. Even in a randomized experiment, observations might have different compliance performance under treatment and control assignment. This posttreatment covariate cannot be adjusted using standard statistical methods. We review the principal stratification framework which allows for modeling this effect as part of its Bayesian hierarchical models. We generalize the current model to add the possibility of adjusting for pretreatment covariates. We also propose a new estimator of the average treatment effect over the entire population. In a third line of research, we discuss the spectral line detection problem in high energy astrophysics. We carefully review how this problem can be statistically formulated as a precise hypothesis test with point null hypothesis, why a usual likelihood ratio test does not apply for problem of this nature, and a doable fix to correctly

  8. Grief among Surviving Family Members of Homicide Victims: A Causal Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprang, M. Virginia; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Proposed causal model to delineate predictors of self-reported grief among surviving family members of homicide victims. Evaluated model using data from survey of members of "Victims of Violence" support groups. Results generally supported model and indicated that correlates of grief differed across gender-specific subgroups in terms of their…

  9. Estimating causal effects for multivalued treatments: a comparison of approaches.

    PubMed

    Linden, Ariel; Uysal, S Derya; Ryan, Andrew; Adams, John L

    2016-02-20

    Interventions with multivalued treatments are common in medical and health research, such as when comparing the efficacy of competing drugs or interventions, or comparing between various doses of a particular drug. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the development of multivalued treatment effect estimators using observational data. In this paper, we compare the performance of commonly used regression-based methods that estimate multivalued treatment effects based on the unconfoundedness assumption. These estimation methods fall into three general categories: (i) estimators based on a model for the outcome variable using conventional regression adjustment; (ii) weighted estimators based on a model for the treatment assignment; and (iii) 'doubly-robust' estimators that model both the treatment assignment and outcome variable within the same framework. We assess the performance of these models using Monte Carlo simulation and demonstrate their application with empirical data. Our results show that (i) when models estimating both the treatment and outcome are correctly specified, all adjustment methods provide similar unbiased estimates; (ii) when the outcome model is misspecified, regression adjustment performs poorly, while all the weighting methods provide unbiased estimates; (iii) when the treatment model is misspecified, methods based solely on modeling the treatment perform poorly, while regression adjustment and the doubly robust models provide unbiased estimates; and (iv) when both the treatment and outcome models are misspecified, all methods perform poorly. Given that researchers will rarely know which of the two models is misspecified, our results support the use of doubly robust estimation. PMID:26482211

  10. Ecological Interventionist Causal Models in Psychosis: Targeting Psychological Mechanisms in Daily Life.

    PubMed

    Reininghaus, Ulrich; Depp, Colin A; Myin-Germeys, Inez

    2016-03-01

    Integrated models of psychotic disorders have posited a number of putative psychological mechanisms that may contribute to the development of psychotic symptoms, but it is only recently that a modest amount of experience sampling research has provided evidence on their role in daily life, outside the research laboratory. A number of methodological challenges remain in evaluating specificity of potential causal links between a given psychological mechanism and psychosis outcomes in a systematic fashion, capitalizing on longitudinal data to investigate temporal ordering. In this article, we argue for testing ecological interventionist causal models that draw on real world and real-time delivered, ecological momentary interventions for generating evidence on several causal criteria (association, time order, and direction/sole plausibility) under real-world conditions, while maximizing generalizability to social contexts and experiences in heterogeneous populations. Specifically, this approach tests whether ecological momentary interventions can (1) modify a putative mechanism and (2) produce changes in the mechanism that lead to sustainable changes in intended psychosis outcomes in individuals' daily lives. Future research using this approach will provide translational evidence on the active ingredients of mobile health and in-person interventions that promote sustained effectiveness of ecological momentary interventions and, thereby, contribute to ongoing efforts that seek to enhance effectiveness of psychological interventions under real-world conditions. PMID:26707864

  11. Calculating and Understanding: Formal Models and Causal Explanations in Science, Common Reasoning and Physics Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besson, Ugo

    2010-03-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the different types of reasoning and physical explanation used in science, common thought, and physics teaching. It then reflects on the learning difficulties connected with these various approaches, and suggests some possible didactic strategies. Although causal reasoning occurs very frequently in common thought and daily life, it has long been the subject of debate and criticism among philosophers and scientists. In this paper, I begin by providing a description of some general tendencies of common reasoning that have been identified by didactic research. Thereafter, I briefly discuss the role of causality in science, as well as some different types of explanation employed in the field of physics. I then present some results of a study examining the causal reasoning used by students in solid and fluid mechanics. The differences found between the types of reasoning typical of common thought and those usually proposed during instruction can create learning difficulties and impede student motivation. Many students do not seem satisfied by the mere application of formal laws and functional relations. Instead, they express the need for a causal explanation, a mechanism that allows them to understand how a state of affairs has come about. I discuss few didactic strategies aimed at overcoming these problems, and describe, in general terms, two examples of mechanics teaching sequences which were developed and tested in different contexts. The paper ends with a reflection on the possible role to be played in physics learning by intuitive and imaginative thought, and the use of simple explanatory models based on physical analogies and causal mechanisms.

  12. Counterfactuals and Causal Models: Introduction to the Special Issue

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sloman, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

    Judea Pearl won the 2010 Rumelhart Prize in computational cognitive science due to his seminal contributions to the development of Bayes nets and causal Bayes nets, frameworks that are central to multiple domains of the computational study of mind. At the heart of the causal Bayes nets formalism is the notion of a counterfactual, a representation…

  13. Cause and Event: Supporting Causal Claims through Logistic Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connell, Ann A.; Gray, DeLeon L.

    2011-01-01

    Efforts to identify and support credible causal claims have received intense interest in the research community, particularly over the past few decades. In this paper, we focus on the use of statistical procedures designed to support causal claims for a treatment or intervention when the response variable of interest is dichotomous. We identify…

  14. Combining optogenetic stimulation and fMRI to validate a multivariate dynamical systems model for estimating causal brain interactions.

    PubMed

    Ryali, Srikanth; Shih, Yen-Yu Ian; Chen, Tianwen; Kochalka, John; Albaugh, Daniel; Fang, Zhongnan; Supekar, Kaustubh; Lee, Jin Hyung; Menon, Vinod

    2016-05-15

    State-space multivariate dynamical systems (MDS) (Ryali et al. 2011) and other causal estimation models are being increasingly used to identify directed functional interactions between brain regions. However, the validity and accuracy of such methods are poorly understood. Performance evaluation based on computer simulations of small artificial causal networks can address this problem to some extent, but they often involve simplifying assumptions that reduce biological validity of the resulting data. Here, we use a novel approach taking advantage of recently developed optogenetic fMRI (ofMRI) techniques to selectively stimulate brain regions while simultaneously recording high-resolution whole-brain fMRI data. ofMRI allows for a more direct investigation of causal influences from the stimulated site to brain regions activated downstream and is therefore ideal for evaluating causal estimation methods in vivo. We used ofMRI to investigate whether MDS models for fMRI can accurately estimate causal functional interactions between brain regions. Two cohorts of ofMRI data were acquired, one at Stanford University and the University of California Los Angeles (Cohort 1) and the other at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (Cohort 2). In each cohort, optical stimulation was delivered to the right primary motor cortex (M1). General linear model analysis revealed prominent downstream thalamic activation in Cohort 1, and caudate-putamen (CPu) activation in Cohort 2. MDS accurately estimated causal interactions from M1 to thalamus and from M1 to CPu in Cohort 1 and Cohort 2, respectively. As predicted, no causal influences were found in the reverse direction. Additional control analyses demonstrated the specificity of causal interactions between stimulated and target sites. Our findings suggest that MDS state-space models can accurately and reliably estimate causal interactions in ofMRI data and further validate their use for estimating causal interactions in f

  15. Combining optogenetic stimulation and fMRI to validate a multivariate dynamical systems model for estimating causal brain interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ryali, Srikanth; Ian Shih, Yen-Yu; Chen, Tianwen; Kochalka, John; Albaugh, Daniel; Fang, Zhongnan; Supekar, Kaustubh; Lee, Jin Hyung; Menon, Vinod

    2016-01-01

    State-space multivariate dynamical systems (MDS) (Ryali et al., 2011) and other causal estimation models are being increasingly used to identify directed functional interactions between brain regions. However, the validity and accuracy of such methods is poorly understood. Performance evaluation based on computer simulations of small artificial causal networks can address this problem to some extent, but they often involve simplifying assumptions that reduce biological validity of the resulting data. Here, we use a novel approach taking advantage of recently developed optogenetic fMRI (ofMRI) techniques to selectively stimulate brain regions while simultaneously recording high-resolution whole-brain fMRI data. ofMRI allows for a more direct investigation of causal influences from the stimulated site to brain regions activated downstream and is therefore ideal for evaluating causal estimation methods in vivo. We used ofMRI to investigate whether MDS models for fMRI can accurately estimate causal functional interactions between brain regions. Two cohorts of ofMRI data were acquired, one at Stanford University and the University of California Los Angeles (Cohort 1) and the other at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (Cohort 2). In each cohort optical stimulation was delivered to the right primary motor cortex (M1). General linear model analysis revealed prominent downstream thalamic activation in Cohort 1, and caudate-putamen (CPu) activation in Cohort 2. MDS accurately estimated causal interactions from M1 to thalamus and from M1 to CPu in Cohort 1 and Cohort 2, respectively. As predicted, no causal influences were found in the reverse direction. Additional control analyses demonstrated the specificity of causal interactions between stimulated and target sites. Our findings suggest that MDS state-space models can accurately and reliably estimate causal interactions in ofMRI data and further validate their use for estimating causal interactions in fMRI. More

  16. Establishing Causality Using Longitudinal Hierarchical Linear Modeling: An Illustration Predicting Achievement From Self-Control

    PubMed Central

    Duckworth, Angela Lee; Tsukayama, Eli; May, Henry

    2010-01-01

    The predictive validity of personality for important life outcomes is well established, but conventional longitudinal analyses cannot rule out the possibility that unmeasured third-variable confounds fully account for the observed relationships. Longitudinal hierarchical linear models (HLM) with time-varying covariates allow each subject to serve as his or her own control, thus eliminating between-individual confounds. HLM also allows the directionality of the causal relationship to be tested by reversing time-lagged predictor and outcome variables. We illustrate these techniques through a series of models that demonstrate that within-individual changes in self-control over time predict subsequent changes in GPA but not vice-versa. The evidence supporting a causal role for self-control was not moderated by IQ, gender, ethnicity, or income. Further analyses rule out one time-varying confound: self-esteem. The analytic approach taken in this study provides the strongest evidence to date for the causal role of self-control in determining achievement. PMID:20976121

  17. Gradient-based MCMC samplers for dynamic causal modelling

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Friston, Karl J.; Penny, Will D.

    2016-01-01

    In this technical note, we derive two MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) samplers for dynamic causal models (DCMs). Specifically, we use (a) Hamiltonian MCMC (HMC-E) where sampling is simulated using Hamilton’s equation of motion and (b) Langevin Monte Carlo algorithm (LMC-R and LMC-E) that simulates the Langevin diffusion of samples using gradients either on a Euclidean (E) or on a Riemannian (R) manifold. While LMC-R requires minimal tuning, the implementation of HMC-E is heavily dependent on its tuning parameters. These parameters are therefore optimised by learning a Gaussian process model of the time-normalised sample correlation matrix. This allows one to formulate an objective function that balances tuning parameter exploration and exploitation, furnishing an intervention-free inference scheme. Using neural mass models (NMMs)—a class of biophysically motivated DCMs—we find that HMC-E is statistically more efficient than LMC-R (with a Riemannian metric); yet both gradient-based samplers are far superior to the random walk Metropolis algorithm, which proves inadequate to steer away from dynamical instability. PMID:26213349

  18. Dynamic causal modelling for functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Tak, S.; Kempny, A.M.; Friston, K.J.; Leff, A.P.; Penny, W.D.

    2015-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an emerging technique for measuring changes in cerebral hemoglobin concentration via optical absorption changes. Although there is great interest in using fNIRS to study brain connectivity, current methods are unable to infer the directionality of neuronal connections. In this paper, we apply Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) to fNIRS data. Specifically, we present a generative model of how observed fNIRS data are caused by interactions among hidden neuronal states. Inversion of this generative model, using an established Bayesian framework (variational Laplace), then enables inference about changes in directed connectivity at the neuronal level. Using experimental data acquired during motor imagery and motor execution tasks, we show that directed (i.e., effective) connectivity from the supplementary motor area to the primary motor cortex is negatively modulated by motor imagery, and this suppressive influence causes reduced activity in the primary motor cortex during motor imagery. These results are consistent with findings of previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, suggesting that the proposed method enables one to infer directed interactions in the brain mediated by neuronal dynamics from measurements of optical density changes. PMID:25724757

  19. Developmental maturation of dynamic causal control signals in higher-order cognition: a neurocognitive network model.

    PubMed

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Menon, Vinod

    2012-02-01

    Cognitive skills undergo protracted developmental changes resulting in proficiencies that are a hallmark of human cognition. One skill that develops over time is the ability to problem solve, which in turn relies on cognitive control and attention abilities. Here we use a novel multimodal neurocognitive network-based approach combining task-related fMRI, resting-state fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate the maturation of control processes underlying problem solving skills in 7-9 year-old children. Our analysis focused on two key neurocognitive networks implicated in a wide range of cognitive tasks including control: the insula-cingulate salience network, anchored in anterior insula (AI), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, and the fronto-parietal central executive network, anchored in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex (PPC). We found that, by age 9, the AI node of the salience network is a major causal hub initiating control signals during problem solving. Critically, despite stronger AI activation, the strength of causal regulatory influences from AI to the PPC node of the central executive network was significantly weaker and contributed to lower levels of behavioral performance in children compared to adults. These results were validated using two different analytic methods for estimating causal interactions in fMRI data. In parallel, DTI-based tractography revealed weaker AI-PPC structural connectivity in children. Our findings point to a crucial role of AI connectivity, and its causal cross-network influences, in the maturation of dynamic top-down control signals underlying cognitive development. Overall, our study demonstrates how a unified neurocognitive network model when combined with multimodal imaging enhances our ability to generalize beyond individual task-activated foci and provides a common framework for elucidating key features of brain and cognitive development. The

  20. Does Teaching Students How to Explicitly Model the Causal Structure of Systems Improve Their Understanding of These Systems?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jensen, Eva

    2014-01-01

    If students really understand the systems they study, they would be able to tell how changes in the system would affect a result. This demands that the students understand the mechanisms that drive its behaviour. The study investigates potential merits of learning how to explicitly model the causal structure of systems. The approach and…

  1. Causal Modeling--Path Analysis a New Trend in Research in Applied Linguistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rastegar, Mina

    2006-01-01

    This article aims at discussing a new statistical trend in research in applied linguistics. This rather new statistical procedure is causal modeling--path analysis. The article demonstrates that causal modeling--path analysis is the best statistical option to use when the effects of a multitude of L2 learners' variables on language achievement are…

  2. Sensory Impairments and Autism: A Re-Examination of Causal Modelling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerrard, Sue; Rugg, Gordon

    2009-01-01

    Sensory impairments are widely reported in autism, but remain largely unexplained by existing models. This article examines Kanner's causal reasoning and identifies unsupported assumptions implicit in later empirical work. Our analysis supports a heterogeneous causal model for autistic characteristics. We propose that the development of a…

  3. The causal pie model: an epidemiological method applied to evolutionary biology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette

    2014-05-01

    A general concept for thinking about causality facilitates swift comprehension of results, and the vocabulary that belongs to the concept is instrumental in cross-disciplinary communication. The causal pie model has fulfilled this role in epidemiology and could be of similar value in evolutionary biology and ecology. In the causal pie model, outcomes result from sufficient causes. Each sufficient cause is made up of a "causal pie" of "component causes". Several different causal pies may exist for the same outcome. If and only if all component causes of a sufficient cause are present, that is, a causal pie is complete, does the outcome occur. The effect of a component cause hence depends on the presence of the other component causes that constitute some causal pie. Because all component causes are equally and fully causative for the outcome, the sum of causes for some outcome exceeds 100%. The causal pie model provides a way of thinking that maps into a number of recurrent themes in evolutionary biology and ecology: It charts when component causes have an effect and are subject to natural selection, and how component causes affect selection on other component causes; which partitions of outcomes with respect to causes are feasible and useful; and how to view the composition of a(n apparently homogeneous) population. The diversity of specific results that is directly understood from the causal pie model is a test for both the validity and the applicability of the model. The causal pie model provides a common language in which results across disciplines can be communicated and serves as a template along which future causal analyses can be made. PMID:24963386

  4. How can we cope with the complexity of the environment? A "Learning by modelling" approach using qualitative reasoning for developing causal models and simulations with focus on Sustainable River Catchment Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Michaela; Zitek, Andreas; Salles, Paulo; Bredeweg, Bert; Muhar, Susanne

    2010-05-01

    The education system needs strategies to attract future scientists and practitioners. There is an alarming decline in the number of students choosing science subjects. Reasons for this include the perceived complexity and the lack of effective cognitive tools that enable learners to acquire the expertise in a way that fits its qualitative nature. The DynaLearn project utilises a "Learning by modelling" approach to deliver an individualised and engaging cognitive tool for acquiring conceptual knowledge. The modelling approach is based on qualitative reasoning, a research area within artificial intelligence, and allows for capturing and simulating qualitative systems knowledge. Educational activities within the DynaLearn software address topics at different levels of complexity, depending on the educational goals and settings. DynaLearn uses virtual characters in the learning environment as agents for engaging and motivating the students during their modelling exercise. The DynaLearn software represents an interactive learning environment in which learners are in control of their learning activities. The software is able to coach them individually based on their current progress, their knowledge needs and learning goals. Within the project 70 expert models on different environmental issues covering seven core topics (Earth Systems and Resources, The Living World, Human population, Land and Water Use, Energy Resources and Consumption, Pollution, and Global Changes) will be delivered. In the context of the core topic "Land and Water Use" the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management has developed a model on Sustainable River Catchment Management. River systems with their catchments have been tremendously altered due to human pressures with serious consequences for the ecological integrity of riverine landscapes. The operation of hydropower plants, the implementation of flood protection measures, the regulation of flow and sediment regime and intensive

  5. Trajectories and causal phase-space approach to relativistic quantum mechanics

    SciTech Connect

    Holland, P.R.; Kyprianidis, A.; Vigier, J.P.

    1987-05-01

    The authors analyze phase-space approaches to relativistic quantum mechanics from the viewpoint of the causal interpretation. In particular, they discuss the canonical phase space associated with stochastic quantization, its relation to Hilbert space, and the Wigner-Moyal formalism. They then consider the nature of Feynman paths, and the problem of nonlocality, and conclude that a perfectly consistent relativistically covariant interpretation of quantum mechanics which retains the notion of particle trajectory is possible.

  6. Estimators for Clustered Education RCTs Using the Neyman Model for Causal Inference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schochet, Peter Z.

    2013-01-01

    This article examines the estimation of two-stage clustered designs for education randomized control trials (RCTs) using the nonparametric Neyman causal inference framework that underlies experiments. The key distinction between the considered causal models is whether potential treatment and control group outcomes are considered to be fixed for…

  7. Causal Agency Theory: Reconceptualizing a Functional Model of Self-Determination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shogren, Karrie A.; Wehmeyer, Michael L.; Palmer, Susan B.; Forber-Pratt, Anjali J.; Little, Todd J.; Lopez, Shane

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces Causal Agency Theory, an extension of the functional model of self-determination. Causal Agency Theory addresses the need for interventions and assessments pertaining to selfdetermination for all students and incorporates the significant advances in understanding of disability and in the field of positive psychology since the…

  8. Causality and headache triggers

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Dana P.; Smitherman, Todd A.; Martin, Vincent T.; Penzien, Donald B.; Houle, Timothy T.

    2013-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to explore the conditions necessary to assign causal status to headache triggers. Background The term “headache trigger” is commonly used to label any stimulus that is assumed to cause headaches. However, the assumptions required for determining if a given stimulus in fact has a causal-type relationship in eliciting headaches have not been explicated. Methods A synthesis and application of Rubin’s Causal Model is applied to the context of headache causes. From this application the conditions necessary to infer that one event (trigger) causes another (headache) are outlined using basic assumptions and examples from relevant literature. Results Although many conditions must be satisfied for a causal attribution, three basic assumptions are identified for determining causality in headache triggers: 1) constancy of the sufferer; 2) constancy of the trigger effect; and 3) constancy of the trigger presentation. A valid evaluation of a potential trigger’s effect can only be undertaken once these three basic assumptions are satisfied during formal or informal studies of headache triggers. Conclusions Evaluating these assumptions is extremely difficult or infeasible in clinical practice, and satisfying them during natural experimentation is unlikely. Researchers, practitioners, and headache sufferers are encouraged to avoid natural experimentation to determine the causal effects of headache triggers. Instead, formal experimental designs or retrospective diary studies using advanced statistical modeling techniques provide the best approaches to satisfy the required assumptions and inform causal statements about headache triggers. PMID:23534872

  9. Dynamic causal models of neural system dynamics: current state and future extensions

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Klaas E.; Harrison, Lee M.; Kiebel, Stefan J.; David, Olivier; Penny, Will D.; Friston, Karl J.

    2009-01-01

    Complex processes resulting from the interaction of multiple elements can rarely be understood by analytical scientific approaches alone; additionally, mathematical models of system dynamics are required. This insight, which disciplines like physics have embraced for a long time already, is gradually gaining importance in the study of cognitive processes by functional neuroimaging. In this field, causal mechanisms in neural systems are described in terms of effective connectivity. Recently, Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) was introduced as a generic method to estimate effective connectivity from neuroimaging data in a Bayesian fashion. One of the key advantages of DCM over previous methods is that it distinguishes between neural state equations and modality-specific forward models that translate neural activity into a measured signal. Another strength is its natural relation to Bayesian Model Selection (BMS) procedures. In this article, we review the conceptual and mathematical basis of DCM and its implementation for functional magnetic resonance imaging data and event-related potentials. After introducing the application of BMS in the context of DCM, we conclude with an outlook to future extensions of DCM. These extensions are guided by the long-term goal of using dynamic system models for pharmacological and clinical applications, particularly with regard to synaptic plasticity. PMID:17426386

  10. Causal inference based on counterfactuals

    PubMed Central

    Höfler, M

    2005-01-01

    Background The counterfactual or potential outcome model has become increasingly standard for causal inference in epidemiological and medical studies. Discussion This paper provides an overview on the counterfactual and related approaches. A variety of conceptual as well as practical issues when estimating causal effects are reviewed. These include causal interactions, imperfect experiments, adjustment for confounding, time-varying exposures, competing risks and the probability of causation. It is argued that the counterfactual model of causal effects captures the main aspects of causality in health sciences and relates to many statistical procedures. Summary Counterfactuals are the basis of causal inference in medicine and epidemiology. Nevertheless, the estimation of counterfactual differences pose several difficulties, primarily in observational studies. These problems, however, reflect fundamental barriers only when learning from observations, and this does not invalidate the counterfactual concept. PMID:16159397

  11. Conditional spectrum computation incorporating multiple causal earthquakes and ground-motion prediction models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lin, Ting; Harmsen, Stephen C.; Baker, Jack W.; Luco, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The conditional spectrum (CS) is a target spectrum (with conditional mean and conditional standard deviation) that links seismic hazard information with ground-motion selection for nonlinear dynamic analysis. Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) estimates the ground-motion hazard by incorporating the aleatory uncertainties in all earthquake scenarios and resulting ground motions, as well as the epistemic uncertainties in ground-motion prediction models (GMPMs) and seismic source models. Typical CS calculations to date are produced for a single earthquake scenario using a single GMPM, but more precise use requires consideration of at least multiple causal earthquakes and multiple GMPMs that are often considered in a PSHA computation. This paper presents the mathematics underlying these more precise CS calculations. Despite requiring more effort to compute than approximate calculations using a single causal earthquake and GMPM, the proposed approach produces an exact output that has a theoretical basis. To demonstrate the results of this approach and compare the exact and approximate calculations, several example calculations are performed for real sites in the western United States. The results also provide some insights regarding the circumstances under which approximate results are likely to closely match more exact results. To facilitate these more precise calculations for real applications, the exact CS calculations can now be performed for real sites in the United States using new deaggregation features in the U.S. Geological Survey hazard mapping tools. Details regarding this implementation are discussed in this paper.

  12. Seeing Perfectly Fitting Factor Models That Are Causally Misspecified: Understanding That Close-Fitting Models Can Be Worse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayduk, Leslie

    2014-01-01

    Researchers using factor analysis tend to dismiss the significant ill fit of factor models by presuming that if their factor model is close-to-fitting, it is probably close to being properly causally specified. Close fit may indeed result from a model being close to properly causally specified, but close-fitting factor models can also be seriously…

  13. Visual Causal Models Enhance Clinical Explanations of Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Nancy S.; Khalife, Danielle; Judge, Kelly A.; Paulus, Daniel J.; Jordan, Jake T.; Yopchick, Jennelle E.

    2013-01-01

    A daily challenge in clinical practice is to adequately explain disorders and treatments to patients of varying levels of literacy in a time-limited situation. Drawing jointly upon research on causal reasoning and multimodal theory, the authors asked whether adding visual causal models to clinical explanations promotes patient learning. Participants were 86 people currently or formerly diagnosed with a mood disorder and 104 lay people in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, who were randomly assigned to receive either a visual causal model (dual-mode) presentation or auditory-only presentation of an explanation about generalized anxiety disorder and its treatment. Participants' knowledge was tested before, immediately after, and 4 weeks after the presentation. Patients and lay people learned significantly more from visual causal model presentations than from auditory-only presentations, and visual causal models were perceived to be helpful. Participants retained some information 4 weeks after the presentation, although the advantage of visual causal models did not persist in the long term. In conclusion, dual-mode presentations featuring visual causal models yield significant relative gains in patient comprehension immediately after the clinical session, at a time when the authors suggest that patients may be most willing to begin the recommended treatment plan. PMID:24093349

  14. A Bayesian Nonparametric Causal Model for Regression Discontinuity Designs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karabatsos, George; Walker, Stephen G.

    2013-01-01

    The regression discontinuity (RD) design (Thistlewaite & Campbell, 1960; Cook, 2008) provides a framework to identify and estimate causal effects from a non-randomized design. Each subject of a RD design is assigned to the treatment (versus assignment to a non-treatment) whenever her/his observed value of the assignment variable equals or…

  15. Causal reasoning with forces

    PubMed Central

    Wolff, Phillip; Barbey, Aron K.

    2015-01-01

    Causal composition allows people to generate new causal relations by combining existing causal knowledge. We introduce a new computational model of such reasoning, the force theory, which holds that people compose causal relations by simulating the processes that join forces in the world, and compare this theory with the mental model theory (Khemlani et al., 2014) and the causal model theory (Sloman et al., 2009), which explain causal composition on the basis of mental models and structural equations, respectively. In one experiment, the force theory was uniquely able to account for people's ability to compose causal relationships from complex animations of real-world events. In three additional experiments, the force theory did as well as or better than the other two theories in explaining the causal compositions people generated from linguistically presented causal relations. Implications for causal learning and the hierarchical structure of causal knowledge are discussed. PMID:25653611

  16. Does teaching students how to explicitly model the causal structure of systems improve their understanding of these systems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, Eva

    2014-07-01

    If students really understand the systems they study, they would be able to tell how changes in the system would affect a result. This demands that the students understand the mechanisms that drive its behaviour. The study investigates potential merits of learning how to explicitly model the causal structure of systems. The approach and performance of 15 system dynamics students who are taught to explicitly model the causal structure of the systems they study were compared with the approach and performance of 22 engineering students, who generally did not receive such training. The task was to bring a computer-simulated predator-and-prey ecology to equilibrium. The system dynamics students were significantly more likely than the engineering students to correctly frame the problem. They were not much better at solving the task, however. It seemed that they had only learnt how to make models and not how to use them for reasoning.

  17. Causal modelling applied to the risk assessment of a wastewater discharge.

    PubMed

    Paul, Warren L; Rokahr, Pat A; Webb, Jeff M; Rees, Gavin N; Clune, Tim S

    2016-03-01

    Bayesian networks (BNs), or causal Bayesian networks, have become quite popular in ecological risk assessment and natural resource management because of their utility as a communication and decision-support tool. Since their development in the field of artificial intelligence in the 1980s, however, Bayesian networks have evolved and merged with structural equation modelling (SEM). Unlike BNs, which are constrained to encode causal knowledge in conditional probability tables, SEMs encode this knowledge in structural equations, which is thought to be a more natural language for expressing causal information. This merger has clarified the causal content of SEMs and generalised the method such that it can now be performed using standard statistical techniques. As it was with BNs, the utility of this new generation of SEM in ecological risk assessment will need to be demonstrated with examples to foster an understanding and acceptance of the method. Here, we applied SEM to the risk assessment of a wastewater discharge to a stream, with a particular focus on the process of translating a causal diagram (conceptual model) into a statistical model which might then be used in the decision-making and evaluation stages of the risk assessment. The process of building and testing a spatial causal model is demonstrated using data from a spatial sampling design, and the implications of the resulting model are discussed in terms of the risk assessment. It is argued that a spatiotemporal causal model would have greater external validity than the spatial model, enabling broader generalisations to be made regarding the impact of a discharge, and greater value as a tool for evaluating the effects of potential treatment plant upgrades. Suggestions are made on how the causal model could be augmented to include temporal as well as spatial information, including suggestions for appropriate statistical models and analyses. PMID:26832914

  18. A Bio-Inspired Memory Model Embedded with a Causality Reasoning Function for Structural Fault Location

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Wei; Wu, Chunxian

    2015-01-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is challenged by massive data storage pressure and structural fault location. In response to these issues, a bio-inspired memory model that is embedded with a causality reasoning function is proposed for fault location. First, the SHM data for processing are divided into three temporal memory areas to control data volume reasonably. Second, the inherent potential of the causal relationships in structural state monitoring is mined. Causality and dependence indices are also proposed to establish the mechanism of quantitative description of the reason and result events. Third, a mechanism of causality reasoning is developed for the reason and result events to locate faults in a SHM system. Finally, a deformation experiment conducted on a steel spring plate demonstrates that the proposed model can be applied to real-time acquisition, compact data storage, and system fault location in a SHM system. Moreover, the model is compared with some typical methods based on an experimental benchmark dataset. PMID:25798991

  19. Structure-Based Statistical Mechanical Model Accounts for the Causality and Energetics of Allosteric Communication.

    PubMed

    Guarnera, Enrico; Berezovsky, Igor N

    2016-03-01

    Allostery is one of the pervasive mechanisms through which proteins in living systems carry out enzymatic activity, cell signaling, and metabolism control. Effective modeling of the protein function regulation requires a synthesis of the thermodynamic and structural views of allostery. We present here a structure-based statistical mechanical model of allostery, allowing one to observe causality of communication between regulatory and functional sites, and to estimate per residue free energy changes. Based on the consideration of ligand free and ligand bound systems in the context of a harmonic model, corresponding sets of characteristic normal modes are obtained and used as inputs for an allosteric potential. This potential quantifies the mean work exerted on a residue due to the local motion of its neighbors. Subsequently, in a statistical mechanical framework the entropic contribution to allosteric free energy of a residue is directly calculated from the comparison of conformational ensembles in the ligand free and ligand bound systems. As a result, this method provides a systematic approach for analyzing the energetics of allosteric communication based on a single structure. The feasibility of the approach was tested on a variety of allosteric proteins, heterogeneous in terms of size, topology and degree of oligomerization. The allosteric free energy calculations show the diversity of ways and complexity of scenarios existing in the phenomenology of allosteric causality and communication. The presented model is a step forward in developing the computational techniques aimed at detecting allosteric sites and obtaining the discriminative power between agonistic and antagonistic effectors, which are among the major goals in allosteric drug design. PMID:26939022

  20. Structure-Based Statistical Mechanical Model Accounts for the Causality and Energetics of Allosteric Communication

    PubMed Central

    Guarnera, Enrico; Berezovsky, Igor N.

    2016-01-01

    Allostery is one of the pervasive mechanisms through which proteins in living systems carry out enzymatic activity, cell signaling, and metabolism control. Effective modeling of the protein function regulation requires a synthesis of the thermodynamic and structural views of allostery. We present here a structure-based statistical mechanical model of allostery, allowing one to observe causality of communication between regulatory and functional sites, and to estimate per residue free energy changes. Based on the consideration of ligand free and ligand bound systems in the context of a harmonic model, corresponding sets of characteristic normal modes are obtained and used as inputs for an allosteric potential. This potential quantifies the mean work exerted on a residue due to the local motion of its neighbors. Subsequently, in a statistical mechanical framework the entropic contribution to allosteric free energy of a residue is directly calculated from the comparison of conformational ensembles in the ligand free and ligand bound systems. As a result, this method provides a systematic approach for analyzing the energetics of allosteric communication based on a single structure. The feasibility of the approach was tested on a variety of allosteric proteins, heterogeneous in terms of size, topology and degree of oligomerization. The allosteric free energy calculations show the diversity of ways and complexity of scenarios existing in the phenomenology of allosteric causality and communication. The presented model is a step forward in developing the computational techniques aimed at detecting allosteric sites and obtaining the discriminative power between agonistic and antagonistic effectors, which are among the major goals in allosteric drug design. PMID:26939022

  1. A new life-span approach to conscientiousness and health: combining the pieces of the causal puzzle.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Howard S; Kern, Margaret L; Hampson, Sarah E; Duckworth, Angela Lee

    2014-05-01

    Conscientiousness has been shown to predict healthy behaviors, healthy social relationships, and physical health and longevity. The causal links, however, are complex and not well elaborated. Many extant studies have used comparable measures for conscientiousness, and a systematic endeavor to build cross-study analyses for conscientiousness and health now seems feasible. Of particular interest are efforts to construct new, more comprehensive causal models by linking findings and combining data from existing studies of different cohorts. Although methodological perils can threaten such integration, such efforts offer an early opportunity to enliven a life course perspective on conscientiousness, to see whether component facets of conscientiousness remain related to each other and to relevant mediators across broad spans of time, and to bolster the findings of the few long-term longitudinal studies of the dynamics of personality and health. A promising approach to testing new models involves pooling data from extant studies as an efficient and heuristic prelude to large-scale testing of interventions. PMID:23088747

  2. Investigating Causality Between Interacting Brain Areas with Multivariate Autoregressive Models of MEG Sensor Data

    PubMed Central

    Michalareas, George; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; Paterson, Gavin; Gross, Joachim

    2013-01-01

    Abstract In this work, we investigate the feasibility to estimating causal interactions between brain regions based on multivariate autoregressive models (MAR models) fitted to magnetoencephalographic (MEG) sensor measurements. We first demonstrate the theoretical feasibility of estimating source level causal interactions after projection of the sensor-level model coefficients onto the locations of the neural sources. Next, we show with simulated MEG data that causality, as measured by partial directed coherence (PDC), can be correctly reconstructed if the locations of the interacting brain areas are known. We further demonstrate, if a very large number of brain voxels is considered as potential activation sources, that PDC as a measure to reconstruct causal interactions is less accurate. In such case the MAR model coefficients alone contain meaningful causality information. The proposed method overcomes the problems of model nonrobustness and large computation times encountered during causality analysis by existing methods. These methods first project MEG sensor time-series onto a large number of brain locations after which the MAR model is built on this large number of source-level time-series. Instead, through this work, we demonstrate that by building the MAR model on the sensor-level and then projecting only the MAR coefficients in source space, the true casual pathways are recovered even when a very large number of locations are considered as sources. The main contribution of this work is that by this methodology entire brain causality maps can be efficiently derived without any a priori selection of regions of interest. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:22328419

  3. A restricted dimer model on a two-dimensional random causal triangulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambjørn, J.; Durhuus, B.; Wheater, J. F.

    2014-09-01

    We introduce a restricted hard dimer model on a random causal triangulation that is exactly solvable and generalizes a model recently proposed by Atkin and Zohren (2012 Phys. Lett. B 712 445-50). We show that the latter model exhibits unusual behaviour at its multicritical point; in particular, its Hausdorff dimension equals 3 and not 3/2 as would be expected from general scaling arguments. When viewed as a special case of the generalized model introduced here we show that this behaviour is not generic and therefore is not likely to represent the true behaviour of the full dimer model on a random causal triangulation.

  4. Expectations and Interpretations During Causal Learning

    PubMed Central

    Luhmann, Christian C.; Ahn, Woo-kyoung

    2012-01-01

    In existing models of causal induction, 4 types of covariation information (i.e., presence/absence of an event followed by presence/absence of another event) always exert identical influences on causal strength judgments (e.g., joint presence of events always suggests a generative causal relationship). In contrast, we suggest that, due to expectations developed during causal learning, learners give varied interpretations to covariation information as it is encountered and that these interpretations influence the resulting causal beliefs. In Experiments 1A–1C, participants’ interpretations of observations during a causal learning task were dynamic, expectation based, and, furthermore, strongly tied to subsequent causal judgments. Experiment 2 demonstrated that adding trials of joint absence or joint presence of events, whose roles have been traditionally interpreted as increasing causal strengths, could result in decreased overall causal judgments and that adding trials where one event occurs in the absence of another, whose roles have been traditionally interpreted as decreasing causal strengths, could result in increased overall causal judgments. We discuss implications for traditional models of causal learning and how a more top-down approach (e.g., Bayesian) would be more compatible with the current findings. PMID:21534705

  5. Making the Case for Causal Dynamical Triangulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooperman, Joshua H.

    2015-11-01

    The aim of the causal dynamical triangulations approach is to define nonperturbatively a quantum theory of gravity as the continuum limit of a lattice-regularized model of dynamical geometry. My aim in this paper is to give a concise yet comprehensive, impartial yet personal presentation of the causal dynamical triangulations approach.

  6. Campbell's and Rubin's Perspectives on Causal Inference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Stephen G.; Thoemmes, Felix

    2010-01-01

    Donald Campbell's approach to causal inference (D. T. Campbell, 1957; W. R. Shadish, T. D. Cook, & D. T. Campbell, 2002) is widely used in psychology and education, whereas Donald Rubin's causal model (P. W. Holland, 1986; D. B. Rubin, 1974, 2005) is widely used in economics, statistics, medicine, and public health. Campbell's approach focuses on…

  7. Introduction to Causal Dynamical Triangulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görlich, Andrzej

    The method of causal dynamical triangulations is a non-perturbative and background-independent approach to quantum theory of gravity. In this review we present recent results obtained within the four dimensional model of causal dynamical triangulations. We describe the phase structure of the model and demonstrate how a macroscopic four-dimensional de Sitter universe emerges dynamically from the full gravitational path integral. We show how to reconstruct the effective action describing scale factor fluctuations from Monte Carlo data.

  8. Promoting Causal Agency: The Self-Determination Learning Model of Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wehmeyer, Michael L.; Palmer, Susan B.; Agran, Martin; Mithaug, Dennis E.; Martin, James E.

    2000-01-01

    This article introduces a model of teaching, The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction, incorporating principles of self-determination, which enables teachers to teach students to become causal agents in their own lives. Results from a field test indicate students (N=40) receiving instruction from teachers using the model attained…

  9. A Tool To Support Failure Mode And Effects Analysis Based On Causal Modelling And Reasoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Underwood, W. E.; Laib, S. L.

    1987-05-01

    A prototype knowledge-based system has been developed that supports Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA). The knowledge base consists of causal models of components and a representation for coupling these components into assemblies and systems. The causal models are qualitative models. They allow reasoning as to whether variables are increasing, decreasing or steady. The analysis strategies used by the prototype allow it to determine the effects of failure modes on the function of the part, the failure effect on the assembly the part is contained in, and the effect on the subsystem containing the assembly.

  10. Epidemiological causality.

    PubMed

    Morabia, Alfredo

    2005-01-01

    Epidemiological methods, which combine population thinking and group comparisons, can primarily identify causes of disease in populations. There is therefore a tension between our intuitive notion of a cause, which we want to be deterministic and invariant at the individual level, and the epidemiological notion of causes, which are invariant only at the population level. Epidemiologists have given heretofore a pragmatic solution to this tension. Causal inference in epidemiology consists in checking the logical coherence of a causality statement and determining whether what has been found grossly contradicts what we think we already know: how strong is the association? Is there a dose-response relationship? Does the cause precede the effect? Is the effect biologically plausible? Etc. This approach to causal inference can be traced back to the English philosophers David Hume and John Stuart Mill. On the other hand, the mode of establishing causality, devised by Jakob Henle and Robert Koch, which has been fruitful in bacteriology, requires that in every instance the effect invariably follows the cause (e.g., inoculation of Koch bacillus and tuberculosis). This is incompatible with epidemiological causality which has to deal with probabilistic effects (e.g., smoking and lung cancer), and is therefore invariant only for the population. PMID:16898206

  11. Scheduling with partial orders and a causal model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boddy, Mark; Carciofini, Jim; Hadden, George D.

    1993-01-01

    In an ongoing project at Honeywell SRC, we are constructing a prototype scheduling system for a NASA domain using the 'Time Map Manager' (TMM). The TMM representations are flexible enough to permit the representation of precedence constraints, metric constraints between activities, and constraints relative to a variety of references (e.g., Mission Elapsed Time vs. Mission Day). The TMM also supports a simple form of causal reasoning (projection), dynamic database updates, and monitoring specified database properties as changes occur over time. The greatest apparent advantage to using the TMM is the flexibility added to the scheduling process: schedules are constructed by a process of 'iterative refinement,' in which scheduling decisions correspond to constraining an activity either with respect to another activity or with respect to one time line. The schedule becomes more detailed as activities and constraints are added. Undoing a scheduling decision means removing a constraint, not removing an activity from a specified place on the time line. For example, we can move an activity around on the time line by deleting constraints and adding new ones.

  12. Connectivity-based neurofeedback: dynamic causal modeling for real-time fMRI.

    PubMed

    Koush, Yury; Rosa, Maria Joao; Robineau, Fabien; Heinen, Klaartje; W Rieger, Sebastian; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Van De Ville, Dimitri; Scharnowski, Frank

    2013-11-01

    Neurofeedback based on real-time fMRI is an emerging technique that can be used to train voluntary control of brain activity. Such brain training has been shown to lead to behavioral effects that are specific to the functional role of the targeted brain area. However, real-time fMRI-based neurofeedback so far was limited to mainly training localized brain activity within a region of interest. Here, we overcome this limitation by presenting near real-time dynamic causal modeling in order to provide feedback information based on connectivity between brain areas rather than activity within a single brain area. Using a visual-spatial attention paradigm, we show that participants can voluntarily control a feedback signal that is based on the Bayesian model comparison between two predefined model alternatives, i.e. the connectivity between left visual cortex and left parietal cortex vs. the connectivity between right visual cortex and right parietal cortex. Our new approach thus allows for training voluntary control over specific functional brain networks. Because most mental functions and most neurological disorders are associated with network activity rather than with activity in a single brain region, this novel approach is an important methodological innovation in order to more directly target functionally relevant brain networks. PMID:23668967

  13. Calculating and Understanding: Formal Models and Causal Explanations in Science, Common Reasoning and Physics Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besson, Ugo

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the different types of reasoning and physical explanation used in science, common thought, and physics teaching. It then reflects on the learning difficulties connected with these various approaches, and suggests some possible didactic strategies. Although causal reasoning occurs very frequently in common thought…

  14. Localization of causal locus in the genome of the brown macroalga Ectocarpus: NGS-based mapping and positional cloning approaches.

    PubMed

    Billoud, Bernard; Jouanno, Émilie; Nehr, Zofia; Carton, Baptiste; Rolland, Élodie; Chenivesse, Sabine; Charrier, Bénédicte

    2015-01-01

    Mutagenesis is the only process by which unpredicted biological gene function can be identified. Despite that several macroalgal developmental mutants have been generated, their causal mutation was never identified, because experimental conditions were not gathered at that time. Today, progresses in macroalgal genomics and judicious choices of suitable genetic models make mutated gene identification possible. This article presents a comparative study of two methods aiming at identifying a genetic locus in the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus: positional cloning and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based mapping. Once necessary preliminary experimental tools were gathered, we tested both analyses on an Ectocarpus morphogenetic mutant. We show how a narrower localization results from the combination of the two methods. Advantages and drawbacks of these two approaches as well as potential transfer to other macroalgae are discussed. PMID:25745426

  15. Localization of causal locus in the genome of the brown macroalga Ectocarpus: NGS-based mapping and positional cloning approaches

    PubMed Central

    Billoud, Bernard; Jouanno, Émilie; Nehr, Zofia; Carton, Baptiste; Rolland, Élodie; Chenivesse, Sabine; Charrier, Bénédicte

    2015-01-01

    Mutagenesis is the only process by which unpredicted biological gene function can be identified. Despite that several macroalgal developmental mutants have been generated, their causal mutation was never identified, because experimental conditions were not gathered at that time. Today, progresses in macroalgal genomics and judicious choices of suitable genetic models make mutated gene identification possible. This article presents a comparative study of two methods aiming at identifying a genetic locus in the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus: positional cloning and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based mapping. Once necessary preliminary experimental tools were gathered, we tested both analyses on an Ectocarpus morphogenetic mutant. We show how a narrower localization results from the combination of the two methods. Advantages and drawbacks of these two approaches as well as potential transfer to other macroalgae are discussed. PMID:25745426

  16. A Typology of Causal Models for Plate Tectonics: Inferential Power and Barriers to Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gobert, Janice D.

    2000-01-01

    Analyzes fifth grade students' diagrams and explanations for the spatial, causal, and dynamic processes inside the earth. Identifies and characterizes the different types of student models for the inside of the earth, and characterizes the reasoning associated with these models. (Contains 74 references.) (Author/YDS)

  17. Sex and Self-Control Theory: The Measures and Causal Model May Be Different

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgins, George E.; Tewksbury, Richard

    2006-01-01

    This study examines the distribution differences across sexes in key measures of self-control theory and differences in a causal model. Using cross-sectional data from juveniles ("n" = 1,500), the study shows mean-level differences in many of the self-control, risky behavior, and delinquency measures. Structural equation modeling findings support…

  18. From Correlation to Causality: Statistical Approaches to Learning Regulatory Relationships in Large-Scale Biomolecular Investigations.

    PubMed

    Ness, Robert O; Sachs, Karen; Vitek, Olga

    2016-03-01

    Causal inference, the task of uncovering regulatory relationships between components of biomolecular pathways and networks, is a primary goal of many high-throughput investigations. Statistical associations between observed protein concentrations can suggest an enticing number of hypotheses regarding the underlying causal interactions, but when do such associations reflect the underlying causal biomolecular mechanisms? The goal of this perspective is to provide suggestions for causal inference in large-scale experiments, which utilize high-throughput technologies such as mass-spectrometry-based proteomics. We describe in nontechnical terms the pitfalls of inference in large data sets and suggest methods to overcome these pitfalls and reliably find regulatory associations. PMID:26731284

  19. Causality-weighted active learning for abnormal event identification based on the topic model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Yawen; Zheng, Shibao; Yang, Hua; Zhang, Chongyang; Su, Hang

    2012-07-01

    Abnormal event identification in crowded scenes is a fundamental task for video surveillance. However, it is still challenging for most current approaches because of the general insufficiency of labeled data for training, particularly for abnormal data. We propose a novel active-supervised joint topic model for learning activity and training sample collection. First, a multi-class topic model is constructed based on the initial training data. Then the remaining unlabeled data stream is surveyed. The system actively decides whether it can label a new sample by itself or if it has to ask a human annotator. After each query, the current model is incrementally updated. To alleviate class imbalance, causality-weighted method is applied to both likelihood and uncertainty sampling for active learning. Furthermore, a combination of a new measure termed query entropy and the overall classification accuracy is used for assessing the model performance. Experimental results on two real-world traffic videos for abnormal event identification tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  20. Synchronizaton and causality across time-scales of observed and modelled ENSO dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jajcay, Nikola; Kravtsov, Sergey; Tsonis, Anastasios A.; Paluš, Milan

    2016-04-01

    Phase-phase and phase-amplitude interactions between dynamics on different temporal scales has been observed in ENSO dynamics, captured by the NINO3.4 index, using the approach for identification of cross-scale interactions introduced recently by Paluš [1]. The most pronounced interactions across scales are phase coherence and phase-phase causality in which the annual cycle influences the dynamics on the quasibiennial scale. The phase of slower phenomena on the scale 4-6 years influences not only the combination frequencies around the period one year, but also the phase of the annual cycle and also the amplitude of the oscillations in the quasibiennial range. In order to understand these nonlinear phenomena we investigate cross-scale interactions in synthetic, modelled NINO3.4 time series. The models taken into account were a selection of 96 historic runs from CMIP5 project, and two low-dimensional models - parametric recharge oscillator (PRO) [2], which is a two-dimensional dynamical model and a data-driven model based on the idea of linear inverse models [3]. The latter is a statistical model, in our setting 25-dimensional. While the two dimensions of the PRO model are not enough to capture all the cross-scale interactions, the results from the data-driven model are more promising and they resemble the interactions found in NINO3.4 measured data set. We believe that combination of models of different complexity will help to uncover mechanisms of the cross-scale interactions which might be the key for better understanding of the irregularities in the ENSO dynamics. This study is supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic within the Program KONTAKT II, Project No. LH14001. [1] M. Palus, Phys. Rev. Let. 112 078702 (2014) [2] K. Stein et al., J. Climate, 27, 14 (2014) [3] Kondrashov et al., J. Climate, 18, 21 (2005)

  1. Combining GWAS and RNA-Seq Approaches for Detection of the Causal Mutation for Hereditary Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa in Sheep.

    PubMed

    Suárez-Vega, Aroa; Gutiérrez-Gil, Beatriz; Benavides, Julio; Perez, Valentín; Tosser-Klopp, Gwenola; Klopp, Christophe; Keennel, Stephen J; Arranz, Juan José

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the use of a genome-wide association mapping together with RNA-seq in a reduced number of samples, as an efficient approach to detect the causal mutation for a Mendelian disease. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa is a recessive genodermatosis that manifests with neonatal mechanical fragility of the skin, blistering confined to the lamina lucida of the basement membrane and severe alteration of the hemidesmosomal junctions. In Spanish Churra sheep, junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) has been detected in two commercial flocks. The JEB locus was mapped to Ovis aries chromosome 11 by GWAS and subsequently fine-mapped to an 868-kb homozygous segment using the identical-by-descent method. The ITGB4, which is located within this region, was identified as the best positional and functional candidate gene. The RNA-seq variant analysis enabled us to discover a 4-bp deletion within exon 33 of the ITGB4 gene (c.4412_4415del). The c.4412_4415del mutation causes a frameshift resulting in a premature stop codon at position 1472 of the integrin β4 protein. A functional analysis of this deletion revealed decreased levels of mRNA in JEB skin samples and the absence of integrin β4 labeling in immunohistochemical assays. Genotyping of c.4412_4415del showed perfect concordance with the recessive mode of the disease phenotype. Selection against this causal mutation will now be used to solve the problem of JEB in flocks of Churra sheep. Furthermore, the identification of the ITGB4 mutation means that affected sheep can be used as a large mammal animal model for the human form of epidermolysis bullosa with aplasia cutis. Our approach evidences that RNA-seq offers cost-effective alternative to identify variants in the species in which high resolution exome-sequencing is not straightforward. PMID:25955497

  2. Combining GWAS and RNA-Seq Approaches for Detection of the Causal Mutation for Hereditary Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa in Sheep

    PubMed Central

    Suárez-Vega, Aroa; Gutiérrez-Gil, Beatriz; Benavides, Julio; Perez, Valentín; Tosser-Klopp, Gwenola; Klopp, Christophe; Keennel, Stephen J.; Arranz, Juan José

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the use of a genome-wide association mapping together with RNA-seq in a reduced number of samples, as an efficient approach to detect the causal mutation for a Mendelian disease. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa is a recessive genodermatosis that manifests with neonatal mechanical fragility of the skin, blistering confined to the lamina lucida of the basement membrane and severe alteration of the hemidesmosomal junctions. In Spanish Churra sheep, junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) has been detected in two commercial flocks. The JEB locus was mapped to Ovis aries chromosome 11 by GWAS and subsequently fine-mapped to an 868-kb homozygous segment using the identical-by-descent method. The ITGB4, which is located within this region, was identified as the best positional and functional candidate gene. The RNA-seq variant analysis enabled us to discover a 4-bp deletion within exon 33 of the ITGB4 gene (c.4412_4415del). The c.4412_4415del mutation causes a frameshift resulting in a premature stop codon at position 1472 of the integrin β4 protein. A functional analysis of this deletion revealed decreased levels of mRNA in JEB skin samples and the absence of integrin β4 labeling in immunohistochemical assays. Genotyping of c.4412_4415del showed perfect concordance with the recessive mode of the disease phenotype. Selection against this causal mutation will now be used to solve the problem of JEB in flocks of Churra sheep. Furthermore, the identification of the ITGB4 mutation means that affected sheep can be used as a large mammal animal model for the human form of epidermolysis bullosa with aplasia cutis. Our approach evidences that RNA-seq offers cost-effective alternative to identify variants in the species in which high resolution exome-sequencing is not straightforward. PMID:25955497

  3. Investigating the functional role of callosal connections with dynamic causal models

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Klaas E.; Penny, Will D.; Marshall, John C.; Fink, Gereon R.; Friston, Karl J.

    2009-01-01

    The anatomy of the corpus callosum has been described in considerable detail. Tracing studies in animals and human post-mortem experiments are currently complemented by diffusion-weighted imaging, which enables non-invasive investigations of callosal connectivity to be conducted. In contrast to the wealth of anatomical data, little is known about the principles by which inter-hemispheric integration is mediated by callosal connections. Most importantly, we lack insights into the mechanisms that determine the functional role of callosal connections in a context-dependent fashion. These mechanisms can now be disclosed by models of effective connectivity that explain neuroimaging data from paradigms which manipulate inter-hemispheric interactions. In this article, we demonstrate that Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM), in conjunction with Bayesian model selection (BMS), is a powerful approach to disentangling the various factors that determine the functional role of callosal connections. We first review the theoretical foundations of DCM and BMS before demonstrating the application of these techniques to empirical data from a single subject. PMID:16394145

  4. Hume, Mill, Hill, and the Sui Generis Epidemiologic Approach to Causal Inference

    PubMed Central

    Morabia, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    The epidemiologic approach to causal inference (i.e., Hill's viewpoints) consists of evaluating potential causes from the following 2, noncumulative angles: 1) established results from comparative, observational, or experimental epidemiologic studies; and 2) reviews of nonepidemiologic evidence. It does not involve statements of statistical significance. The philosophical roots of Hill's viewpoints are unknown. Superficially, they seem to descend from the ideas of Hume and Mill. Hill's viewpoints, however, use a different kind of evidence and have different purposes than do Hume's rules or Mill's system of logic. In a nutshell, Hume ignores comparative evidence central to Hill's viewpoints. Mill's logic disqualifies as invalid nonexperimental evidence, which forms the bulk of epidemiologic findings reviewed from Hill's viewpoints. The approaches by Hume and Mill cannot corroborate successful implementations of Hill's viewpoints. Besides Hume and Mill, the epidemiologic literature is clueless about a plausible, pre-1965 philosophical origin of Hill's viewpoints. Thus, Hill's viewpoints may be philosophically novel, sui generis, still waiting to be validated and justified. PMID:24071010

  5. Hume, Mill, Hill, and the sui generis epidemiologic approach to causal inference.

    PubMed

    Morabia, Alfredo

    2013-11-15

    The epidemiologic approach to causal inference (i.e., Hill's viewpoints) consists of evaluating potential causes from the following 2, noncumulative angles: 1) established results from comparative, observational, or experimental epidemiologic studies; and 2) reviews of nonepidemiologic evidence. It does not involve statements of statistical significance. The philosophical roots of Hill's viewpoints are unknown. Superficially, they seem to descend from the ideas of Hume and Mill. Hill's viewpoints, however, use a different kind of evidence and have different purposes than do Hume's rules or Mill's system of logic. In a nutshell, Hume ignores comparative evidence central to Hill's viewpoints. Mill's logic disqualifies as invalid nonexperimental evidence, which forms the bulk of epidemiologic findings reviewed from Hill's viewpoints. The approaches by Hume and Mill cannot corroborate successful implementations of Hill's viewpoints. Besides Hume and Mill, the epidemiologic literature is clueless about a plausible, pre-1965 philosophical origin of Hill's viewpoints. Thus, Hill's viewpoints may be philosophically novel, sui generis, still waiting to be validated and justified. PMID:24071010

  6. Using an Analogy To Model Causal Mechanisms in a Complex Text.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clement, Catherine A.; Yanowitz, Karen L.

    2003-01-01

    Two experiments examined the role of analogy in the development of a situation model of a target passage, specifically, whether an analogous source text could improve comprehension and inferencing about causal mechanisms in the target. Responses of analogy subjects were more likely to include given and inferred information that comprised the…

  7. Pretense, Counterfactuals, and Bayesian Causal Models: Why What Is Not Real Really Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weisberg, Deena S.; Gopnik, Alison

    2013-01-01

    Young children spend a large portion of their time pretending about non-real situations. Why? We answer this question by using the framework of Bayesian causal models to argue that pretending and counterfactual reasoning engage the same component cognitive abilities: disengaging with current reality, making inferences about an alternative…

  8. Causal Analysis to Enhance Creative Problem-Solving: Performance and Effects on Mental Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hester, Kimberly S.; Robledo, Issac C.; Barrett, Jamie D.; Peterson, David R.; Hougen, Dean P.; Day, Eric A.; Mumford, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that knowledge is a critical component of creative thought. One form of knowledge that might be particularly important to creative thought relies on the mental models people employ to understand novel, ill-defined problems. In this study, undergraduates were given training in the use of causal relationships…

  9. A Dynamic Causal Modeling Analysis of the Effective Connectivities Underlying Top-Down Letter Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Jiangang; Li, Jun; Rieth, Cory A.; Huber, David E.; Tian, Jie; Lee, Kang

    2011-01-01

    The present study employed dynamic causal modeling to investigate the effective functional connectivity between regions of the neural network involved in top-down letter processing. We used an illusory letter detection paradigm in which participants detected letters while viewing pure noise images. When participants detected letters, the response…

  10. The Impact of School Leadership on School Level Factors: Validation of a Causal Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kruger, Meta L.; Witziers, Bob; Sleegers, Peter

    2007-01-01

    This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the antecedents and effects of educational leadership, and of the influence of the principal's leadership on intervening and outcome variables. A path analysis was conducted to test and validate a causal model. The results show no direct or indirect effects of educational leadership on…

  11. Implications of Three Causal Models for the Measurement of Halo Error.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisicaro, Sebastiano A.; Lance, Charles E.

    1990-01-01

    Three conceptual definitions of halo error are reviewed in the context of causal models of halo error. A corrected correlational measurement of halo error is derived, and the traditional and corrected measures are compared empirically for a 1986 study of 52 undergraduate students' ratings of a lecturer's performance. (SLD)

  12. Dropouts and Turnover: The Synthesis and Test of a Causal Model of Student Attrition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bean, John P.

    1980-01-01

    The determinants of student attrition in higher education institutions are investigated using a causal model which synthesized research findings on job turnover and on student attrition. Many male/female differences were found but three surrogate measures for pay were found for both sexes to be related to intent to leave. (Author/LC)

  13. The Effects of Time-Limitations and Peer Relationships on Adult Student Learning: A Causal Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lundberg, Carol

    Using data from 4,644 undergraduates, this study tested a causal model identifying effects of social integration, age, and time limiting characteristics on adult student learning. Time limiting characteristics included such constraints as off-campus responsibilities and relationships. Educationally related peer relationships were the strongest…

  14. Causal Comparative Analysis: Comprehensive Literacy Approach or the Traditional Reading Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuda, Jessica Ann

    2009-01-01

    A comparative analysis study, examining the significance in reading achievement between students in the Comprehensive Literacy Program to students in the Traditional Basal Reading Approach was conducted. Implementation of the Comprehensive Literacy Program was an effort to lessen the achievement gap between proficient and low progressing students.…

  15. The Epstein–Glaser causal approach to the light-front QED{sub 4}. II: Vacuum polarization tensor

    SciTech Connect

    Bufalo, R.; Pimentel, B.M.; Soto, D.E.

    2014-12-15

    In this work we show how to construct the one-loop vacuum polarization for light-front QED{sub 4} in the framework of the perturbative causal theory. Usually, in the canonical approach, it is considered for the fermionic propagator the so-called instantaneous term, but it is known in the literature that this term is controversial because it can be omitted by computational reasons; for instance, by compensation or vanishing by dimensional regularization. In this work we propose a solution to this paradox. First, in the Epstein–Glaser causal theory, it is shown that the fermionic propagator does not have instantaneous term, and with this propagator we calculate the one-loop vacuum polarization, from this calculation it follows the same result as those obtained by the standard approach, but without reclaiming any extra assumptions. Moreover, since the perturbative causal theory is defined in the distributional framework, we can also show the reason behind our obtaining the same result whether we consider or not the instantaneous fermionic propagator term. - Highlights: • We develop the Epstein–Glaser causal approach for light-front field theory. • We evaluate in detail the vacuum polarization at one-loop for the light-front QED. • We discuss the subtle issues of the Instantaneous part of the fermionic propagator in the light-front. • We evaluate the vacuum polarization at one-loop for the light-front QED with the Instantaneous fermionic part.

  16. Causal Modeling for Indirect Cost Management at Universities and Colleges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muir, Albert E.

    1980-01-01

    The logical sequence of one set of propositions regarding the association among proposal output, negotiated indirect cost rates, and overhead recovery, using a sample of 24 institutions of higher education within the SUNY system, is investigated. A model for estimating overhead a year in advance is presented. (Author/MLW)

  17. [Representation of relations between television watching and delinquency within the scope of causal analysis models].

    PubMed

    Scheungrab, M

    1990-01-01

    The subject of research coucerns causal relationships between variables of consuming home videos and television and different indicators of delinquency ("acceptance of social norms" (NORM-AK), "perceived risk of punishment" (DEL-RISK), "severity of negative consequences" (NEG-VAL), "acceptance of illegitimate means" (ILLEG-M)). Additionally, factors of influence external to media are taken into consideration which are connected with delinquency according to criminologic results, i.e. variables of communication and variables of the family life and the structure of the family. The model is tested by a sample of N = 305 male pupils of a Regensburg vocational school with methods analysing causality ("2-Stage-Least-Square" (2-SLS) and "Latent variables path analysis with partial least squares estimation" (LVPLS)). The 2-SLS-estimates largely confirm the causal relationships supposed in the model. The results are, three significantly positive indirect connections from the preference for violence of home videos to the main indicator of delinquency ILLEG-M (by way of the variables "consumption of home videos" put on the Index, NEG-VAL and DEL-RISK). The direct influence of the preference for violence on television on ILLEG-M is confirmed, whereas the direct path from the popularity of violent video films to ILLEG-M cannot be proved. The LVPLS-results essentially correspond to the relationship shown by 2-SLS; in addition the LVPLS-estimates also confirm direct causal relationships between the latent variables "consumption of violent video films" and "delinquency proneness". PMID:2132917

  18. Assessing the translatability of In vivo cardiotoxicity mechanisms to In vitro models using causal reasoning

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Drug-induced cardiac toxicity has been implicated in 31% of drug withdrawals in the USA. The fact that the risk for cardiac-related adverse events goes undetected in preclinical studies for so many drugs underscores the need for better, more predictive in vitro safety screens to be deployed early in the drug discovery process. Unfortunately, many questions remain about the ability to accurately translate findings from simple cellular systems to the mechanisms that drive toxicity in the complex in vivo environment. In this study, we analyzed translatability of cardiotoxic effects for a diverse set of drugs from rodents to two different cell systems (rat heart tissue-derived cells (H9C2) and primary rat cardiomyocytes (RCM)) based on their transcriptional response. To unravel the altered pathway, we applied a novel computational systems biology approach, the Causal Reasoning Engine (CRE), to infer upstream molecular events causing the observed gene expression changes. By cross-referencing the cardiotoxicity annotations with the pathway analysis, we found evidence of mechanistic convergence towards common molecular mechanisms regardless of the cardiotoxic phenotype. We also experimentally verified two specific molecular hypotheses that translated well from in vivo to in vitro (Kruppel-like factor 4, KLF4 and Transforming growth factor beta 1, TGFB1) supporting the validity of the predictions of the computational pathway analysis. In conclusion, this work demonstrates the use of a novel systems biology approach to predict mechanisms of toxicity such as KLF4 and TGFB1 that translate from in vivo to in vitro. We also show that more complex in vitro models such as primary rat cardiomyocytes may not offer any advantage over simpler models such as immortalized H9C2 cells in terms of translatability to in vivo effects if we consider the right endpoints for the model. Further assessment and validation of the generated molecular hypotheses would greatly enhance our ability to

  19. Causality issues of particle detector models in QFT and quantum optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-Martínez, Eduardo

    2015-11-01

    We analyze the constraints that causality imposes on some of the particle detector models employed in quantum field theory in general and, in particular, on those used in quantum optics (or superconducting circuits) to model atoms interacting with light. Namely, we show that disallowing faster-than-light communication can impose severe constraints on the applicability of particle detector models in three different common scenarios: (1) when the detectors are spatially smeared, (2) when a UV cutoff is introduced in the theory and (3) under one of the most typical approximations made in quantum optics: the rotating-wave approximation. We identify the scenarios in which the models' causal behavior can and cannot be cured.

  20. Invited commentary: Agent-based models for causal inference—reweighting data and theory in epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Hernán, Miguel A

    2015-01-15

    The relative weights of empirical facts (data) and assumptions (theory) in causal inference vary across disciplines. Typically, disciplines that ask more complex questions tend to better tolerate a greater role of theory and modeling in causal inference. As epidemiologists move toward increasingly complex questions, Marshall and Galea (Am J Epidemiol. 2015;181(2):92-99) support a reweighting of data and theory in epidemiologic research via the use of agent-based modeling. The parametric g-formula can be viewed as an intermediate step between traditional epidemiologic methods and agent-based modeling and therefore is a method that can ease the transition toward epidemiologic methods that rely heavily on modeling. PMID:25480820

  1. Assessing parameter identifiability for dynamic causal modeling of fMRI data.

    PubMed

    Arand, Carolin; Scheller, Elisa; Seeber, Benjamin; Timmer, Jens; Klöppel, Stefan; Schelter, Björn

    2015-01-01

    Deterministic dynamic causal modeling (DCM) for fMRI data is a sophisticated approach to analyse effective connectivity in terms of directed interactions between brain regions of interest. To date it is difficult to know if acquired fMRI data will yield precise estimation of DCM parameters. Focusing on parameter identifiability, an important prerequisite for research questions on directed connectivity, we present an approach inferring if parameters of an envisaged DCM are identifiable based on information from fMRI data. With the freely available "attention to motion" dataset, we investigate identifiability of two DCMs and show how different imaging specifications impact on identifiability. We used the profile likelihood, which has successfully been applied in systems biology, to assess the identifiability of parameters in a DCM with specified scanning parameters. Parameters are identifiable when minima of the profile likelihood as well as finite confidence intervals for the parameters exist. Intermediate epoch duration, shorter TR and longer session duration generally increased the information content in the data and thus improved identifiability. Irrespective of biological factors such as size and location of a region, attention should be paid to densely interconnected regions in a DCM, as those seem to be prone to non-identifiability. Our approach, available in the DCMident toolbox, enables to judge if the parameters of an envisaged DCM are sufficiently determined by underlying data without priors as opposed to primarily reflecting the Bayesian priors in a SPM-DCM. Assessments with the DCMident toolbox prior to a study will lead to improved identifiability of the parameters and thus might prevent suboptimal data acquisition. Thus, the toolbox can be used as a preprocessing step to provide immediate statements on parameter identifiability. PMID:25750612

  2. Gradient-free MCMC methods for dynamic causal modelling

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Friston, Karl J.; Penny, Will D.

    2015-01-01

    In this technical note we compare the performance of four gradient-free MCMC samplers (random walk Metropolis sampling, slice-sampling, adaptive MCMC sampling and population-based MCMC sampling with tempering) in terms of the number of independent samples they can produce per unit computational time. For the Bayesian inversion of a single-node neural mass model, both adaptive and population-based samplers are more efficient compared with random walk Metropolis sampler or slice-sampling; yet adaptive MCMC sampling is more promising in terms of compute time. Slice-sampling yields the highest number of independent samples from the target density — albeit at almost 1000% increase in computational time, in comparison to the most efficient algorithm (i.e., the adaptive MCMC sampler). PMID:25776212

  3. Edge replacement and minimality as models of causal inference in children.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, David W; Sobel, David M

    2014-01-01

    Recently, much research has focused on causal graphical models (CGMs) as a computational-level description of how children represent cause and effect. While this research program has shown promise, there are aspects of causal reasoning that CGMs have difficulty accommodating. We propose a new formalism that amends CGMs. This edge replacement grammar formalizes one existing and one novel theoretical commitment. The existing idea is that children are determinists, in the sense that they believe that apparent randomness comes from hidden complexity, rather than inherent nondeterminism in the world. The new idea is that children think of causation as a branching process: causal relations grow not directly from the cause, but from existing relations between the cause and other effects. We have shown elsewhere that these two commitments together, when formalized, can explain and quantitatively fit the otherwise puzzling effect of nonindependence observed in the adult causal reasoning literature. We then test the qualitative predictions of this new formalism on children in a series of three experiments. PMID:24851350

  4. Establishing causality in the decline and deformity of amphibians: The amphibian research and monitoring initiative model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Little, E.E.; Bridges, C.M.; Linder, G.; Boone, M.

    2003-01-01

    Research to date has indicated that a range of environmental variables such as disease, parasitism, predation, competition, environmental contamination, solar ultraviolet radiation, climate change, or habitat alteration may be responsible for declining amphibian populations and the appearance of deformed organisms, yet in many cases no definitive environmental variable stands out as a causal factor. Multiple Stressors are often present in the habitat, and interactions among these can magnify injury to biota. This raises the possibility that the additive or synergistic impact of these Stressors may be the underlying cause of amphibian declines. Effective management for the restoration of amphibian populations requires the identification of causal factors contributing to their declines. A systematic approach to determine causality is especially important because initial impressions may be misleading or ambiguous. In addition, the evaluation of amphibian populations requires consideration of a broader spatial scale than commonly used in regulatory monitoring. We describe a systematic three-tiered approach to determine causality in amphibian declines and deformities. Tier 1 includes an evaluation of historic databases and extant data and would involve a desktop synopsis of the status of various stressors as well as site visits. Tier 2 studies are iterative, hypothesis driven studies beginning with general tests and continuing with analyses of increasing complexity as certain stressors are identified for further investigation. Tier 3 applies information developed in Tier 2 as predictive indicators of habitats and species at risk over broad landscape scales and provides decision support for the adaptive management of amphibian recovery. This comprehensive, tiered program could provide a mechanistic approach to identifying and addressing specific stressors responsible for amphibian declines across various landscapes.

  5. Modeling and Encoding Clinical Causal Relationships in a Medical Knowledge Base

    PubMed Central

    Blum, Robert L.

    1983-01-01

    This paper presents a method for the computer modeling and encoding of clinical causal relationships (CR's). This method draws on the theory of multivariate linear models and path analysis. The representation was used to encode medical CR's derived empirically from a clinical database by the RX computer project described in SCAMC82. The emphasis in the representation is on capturing the intensities of effects and the variation in the effects across a patient population. This information is used by RX in determining the validity of other CR's. The representation uses a directed graph formalism in which the nodes are frames and the arcs contain seven descriptive features of individual CR's: intensity, distribution, direction, mathematical form, setting, validity, and evidence. Because natural systems (such as the human body) are inherently probabilistic, linear models are useful in representing causal flow in them.

  6. The opportune time to invest in residential properties - Engle-Granger cointegration test and Granger causality test approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chee-Yin, Yip; Hock-Eam, Lim

    2014-12-01

    This paper examines using housing supply as proxy to house prices, the causal relationship on house prices among 8 states in Malaysia by applying the Engle-Granger cointegration test and Granger causality test approach. The target states are Perak, Selangor, Penang, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (WPKL or Kuala Lumpur), Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak. The primary aim of this study is to estimate how long (in months) house prices in Perak lag behind that of Selangor, Penang and WPKL. We classify the 8 states into two categories - developed and developing states. We use Engle-Granger cointegration test and Granger causality test to examine the long run and short run equilibrium relationship among the two categories.. It is found that the causal relationship is bidirectional in Perak and Sabah, Perak and Selangor while it is unidirectional for Perak and Sarawak, Perak and Penang, Perak and WPKL. The speed of deviation adjustment is about 273%, suggesting that the pricing dynamic of Perak has a 32- month or 2 3/4- year lag behind that of WPKL, Selangor and Penang. Such information will be useful to investors, house buyers and speculators.

  7. Recursive causality in evolution: a model for epigenetic mechanisms in cancer development.

    PubMed

    Haslberger, A; Varga, F; Karlic, H

    2006-01-01

    Interactions between adaptative and selective processes are illustrated in the model of recursive causality as defined in Rupert Riedl's systems theory of evolution. One of the main features of this theory also termed as theory of evolving complexity is the centrality of the notion of 'recursive' or 'feedback' causality - 'the idea that every biological effect in living systems, in some way, feeds back to its own cause'. Our hypothesis is that "recursive" or "feedback" causality provides a model for explaining the consequences of interacting genetic and epigenetic mechanisms which are known to play a key role in development of cancer. Epigenetics includes any process that alters gene activity without changes of the DNA sequence. The most important epigenetic mechanisms are DNA-methylation and chromatin remodeling. Hypomethylation of so-called oncogenes and hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes appear to be critical determinants of cancer. Folic acid, vitamin B12 and other nutrients influence the function of enzymes that participate in various methylation processes by affecting the supply of methyl groups into a variety of molecules which may be directly or indirectly associated with cancerogenesis. We present an example from our own studies by showing that vitamin D3 has the potential to de-methylate the osteocalcin-promoter in MG63 osteosarcoma cells. Consequently, a stimulation of osteocalcin synthesis can be observed. The above mentioned enzymes also play a role in development and differentiation of cells and organisms and thus illustrate the close association between evolutionary and developmental mechanisms. This enabled new ways to understand the interaction between the genome and environment and may improve biomedical concepts including environmental health aspects where epigenetic and genetic modifications are closely associated. Recent observations showed that methylated nucleotides in the gene promoter may serve as a target for solar UV

  8. Causal Responsibility and Counterfactuals

    PubMed Central

    Lagnado, David A; Gerstenberg, Tobias; Zultan, Ro'i

    2013-01-01

    How do people attribute responsibility in situations where the contributions of multiple agents combine to produce a joint outcome? The prevalence of over-determination in such cases makes this a difficult problem for counterfactual theories of causal responsibility. In this article, we explore a general framework for assigning responsibility in multiple agent contexts. We draw on the structural model account of actual causation (e.g., Halpern & Pearl, 2005) and its extension to responsibility judgments (Chockler & Halpern, 2004). We review the main theoretical and empirical issues that arise from this literature and propose a novel model of intuitive judgments of responsibility. This model is a function of both pivotality (whether an agent made a difference to the outcome) and criticality (how important the agent is perceived to be for the outcome, before any actions are taken). The model explains empirical results from previous studies and is supported by a new experiment that manipulates both pivotality and criticality. We also discuss possible extensions of this model to deal with a broader range of causal situations. Overall, our approach emphasizes the close interrelations between causality, counterfactuals, and responsibility attributions. PMID:23855451

  9. Model-free causality analysis of cardiovascular variability detects the amelioration of autonomic control in Parkinson's disease patients undergoing mechanical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Bassani, Tito; Bari, Vlasta; Marchi, Andrea; Tassin, Stefano; Dalla Vecchia, Laura; Canesi, Margherita; Barbic, Franca; Furlan, Raffaello; Porta, Alberto

    2014-07-01

    We tested the hypothesis that causality analysis, applied to the spontaneous beat-to-beat variability of heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP), can identify the improvement of autonomic control linked to plantar mechanical stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). A causality index, measuring the strength of the association from SAP to HP variability, and derived according to the Granger paradigm (i.e. SAP causes HP if the inclusion of SAP into the set of signals utilized to describe cardiovascular interactions improves the prediction of HP series), was calculated using both linear model-based (MB) and nonlinear model-free (MF) approaches. Univariate HP and SAP variability indices in time and frequency domains, and bivariate descriptors of the HP-SAP variability interactions were computed as well. We studied ten PD patients (age range: 57-78 years; Hoehn-Yahr scale: 2-3; six males, four females) without orthostatic hypotension or symptoms of orthostatic intolerance and 'on-time' according to their habitual pharmacological treatment. PD patients underwent recordings at rest in a supine position and during a head-up tilt before, and 24 h after, mechanical stimulation was applied to the plantar surface of both feet. The MF causality analysis indicated a greater involvement of baroreflex in regulating HP-SAP variability interactions after mechanical stimulation. Remarkably, MB causality and more traditional univariate or bivariate techniques could not detect changes in cardiovascular regulation after mechanical stimulation, thus stressing the importance of accounting for nonlinear dynamics in PD patients. Due to the higher statistical power of MF causality we suggest its exploitation to monitor the baroreflex control improvement in PD patients, and we encourage the clinical application of the Granger causality approach to evaluate the modification of the autonomic control in relation to the application of a pharmacological treatment, a

  10. From patterns to causal understanding: Structural equation modeling (SEM) in soil ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Powell, Jeff R; Grace, James B.; Bowker, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    In this perspectives paper we highlight a heretofore underused statistical method in soil ecological research, structural equation modeling (SEM). SEM is commonly used in the general ecological literature to develop causal understanding from observational data, but has been more slowly adopted by soil ecologists. We provide some basic information on the many advantages and possibilities associated with using SEM and provide some examples of how SEM can be used by soil ecologists to shift focus from describing patterns to developing causal understanding and inspiring new types of experimental tests. SEM is a promising tool to aid the growth of soil ecology as a discipline, particularly by supporting research that is increasingly hypothesis-driven and interdisciplinary, thus shining light into the black box of interactions belowground.

  11. A Bayesian network approach for causal inferences in pesticide risk assessment and management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Pesticide risk assessment and management must balance societal benefits and ecosystem protection, based on quantified risks and the strength of the causal linkages between uses of the pesticide and socioeconomic and ecological endpoints of concern. A Bayesian network (BN) is a gr...

  12. Variable selection for confounder control, flexible modeling and Collaborative Targeted Minimum Loss-based Estimation in causal inference

    PubMed Central

    Schnitzer, Mireille E.; Lok, Judith J.; Gruber, Susan

    2015-01-01

    This paper investigates the appropriateness of the integration of flexible propensity score modeling (nonparametric or machine learning approaches) in semiparametric models for the estimation of a causal quantity, such as the mean outcome under treatment. We begin with an overview of some of the issues involved in knowledge-based and statistical variable selection in causal inference and the potential pitfalls of automated selection based on the fit of the propensity score. Using a simple example, we directly show the consequences of adjusting for pure causes of the exposure when using inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW). Such variables are likely to be selected when using a naive approach to model selection for the propensity score. We describe how the method of Collaborative Targeted minimum loss-based estimation (C-TMLE; van der Laan and Gruber, 2010) capitalizes on the collaborative double robustness property of semiparametric efficient estimators to select covariates for the propensity score based on the error in the conditional outcome model. Finally, we compare several approaches to automated variable selection in low-and high-dimensional settings through a simulation study. From this simulation study, we conclude that using IPTW with flexible prediction for the propensity score can result in inferior estimation, while Targeted minimum loss-based estimation and C-TMLE may benefit from flexible prediction and remain robust to the presence of variables that are highly correlated with treatment. However, in our study, standard influence function-based methods for the variance underestimated the standard errors, resulting in poor coverage under certain data-generating scenarios. PMID:26226129

  13. Variable Selection for Confounder Control, Flexible Modeling and Collaborative Targeted Minimum Loss-Based Estimation in Causal Inference.

    PubMed

    Schnitzer, Mireille E; Lok, Judith J; Gruber, Susan

    2016-05-01

    This paper investigates the appropriateness of the integration of flexible propensity score modeling (nonparametric or machine learning approaches) in semiparametric models for the estimation of a causal quantity, such as the mean outcome under treatment. We begin with an overview of some of the issues involved in knowledge-based and statistical variable selection in causal inference and the potential pitfalls of automated selection based on the fit of the propensity score. Using a simple example, we directly show the consequences of adjusting for pure causes of the exposure when using inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW). Such variables are likely to be selected when using a naive approach to model selection for the propensity score. We describe how the method of Collaborative Targeted minimum loss-based estimation (C-TMLE; van der Laan and Gruber, 2010 [27]) capitalizes on the collaborative double robustness property of semiparametric efficient estimators to select covariates for the propensity score based on the error in the conditional outcome model. Finally, we compare several approaches to automated variable selection in low- and high-dimensional settings through a simulation study. From this simulation study, we conclude that using IPTW with flexible prediction for the propensity score can result in inferior estimation, while Targeted minimum loss-based estimation and C-TMLE may benefit from flexible prediction and remain robust to the presence of variables that are highly correlated with treatment. However, in our study, standard influence function-based methods for the variance underestimated the standard errors, resulting in poor coverage under certain data-generating scenarios. PMID:26226129

  14. Exploratory Causal Analysis in Bivariate Time Series Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCracken, James M.

    Many scientific disciplines rely on observational data of systems for which it is difficult (or impossible) to implement controlled experiments and data analysis techniques are required for identifying causal information and relationships directly from observational data. This need has lead to the development of many different time series causality approaches and tools including transfer entropy, convergent cross-mapping (CCM), and Granger causality statistics. In this thesis, the existing time series causality method of CCM is extended by introducing a new method called pairwise asymmetric inference (PAI). It is found that CCM may provide counter-intuitive causal inferences for simple dynamics with strong intuitive notions of causality, and the CCM causal inference can be a function of physical parameters that are seemingly unrelated to the existence of a driving relationship in the system. For example, a CCM causal inference might alternate between ''voltage drives current'' and ''current drives voltage'' as the frequency of the voltage signal is changed in a series circuit with a single resistor and inductor. PAI is introduced to address both of these limitations. Many of the current approaches in the times series causality literature are not computationally straightforward to apply, do not follow directly from assumptions of probabilistic causality, depend on assumed models for the time series generating process, or rely on embedding procedures. A new approach, called causal leaning, is introduced in this work to avoid these issues. The leaning is found to provide causal inferences that agree with intuition for both simple systems and more complicated empirical examples, including space weather data sets. The leaning may provide a clearer interpretation of the results than those from existing time series causality tools. A practicing analyst can explore the literature to find many proposals for identifying drivers and causal connections in times series data

  15. Toward a formalized account of attitudes: The Causal Attitude Network (CAN) model.

    PubMed

    Dalege, Jonas; Borsboom, Denny; van Harreveld, Frenk; van den Berg, Helma; Conner, Mark; van der Maas, Han L J

    2016-01-01

    This article introduces the Causal Attitude Network (CAN) model, which conceptualizes attitudes as networks consisting of evaluative reactions and interactions between these reactions. Relevant evaluative reactions include beliefs, feelings, and behaviors toward the attitude object. Interactions between these reactions arise through direct causal influences (e.g., the belief that snakes are dangerous causes fear of snakes) and mechanisms that support evaluative consistency between related contents of evaluative reactions (e.g., people tend to align their belief that snakes are useful with their belief that snakes help maintain ecological balance). In the CAN model, the structure of attitude networks conforms to a small-world structure: evaluative reactions that are similar to each other form tight clusters, which are connected by a sparser set of "shortcuts" between them. We argue that the CAN model provides a realistic formalized measurement model of attitudes and therefore fills a crucial gap in the attitude literature. Furthermore, the CAN model provides testable predictions for the structure of attitudes and how they develop, remain stable, and change over time. Attitude strength is conceptualized in terms of the connectivity of attitude networks and we show that this provides a parsimonious account of the differences between strong and weak attitudes. We discuss the CAN model in relation to possible extensions, implication for the assessment of attitudes, and possibilities for further study. PMID:26479706

  16. Stochastic dynamic causal modelling of fMRI data: Should we care about neural noise?

    PubMed Central

    Daunizeau, J.; Stephan, K.E.; Friston, K.J.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) was introduced to study the effective connectivity among brain regions using neuroimaging data. Until recently, DCM relied on deterministic models of distributed neuronal responses to external perturbation (e.g., sensory stimulation or task demands). However, accounting for stochastic fluctuations in neuronal activity and their interaction with task-specific processes may be of particular importance for studying state-dependent interactions. Furthermore, allowing for random neuronal fluctuations may render DCM more robust to model misspecification and finesse problems with network identification. In this article, we examine stochastic dynamic causal models (sDCM) in relation to their deterministic counterparts (dDCM) and highlight questions that can only be addressed with sDCM. We also compare the network identification performance of deterministic and stochastic DCM, using Monte Carlo simulations and an empirical case study of absence epilepsy. For example, our results demonstrate that stochastic DCM can exploit the modelling of neural noise to discriminate between direct and mediated connections. We conclude with a discussion of the added value and limitations of sDCM, in relation to its deterministic homologue. PMID:22579726

  17. Deconstructing Constructivism: Modeling Causal Relationships Among Constructivist Learning Environment Factors and Student Outcomes in Introductory Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komperda, Regis

    The purpose of this dissertation is to test a model of relationships among factors characterizing aspects of a student-centered constructivist learning environment and student outcomes of satisfaction and academic achievement in introductory undergraduate chemistry courses. Constructivism was chosen as the theoretical foundation for this research because of its widespread use in chemical education research and practice. In a constructivist learning environment the role of the teacher shifts from delivering content towards facilitating active student engagement in activities that encourage individual knowledge construction through discussion and application of content. Constructivist approaches to teaching introductory chemistry courses have been adopted by some instructors as a way to improve student outcomes, but little research has been done on the causal relationships among particular aspects of the learning environment and student outcomes. This makes it difficult for classroom teachers to know which aspects of a constructivist teaching approach are critical to adopt and which may be modified to better suit a particular learning environment while still improving student outcomes. To investigate a model of these relationships, a survey designed to measure student perceptions of three factors characterizing a constructivist learning environment in online courses was adapted for use in face-to-face chemistry courses. These three factors, teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence, were measured using a slightly modified version of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) instrument. The student outcomes investigated in this research were satisfaction and academic achievement, as measured by standardized American Chemical Society (ACS) exam scores and course grades. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to statistically model relationships among the three presence factors and student outcome variables for 391 students enrolled in six sections of a

  18. Granger causality revisited

    PubMed Central

    Friston, Karl J.; Bastos, André M.; Oswal, Ashwini; van Wijk, Bernadette; Richter, Craig; Litvak, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    This technical paper offers a critical re-evaluation of (spectral) Granger causality measures in the analysis of biological timeseries. Using realistic (neural mass) models of coupled neuronal dynamics, we evaluate the robustness of parametric and nonparametric Granger causality. Starting from a broad class of generative (state-space) models of neuronal dynamics, we show how their Volterra kernels prescribe the second-order statistics of their response to random fluctuations; characterised in terms of cross-spectral density, cross-covariance, autoregressive coefficients and directed transfer functions. These quantities in turn specify Granger causality — providing a direct (analytic) link between the parameters of a generative model and the expected Granger causality. We use this link to show that Granger causality measures based upon autoregressive models can become unreliable when the underlying dynamics is dominated by slow (unstable) modes — as quantified by the principal Lyapunov exponent. However, nonparametric measures based on causal spectral factors are robust to dynamical instability. We then demonstrate how both parametric and nonparametric spectral causality measures can become unreliable in the presence of measurement noise. Finally, we show that this problem can be finessed by deriving spectral causality measures from Volterra kernels, estimated using dynamic causal modelling. PMID:25003817

  19. Influence of Resting Venous Blood Volume Fraction on Dynamic Causal Modeling and System Identifiability.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhenghui; Ni, Pengyu; Wan, Qun; Zhang, Yan; Shi, Pengcheng; Lin, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Changes in BOLD signals are sensitive to the regional blood content associated with the vasculature, which is known as V0 in hemodynamic models. In previous studies involving dynamic causal modeling (DCM) which embodies the hemodynamic model to invert the functional magnetic resonance imaging signals into neuronal activity, V0 was arbitrarily set to a physiolog-ically plausible value to overcome the ill-posedness of the inverse problem. It is interesting to investigate how the V0 value influences DCM. In this study we addressed this issue by using both synthetic and real experiments. The results show that the ability of DCM analysis to reveal information about brain causality depends critically on the assumed V0 value used in the analysis procedure. The choice of V0 value not only directly affects the strength of system connections, but more importantly also affects the inferences about the network architecture. Our analyses speak to a possible refinement of how the hemody-namic process is parameterized (i.e., by making V0 a free parameter); however, the conditional dependencies induced by a more complex model may create more problems than they solve. Obtaining more realistic V0 information in DCM can improve the identifiability of the system and would provide more reliable inferences about the properties of brain connectivity. PMID:27389074

  20. Influence of Resting Venous Blood Volume Fraction on Dynamic Causal Modeling and System Identifiability

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Zhenghui; Ni, Pengyu; Wan, Qun; Zhang, Yan; Shi, Pengcheng; Lin, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Changes in BOLD signals are sensitive to the regional blood content associated with the vasculature, which is known as V0 in hemodynamic models. In previous studies involving dynamic causal modeling (DCM) which embodies the hemodynamic model to invert the functional magnetic resonance imaging signals into neuronal activity, V0 was arbitrarily set to a physiolog-ically plausible value to overcome the ill-posedness of the inverse problem. It is interesting to investigate how the V0 value influences DCM. In this study we addressed this issue by using both synthetic and real experiments. The results show that the ability of DCM analysis to reveal information about brain causality depends critically on the assumed V0 value used in the analysis procedure. The choice of V0 value not only directly affects the strength of system connections, but more importantly also affects the inferences about the network architecture. Our analyses speak to a possible refinement of how the hemody-namic process is parameterized (i.e., by making V0 a free parameter); however, the conditional dependencies induced by a more complex model may create more problems than they solve. Obtaining more realistic V0 information in DCM can improve the identifiability of the system and would provide more reliable inferences about the properties of brain connectivity. PMID:27389074

  1. The Reactive-Causal Architecture: Introducing an Emotion Model along with Theories of Needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydin, Ali Orhan; Orgun, Mehmet Ali

    In the entertainment application area, one of the major aims is to develop believable agents. To achieve this aim, agents should be highly autonomous, situated, flexible, and display affect. The Reactive-Causal Architecture (ReCau) is proposed to simulate these core attributes. In its current form, ReCau cannot explain the effects of emotions on intelligent behaviour. This study aims is to further improve the emotion model of ReCau to explain the effects of emotions on intelligent behaviour. This improvement allows ReCau to be emotional to support the development of believable agents.

  2. Estimation of Causal Mediation Effects for a Dichotomous Outcome in Multiple-Mediator Models using the Mediation Formula

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Suchitra; Albert, Jeffrey M.

    2013-01-01

    Mediators are intermediate variables in the causal pathway between an exposure and an outcome. Mediation analysis investigates the extent to which exposure effects occur through these variables, thus revealing causal mechanisms. In this paper, we consider the estimation of the mediation effect when the outcome is binary and multiple mediators of different types exist. We give a precise definition of the total mediation effect as well as decomposed mediation effects through individual or sets of mediators using the potential outcomes framework. We formulate a model of joint distribution (probit-normal) using continuous latent variables for any binary mediators to account for correlations among multiple mediators. A mediation formula approach is proposed to estimate the total mediation effect and decomposed mediation effects based on this parametric model. Estimation of mediation effects through individual or subsets of mediators requires an assumption involving the joint distribution of multiple counterfactuals. We conduct a simulation study that demonstrates low bias of mediation effect estimators for two-mediator models with various combinations of mediator types. The results also show that the power to detect a non-zero total mediation effect increases as the correlation coefficient between two mediators increases, while power for individual mediation effects reaches a maximum when the mediators are uncorrelated. We illustrate our approach by applying it to a retrospective cohort study of dental caries in adolescents with low and high socioeconomic status. Sensitivity analysis is performed to assess the robustness of conclusions regarding mediation effects when the assumption of no unmeasured mediator-outcome confounders is violated. PMID:23650048

  3. Erythropoietin Dose and Mortality in Hemodialysis Patients: Marginal Structural Model to Examine Causality

    PubMed Central

    Streja, Elani; Park, Jongha; Chan, Ting-Yan; Lee, Janet; Soohoo, Melissa; Rhee, Connie M.; Arah, Onyebuchi A.; Kalantar-Zadeh, Kamyar

    2016-01-01

    It has been previously reported that a higher erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA) dose in hemodialysis patients is associated with adverse outcomes including mortality; however the causal relationship between ESA and mortality is still hotly debated. We hypothesize ESA dose indeed exhibits a direct linear relationship with mortality in models of association implementing the use of a marginal structural model (MSM), which controls for time-varying confounding and examines causality in the ESA dose-mortality relationship. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 128 598 adult hemodialysis patients over a 5-year follow-up period to evaluate the association between weekly ESA (epoetin-α) dose and mortality risk. A MSM was used to account for baseline and time-varying covariates especially laboratory measures including hemoglobin level and markers of malnutrition-inflammation status. There was a dose-dependent positive association between weekly epoetin-α doses ≥18 000 U/week and mortality risk. Compared to ESA dose of <6 000 U/week, adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) were 1.02 (0.94–1.10), 1.08 (1.00–1.18), 1.17 (1.06–1.28), 1.27 (1.15–1.41), and 1.52 (1.37–1.69) for ESA dose of 6 000 to <12 000, 12 000 to <18 000, 18 000 to <24 000, 24 000 to <30 000, and ≥30 000 U/week, respectively. High ESA dose may be causally associated with excessive mortality, which is supportive of guidelines which advocate for conservative management of ESA dosing regimen in hemodialysis patients. PMID:27298736

  4. Erythropoietin Dose and Mortality in Hemodialysis Patients: Marginal Structural Model to Examine Causality.

    PubMed

    Streja, Elani; Park, Jongha; Chan, Ting-Yan; Lee, Janet; Soohoo, Melissa; Rhee, Connie M; Arah, Onyebuchi A; Kalantar-Zadeh, Kamyar

    2016-01-01

    It has been previously reported that a higher erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA) dose in hemodialysis patients is associated with adverse outcomes including mortality; however the causal relationship between ESA and mortality is still hotly debated. We hypothesize ESA dose indeed exhibits a direct linear relationship with mortality in models of association implementing the use of a marginal structural model (MSM), which controls for time-varying confounding and examines causality in the ESA dose-mortality relationship. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 128 598 adult hemodialysis patients over a 5-year follow-up period to evaluate the association between weekly ESA (epoetin-α) dose and mortality risk. A MSM was used to account for baseline and time-varying covariates especially laboratory measures including hemoglobin level and markers of malnutrition-inflammation status. There was a dose-dependent positive association between weekly epoetin-α doses ≥18 000 U/week and mortality risk. Compared to ESA dose of <6 000 U/week, adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) were 1.02 (0.94-1.10), 1.08 (1.00-1.18), 1.17 (1.06-1.28), 1.27 (1.15-1.41), and 1.52 (1.37-1.69) for ESA dose of 6 000 to <12 000, 12 000 to <18 000, 18 000 to <24 000, 24 000 to <30 000, and ≥30 000 U/week, respectively. High ESA dose may be causally associated with excessive mortality, which is supportive of guidelines which advocate for conservative management of ESA dosing regimen in hemodialysis patients. PMID:27298736

  5. Darwin's diagram of divergence of taxa as a causal model for the origin of species.

    PubMed

    Bouzat, Juan L

    2014-03-01

    On the basis that Darwin's theory of evolution encompasses two logically independent processes (common descent and natural selection), the only figure in On the Origin of Species (the Diagram of Divergence of Taxa) is often interpreted as illustrative of only one of these processes: the branching patterns representing common ancestry. Here, I argue that Darwin's Diagram of Divergence of Taxa represents a broad conceptual model of Darwin's theory, illustrating the causal efficacy of natural selection in producing well-defined varieties and ultimately species. The Tree Diagram encompasses the idea that natural selection explains common descent and the origin of organic diversity, thus representing a comprehensive model of Darwin's theory on the origin of species. I describe Darwin's Tree Diagram in relation to his argumentative strategy under the vera causa principle, and suggest that the testing of his theory based on the evidence from the geological record, the geographical distribution of organisms, and the mutual affinities of organic beings can be framed under the hypothetico-deductive method. Darwin's Diagram of Divergence of Taxa therefore represents a broad conceptual model that helps understanding the causal construction of Darwin's theory of evolution, the structure of his argumentative strategy, and the nature of his scientific methodology. PMID:24672902

  6. Tracking slow modulations in synaptic gain using dynamic causal modelling: Validation in epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Papadopoulou, Margarita; Leite, Marco; van Mierlo, Pieter; Vonck, Kristl; Lemieux, Louis; Friston, Karl; Marinazzo, Daniele

    2015-01-01

    In this work we propose a proof of principle that dynamic causal modelling can identify plausible mechanisms at the synaptic level underlying brain state changes over a timescale of seconds. As a benchmark example for validation we used intracranial electroencephalographic signals in a human subject. These data were used to infer the (effective connectivity) architecture of synaptic connections among neural populations assumed to generate seizure activity. Dynamic causal modelling allowed us to quantify empirical changes in spectral activity in terms of a trajectory in parameter space — identifying key synaptic parameters or connections that cause observed signals. Using recordings from three seizures in one patient, we considered a network of two sources (within and just outside the putative ictal zone). Bayesian model selection was used to identify the intrinsic (within-source) and extrinsic (between-source) connectivity. Having established the underlying architecture, we were able to track the evolution of key connectivity parameters (e.g., inhibitory connections to superficial pyramidal cells) and test specific hypotheses about the synaptic mechanisms involved in ictogenesis. Our key finding was that intrinsic synaptic changes were sufficient to explain seizure onset, where these changes showed dissociable time courses over several seconds. Crucially, these changes spoke to an increase in the sensitivity of principal cells to intrinsic inhibitory afferents and a transient loss of excitatory–inhibitory balance. PMID:25498428

  7. The Epstein-Glaser causal approach to the light-front QED4. I: Free theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bufalo, R.; Pimentel, B. M.; Soto, D. E.

    2014-12-01

    In this work we present the study of light-front field theories in the realm of the axiomatic theory. It is known that when one uses the light-cone gauge pathological poles (k+) - n arises, demanding a prescription to be employed in order to tame these ill-defined poles and to have the correct Feynman integrals due to the lack of Wick rotation in such theories. In order to shed a new light on this long standing problem we present here a discussion based on the use of rigorous mathematical machinery of the distributional theory combined with physical concepts, such as causality, to show how to deal with these singular propagators in a general fashion without making use of any prescription. The first step of our development will consist in showing how the analytic representation for propagators arises by requiring general physical properties within the framework of Wightman's formalism. From that we shall determine the equal-time (anti)commutation relations in the light-front form for the scalar and fermionic fields, as well as for the dynamical components of the electromagnetic field. In conclusion, we introduce the Epstein-Glaser causal method in order to have a mathematical rigorous description of the free propagators of the theory, allowing us to discuss a general treatment for propagators of the type (k+) - n. Afterwards, we show that at given conditions our results reproduce known prescriptions in the literature.

  8. Promoting the organ donor card: a causal model of persuasion effects.

    PubMed

    Skumanich, S A; Kintsfather, D P

    1996-08-01

    Due to the present critical shortage of donor organs available for transplantation, effective communication strategies are necessary to heighten public commitment to donation. The promotion of organ donor card-signing may be a successful vehicle in the achievement of this goal. Based on the Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion effects, evidence of the motivation for organ donor card-signing, and examination of previous donation message tests, this study proposes and tests a causal model of response to organ donor card appeals. The inter-relationship of values, empathy arousal, and issue involvement was found to be a significant driving force in the persuasive process for the behavioral intention to sign an organ donor card. Implications of these findings for future research are addressed. PMID:8844941

  9. Causal modeling of secondary science students' intentions to enroll in physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawley, Frank E.; Black, Carolyn B.

    The purpose of this study was to explore the utility of the theory of planned behavior model developed by social psychologists for understanding and predicting the behavioral intentions of secondary science students regarding enrolling in physics. In particular, the study used a three-stage causal model to investigate the links from external variables to behavioral, normative, and control beliefs; from beliefs to attitudes, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control; and from attitudes, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control to behavioral intentions. The causal modeling method was employed to verify the underlying causes of secondary science students' interest in enrolling physics as predicted in the theory of planned behavior. Data were collected from secondary science students (N = 264) residing in a central Texas city who were enrolled in earth science (8th grade), biology (9th grade), physical science (10th grade), or chemistry (11th grade) courses. Cause-and-effect relationships were analyzed using path analysis to test the direct effects of model variables specified in the theory of planned behavior. Results of this study indicated that students' intention to enroll in a high school physics course was determined by their attitude toward enrollment and their degree of perceived behavioral control. Attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control were, in turn, formed as a result of specific beliefs that students held about enrolling in physics. Grade level and career goals were found to be instrumental in shaping students' attitude. Immediate family members were identified as major referents in the social support system for enrolling in physics. Course and extracurricular conflicts and the fear of failure were shown to be the primary beliefs obstructing students' perception of control over physics enrollment. Specific recommendations are offered to researchers and practitioners for strengthening secondary school students

  10. Examining the Theory of Planned Behavior Applied to Condom Use: The Effect-Indicator vs. Causal-Indicator Models

    PubMed Central

    Carmack, Chakema C.; Lewis-Moss, Rhonda K.

    2010-01-01

    The authors investigated whether a causal-indicator model or an effect-indicator model of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) is more suitable for predicting behavioral intention and for which behaviors. No previous studies have evaluated this question using the same sample and same behavior. In this study, African American adolescents ages 12–17 participating in risk reduction classes were assessed on their initial attitudes, norms, perceived control, and intention regarding condom use. Second-order structural equation modeling indicated that the effect-indicator model exhibited superior fit above the causal-indicator model. Furthermore, modeling the behavioral antecedents in a causal way may not be as accurate due to the underlying uni-dimensional nature of attitudes, subjective norms, and control. The TPB was not disconfirmed as a suitable model for African American adolescents’ regarding condom use. Prevention programs may benefit by focusing on adolescent behavior change with regard to the global components in order to influence more specific concepts of these social cognitions. Editors’ Strategic Implications: Despite limitations including correlational data, this study yields implications for prevention programming and, more broadly, an important theoretical elaboration on effect-indicator and causal-indicator models of the TPB. PMID:19949867

  11. Applying a Multiple Group Causal Indicator Modeling Framework to the Reading Comprehension Skills of Third, Seventh, and Tenth Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tighe, Elizabeth L.; Wagner, Richard K.; Schatschneider, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    This study demonstrates the utility of applying a causal indicator modeling framework to investigate important predictors of reading comprehension in third, seventh, and tenth grade students. The results indicated that a 4-factor multiple indicator multiple indicator cause (MIMIC) model of reading comprehension provided adequate fit at each grade…

  12. Causal Inference in Occupational Epidemiology: Accounting for the Healthy Worker Effect by Using Structural Nested Models

    PubMed Central

    Naimi, Ashley I.; Richardson, David B.; Cole, Stephen R.

    2013-01-01

    In a recent issue of the Journal, Kirkeleit et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2013;177(11):1218–1224) provided empirical evidence for the potential of the healthy worker effect in a large cohort of Norwegian workers across a range of occupations. In this commentary, we provide some historical context, define the healthy worker effect by using causal diagrams, and use simulated data to illustrate how structural nested models can be used to estimate exposure effects while accounting for the healthy worker survivor effect in 4 simple steps. We provide technical details and annotated SAS software (SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, North Carolina) code corresponding to the example analysis in the Web Appendices, available at http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/. PMID:24077092

  13. A causal model of post-traumatic stress disorder: disentangling predisposed from acquired neural abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Admon, Roee; Milad, Mohammed R; Hendler, Talma

    2013-07-01

    Discriminating neural abnormalities into the causes versus consequences of psychopathology would enhance the translation of neuroimaging findings into clinical practice. By regarding the traumatic encounter as a reference point for disease onset, neuroimaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can potentially allocate PTSD neural abnormalities to either predisposing (pre-exposure) or acquired (post-exposure) factors. Based on novel research strategies in PTSD neuroimaging, including genetic, environmental, twin, and prospective studies, we provide a causal model that accounts for neural abnormalities in PTSD, and outline its clinical implications. Current data suggest that abnormalities within the amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex represent predisposing risk factors for developing PTSD, whereas dysfunctional hippocampal-ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) interactions may become evident only after having developed the disorder. PMID:23768722

  14. Relativistic causal hydrodynamics derived from Boltzmann equation: A novel reduction theoretical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsumura, Kyosuke; Kikuchi, Yuta; Kunihiro, Teiji

    2015-10-01

    We derive the second-order hydrodynamic equation and the microscopic formulas of the relaxation times as well as the transport coefficients systematically from the relativistic Boltzmann equation. Our derivation is based on a novel development of the renormalization-group method, a powerful reduction theory of dynamical systems, which has been applied successfully to derive the nonrelativistic second-order hydrodynamic equation. Our theory nicely gives a compact expression of the deviation of the distribution function in terms of the linearized collision operator, which is different from those used as an ansatz in the conventional fourteen-moment method. It is confirmed that the resultant microscopic expressions of the transport coefficients coincide with those derived in the Chapman-Enskog expansion method. Furthermore, we show that the microscopic expressions of the relaxation times have natural and physically plausible forms. We prove that the propagating velocities of the fluctuations of the hydrodynamical variables do not exceed the light velocity, and hence our second-order equation ensures the desired causality. It is also confirmed that the equilibrium state is stable for any perturbation described by our equation.

  15. Accounting for Uncertainty in Confounder and Effect Modifier Selection when Estimating Average Causal Effects in Generalized Linear Models

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chi; Dominici, Francesca; Parmigiani, Giovanni; Zigler, Corwin Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Summary Confounder selection and adjustment are essential elements of assessing the causal effect of an exposure or treatment in observational studies. Building upon work by Wang et al. (2012) and Lefebvre et al. (2014), we propose and evaluate a Bayesian method to estimate average causal effects in studies with a large number of potential confounders, relatively few observations, likely interactions between confounders and the exposure of interest, and uncertainty on which confounders and interaction terms should be included. Our method is applicable across all exposures and outcomes that can be handled through generalized linear models. In this general setting, estimation of the average causal effect is different from estimation of the exposure coefficient in the outcome model due to non-collapsibility. We implement a Bayesian bootstrap procedure to integrate over the distribution of potential confounders and to estimate the causal effect. Our method permits estimation of both the overall population causal effect and effects in specified subpopulations, providing clear characterization of heterogeneous exposure effects that may vary considerably across different covariate profiles. Simulation studies demonstrate that the proposed method performs well in small sample size situations with 100 to 150 observations and 50 covariates. The method is applied to data on 15060 US Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor between 2000 and 2009 to evaluate whether surgery reduces hospital readmissions within thirty days of diagnosis. PMID:25899155

  16. Programs as Causal Models: Speculations on Mental Programs and Mental Representation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chater, Nick; Oaksford, Mike

    2013-01-01

    Judea Pearl has argued that counterfactuals and causality are central to intelligence, whether natural or artificial, and has helped create a rich mathematical and computational framework for formally analyzing causality. Here, we draw out connections between these notions and various current issues in cognitive science, including the nature of…

  17. Three Cs in Measurement Models: Causal Indicators, Composite Indicators, and Covariates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bollen, Kenneth A.; Bauldry, Shawn

    2011-01-01

    In the last 2 decades attention to causal (and formative) indicators has grown. Accompanying this growth has been the belief that one can classify indicators into 2 categories: effect (reflective) indicators and causal (formative) indicators. We argue that the dichotomous view is too simple. Instead, there are effect indicators and 3 types of…

  18. The Epstein–Glaser causal approach to the light-front QED{sub 4}. I: Free theory

    SciTech Connect

    Bufalo, R. Pimentel, B.M. Soto, D.E.

    2014-12-15

    In this work we present the study of light-front field theories in the realm of the axiomatic theory. It is known that when one uses the light-cone gauge pathological poles (k{sup +}){sup −n} arises, demanding a prescription to be employed in order to tame these ill-defined poles and to have the correct Feynman integrals due to the lack of Wick rotation in such theories. In order to shed a new light on this long standing problem we present here a discussion based on the use of rigorous mathematical machinery of the distributional theory combined with physical concepts, such as causality, to show how to deal with these singular propagators in a general fashion without making use of any prescription. The first step of our development will consist in showing how the analytic representation for propagators arises by requiring general physical properties within the framework of Wightman’s formalism. From that we shall determine the equal-time (anti)commutation relations in the light-front form for the scalar and fermionic fields, as well as for the dynamical components of the electromagnetic field. In conclusion, we introduce the Epstein–Glaser causal method in order to have a mathematical rigorous description of the free propagators of the theory, allowing us to discuss a general treatment for propagators of the type (k{sup +}){sup −n}. Afterwards, we show that at given conditions our results reproduce known prescriptions in the literature. - Highlights: • We develop the analytic representation for propagators in Wightman’s framework. • We make use of the analytic representation to obtain equal-time (anti)commutation relations in the light-front. • We derive the free Feynman propagators for the light-front quantum electrodynamics in the Epstein–Glaser approach. • We determine a general expression for the propagator associated to the light-cone poles (k{sup +}){sup −n} in the causal approach.

  19. Empirical evaluation of the conceptual model underpinning a regional aquatic long-term monitoring program using causal modelling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Irvine, Kathryn M.; Miller, Scott; Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Archer, Erik; Roper, Brett B.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.

    2015-01-01

    Conceptual models are an integral facet of long-term monitoring programs. Proposed linkages between drivers, stressors, and ecological indicators are identified within the conceptual model of most mandated programs. We empirically evaluate a conceptual model developed for a regional aquatic and riparian monitoring program using causal models (i.e., Bayesian path analysis). We assess whether data gathered for regional status and trend estimation can also provide insights on why a stream may deviate from reference conditions. We target the hypothesized causal pathways for how anthropogenic drivers of road density, percent grazing, and percent forest within a catchment affect instream biological condition. We found instream temperature and fine sediments in arid sites and only fine sediments in mesic sites accounted for a significant portion of the maximum possible variation explainable in biological condition among managed sites. However, the biological significance of the direct effects of anthropogenic drivers on instream temperature and fine sediments were minimal or not detected. Consequently, there was weak to no biological support for causal pathways related to anthropogenic drivers’ impact on biological condition. With weak biological and statistical effect sizes, ignoring environmental contextual variables and covariates that explain natural heterogeneity would have resulted in no evidence of human impacts on biological integrity in some instances. For programs targeting the effects of anthropogenic activities, it is imperative to identify both land use practices and mechanisms that have led to degraded conditions (i.e., moving beyond simple status and trend estimation). Our empirical evaluation of the conceptual model underpinning the long-term monitoring program provided an opportunity for learning and, consequently, we discuss survey design elements that require modification to achieve question driven monitoring, a necessary step in the practice of

  20. Detection of Motor Changes in Huntington's Disease Using Dynamic Causal Modeling.

    PubMed

    Minkova, Lora; Scheller, Elisa; Peter, Jessica; Abdulkadir, Ahmed; Kaller, Christoph P; Roos, Raymund A; Durr, Alexandra; Leavitt, Blair R; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Klöppel, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Deficits in motor functioning are one of the hallmarks of Huntington's disease (HD), a genetically caused neurodegenerative disorder. We applied functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to assess changes that occur with disease progression in the neural circuitry of key areas associated with executive and cognitive aspects of motor control. Seventy-seven healthy controls, 62 pre-symptomatic HD gene carriers (preHD), and 16 patients with manifest HD symptoms (earlyHD) performed a motor finger-tapping fMRI task with systematically varying speed and complexity. DCM was used to assess the causal interactions among seven pre-defined regions of interest, comprising primary motor cortex, supplementary motor area (SMA), dorsal premotor cortex, and superior parietal cortex. To capture heterogeneity among HD gene carriers, DCM parameters were entered into a hierarchical cluster analysis using Ward's method and squared Euclidian distance as a measure of similarity. After applying Bonferroni correction for the number of tests, DCM analysis revealed a group difference that was not present in the conventional fMRI analysis. We found an inhibitory effect of complexity on the connection from parietal to premotor areas in preHD, which became excitatory in earlyHD and correlated with putamen atrophy. While speed of finger movements did not modulate the connection from caudal to pre-SMA in controls and preHD, this connection became strongly negative in earlyHD. This second effect did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. Hierarchical clustering separated the gene mutation carriers into three clusters that also differed significantly between these two connections and thereby confirmed their relevance. DCM proved useful in identifying group differences that would have remained undetected by standard analyses and may aid in the investigation of between-subject heterogeneity. PMID:26635585

  1. Detection of Motor Changes in Huntington's Disease Using Dynamic Causal Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Minkova, Lora; Scheller, Elisa; Peter, Jessica; Abdulkadir, Ahmed; Kaller, Christoph P.; Roos, Raymund A.; Durr, Alexandra; Leavitt, Blair R.; Tabrizi, Sarah J.; Klöppel, Stefan; Coleman, A.

    2015-01-01

    Deficits in motor functioning are one of the hallmarks of Huntington's disease (HD), a genetically caused neurodegenerative disorder. We applied functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to assess changes that occur with disease progression in the neural circuitry of key areas associated with executive and cognitive aspects of motor control. Seventy-seven healthy controls, 62 pre-symptomatic HD gene carriers (preHD), and 16 patients with manifest HD symptoms (earlyHD) performed a motor finger-tapping fMRI task with systematically varying speed and complexity. DCM was used to assess the causal interactions among seven pre-defined regions of interest, comprising primary motor cortex, supplementary motor area (SMA), dorsal premotor cortex, and superior parietal cortex. To capture heterogeneity among HD gene carriers, DCM parameters were entered into a hierarchical cluster analysis using Ward's method and squared Euclidian distance as a measure of similarity. After applying Bonferroni correction for the number of tests, DCM analysis revealed a group difference that was not present in the conventional fMRI analysis. We found an inhibitory effect of complexity on the connection from parietal to premotor areas in preHD, which became excitatory in earlyHD and correlated with putamen atrophy. While speed of finger movements did not modulate the connection from caudal to pre-SMA in controls and preHD, this connection became strongly negative in earlyHD. This second effect did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. Hierarchical clustering separated the gene mutation carriers into three clusters that also differed significantly between these two connections and thereby confirmed their relevance. DCM proved useful in identifying group differences that would have remained undetected by standard analyses and may aid in the investigation of between-subject heterogeneity. PMID:26635585

  2. Calibrating the pixel-level Kepler imaging data with a causal data-driven model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dun; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Hogg, David W.; Schölkopf, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    In general, astronomical observations are affected by several kinds of noise, each with it's own causal source; there is photon noise, stochastic source variability, and residuals coming from imperfect calibration of the detector or telescope. In particular, the precision of NASA Kepler photometry for exoplanet science—the most precise photometric measurements of stars ever made—appears to be limited by unknown or untracked variations in spacecraft pointing and temperature, and unmodeled stellar variability. Here we present the Causal Pixel Model (CPM) for Kepler data, a data-driven model intended to capture variability but preserve transit signals. The CPM works at the pixel level (not the photometric measurement level); it can capture more fine-grained information about the variation of the spacecraft than is available in the pixel-summed aperture photometry. The basic idea is that CPM predicts each target pixel value from a large number of pixels of other stars sharing the instrument variabilities while not containing any information on possible transits at the target star. In addition, we use the target star's future and past (auto-regression). By appropriately separating the data into training and test sets, we ensure that information about any transit will be perfectly isolated from the fitting of the model. The method has four hyper-parameters (the number of predictor stars, the auto-regressive window size, and two L2-regularization amplitudes for model components), which we set by cross-validation. We determine a generic set of hyper-parameters that works well on most of the stars with 11≤V≤12 mag and apply the method to a corresponding set of target stars with known planet transits. We find that we can consistently outperform (for the purposes of exoplanet detection) the Kepler Pre-search Data Conditioning (PDC) method for exoplanet discovery, often improving the SNR by a factor of two. While we have not yet exhaustively tested the method at other

  3. Testing the Causal Links between School Climate, School Violence, and School Academic Performance: A Cross-Lagged Panel Autoregressive Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benbenishty, Rami; Astor, Ron Avi; Roziner, Ilan; Wrabel, Stephani L.

    2016-01-01

    The present study explores the causal link between school climate, school violence, and a school's general academic performance over time using a school-level, cross-lagged panel autoregressive modeling design. We hypothesized that reductions in school violence and climate improvement would lead to schools' overall improved academic performance.…

  4. Hydrostatic equilibrium of causally consistent and dynamically stable neutron star models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negi, P. S.

    2008-08-01

    We show that the mass-radius (M-R) relation corresponding to the stiffest equation of state (EOS) does not provide the necessary and sufficient condition of dynamical stability for equilibrium configurations, because such configurations cannot satisfy the `compatibility criterion'. In this regard, we construct sequences composed of core-envelope models such that, like the central condition belonging to the stiffest EOS, each member of these sequences satisfies the extreme case of the causality condition, v = c = 1, at the centre. We thereafter show that the M-R relation corresponding to the said core-envelope model sequences can provide the necessary and sufficient condition of dynamical stability only when the `compatibility criterion' for these sequences is `appropriately' satisfied. However, the `compatibility criterion' can remain satisfied even when the M-R relation does not provide the necessary and sufficient condition of dynamical stability for the equilibrium configurations. In continuation of the results of a previous study, these results explicitly show that the `compatibility criterion' independently provides, in general, the necessary and sufficient condition of hydrostatic equilibrium for any regular sequence. In addition to its fundamental result, this study can explain simultaneously the higher and the lower values of the glitch healing parameter observed for the Crab-like and Vela-like pulsars respectively, on the basis of the starquake model of glitch generation.

  5. Dynamic causal modeling of touch-evoked potentials in the rubber hand illusion.

    PubMed

    Zeller, Daniel; Friston, Karl J; Classen, Joseph

    2016-09-01

    The neural substrate of bodily ownership can be disclosed by the rubber hand illusion (RHI); namely, the illusory self-attribution of an artificial hand that is induced by synchronous tactile stimulation of the subject's hand that is hidden from view. Previous studies have pointed to the premotor cortex (PMC) as a pivotal area in such illusions. To investigate the effective connectivity between - and within - sensory and premotor areas involved in bodily perceptions, we used dynamic causal modeling of touch-evoked responses in 13 healthy subjects. Each subject's right hand was stroked while viewing their own hand ("REAL"), or an artificial hand presented in an anatomically plausible ("CONGRUENT") or implausible ("INCONGRUENT") position. Bayesian model comparison revealed strong evidence for a differential involvement of the PMC in the generation of touch-evoked responses under the three conditions, confirming a crucial role of PMC in bodily self-attribution. In brief, the extrinsic (forward) connection from left occipital cortex to left PMC was stronger for CONGRUENT and INCONGRUENT as compared to REAL, reflecting the augmentation of bottom-up visual input when multisensory integration is challenged. Crucially, intrinsic connectivity in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) was attenuated in the CONGRUENT condition, during the illusory percept. These findings support predictive coding models of the functional architecture of multisensory integration (and attenuation) in bodily perceptual experience. PMID:27241481

  6. Characterising seizures in anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis with dynamic causal modelling

    PubMed Central

    Cooray, Gerald K.; Sengupta, Biswa; Douglas, Pamela; Englund, Marita; Wickstrom, Ronny; Friston, Karl

    2015-01-01

    We characterised the pathophysiology of seizure onset in terms of slow fluctuations in synaptic efficacy using EEG in patients with anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) encephalitis. EEG recordings were obtained from two female patients with anti-NMDA-R encephalitis with recurrent partial seizures (ages 19 and 31). Focal electrographic seizure activity was localised using an empirical Bayes beamformer. The spectral density of reconstructed source activity was then characterised with dynamic causal modelling (DCM). Eight models were compared for each patient, to evaluate the relative contribution of changes in intrinsic (excitatory and inhibitory) connectivity and endogenous afferent input. Bayesian model comparison established a role for changes in both excitatory and inhibitory connectivity during seizure activity (in addition to changes in the exogenous input). Seizures in both patients were associated with a sequence of changes in inhibitory and excitatory connectivity; a transient increase in inhibitory connectivity followed by a transient increase in excitatory connectivity and a final peak of excitatory–inhibitory balance at seizure offset. These systematic fluctuations in excitatory and inhibitory gain may be characteristic of (anti NMDA-R encephalitis) seizures. We present these results as a case study and replication to motivate analyses of larger patient cohorts, to see whether our findings generalise and further characterise the mechanisms of seizure activity in anti-NMDA-R encephalitis. PMID:26032883

  7. Posttraumatic stress disorder among female Vietnam veterans: a causal model of etiology.

    PubMed Central

    Fontana, A; Schwartz, L S; Rosenheck, R

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: The Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars have awakened people to the realization that military service can be traumatizing for women as well as men. This study investigated the etiological roles of both war and sexual trauma in the development of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder among female Vietnam veterans. METHODS: Data from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study for 396 Vietnam theater women and 250 Vietnam era women were analyzed with structural equation modeling. RESULTS: An etiological model with highly satisfactory fit and parsimony was developed. Exposure to war trauma contributed to the probability of posttraumatic stress disorder in theater women, as did sexual trauma in both theater and era women. Lack of social support at the time of homecoming acted as a powerful mediator of trauma for both groups of women. CONCLUSIONS: Within the constraints and assumptions of causal modeling, there is evidence that both war trauma and sexual trauma are powerful contributors to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder among female Vietnam veterans. PMID:9103092

  8. The development of causal categorization.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Brett K; Rehder, Bob

    2012-08-01

    Two experiments examined the impact of causal relations between features on categorization in 5- to 6-year-old children and adults. Participants learned artificial categories containing instances with causally related features and noncausal features. They then selected the most likely category member from a series of novel test pairs. Classification patterns and logistic regression were used to diagnose the presence of independent effects of causal coherence, causal status, and relational centrality. Adult classification was driven primarily by coherence when causal links were deterministic (Experiment 1) but showed additional influences of causal status when links were probabilistic (Experiment 2). Children's classification was based primarily on causal coherence in both cases. There was no effect of relational centrality in either age group. These results suggest that the generative model (Rehder, 2003a) provides a good account of causal categorization in children as well as adults. PMID:22462547

  9. Dynamic causal modelling of electrographic seizure activity using Bayesian belief updating.

    PubMed

    Cooray, Gerald K; Sengupta, Biswa; Douglas, Pamela K; Friston, Karl

    2016-01-15

    Seizure activity in EEG recordings can persist for hours with seizure dynamics changing rapidly over time and space. To characterise the spatiotemporal evolution of seizure activity, large data sets often need to be analysed. Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) can be used to estimate the synaptic drivers of cortical dynamics during a seizure; however, the requisite (Bayesian) inversion procedure is computationally expensive. In this note, we describe a straightforward procedure, within the DCM framework, that provides efficient inversion of seizure activity measured with non-invasive and invasive physiological recordings; namely, EEG/ECoG. We describe the theoretical background behind a Bayesian belief updating scheme for DCM. The scheme is tested on simulated and empirical seizure activity (recorded both invasively and non-invasively) and compared with standard Bayesian inversion. We show that the Bayesian belief updating scheme provides similar estimates of time-varying synaptic parameters, compared to standard schemes, indicating no significant qualitative change in accuracy. The difference in variance explained was small (less than 5%). The updating method was substantially more efficient, taking approximately 5-10min compared to approximately 1-2h. Moreover, the setup of the model under the updating scheme allows for a clear specification of how neuronal variables fluctuate over separable timescales. This method now allows us to investigate the effect of fast (neuronal) activity on slow fluctuations in (synaptic) parameters, paving a way forward to understand how seizure activity is generated. PMID:26220742

  10. Dynamic causal modelling of electrographic seizure activity using Bayesian belief updating

    PubMed Central

    Cooray, Gerald K.; Sengupta, Biswa; Douglas, Pamela K.; Friston, Karl

    2016-01-01

    Seizure activity in EEG recordings can persist for hours with seizure dynamics changing rapidly over time and space. To characterise the spatiotemporal evolution of seizure activity, large data sets often need to be analysed. Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) can be used to estimate the synaptic drivers of cortical dynamics during a seizure; however, the requisite (Bayesian) inversion procedure is computationally expensive. In this note, we describe a straightforward procedure, within the DCM framework, that provides efficient inversion of seizure activity measured with non-invasive and invasive physiological recordings; namely, EEG/ECoG. We describe the theoretical background behind a Bayesian belief updating scheme for DCM. The scheme is tested on simulated and empirical seizure activity (recorded both invasively and non-invasively) and compared with standard Bayesian inversion. We show that the Bayesian belief updating scheme provides similar estimates of time-varying synaptic parameters, compared to standard schemes, indicating no significant qualitative change in accuracy. The difference in variance explained was small (less than 5%). The updating method was substantially more efficient, taking approximately 5–10 min compared to approximately 1–2 h. Moreover, the setup of the model under the updating scheme allows for a clear specification of how neuronal variables fluctuate over separable timescales. This method now allows us to investigate the effect of fast (neuronal) activity on slow fluctuations in (synaptic) parameters, paving a way forward to understand how seizure activity is generated. PMID:26220742

  11. Warp drive and causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Everett, Allen E.

    1996-06-01

    Alcubierre recently exhibited a spacetime which, within the framework of general relativity, allows travel at superluminal speeds if matter with a negative energy density can exist, and conjectured that it should be possible to use similar techniques to construct a theory containing closed causal loops and, thus, travel backwards in time. We verify this conjecture by exhibiting a simple modification of Alcubierre's model, requiring no additional assumptions, in which causal loops are possible. We also note that this mechanism for generating causal loops differs in essential ways from that discovered by Gott involving cosmic strings.

  12. Taking Emergence Seriously: The Centrality of Circular Causality for Dynamic Systems Approaches to Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witherington, David C.

    2011-01-01

    The dynamic systems (DS) approach has emerged as an influential and potentially unifying metatheory for developmental science. Its central platform--the argument against design--suggests that structure spontaneously and without prescription emerges through self-organization. In one of the most prominent accounts of DS, Thelen and her colleagues…

  13. Modeling the dynamics of disaster evolution along causality networks with cycle chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jian; Chen, Changkun

    2014-05-01

    A model for describing the evolution process of disasters, especially for disaster causality networks with cycle chains, has been developed. In the model, the impacts from the causative nodes, self-recovery behaviors, repair by government, internal noise and impacts outside the system have been taken into consideration. In particular, the cumulative effect of the inducing relationship between the causative node and its son node, due to cycle chain, has been quantified by the new model. Based on the proposed model, a parametric study, covering a range of conditional probability of directed inducing links, delay coefficient for disaster evolution and self-recovery coefficient during the recovery process, has been conducted by means of simulations. The results of these simulations point towards a phase transition of the disaster system with cycle chains when increasing conditional probability of directed inducing links or self-recovery coefficient. Particularly, we observe a critical conditional probability of directed inducing links and a critical self-recovery coefficient, beyond which, the whole system may be out of control after certain evolution time, regardless of the fact that the initial disturbance has disappeared. In addition, it is interesting to find that increasing delay coefficient cannot suppress the disaster evolution completely, for a disaster system that is potentially out of control due to the self-reinforce of cycle chains. Of course, the disaster evolution velocity drops when increasing delay coefficient, and this has a positive significance on disaster rescue. Further, it also illustrates that it is a bad strategy to arrange the total rescue resources uniformly during the disaster rescue process, while the strategy that disseminating more resources on the nodes in cycle chains and arranging the rescue resources in line with the potential maximum deviation of nodes, will have higher efficiency. With our model, it is possible for people to get an

  14. Inhibitory Behavioral Control: A Stochastic Dynamic Causal Modeling Study Using Network Discovery Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, Joel L.; Cunningham, Kathryn A.; Lane, Scott D.; Kramer, Larry A.; Narayana, Ponnada A.; Kosten, Thomas R.; Bechara, Antoine; Moeller, F. Gerard

    2015-01-01

    Abstract This study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to study the effective (directional) neuronal connectivity underlying inhibitory behavioral control. fMRI data were acquired from 15 healthy subjects while they performed a Go/NoGo task with two levels of NoGo difficulty (Easy and Hard NoGo conditions) in distinguishing spatial patterns of lines. Based on the previous inhibitory control literature and the present fMRI activation results, 10 brain regions were postulated as nodes in the effective connectivity model. Due to the large number of potential interconnections among these nodes, the number of models for final analysis was reduced to a manageable level for the whole group by conducting DCM Network Discovery, which is a recently developed option within the Statistical Parametric Mapping software package. Given the optimum network model, the DCM Network Discovery analysis found that the locations of the driving input into the model from all the experimental stimuli in the Go/NoGo task were the amygdala and the hippocampus. The strengths of several cortico-subcortical connections were modulated (influenced) by the two NoGo conditions. Specifically, connectivity from the middle frontal gyrus (MFG) to hippocampus was enhanced by the Easy condition and further enhanced by the Hard NoGo condition, possibly suggesting that compared with the Easy NoGo condition, stronger control from MFG was needed for the hippocampus to discriminate/learn the spatial pattern in order to respond correctly (inhibit), during the Hard NoGo condition. PMID:25336321

  15. Inhibitory behavioral control: a stochastic dynamic causal modeling study using network discovery analysis.

    PubMed

    Ma, Liangsuo; Steinberg, Joel L; Cunningham, Kathryn A; Lane, Scott D; Kramer, Larry A; Narayana, Ponnada A; Kosten, Thomas R; Bechara, Antoine; Moeller, F Gerard

    2015-04-01

    This study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to study the effective (directional) neuronal connectivity underlying inhibitory behavioral control. fMRI data were acquired from 15 healthy subjects while they performed a Go/NoGo task with two levels of NoGo difficulty (Easy and Hard NoGo conditions) in distinguishing spatial patterns of lines. Based on the previous inhibitory control literature and the present fMRI activation results, 10 brain regions were postulated as nodes in the effective connectivity model. Due to the large number of potential interconnections among these nodes, the number of models for final analysis was reduced to a manageable level for the whole group by conducting DCM Network Discovery, which is a recently developed option within the Statistical Parametric Mapping software package. Given the optimum network model, the DCM Network Discovery analysis found that the locations of the driving input into the model from all the experimental stimuli in the Go/NoGo task were the amygdala and the hippocampus. The strengths of several cortico-subcortical connections were modulated (influenced) by the two NoGo conditions. Specifically, connectivity from the middle frontal gyrus (MFG) to hippocampus was enhanced by the Easy condition and further enhanced by the Hard NoGo condition, possibly suggesting that compared with the Easy NoGo condition, stronger control from MFG was needed for the hippocampus to discriminate/learn the spatial pattern in order to respond correctly (inhibit), during the Hard NoGo condition. PMID:25336321

  16. The functional anatomy of schizophrenia: A dynamic causal modeling study of predictive coding.

    PubMed

    Fogelson, Noa; Litvak, Vladimir; Peled, Avi; Fernandez-del-Olmo, Miguel; Friston, Karl

    2014-09-01

    This paper tests the hypothesis that patients with schizophrenia have a deficit in selectively attending to predictable events. We used dynamic causal modeling (DCM) of electrophysiological responses - to predictable and unpredictable visual targets - to quantify the effective connectivity within and between cortical sources in the visual hierarchy in 25 schizophrenia patients and 25 age-matched controls. We found evidence for marked differences between normal subjects and schizophrenia patients in the strength of extrinsic backward connections from higher hierarchical levels to lower levels within the visual system. In addition, we show that not only do schizophrenia subjects have abnormal connectivity but also that they fail to adjust or optimize this connectivity when events can be predicted. Thus, the differential intrinsic recurrent connectivity observed during processing of predictable versus unpredictable targets was markedly attenuated in schizophrenia patients compared with controls, suggesting a failure to modulate the sensitivity of neurons responsible for passing sensory information of prediction errors up the visual cortical hierarchy. The findings support the proposed role of abnormal connectivity in the neuropathology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia. PMID:24998031

  17. Relativistic causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valente, Giovanni; Owen Weatherall, James

    2014-11-01

    Relativity theory is often taken to include, or to imply, a prohibition on superluminal propagation of causal processes. Yet, what exactly the prohibition on superluminal propagation amounts to and how one should deal with its possible violation have remained open philosophical problems, both in the context of the metaphysics of causation and the foundations of physics. In particular, recent work in philosophy of physics has focused on the causal structure of spacetime in relativity theory and on how this causal structure manifests itself in our most fundamental theories of matter. These topics were the subject of a workshop on "Relativistic Causality in Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity" that we organized (along with John Earman) at the Center for Philosophy of Science in Pittsburgh on April 5-7, 2013. The present Special Issue comprises contributions by speakers in that workshop as well as several other experts exploring different aspects of relativistic causality. We are grateful to the journal for hosting this Special Issue, to the journal's managing editor, Femke Kuiling, for her help and support in putting the issue together, and to the authors and the referees for their excellent work.

  18. From Granger causality to long-term causality: Application to climatic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, Dmitry A.; Mokhov, Igor I.

    2009-07-01

    Quantitative characterization of interaction between processes from time series is often required in different fields of natural science including geophysics and biophysics. Typically, one estimates “short-term” influences, e.g., the widely used Granger causality is defined via one-step-ahead predictions. Such an approach does not reveal how strongly the “long-term” behavior of one process under study is affected by the others. To overcome this problem, we introduce the concept of long-term causality, which extends the concept of Granger causality. The long-term causality is estimated from data via empirical modeling and analysis of model dynamics under different conditions. Apart from mathematical examples, we apply both approaches to find out how strongly the global surface temperature (GST) is affected by variations in carbon dioxide atmospheric content, solar activity, and volcanic activity during the last 150 years. Influences of all the three factors on GST are detected with the Granger causality. However, the long-term causality shows that the rise in GST during the last decades can be explained only if the anthropogenic factor (CO2) is taken into account in a model.

  19. Reasoning the Causality of City Sprawl, Traffic Congestion, and Green Land Disappearance in Taiwan Using the CLD Model

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei-Chih; Chang, Kaowen

    2014-01-01

    Many city governments choose to supply more developable land and transportation infrastructure with the hope of attracting people and businesses to their cities. However, like those in Taiwan, major cities worldwide suffer from traffic congestion. This study applies the system thinking logic of the causal loops diagram (CLD) model in the System Dynamics (SD) approach to analyze the issue of traffic congestion and other issues related to roads and land development in Taiwan’s cities. Comparing the characteristics of development trends with yearbook data for 2002 to 2013 for all of Taiwan’s cities, this study explores the developing phenomenon of unlimited city sprawl and identifies the cause and effect relationships in the characteristics of development trends in traffic congestion, high-density population aggregation in cities, land development, and green land disappearance resulting from city sprawl. This study provides conclusions for Taiwan’s cities’ sustainability and development (S&D). When developing S&D policies, during decision making processes concerning city planning and land use management, governments should think with a holistic view of carrying capacity with the assistance of system thinking to clarify the prejudices in favor of the unlimited developing phenomena resulting from city sprawl. PMID:25383609

  20. Abnormal causal attribution leads to advantageous economic decision-making: A neuropsychological approach

    PubMed Central

    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    People tend to assume that outcomes are caused by dispositional factors, e.g., a person’s constitution or personality, even when the actual cause is due to situational factors, e.g., luck or coincidence. This is known as the ‘correspondence bias.’ This tendency can lead normal, intelligent persons to make suboptimal decisions. Here, we used a neuropsychological approach to investigate the neural basis of the correspondence bias, by studying economic decision-making in patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Given the role of the vmPFC in social cognition, we predicted that vmPFC is necessary for the normal correspondence bias. In our experiment, consistent with expectations, healthy (N=46) and brain-damaged (N=30) comparison participants displayed the correspondence bias when investing and invested no differently when given dispositional or situational information. By contrast, vmPFC patients (N=17) displayed a lack of correspondence bias and invested more when given dispositional than situational information. The results support the conclusion that vmPFC is critical for normal social inference and the correspondence bias, and our findings help clarify the important (and potentially disadvantageous) role of social inference in economic decision-making. PMID:23574584

  1. Silent Expectations: Dynamic Causal Modeling of Cortical Prediction and Attention to Sounds That Weren't

    PubMed Central

    Noreika, Valdas; Gueorguiev, David; Shtyrov, Yury; Bekinschtein, Tristan A.; Henson, Richard

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that human perception is realized by a hierarchy of neural processes in which predictions sent backward from higher levels result in prediction errors that are fed forward from lower levels, to update the current model of the environment. Moreover, the precision of prediction errors is thought to be modulated by attention. Much of this evidence comes from paradigms in which a stimulus differs from that predicted by the recent history of other stimuli (generating a so-called “mismatch response”). There is less evidence from situations where a prediction is not fulfilled by any sensory input (an “omission” response). This situation arguably provides a more direct measure of “top-down” predictions in the absence of confounding “bottom-up” input. We applied Dynamic Causal Modeling of evoked electromagnetic responses recorded by EEG and MEG to an auditory paradigm in which we factorially crossed the presence versus absence of “bottom-up” stimuli with the presence versus absence of “top-down” attention. Model comparison revealed that both mismatch and omission responses were mediated by increased forward and backward connections, differing primarily in the driving input. In both responses, modeling results suggested that the presence of attention selectively modulated backward “prediction” connections. Our results provide new model-driven evidence of the pure top-down prediction signal posited in theories of hierarchical perception, and highlight the role of attentional precision in strengthening this prediction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human auditory perception is thought to be realized by a network of neurons that maintain a model of and predict future stimuli. Much of the evidence for this comes from experiments where a stimulus unexpectedly differs from previous ones, which generates a well-known “mismatch response.” But what happens when a stimulus is unexpectedly omitted altogether? By measuring the brain

  2. Redundant variables and Granger causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelini, L.; de Tommaso, M.; Marinazzo, D.; Nitti, L.; Pellicoro, M.; Stramaglia, S.

    2010-03-01

    We discuss the use of multivariate Granger causality in presence of redundant variables: the application of the standard analysis, in this case, leads to under estimation of causalities. Using the un-normalized version of the causality index, we quantitatively develop the notions of redundancy and synergy in the frame of causality and propose two approaches to group redundant variables: (i) for a given target, the remaining variables are grouped so as to maximize the total causality and (ii) the whole set of variables is partitioned to maximize the sum of the causalities between subsets. We show the application to a real neurological experiment, aiming to a deeper understanding of the physiological basis of abnormal neuronal oscillations in the migraine brain. The outcome by our approach reveals the change in the informational pattern due to repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulations.

  3. A structural equation model of soil metal bioavailability to earthworms: confronting causal theory and observations using a laboratory exposure to field-contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Beaumelle, Léa; Vile, Denis; Lamy, Isabelle; Vandenbulcke, Franck; Gimbert, Frédéric; Hedde, Mickaël

    2016-11-01

    Structural equation models (SEM) are increasingly used in ecology as multivariate analysis that can represent theoretical variables and address complex sets of hypotheses. Here we demonstrate the interest of SEM in ecotoxicology, more precisely to test the three-step concept of metal bioavailability to earthworms. The SEM modeled the three-step causal chain between environmental availability, environmental bioavailability and toxicological bioavailability. In the model, each step is an unmeasured (latent) variable reflected by several observed variables. In an exposure experiment designed specifically to test this SEM for Cd, Pb and Zn, Aporrectodea caliginosa was exposed to 31 agricultural field-contaminated soils. Chemical and biological measurements used included CaC12-extractable metal concentrations in soils, free ion concentration in soil solution as predicted by a geochemical model, dissolved metal concentration as predicted by a semi-mechanistic model, internal metal concentrations in total earthworms and in subcellular fractions, and several biomarkers. The observations verified the causal definition of Cd and Pb bioavailability in the SEM, but not for Zn. Several indicators consistently reflected the hypothetical causal definition and could thus be pertinent measurements of Cd and Pb bioavailability to earthworm in field-contaminated soils. SEM highlights that the metals present in the soil solution and easily extractable are not the main source of available metals for earthworms. This study further highlights SEM as a powerful tool that can handle natural ecosystem complexity, thus participating to the paradigm change in ecotoxicology from a bottom-up to a top-down approach. PMID:27378153

  4. Test of the health promotion model as a causal model of construction workers' use of hearing protection.

    PubMed

    Lusk, S L; Ronis, D L; Hogan, M M

    1997-06-01

    The health promotion model (HPM) was tested as a causal model of construction workers' use of hearing protection (N = 359). Theoretical and exploratory models fit well, with the theoretical model accounting for 36.3% of variance and the exploratory model accounting for 50.6% of variance in hearing protection use. Value of use (benefits of using hearing protection), barriers to use, and self-efficacy were significant predictors in both the theoretical and exploratory models, but perceived health status was a predictor only in the theoretical model. In the exploratory model, where modifying factors were allowed direct relationships with use of hearing protection, two modifying factors--noise exposure and interpersonal influences-modeling--were significant predictors. Results of this test of the HPM are consistent with the revised HPM (Pender, 1996). There were significant direct paths from modifying factors to behaviour. Use of hearing protection was best predicted by behavior-specific predictors, such as perceived barriers to use of hearing protection. Results support the use of the HPM to predict use of hearing protection. PMID:9179173

  5. Aging into Perceptual Control: A Dynamic Causal Modeling for fMRI Study of Bistable Perception

    PubMed Central

    Dowlati, Ehsan; Adams, Sarah E.; Stiles, Alexandra B.; Moran, Rosalyn J.

    2016-01-01

    Aging is accompanied by stereotyped changes in functional brain activations, for example a cortical shift in activity patterns from posterior to anterior regions is one hallmark revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of aging cognition. Whether these neuronal effects of aging could potentially contribute to an amelioration of or resistance to the cognitive symptoms associated with psychopathology remains to be explored. We used a visual illusion paradigm to address whether aging affects the cortical control of perceptual beliefs and biases. Our aim was to understand the effective connectivity associated with volitional control of ambiguous visual stimuli and to test whether greater top-down control of early visual networks emerged with advancing age. Using a bias training paradigm for ambiguous images we found that older participants (n = 16) resisted experimenter-induced visual bias compared to a younger cohort (n = 14) and that this resistance was associated with greater activity in prefrontal and temporal cortices. By applying Dynamic Causal Models for fMRI we uncovered a selective recruitment of top-down connections from the middle temporal to Lingual gyrus (LIN) by the older cohort during the perceptual switch decision following bias training. In contrast, our younger cohort did not exhibit any consistent connectivity effects but instead showed a loss of driving inputs to orbitofrontal sources following training. These findings suggest that perceptual beliefs are more readily controlled by top-down strategies in older adults and introduce age-dependent neural mechanisms that may be important for understanding aberrant belief states associated with psychopathology. PMID:27064235

  6. Altered retrieval of melodic information in congenital amusia: insights from dynamic causal modeling of MEG data.

    PubMed

    Albouy, Philippe; Mattout, Jérémie; Sanchez, Gaëtan; Tillmann, Barbara; Caclin, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Congenital amusia is a neuro-developmental disorder that primarily manifests as a difficulty in the perception and memory of pitch-based materials, including music. Recent findings have shown that the amusic brain exhibits altered functioning of a fronto-temporal network during pitch perception and short-term memory. Within this network, during the encoding of melodies, a decreased right backward frontal-to-temporal connectivity was reported in amusia, along with an abnormal connectivity within and between auditory cortices. The present study investigated whether connectivity patterns between these regions were affected during the short-term memory retrieval of melodies. Amusics and controls had to indicate whether sequences of six tones that were presented in pairs were the same or different. When melodies were different only one tone changed in the second melody. Brain responses to the changed tone in "Different" trials and to its equivalent (original) tone in "Same" trials were compared between groups using Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM). DCM results confirmed that congenital amusia is characterized by an altered effective connectivity within and between the two auditory cortices during sound processing. Furthermore, right temporal-to-frontal message passing was altered in comparison to controls, with notably an increase in "Same" trials. An additional analysis in control participants emphasized that the detection of an unexpected event in the typically functioning brain is supported by right fronto-temporal connections. The results can be interpreted in a predictive coding framework as reflecting an abnormal prediction error sent by temporal auditory regions towards frontal areas in the amusic brain. PMID:25698955

  7. Inhibitory behavioral control: A stochastic dynamic causal modeling study comparing cocaine dependent subjects and controls

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Liangsuo; Steinberg, Joel L.; Cunningham, Kathryn A.; Lane, Scott D.; Bjork, James M.; Neelakantan, Harshini; Price, Amanda E.; Narayana, Ponnada A.; Kosten, Thomas R.; Bechara, Antoine; Moeller, F. Gerard

    2015-01-01

    Cocaine dependence is associated with increased impulsivity in humans. Both cocaine dependence and impulsive behavior are under the regulatory control of cortico-striatal networks. One behavioral laboratory measure of impulsivity is response inhibition (ability to withhold a prepotent response) in which altered patterns of regional brain activation during executive tasks in service of normal performance are frequently found in cocaine dependent (CD) subjects studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, little is known about aberrations in specific directional neuronal connectivity in CD subjects. The present study employed fMRI-based dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to study the effective (directional) neuronal connectivity associated with response inhibition in CD subjects, elicited under performance of a Go/NoGo task with two levels of NoGo difficulty (Easy and Hard). The performance on the Go/NoGo task was not significantly different between CD subjects and controls. The DCM analysis revealed that prefrontal–striatal connectivity was modulated (influenced) during the NoGo conditions for both groups. The effective connectivity from left (L) anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to L caudate was similarly modulated during the Easy NoGo condition for both groups. During the Hard NoGo condition in controls, the effective connectivity from right (R) dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to L caudate became more positive, and the effective connectivity from R ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) to L caudate became more negative. In CD subjects, the effective connectivity from L ACC to L caudate became more negative during the Hard NoGo conditions. These results indicate that during Hard NoGo trials in CD subjects, the ACC rather than DLPFC or VLPFC influenced caudate during response inhibition. PMID:26082893

  8. Inhibitory behavioral control: A stochastic dynamic causal modeling study comparing cocaine dependent subjects and controls.

    PubMed

    Ma, Liangsuo; Steinberg, Joel L; Cunningham, Kathryn A; Lane, Scott D; Bjork, James M; Neelakantan, Harshini; Price, Amanda E; Narayana, Ponnada A; Kosten, Thomas R; Bechara, Antoine; Moeller, F Gerard

    2015-01-01

    Cocaine dependence is associated with increased impulsivity in humans. Both cocaine dependence and impulsive behavior are under the regulatory control of cortico-striatal networks. One behavioral laboratory measure of impulsivity is response inhibition (ability to withhold a prepotent response) in which altered patterns of regional brain activation during executive tasks in service of normal performance are frequently found in cocaine dependent (CD) subjects studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, little is known about aberrations in specific directional neuronal connectivity in CD subjects. The present study employed fMRI-based dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to study the effective (directional) neuronal connectivity associated with response inhibition in CD subjects, elicited under performance of a Go/NoGo task with two levels of NoGo difficulty (Easy and Hard). The performance on the Go/NoGo task was not significantly different between CD subjects and controls. The DCM analysis revealed that prefrontal-striatal connectivity was modulated (influenced) during the NoGo conditions for both groups. The effective connectivity from left (L) anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to L caudate was similarly modulated during the Easy NoGo condition for both groups. During the Hard NoGo condition in controls, the effective connectivity from right (R) dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to L caudate became more positive, and the effective connectivity from R ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) to L caudate became more negative. In CD subjects, the effective connectivity from L ACC to L caudate became more negative during the Hard NoGo conditions. These results indicate that during Hard NoGo trials in CD subjects, the ACC rather than DLPFC or VLPFC influenced caudate during response inhibition. PMID:26082893

  9. Altered retrieval of melodic information in congenital amusia: insights from dynamic causal modeling of MEG data

    PubMed Central

    Albouy, Philippe; Mattout, Jérémie; Sanchez, Gaëtan; Tillmann, Barbara; Caclin, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Congenital amusia is a neuro-developmental disorder that primarily manifests as a difficulty in the perception and memory of pitch-based materials, including music. Recent findings have shown that the amusic brain exhibits altered functioning of a fronto-temporal network during pitch perception and short-term memory. Within this network, during the encoding of melodies, a decreased right backward frontal-to-temporal connectivity was reported in amusia, along with an abnormal connectivity within and between auditory cortices. The present study investigated whether connectivity patterns between these regions were affected during the short-term memory retrieval of melodies. Amusics and controls had to indicate whether sequences of six tones that were presented in pairs were the same or different. When melodies were different only one tone changed in the second melody. Brain responses to the changed tone in “Different” trials and to its equivalent (original) tone in “Same” trials were compared between groups using Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM). DCM results confirmed that congenital amusia is characterized by an altered effective connectivity within and between the two auditory cortices during sound processing. Furthermore, right temporal-to-frontal message passing was altered in comparison to controls, with notably an increase in “Same” trials. An additional analysis in control participants emphasized that the detection of an unexpected event in the typically functioning brain is supported by right fronto-temporal connections. The results can be interpreted in a predictive coding framework as reflecting an abnormal prediction error sent by temporal auditory regions towards frontal areas in the amusic brain. PMID:25698955

  10. Experimental test of nonlocal causality.

    PubMed

    Ringbauer, Martin; Giarmatzi, Christina; Chaves, Rafael; Costa, Fabio; White, Andrew G; Fedrizzi, Alessandro

    2016-08-01

    Explaining observations in terms of causes and effects is central to empirical science. However, correlations between entangled quantum particles seem to defy such an explanation. This implies that some of the fundamental assumptions of causal explanations have to give way. We consider a relaxation of one of these assumptions, Bell's local causality, by allowing outcome dependence: a direct causal influence between the outcomes of measurements of remote parties. We use interventional data from a photonic experiment to bound the strength of this causal influence in a two-party Bell scenario, and observational data from a Bell-type inequality test for the considered models. Our results demonstrate the incompatibility of quantum mechanics with a broad class of nonlocal causal models, which includes Bell-local models as a special case. Recovering a classical causal picture of quantum correlations thus requires an even more radical modification of our classical notion of cause and effect. PMID:27532045