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Sample records for causal approaches needed

  1. Dental Caries Risk Studies Revisited: Causal Approaches Needed for Future Inquiries

    PubMed Central

    Aleksejūnienė, Jolanta; Holst, Dorthe; Brukienė, Vilma

    2009-01-01

    Prediction of high-risk individuals and the multi-risk approach are common inquiries in caries risk epidemiology. These studies prepared the ground for future studies; specific hypotheses about causal patterns can now be formulated and tested applying advanced statistical methods designed for causal studies, such as structural equation modeling, path analysis and multilevel modeling. Causal studies should employ measurements, analyses and interpretation of findings, which are in accordance to causal aims. Examples of causal empirical studies from medical and oral research are presented. PMID:20049240

  2. A copula approach to assessing Granger causality.

    PubMed

    Hu, Meng; Liang, Hualou

    2014-10-15

    In neuroscience, as in many other fields of science and engineering, it is crucial to assess the causal interactions among multivariate time series. Granger causality has been increasingly used to identify causal influence between time series based on multivariate autoregressive models. Such an approach is based on linear regression framework with implicit Gaussian assumption of model noise residuals having constant variance. As a consequence, this measure cannot detect the cause-effect relationship in high-order moments and nonlinear causality. Here, we propose an effective model-free, copula-based Granger causality measure that can be used to reveal nonlinear and high-order moment causality. We first formulate Granger causality as the log-likelihood ratio in terms of conditional distribution, and then derive an efficient estimation procedure using conditional copula. We use resampling techniques to build a baseline null-hypothesis distribution from which statistical significance can be derived. We perform a series of simulations to investigate the performance of our copula-based Granger causality, and compare its performance against other state-of-the-art techniques. Our method is finally applied to neural field potential time series recorded from visual cortex of a monkey while performing a visual illusion task.

  3. The metagenomic approach and causality in virology.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Clarity and causality needed in claims about Big Gods.

    PubMed

    Watts, Joseph; Bulbulia, Joseph; Gray, Russell D; Atkinson, Quentin D

    2016-01-01

    We welcome Norenzayan et al.'s claim that the prosocial effects of beliefs in supernatural agents extend beyond Big Gods. To date, however, supporting evidence has focused on the Abrahamic Big God, making generalisations difficult. We discuss a recent study that highlights the need for clarity about the causal path by which supernatural beliefs affect the evolution of big societies. PMID:26948745

  7. 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.

  8. New approaches to establish genetic causality.

    PubMed

    McNally, Elizabeth M; George, Alfred L

    2015-10-01

    Cardiovascular medicine has evolved rapidly in the era of genomics with many diseases having primary genetic origins becoming the subject of intense investigation. The resulting avalanche of information on the molecular causes of these disorders has prompted a revolution in our understanding of disease mechanisms and provided new avenues for diagnoses. At the heart of this revolution is the need to correctly classify genetic variants discovered during the course of research or reported from clinical genetic testing. This review will address current concepts related to establishing the cause and effect relationship between genomic variants and heart diseases. A survey of general approaches used for functional annotation of variants will also be presented.

  9. New Approaches to Establish Genetic Causality

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Elizabeth M.; George, Alfred L.

    2015-01-01

    Cardiovascular medicine has evolved rapidly in the era of genomics with many diseases having primary genetic origins becoming the subject of intense investigation. The resulting avalanche of information on the molecular causes of these disorders has prompted a revolution in our understanding of disease mechanisms and provided new avenues for diagnoses. At the heart of this revolution is the need to correctly classify genetic variants discovered during the course of research or reported from clinical genetic testing. This review will address current concepts related to establishing the cause and effect relationship between genomic variants and heart diseases. A survey of general approaches used for functional annotation of variants will also be presented. PMID:25864169

  10. 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

  11. Causality and persistence in ecological systems: a nonparametric spectral granger causality approach.

    PubMed

    Detto, Matteo; Molini, Annalisa; Katul, Gabriel; Stoy, Paul; Palmroth, Sari; Baldocchi, Dennis

    2012-04-01

    Abstract Directionality in coupling, defined as the linkage relating causes to their effects at a later time, can be used to explain the core dynamics of ecological systems by untangling direct and feedback relationships between the different components of the systems. Inferring causality from measured ecological variables sampled through time remains a formidable challenge further made difficult by the action of periodic drivers overlapping the natural dynamics of the system. Periodicity in the drivers can often mask the self-sustained oscillations originating from the autonomous dynamics. While linear and direct causal relationships are commonly addressed in the time domain, using the well-established machinery of Granger causality (G-causality), the presence of periodic forcing requires frequency-based statistics (e.g., the Fourier transform), able to distinguish coupling induced by oscillations in external drivers from genuine endogenous interactions. Recent nonparametric spectral extensions of G-causality to the frequency domain pave the way for the scale-by-scale decomposition of causality, which can improve our ability to link oscillatory behaviors of ecological networks to causal mechanisms. The performance of both spectral G-causality and its conditional extension for multivariate systems is explored in quantifying causal interactions within ecological networks. Through two case studies involving synthetic and actual time series, it is demonstrated that conditional G-causality outperforms standard G-causality in identifying causal links and their concomitant timescales.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. A Bayesian approach to estimating causal vaccine effects on binary post-infection outcomes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jincheng; Chu, Haitao; Hudgens, Michael G; Halloran, M Elizabeth

    2016-01-15

    To estimate causal effects of vaccine on post-infection outcomes, Hudgens and Halloran (2006) defined a post-infection causal vaccine efficacy estimand VEI based on the principal stratification framework. They also derived closed forms for the maximum likelihood estimators of the causal estimand under some assumptions. Extending their research, we propose a Bayesian approach to estimating the causal vaccine effects on binary post-infection outcomes. The identifiability of the causal vaccine effect VEI is discussed under different assumptions on selection bias. The performance of the proposed Bayesian method is compared with the maximum likelihood method through simulation studies and two case studies - a clinical trial of a rotavirus vaccine candidate and a field study of pertussis vaccination. For both case studies, the Bayesian approach provided similar inference as the frequentist analysis. However, simulation studies with small sample sizes suggest that the Bayesian approach provides smaller bias and shorter confidence interval length.

  16. 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.

  17. A novel approach for identifying causal models of complex diseases from family data.

    PubMed

    Park, Leeyoung; Kim, Ju H

    2015-04-01

    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

  18. Renewable energy consumption and economic growth in nine OECD countries: bounds test approach and causality analysis.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Statewide Needs Assessment: A Multimethodological Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Donna J. R.; Bunch, Michael B.

    A statewide assessment was made of specific nutrition education and training needs in Maryland public schools. The approach used allowed an examination of both needs and possible solutions, examined needs which required multiple solutions, and identified resources which could address multiple needs. This multimethodological approach included site…

  1. Causal chain analysis and root causes: the GIWA approach.

    PubMed

    Belausteguigoitia, Juan Carlos

    2004-02-01

    The Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) was created to help develop a priority setting mechanism for actions in international waters. Apart from assessing the severity of environmental problems in ecosystems, the GIWA's task is to analyze potential policy actions that could solve or mitigate these problems. Given the complex nature of the problems, understanding their root causes is essential to develop effective solutions. The GIWA provides a framework to analyze these causes, which is based on identifying the factors that shape human behavior in relation to the use (direct or indirect) of aquatic resources. Two sets of factors are analyzed. The first one consists of social coordination mechanisms (institutions). Faults in these mechanisms lead to wasteful use of resources. The second consists of factors that do not cause wasteful use of resources per se (poverty, trade, demographic growth, technology), but expose and magnify the faults of the first group of factors. The picture that comes out is that diagnosing simple generic causes, e.g. poverty or trade, without analyzing the case specific ways in which the root causes act and interact to degrade the environment, will likely ignore important links that may put the effectiveness of the recommended policies at risk. A summary of the causal chain analysis for the Colorado River Delta is provided as an example. PMID:15083645

  2. 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

  3. A novel extended Granger Causal Model approach demonstrates brain hemispheric differences during face recognition learning.

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

    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

  4. Campbell and Rubin: A Primer and Comparison of Their Approaches to Causal Inference in Field Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shadish, William R.

    2010-01-01

    This article compares Donald Campbell's and Donald Rubin's work on causal inference in field settings on issues of epistemology, theories of cause and effect, methodology, statistics, generalization, and terminology. The two approaches are quite different but compatible, differing mostly in matters of bandwidth versus fidelity. Campbell's work…

  5. Evidence of an Adaptive Level Grading Practice through a Causal Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallini, Joan

    1982-01-01

    The adaptation level theory in grading implies that students select major programs whose grading practices are realistic with their ability. A causal approach using a system of multiple equations was used to investigate this theory. The results lent support to occurrence of the adaptive grading practice. (Author/CM)

  6. A Functional Approach to Research on Content-based Language Learning: Recasts in Causal Explanations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohan, Bernard; Beckett, Gulbahar Huxur

    2001-01-01

    Suggests a systemic functional linguistic (SFL) approach offers a distinctive perspective and characterization of content based language learning. Analyzes grammatical scaffolding by a teacher of causal explanations that form work by a group of second language students on a project on the human brain. Shows how SFL analysis reveals different…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Many replications do not causal inferences make: the need for critical replications to test competing explanations of nonrandomized studies.

    PubMed

    Larzelere, Robert E; Cox, Ronald B; Swindle, Taren M

    2015-05-01

    Although direct replications are ideal for randomized studies, areas of psychological science that lack randomized studies should incorporate Rosenbaum's (2001) distinction between trivial and nontrivial replications, relabeled herein as exact and critical replications. If exact replications merely repeat systematic biases, they cannot enhance cumulative progress in psychological science. In contrast, critical replications distinguish between competing explanations by using crucial tests to clarify the underlying causal influences. We illustrate this potential with examples from research on corrective actions by professionals (e.g., psychotherapy, Ritalin) and parents (e.g., spanking, homework assistance), where critical replications are needed to overcome the inherent selection bias due to corrective actions being triggered by children's symptoms. Purported causal effects must first prove to be replicable after plausible confounds such as selection bias are eliminated. Subsequent critical replications can then compare plausible alternative explanations of the average unbiased causal effect and of individual differences in those effects. We conclude that this type of systematic sequencing of critical replications has more potential for making the kinds of discriminations typical of cumulative progress in science than do exact replications alone, especially in areas where randomized studies are unavailable. PMID:25987516

  13. An information-theoretic approach for the evaluation of surrogate endpoints based on causal inference.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Ariel; Van der Elst, Wim; Molenberghs, Geert; Buyse, Marc; Burzykowski, Tomasz

    2016-09-01

    In this work a new metric of surrogacy, the so-called individual causal association (ICA), is introduced using information-theoretic concepts and a causal inference model for a binary surrogate and true endpoint. The ICA has a simple and appealing interpretation in terms of uncertainty reduction and, in some scenarios, it seems to provide a more coherent assessment of the validity of a surrogate than existing measures. The identifiability issues are tackled using a two-step procedure. In the first step, the region of the parametric space of the distribution of the potential outcomes, compatible with the data at hand, is geometrically characterized. Further, in a second step, a Monte Carlo approach is proposed to study the behavior of the ICA on the previous region. The method is illustrated using data from the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study. A newly developed and user-friendly R package Surrogate is provided to carry out the evaluation exercise. PMID:26864244

  14. A causal modelling approach to the development of theory-based behaviour change programmes for trial evaluation.

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

    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 randomized trials. In this approach a generic model links behavioural determinants, causally through behaviour, to physiological and biochemical variables, and health outcomes. It is tailored to context, target population, behaviours and health outcomes. The development of a specific causal model based on theory and evidence is illustrated by the ProActive programme, supporting increased physical activity among individuals at risk of Type 2 diabetes. The model provides a rational guide to appropriate measures, intervention points and intervention techniques, and can be tested quantitatively. Causal modelling is critically compared to other approaches to intervention development and evaluation, and research directions are indicated.

  15. Combining FDI and AI approaches within causal-model-based diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Gentil, Sylviane; Montmain, Jacky; Combastel, Christophe

    2004-10-01

    This paper presents a model-based diagnostic method designed in the context of process supervision. It has been inspired by both artificial intelligence and control theory. AI contributes tools for qualitative modeling, including causal modeling, whose aim is to split a complex process into elementary submodels. Control theory, within the framework of fault detection and isolation (FDI), provides numerical models for generating and testing residuals, and for taking into account inaccuracies in the model, unknown disturbances and noise. Consistency-based reasoning provides a logical foundation for diagnostic reasoning and clarifies fundamental assumptions, such as single fault and exoneration. The diagnostic method presented in the paper benefits from the advantages of all these approaches. Causal modeling enables the method to focus on sufficient relations for fault isolation, which avoids combinatorial explosion. Moreover, it allows the model to be modified easily without changing any aspect of the diagnostic algorithm. The numerical submodels that are used to detect inconsistency benefit from the precise quantitative analysis of the FDI approach. The FDI models are studied in order to link this method with DX component-oriented reasoning. The recursive on-line use of this algorithm is explained and the concept of local exoneration is introduced.

  16. Physician Educational Needs in Osteoporosis: An Approach to Needs Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockyer, Jocelyn; Hanley, David; Fidler, Herta; Toews, John; Lysholm-Andrews, Elaine

    1998-01-01

    A literature review, focus groups (n=200), and questionnaire responses from 324 family physicians identified their learning needs related to osteoporosis. The three methods identified different learning issues, suggesting the importance of triangulation to ensure currency and relevance in continuing-education needs-assessment. (SK)

  17. A New Lifespan Approach to Conscientiousness and Health: Combining the Pieces of the Causal Puzzle

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 very 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

  18. 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

  19. WWC Review of the Report "Looking beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2014

    2014-01-01

    The 2013 study, "Looking Beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation," examined whether eligibility for the Florida Student Access Grant (FSAG), a need-based grant for low-income students in Florida, affects college enrollment, credit accumulation, persistence over time in…

  20. Complexity-entropy causality plane: A useful approach for distinguishing songs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, Haroldo V.; Zunino, Luciano; Mendes, Renio S.; Lenzi, Ervin K.

    2012-04-01

    Nowadays we are often faced with huge databases resulting from the rapid growth of data storage technologies. This is particularly true when dealing with music databases. In this context, it is essential to have techniques and tools able to discriminate properties from these massive sets. In this work, we report on a statistical analysis of more than ten thousand songs aiming to obtain a complexity hierarchy. Our approach is based on the estimation of the permutation entropy combined with an intensive complexity measure, building up the complexity-entropy causality plane. The results obtained indicate that this representation space is very promising to discriminate songs as well as to allow a relative quantitative comparison among songs. Additionally, we believe that the here-reported method may be applied in practical situations since it is simple, robust and has a fast numerical implementation.

  1. 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.

  2. Causal Inference in Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Glass, Thomas A.; Goodman, Steven N.; Hernán, Miguel A.; Samet, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-01

    Causal inference has a central role in public health; the determination that an association is causal indicates the possibility for intervention. We review and comment on the long-used guidelines for interpreting evidence as supporting a causal association and contrast them with the potential outcomes framework that encourages thinking in terms of causes that are interventions. We argue that in public health this framework is more suitable, providing an estimate of an action’s consequences rather than the less precise notion of a risk factor’s causal effect. A variety of modern statistical methods adopt this approach. When an intervention cannot be specified, causal relations can still exist, but how to intervene to change the outcome will be unclear. In application, the often-complex structure of causal processes needs to be acknowledged and appropriate data collected to study them. These newer approaches need to be brought to bear on the increasingly complex public health challenges of our globalized world. PMID:23297653

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Cardiovascular control in women with fibromyalgia syndrome: do causal methods provide nonredundant information compared with more traditional approaches?

    PubMed

    Zamunér, Antonio Roberto; Porta, Alberto; Andrade, Carolina Pieroni; Marchi, Andrea; Forti, Meire; Furlan, Raffaello; Barbic, Franca; Catai, Aparecida Maria; Silva, Ester

    2015-07-01

    The cardiovascular autonomic control and the baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) have been widely studied in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients through the computation of linear indices of spontaneous heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) variabilities. However, there are many methodological difficulties regarding the quantification of BRS by the traditional indices especially in relation to the issue of causality. This difficulty has been directly tackled via a model-based approach describing the closed-loop HP-SAP interactions and the exogenous influences of respiration. Therefore, we aimed to assess whether the BRS assessed by the model-based causal closed-loop approach during supine and active standing in patients with FMS could provide complementary information to those obtained by traditional indices based on time and frequency domains. The findings of this study revealed that, at difference with the traditional methods to quantify BRS, the causality analysis applied to the HP, SAP, and respiratory series, through the model-based closed-loop approach, detected lower BRS in supine position, as well as a blunted response to the orthostatic stimulus in patients with FMS compared with healthy control subjects. Also, the strength of the causal relation from SAP to HP (i.e., along the cardiac baroreflex) increased during the active standing only in the control subjects. The model-based closed-loop approach proved to provide important complementary information about the cardiovascular autonomic control in patients with FMS. PMID:25904683

  10. 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.

  11. Structural Approaches to Meeting Rural Education Needs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mack, David P.; Stephens, E. Robert

    In recent years various structural approaches have been used in the United States to improve the delivery of elementary and secondary educational services to rural students. Post World War II interest in reorganization of local districts into larger administrative units has shifted to three other approaches popularized in the 1970's (each with…

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  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. 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.…

  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. 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.

  18. New Approaches for Controlling Saprolegnia parasitica, the Causal Agent of a Devastating Fish Disease.

    PubMed

    Earle, Gregory; Hintz, William

    2014-12-01

    Pathogenic oomycetes have the ability to infect a wide range of plant and animal hosts and are responsible for a number of economically important diseases. Saprolegniasis, a disease affecting fish eggs and juvenile fish in hatcheries worldwide, is caused by the pathogenic oomycete Saprolegnia parasitica. This disease presents as greyish-white patches of filamentous mycelium on the body or fins of fish and is associated with tissue damage leading to death of the animal. Traditionally, saprolegniasis was controlled using Malachite green; however, this chemical was banned in 2002 due to its carcinogenic and toxicological effects. As a direct result of this ban, there has been a recent resurgence of saprolegniasis in the aquaculture industry, leading to economic losses world-wide. Hence, there is an urgent need to find alternative methods to control this pathogen. We discuss the use of molecular approaches for the study of saprolegniasis, which are anticipated to enable the development of effective fish vaccines and the potential for the development of new methods to control this devastating disease.

  19. New Approaches for Controlling Saprolegnia parasitica, the Causal Agent of a Devastating Fish Disease

    PubMed Central

    Earle, Gregory; Hintz, William

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic oomycetes have the ability to infect a wide range of plant and animal hosts and are responsible for a number of economically important diseases. Saprolegniasis, a disease affecting fish eggs and juvenile fish in hatcheries worldwide, is caused by the pathogenic oomycete Saprolegnia parasitica. This disease presents as greyish-white patches of filamentous mycelium on the body or fins of fish and is associated with tissue damage leading to death of the animal. Traditionally, saprolegniasis was controlled using Malachite green; however, this chemical was banned in 2002 due to its carcinogenic and toxicological effects. As a direct result of this ban, there has been a recent resurgence of saprolegniasis in the aquaculture industry, leading to economic losses world-wide. Hence, there is an urgent need to find alternative methods to control this pathogen. We discuss the use of molecular approaches for the study of saprolegniasis, which are anticipated to enable the development of effective fish vaccines and the potential for the development of new methods to control this devastating disease. PMID:27073602

  20. Efficiency characterization of a large neuronal network: A causal information approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montani, Fernando; Deleglise, Emilia B.; Rosso, Osvaldo A.

    2014-05-01

    When inhibitory neurons constitute about 40% of neurons they could have an important antinociceptive role, as they would easily regulate the level of activity of other neurons. We consider a simple network of cortical spiking neurons with axonal conduction delays and spike timing dependent plasticity, representative of a cortical column or hypercolumn with a large proportion of inhibitory neurons. Each neuron fires following a Hodgkin-Huxley like dynamics and it is interconnected randomly to other neurons. The network dynamics is investigated estimating Bandt and Pompe probability distribution function associated to the interspike intervals and taking different degrees of interconnectivity across neurons. More specifically we take into account the fine temporal “structures” of the complex neuronal signals not just by using the probability distributions associated to the interspike intervals, but instead considering much more subtle measures accounting for their causal information: the Shannon permutation entropy, Fisher permutation information and permutation statistical complexity. This allows us to investigate how the information of the system might saturate to a finite value as the degree of interconnectivity across neurons grows, inferring the emergent dynamical properties of the system.

  1. Causal and causally separable processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oreshkov, Ognyan; Giarmatzi, Christina

    2016-09-01

    The idea that events are equipped with a partial causal order is central to our understanding of physics in the tested regimes: given two pointlike events A and B, either A is in the causal past of B, B is in the causal past of A, or A and B are space-like separated. Operationally, the meaning of these order relations corresponds to constraints on the possible correlations between experiments performed in the vicinities of the respective events: if A is in the causal past of B, an experimenter at A could signal to an experimenter at B but not the other way around, while if A and B are space-like separated, no signaling is possible in either direction. In the context of a concrete physical theory, the correlations compatible with a given causal configuration may obey further constraints. For instance, space-like correlations in quantum mechanics arise from local measurements on joint quantum states, while time-like correlations are established via quantum channels. Similarly to other variables, however, the causal order of a set of events could be random, and little is understood about the constraints that causality implies in this case. A main difficulty concerns the fact that the order of events can now generally depend on the operations performed at the locations of these events, since, for instance, an operation at A could influence the order in which B and C occur in A’s future. So far, no formal theory of causality compatible with such dynamical causal order has been developed. Apart from being of fundamental interest in the context of inferring causal relations, such a theory is imperative for understanding recent suggestions that the causal order of events in quantum mechanics can be indefinite. Here, we develop such a theory in the general multipartite case. Starting from a background-independent definition of causality, we derive an iteratively formulated canonical decomposition of multipartite causal correlations. For a fixed number of settings and

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. An Ecological Approach to Needs Assessment For Inservice Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherrill, Claudine

    Physical educators must explore the interrelationships between persons and their total human environment to promote optimal learning. This form of needs assessment broadens the concept of teaching from a student- and school-based perspective to one encompassing the home and community. This ecological approach is more crucial in facilitating…

  9. Translational research-the need of a new bioethics approach.

    PubMed

    Hostiuc, Sorin; Moldoveanu, Alin; Dascălu, Maria-Iuliana; Unnthorsson, Runar; Jóhannesson, Ómar I; Marcus, Ioan

    2016-01-15

    Translational research tries to apply findings from basic science to enhance human health and well-being. Many phases of the translational research may include non-medical tasks (information technology, engineering, nanotechnology, biochemistry, animal research, economy, sociology, psychology, politics, and so on). Using common bioethics principles to these areas might sometimes be not feasible, or even impossible. However, the whole process must respect some fundamental, moral principles. The purpose of this paper is to argument the need for a different approach to the morality in translational bioethics, and to suggest some directions that might be followed when constructing such a bioethics. We will show that a new approach is needed and present a few ethical issues that are specific to the translational research.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Redundant variables and Granger causality.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Ecosystem approach to inland fisheries: research needs and implementation strategies.

    PubMed

    Beard, T Douglas; Arlinghaus, Robert; Cooke, Steven J; McIntyre, Peter B; De Silva, Sena; Bartley, Devin; Cowx, Ian G

    2011-08-23

    Inland fisheries are a vital component in the livelihoods and food security of people throughout the world, as well as contributing huge recreational and economic benefits. These valuable assets are jeopardized by lack of research-based understanding of the impacts of fisheries on inland ecosystems, and similarly the impact of human activities associated with inland waters on fisheries and aquatic biodiversity. To explore this topic, an international workshop was organized in order to examine strategies to incorporate fisheries into ecosystem approaches for management of inland waters. To achieve this goal, a new research agenda is needed that focuses on: quantifying the ecosystem services provided by fresh waters; quantifying the economic, social and nutritional benefits of inland fisheries; improving assessments designed to evaluate fisheries exploitation potential; and examining feedbacks between fisheries, ecosystem productivity and aquatic biodiversity. Accomplishing these objectives will require merging natural and social science approaches to address coupled social-ecological system dynamics.

  14. Ecosystem approach to inland fisheries: Research needs and implementation strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beard, T.D.; Arlinghaus, R.; Cooke, S.J.; McIntyre, P.B.; De Silva, S.; Bartley, D.; Cowx, I.G.

    2011-01-01

    Inland fisheries are a vital component in the livelihoods and food security of people throughout the world, as well as contributing huge recreational and economic benefits. These valuable assets are jeopardized by lack of research-based understanding of the impacts of fisheries on inland ecosystems, and similarly the impact of human activities associated with inland waters on fisheries and aquatic biodiversity. To explore this topic, an international workshop was organized in order to examine strategies to incorporate fisheries into ecosystem approaches for management of inland waters. To achieve this goal, a new research agenda is needed that focuses on: quantifying the ecosystem services provided by fresh waters; quantifying the economic, social and nutritional benefits of inland fisheries; improving assessments designed to evaluate fisheries exploitation potential; and examining feedbacks between fisheries, ecosystem productivity and aquatic biodiversity. Accomplishing these objectives will require merging natural and social science approaches to address coupled social-ecological system dynamics. ?? 2010 The Royal Society.

  15. Ecosystem approach to inland fisheries: research needs and implementation strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beard, T. Douglas; Arlinghaus, Robert; Cooke, Steven J.; McIntyre, Peter B.; De Silva, Sena; Bartley, Devin M.; Cowx, Ian G.

    2011-01-01

    Inland fisheries are a vital component in the livelihoods and food security of people throughout the world, as well as contributing huge recreational and economic benefits. These valuable assets are jeopardized by lack of research-based understanding of the impacts of fisheries on inland ecosystems, and similarly the impact of human activities associated with inland waters on fisheries and aquatic biodiversity. To explore this topic, an international workshop was organized in order to examine strategies to incorporate fisheries into ecosystem approaches for management of inland waters. To achieve this goal, a new research agenda is needed that focuses on: quantifying the ecosystem services provided by fresh waters; quantifying the economic, social and nutritional benefits of inland fisheries; improving assessments designed to evaluate fisheries exploitation potential; and examining feedbacks between fisheries, ecosystem productivity and aquatic biodiversity. Accomplishing these objectives will require merging natural and social science approaches to address coupled social–ecological system dynamics.

  16. Ecosystem approach to inland fisheries: research needs and implementation strategies

    PubMed Central

    Beard, T. Douglas; Arlinghaus, Robert; Cooke, Steven J.; McIntyre, Peter B.; De Silva, Sena; Bartley, Devin; Cowx, Ian G.

    2011-01-01

    Inland fisheries are a vital component in the livelihoods and food security of people throughout the world, as well as contributing huge recreational and economic benefits. These valuable assets are jeopardized by lack of research-based understanding of the impacts of fisheries on inland ecosystems, and similarly the impact of human activities associated with inland waters on fisheries and aquatic biodiversity. To explore this topic, an international workshop was organized in order to examine strategies to incorporate fisheries into ecosystem approaches for management of inland waters. To achieve this goal, a new research agenda is needed that focuses on: quantifying the ecosystem services provided by fresh waters; quantifying the economic, social and nutritional benefits of inland fisheries; improving assessments designed to evaluate fisheries exploitation potential; and examining feedbacks between fisheries, ecosystem productivity and aquatic biodiversity. Accomplishing these objectives will require merging natural and social science approaches to address coupled social–ecological system dynamics. PMID:21325307

  17. Baggasse preservation: a need for a biotechnological approach.

    PubMed

    Sharma, R K; Yadav, K R; Maheshwari, V L; Kothari, R M

    2000-01-01

    Paper is one of the basic needs of modern life. With the consumption of paper likely to grow to 320 million MT by the year 2001, the the worldwide pulp and paper industry is gradually realizing that there is a shortage of the traditional raw material of cellulosic fiber. Bagasse--a byproduct of the sugar industry, presents a potential source of fiber for the paper industry without further compromising the environmental concern. It is cheap, perennially replenishible, presently does not have an alternative economically attractive value added usage, and has adequate chemical and mechanical properties for paper making. However, for it to be available to the paper industry throughout the year, it needs to be stored and preserved for a period of 6 to 8 months. With inherent problems associated with bagasse morphology, intricacies reflected as a result of its physicochemical characteristics, army of microbial infestants, cost-effective quality expectations of the paper industry, and the ecofriendly approach demanded by the society/pollution control boards/environmentalists, there does not seem to be any viable alternative except to use biotechnology approaches for bagasse preservation. It envisages the preservation of maximally depithed bagasse in the piles/heaps, using one-time fine misting of a preservative formulation comprised of biodegradable and nondegradable chemicals inhibiting the microbial population at selected enzyme levels. Its efficacy is improved by open, dry, windy, and moderate sunlit sites for storage. The method is simple, sustainable, and superior to the prevalent methods that are cost, capital, and energy intensive, non-eco-friendly and have adverse cost:benefit ratios. The biotechnology approach has an inherent scope for further optimization, automation, and economization.

  18. 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

  19. Causality assessment: A brief insight into practices in pharmaceutical industry.

    PubMed

    Naidu, R Purushotham

    2013-10-01

    Healthcare industry is flooded with multitude of drugs, and the list is increasing day by day. Consumption of medications has enormously increased due to life style changes, having safer drugs is the need of the hour. Regulators and other authorities to have a check have put in stringent regulations and pharmacovigilance system in place. Eventhough there has been increase in adverse drug reactions (ADR) reporting in the last decade, causality assessment has been the greater challenge for academicians and even industry. Causality is crucial for risk benefit assessment, particularly when it involves post marketing safety signals. Pharmaceutical companies have put in efforts to have a standardized approach for causality assessment. This article will provide some insight into the approaches for causality assessment from a pharma industry perspective. PMID:24312892

  20. The role of need for closure in essentialist entitativity beliefs and prejudice: an epistemic needs approach to racial categorization.

    PubMed

    Roets, Arne; Van Hiel, Alain

    2011-03-01

    The present research investigates how people's general epistemic motives may inspire essentialist beliefs about racial groups and racism. In three studies, we focus particularly on essentialist entitativity (EE, referring to beliefs about the uniformity, informativeness, and inherent core of racial groups), probing into its relationships with epistemic need for closure (NFC) and prejudice. In Study 1, we develop an EE scale, empirically distinguish it from the naturalness component of essentialism and non-EE beliefs, and establish its predictive utility for explaining racial prejudice. Study 2 provides experimental evidence for the causal effect of NFC on EE beliefs. Study 3 demonstrates in three different samples that EE beliefs mediate the relationship between dispositional NFC and racial prejudice. It is argued that EE beliefs about racial groups are an expression of motivated social cognition, serving people's seizing needs for quick and easy social judgment.

  1. Designing sustainable work systems: the need for a systems approach.

    PubMed

    Zink, Klaus J

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing discussion concerning sustainability. While this discussion was at first mainly focused on a society level--and sometimes regarding especially environmental problems, one can now see that this topic is of increasing relevance for companies worldwide and even the social dimension of this three pillar approach is gaining more and more importance. This leads to some questions: Is sustainability already a part of human factors thinking or do we have to further develop our discipline? How can we define sustainable work systems? What are the topics we have to consider? Do we need a new systems ergonomics perspective regarding whole value creation chains and a life-cycle perspective concerning products (and work systems)? How can we deal with potential contradictions about social, ecological, and economic goals? PMID:23608710

  2. Environmental impact assessment: National approaches and international needs.

    PubMed

    Burton, I; Wilson, J; Munn, R E

    1983-06-01

    This paper examines the spread and development of 'environmental impact assessment' (EIA) since the enactment of the U.S. Environmental Policy Act on January 1, 1970, which established for the first time under any jurisdiction the formal requirement that an EIA be made and that an 'environmental impact statement' (EIS) be filed prior to implementation of certain major development projects.The paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, we briefly review the forms of EIA introduced in the western industrial countries and contrast these with developments in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, and in the Third World. The approaches to EIA adopted by five countries - the United States, Australia, Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Soviet Union - are used to illustrate the types of national approaches that have been followed. In the second part of the paper, we use some questions raised by impact assessments as codified in legislation or regulations at the national level to highlight some of the limitations of impact assessment. Finally, we turn to international impact assessments and describe the modest progress made to date. Key impediments to the development of appropriate conceptual and institutional frameworks and methodologies for international EIAs are noted.In conclusion, we offer some suggestions about needed actions at both the national and international levels.

  3. Oral allergy syndrome--the need of a multidisciplinary approach.

    PubMed

    Kelava, Nikolina; Lugović-Mihić, Liborija; Duvancić, Tomislav; Romić, Renata; Situm, Mirna

    2014-06-01

    Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is one of the most common types of food allergy. The syndrome includes itching and swelling of the lips, palate and tongue, usually after consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. The underlying pathogenic mechanism is cross-reactivity between IgE antibodies specific to pollen, and antigens in food, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts that are structurally similar to pollen. Both pollen and food antigens can bind to IgE and trigger type I immune reaction. Diagnosis is primarily based on the patient's history, and confirmed by skin tests, in vitro tests, and oral provocation tests. Differential diagnoses include many diseases (such as burning mouth syndrome, angioedema, hay fever, various other oral diseases, etc.), and for this reason a multidisciplinary approach is necessary, as different specialists need to be involved in the diagnostic procedure. Therapy includes avoiding, or thermal processing of, fruit and vegetables known to trigger a reaction, and antihistamine medications. If a more severe anaphylactic reaction develops, more aggressive therapy is required. The goal of this article is to present OAS, its etiopathogenesis, clinical picture, and symptoms, diagnostic approach and therapy for OAS.

  4. A New Life-Span Approach to Conscientiousness and Health: Combining the Pieces of the Causal Puzzle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

    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…

  5. The Well-Being of Children Born to Teen Mothers: Multiple Approaches to Assessing the Causal Links. JCPR Working Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Judith A.; Pollack, Harold

    This study used linked maternal-child data from the 1997-1998 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to explore the wellbeing of children born to teenage mothers. Two econometric techniques explored the causal impact of early childbearing on subsequent child and adolescent outcomes. First, a fixed-effect, cousin-comparison analysis controlled for…

  6. Integrated approaches to climate-crop modelling: needs and challenges.

    PubMed

    Betts, Richard A

    2005-11-29

    This paper discusses the need for a more integrated approach to modelling changes in climate and crops, and some of the challenges posed by this. While changes in atmospheric composition are expected to exert an increasing radiative forcing of climate change leading to further warming of global mean temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, these are not the only climatic processes which may influence crop production. Changes in the physical characteristics of the land cover may also affect climate; these may arise directly from land use activities and may also result from the large-scale responses of crops to seasonal, interannual and decadal changes in the atmospheric state. Climate models used to drive crop models may, therefore, need to consider changes in the land surface, either as imposed boundary conditions or as feedbacks from an interactive climate-vegetation model. Crops may also respond directly to changes in atmospheric composition, such as the concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (03) and compounds of sulphur and nitrogen, so crop models should consider these processes as well as climate change. Changes in these, and the responses of the crops, may be intimately linked with meteorological processes so crop and climate models should consider synergies between climate and atmospheric chemistry. Some crop responses may occur at scales too small to significantly influence meteorology, so may not need to be included as feedbacks within climate models. However, the volume of data required to drive the appropriate crop models may be very large, especially if short-time-scale variability is important. Implementation of crop models within climate models would minimize the need to transfer large quantities of data between separate modelling systems. It should also be noted that crop responses to climate change may interact with other impacts of climate change, such as hydrological changes. For example, the availability of water for irrigation

  7. Integrated approaches to climate-crop modelling: needs and challenges.

    PubMed

    Betts, Richard A

    2005-11-29

    This paper discusses the need for a more integrated approach to modelling changes in climate and crops, and some of the challenges posed by this. While changes in atmospheric composition are expected to exert an increasing radiative forcing of climate change leading to further warming of global mean temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, these are not the only climatic processes which may influence crop production. Changes in the physical characteristics of the land cover may also affect climate; these may arise directly from land use activities and may also result from the large-scale responses of crops to seasonal, interannual and decadal changes in the atmospheric state. Climate models used to drive crop models may, therefore, need to consider changes in the land surface, either as imposed boundary conditions or as feedbacks from an interactive climate-vegetation model. Crops may also respond directly to changes in atmospheric composition, such as the concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (03) and compounds of sulphur and nitrogen, so crop models should consider these processes as well as climate change. Changes in these, and the responses of the crops, may be intimately linked with meteorological processes so crop and climate models should consider synergies between climate and atmospheric chemistry. Some crop responses may occur at scales too small to significantly influence meteorology, so may not need to be included as feedbacks within climate models. However, the volume of data required to drive the appropriate crop models may be very large, especially if short-time-scale variability is important. Implementation of crop models within climate models would minimize the need to transfer large quantities of data between separate modelling systems. It should also be noted that crop responses to climate change may interact with other impacts of climate change, such as hydrological changes. For example, the availability of water for irrigation

  8. Integrated approaches to climate–crop modelling: needs and challenges

    PubMed Central

    A. Betts, Richard

    2005-01-01

    This paper discusses the need for a more integrated approach to modelling changes in climate and crops, and some of the challenges posed by this. While changes in atmospheric composition are expected to exert an increasing radiative forcing of climate change leading to further warming of global mean temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, these are not the only climatic processes which may influence crop production. Changes in the physical characteristics of the land cover may also affect climate; these may arise directly from land use activities and may also result from the large-scale responses of crops to seasonal, interannual and decadal changes in the atmospheric state. Climate models used to drive crop models may, therefore, need to consider changes in the land surface, either as imposed boundary conditions or as feedbacks from an interactive climate–vegetation model. Crops may also respond directly to changes in atmospheric composition, such as the concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3) and compounds of sulphur and nitrogen, so crop models should consider these processes as well as climate change. Changes in these, and the responses of the crops, may be intimately linked with meteorological processes so crop and climate models should consider synergies between climate and atmospheric chemistry. Some crop responses may occur at scales too small to significantly influence meteorology, so may not need to be included as feedbacks within climate models. However, the volume of data required to drive the appropriate crop models may be very large, especially if short-time-scale variability is important. Implementation of crop models within climate models would minimize the need to transfer large quantities of data between separate modelling systems. It should also be noted that crop responses to climate change may interact with other impacts of climate change, such as hydrological changes. For example, the availability of water for

  9. "The Maasai Need Cows and the Cows Need Maasai," the Use of a Photovoice Approach to Assess Animal Health Needs.

    PubMed

    van der Meer, Frank; Clancy, Eoin; Thomas, Adam; Kutz, Susan; Hatfield, Jennifer; Orsel, Karin

    2015-01-01

    The Maasai pastoralists in sub-Saharan Africa depend on their livestock for income and food. Livestock production can be significantly improved by addressing animal health concerns. We explored the use of photovoice, a participatory action research method, to strengthen our understanding of the Maasai's animal health needs. Nine interviewees, representing warriors, elders, and women, identified animal, social, and human health themes. The use of photography provided a new medium for Maasai to express their needs and a focus for researcher-participant communications, thereby facilitating new insights across language and cultural barriers. PMID:26664973

  10. Causality in epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Kamangar, Farin

    2012-10-01

    This article provides an introduction to the meaning of causality in epidemiology and methods that epidemiologists use to distinguish causal associations from non-causal ones. Alternatives to causal association are discussed in detail. Hill's guidelines, set forth approximately 50 years ago, and more recent developments are reviewed. The role of religious and philosophic views in our understanding of causality is briefly discussed.

  11. Computational approach in estimating the need of ditch network maintenance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauren, Ari; Hökkä, Hannu; Launiainen, Samuli; Palviainen, Marjo; Repo, Tapani; Leena, Finer; Piirainen, Sirpa

    2015-04-01

    Ditch network maintenance (DNM), implemented annually in 70 000 ha area in Finland, is the most controversial of all forest management practices. Nationwide, it is estimated to increase the forest growth by 1…3 million m3 per year, but simultaneously to cause 65 000 tons export of suspended solids and 71 tons of phosphorus (P) to water courses. A systematic approach that allows simultaneous quantification of the positive and negative effects of DNM is required. Excess water in the rooting zone slows the gas exchange and decreases biological activity interfering with the forest growth in boreal forested peatlands. DNM is needed when: 1) the excess water in the rooting zone restricts the forest growth before the DNM, and 2) after the DNM the growth restriction ceases or decreases, and 3) the benefits of DNM are greater than the caused adverse effects. Aeration in the rooting zone can be used as a drainage criterion. Aeration is affected by several factors such as meteorological conditions, tree stand properties, hydraulic properties of peat, ditch depth, and ditch spacing. We developed a 2-dimensional DNM simulator that allows the user to adjust these factors and to evaluate their effect on the soil aeration at different distance from the drainage ditch. DNM simulator computes hydrological processes and soil aeration along a water flowpath between two ditches. Applying daily time step it calculates evapotranspiration, snow accumulation and melt, infiltration, soil water storage, ground water level, soil water content, air-filled porosity and runoff. The model performance in hydrology has been tested against independent high frequency field monitoring data. Soil aeration at different distance from the ditch is computed under steady-state assumption using an empirical oxygen consumption model, simulated air-filled porosity, and diffusion coefficient at different depths in soil. Aeration is adequate and forest growth rate is not limited by poor aeration if the

  12. Meeting the Needs of LGBTQ Youth: A "Relational Assets" Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sadowski, Michael; Chow, Stephen; Scanlon, Constance P.

    2009-01-01

    Drawing primarily on three case studies, this article proposes a framework that those concerned about the welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth can consider when developing, evaluating, or arguing for more effective programming: a relational assets approach. The relational assets approach merges the…

  13. We need theoretical physics approaches to study living systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blagoev, Krastan B.; Shukla, Kamal; affil="3" >Herbert Levine,

    2013-08-01

    , nor collect data on the kinetics of the many complex reactions. Instead, the focus was on formulating two- or three-component reaction-diffusion equations (e.g. the Oregonator), which could explain such generic features as the existence of rotating spiral waves (and their instability), the transition to chaos, the control of the reaction by light etc. By stressing mechanism instead of meticulous detail, one could understand the system even if there were still components and interactions waiting to be cataloged and quantified. In living systems, this way of thinking is even more crucial. A leading biologist once remarked to one of us that a calculation of in vivo cytoskeletal dynamics that did not take into account the fact that the particular cell in question had more than ten isoforms of actin could not possibly be correct. We need to counter that any calculation which takes into account all these isoforms is overwhelmingly likely to be vastly under-constrained and ultimately not useful. Adding more details can often bring us further from reality. Of course, the challenge for models is then falsification, i.e., finding robust predictions which can be directly tested experimentally. The most severe criticism, to quote Pauli, remains that 'your model is not even wrong.' Is this approach proving successful? In many cases it is too early to tell, but simple models have already proved useful in understanding protein folding, directed cell motility, gene expression variability and even laboratory-scale Darwinian evolution. One could argue as well that the extremely influential Hodgkin-Huxley approach to the action potential in neurons is a vastly oversimplified description and that is why it is tractable and compelling. There are other cases, however, where the model was too simple—the simple Turing instability does not account for Drosophila segment formation [2] and the binary state relaxational dynamics of the Hopfield model may prove incapable of explaining memory

  14. Culture, needs and nursing: a critical theory approach.

    PubMed

    Holmes, C A; Warelow, P J

    1997-03-01

    This paper will bring the critique of culture, notably that undertaken by the Frankfurt School of Critical Social Science, to bear on the problem of needs, and expose its significance for the practice and discipline of nursing. The paper begins by reviewing ways in which the idea of 'needs' has been depicted in nursing literature, and it is suggested that this depiction is inadequate in fundamental ways. The critique of existing culture is then outlined and the implications for nursing are suggested in terms of the dissolution of hegemonic practices and the development of a concept of need built around the notion of 'praxis'.

  15. Detecting causality in complex ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sugihara, George; May, Robert; Ye, Hao; Hsieh, Chih-hao; Deyle, Ethan; Fogarty, Michael; Munch, Stephan

    2012-10-26

    Identifying causal networks is important for effective policy and management recommendations on climate, epidemiology, financial regulation, and much else. We introduce a method, based on nonlinear state space reconstruction, that can distinguish causality from correlation. It extends to nonseparable weakly connected dynamic systems (cases not covered by the current Granger causality paradigm). The approach is illustrated both by simple models (where, in contrast to the real world, we know the underlying equations/relations and so can check the validity of our method) and by application to real ecological systems, including the controversial sardine-anchovy-temperature problem.

  16. Effect of diagnostic labeling and causal explanations on medical students' views about treatments for psychosis and the need to share information with service users.

    PubMed

    Magliano, Lorenza; Read, John; Sagliocchi, Alessandra; Patalano, Melania; Oliviero, Nicoletta

    2013-12-15

    This study examines whether medical students' views of treatments for 'schizophrenia' and of patients' rights to be informed about their condition and their medication were influenced by diagnostic labeling and causal explanations and whether they differed over medical training. Three hundred and eighty-one Italian students attending their first or fifth/sixth year of medical studies read a vignette portraying someone who met diagnostic criteria for 'schizophrenia' and completed a self-report questionnaire. The study found that labeling the case as 'schizophrenia' and naming heredity among its causes were associated with confidence in psychiatrists and psychiatric drugs. Naming psychological traumas among the causes was associated with confidence in psychologists and greater acknowledgment of users' right to be informed about drugs. Compared to first year students, those at their fifth/sixth-year of studies more strongly endorsed drugs, had less confidence in psychologists and family support, and were less keen to share information on drugs with patients. These findings highlight that students' beliefs vary during training and are significantly related to diagnostic labeling and belief in a biogenetic causal model. Psychiatric curricula for medical students should include greater integration of psychological and medical aspects in clinical management of 'schizophrenia'; more information on the psychosocial causes of mental health problems.

  17. The Recovery of Locality for Causal Sets and Related Topics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daughton, Alan Ronald

    The theory of causal sets is an attempt at a successful quantum theory of gravity. It is widely expected that any theory of quantum gravity should give rise to a discrete structure to spacetime geometry. This supposition rests upon three features of successfully quantized theories. The first is that quantization usually leads to some form of discrete object, or quantum, which is the source of the term "quantization". The second is the need for renormalization of field theories (which is not alleviated by including gravity, using the usual perturbative approach to quantization, as had once been hoped). An ultraviolet cutoff is introduced, which can be imagined to be either the mathematical manifestation of an underlying theory that contains new structures at some scale (for example the "GUT" fields, strings, etc.) or simply the result of the breakdown of the manifold picture at this same scale. Thirdly, quantized fields exhibit the phenomenon of virtual particles of unlimited energies at short length scales. The coupling of gravity to such quantized fields should induce infinite curvatures of the manifold at short scales, thereby dynamically prohibiting a manifold structure. The theory of causal sets begins with a discrete structure. The classical spacetime manifold is expected to emerge as an approximation (in a large grain limit) to the class of causal sets which dominate a sum over causal sets, each causal set being weighted by the exponentiation of an appropriately defined "action functional". In order for this theory to be successful, several questions need to be addressed. Some of these are directed at the relationship between the causal set theory and the geometry of classical spacetime. Other questions are related to the quantization of the causal set theory and inclusion of quantum fields into the theory's framework. This work addresses the relation between causal sets and classical gravity (specifically the issues of embeddability of a certain class of

  18. The Visual Causality Analyst: An Interactive Interface for Causal Reasoning.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Mueller, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Uncovering the causal relations that exist among variables in multivariate datasets is one of the ultimate goals in data analytics. Causation is related to correlation but correlation does not imply causation. While a number of casual discovery algorithms have been devised that eliminate spurious correlations from a network, there are no guarantees that all of the inferred causations are indeed true. Hence, bringing a domain expert into the casual reasoning loop can be of great benefit in identifying erroneous casual relationships suggested by the discovery algorithm. To address this need we present the Visual Causal Analyst-a novel visual causal reasoning framework that allows users to apply their expertise, verify and edit causal links, and collaborate with the causal discovery algorithm to identify a valid causal network. Its interface consists of both an interactive 2D graph view and a numerical presentation of salient statistical parameters, such as regression coefficients, p-values, and others. Both help users in gaining a good understanding of the landscape of causal structures particularly when the number of variables is large. Our framework is also novel in that it can handle both numerical and categorical variables within one unified model and return plausible results. We demonstrate its use via a set of case studies using multiple practical datasets.

  19. A new approach to assessing skill needs of senior managers.

    PubMed

    Griffith, John R; Warden, Gail L; Neighbors, Kamilah; Shim, Beth

    2002-01-01

    Management of health care organizations must improve to meet the well-documented challenges of quality improvement and cost control. Other industries have developed the tools--entry education, mentoring, planned mid-career formal education and experience, and special programs for senior management. The purpose of this paper is to pilot test an alternative method to identify competencies and performance of health care executives. We propose using formal lists of technical, interpersonal, and strategic competencies and specific real events chosen by the respondent to identify and prioritize competencies. Results of a trial with 30 large health care system CEOs and 15 early careerists demonstrate that the method reveals useful depth and detail about managers' educational needs. The results suggest that current thinking about managerial education and learning patterns may be seriously inadequate in several respects. The continued improvement of U.S. health care is a pressing national concern. Quality of care is highly variable and substantially deficient in many institutions (Chassin and Galvin 1998; Committee on Quality of Health Care in America 2001). "Quality improvement should be the essential business strategy for healthcare in the 21st century (Kizer 2001)." Productivity improvements will be essential to balance cost pressures from an aging population and growing technology (Heffler, et al. 2002). Skillful management is necessary to improve quality and productivity. Teams of dozens of caregivers are often required to improve a patient's health. The organizations that provide care have grown larger in response to the greater cost, complexity of operation and finance, and evidence of the success of scale in other industries. While many small professional practices, hospitals, and nursing homes remain, consolidation has created a few dozen provider and intermediary organizations exceeding a billion dollars a year in expenditures. These large health care

  20. A new approach to assessing skill needs of senior managers.

    PubMed

    Griffith, John R; Warden, Gail L; Neighbors, Kamilah; Shim, Beth

    2002-01-01

    Management of health care organizations must improve to meet the well-documented challenges of quality improvement and cost control. Other industries have developed the tools--entry education, mentoring, planned mid-career formal education and experience, and special programs for senior management. The purpose of this paper is to pilot test an alternative method to identify competencies and performance of health care executives. We propose using formal lists of technical, interpersonal, and strategic competencies and specific real events chosen by the respondent to identify and prioritize competencies. Results of a trial with 30 large health care system CEOs and 15 early careerists demonstrate that the method reveals useful depth and detail about managers' educational needs. The results suggest that current thinking about managerial education and learning patterns may be seriously inadequate in several respects. The continued improvement of U.S. health care is a pressing national concern. Quality of care is highly variable and substantially deficient in many institutions (Chassin and Galvin 1998; Committee on Quality of Health Care in America 2001). "Quality improvement should be the essential business strategy for healthcare in the 21st century (Kizer 2001)." Productivity improvements will be essential to balance cost pressures from an aging population and growing technology (Heffler, et al. 2002). Skillful management is necessary to improve quality and productivity. Teams of dozens of caregivers are often required to improve a patient's health. The organizations that provide care have grown larger in response to the greater cost, complexity of operation and finance, and evidence of the success of scale in other industries. While many small professional practices, hospitals, and nursing homes remain, consolidation has created a few dozen provider and intermediary organizations exceeding a billion dollars a year in expenditures. These large health care

  1. We need theoretical physics approaches to study living systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blagoev, Krastan B.; Shukla, Kamal; affil="3" >Herbert Levine,

    2013-08-01

    , nor collect data on the kinetics of the many complex reactions. Instead, the focus was on formulating two- or three-component reaction-diffusion equations (e.g. the Oregonator), which could explain such generic features as the existence of rotating spiral waves (and their instability), the transition to chaos, the control of the reaction by light etc. By stressing mechanism instead of meticulous detail, one could understand the system even if there were still components and interactions waiting to be cataloged and quantified. In living systems, this way of thinking is even more crucial. A leading biologist once remarked to one of us that a calculation of in vivo cytoskeletal dynamics that did not take into account the fact that the particular cell in question had more than ten isoforms of actin could not possibly be correct. We need to counter that any calculation which takes into account all these isoforms is overwhelmingly likely to be vastly under-constrained and ultimately not useful. Adding more details can often bring us further from reality. Of course, the challenge for models is then falsification, i.e., finding robust predictions which can be directly tested experimentally. The most severe criticism, to quote Pauli, remains that 'your model is not even wrong.' Is this approach proving successful? In many cases it is too early to tell, but simple models have already proved useful in understanding protein folding, directed cell motility, gene expression variability and even laboratory-scale Darwinian evolution. One could argue as well that the extremely influential Hodgkin-Huxley approach to the action potential in neurons is a vastly oversimplified description and that is why it is tractable and compelling. There are other cases, however, where the model was too simple—the simple Turing instability does not account for Drosophila segment formation [2] and the binary state relaxational dynamics of the Hopfield model may prove incapable of explaining memory

  2. Circular causality.

    PubMed

    Thomas, R

    2006-07-01

    The problem of disentangling complex dynamic systems is addressed, especially with a view to identifying those variables that take part in the essential qualitative behaviour of systems. The author presents a series of reflections about the methods of formalisation together with the principles that govern the global operation of systems. In particular, a section on circuits, nuclei, and circular causality and a rather detailed description of the analytic use of the generalised asynchronous logical description, together with a brief description of its synthetic use (OreverseO logic). Some basic rules are recalled, such as the fact that a positive circuit is a necessary condition of multistationarity. Also, the interest of considering as a model, rather than a well-defined set of differential equations, a variety of systems that differ from each other only by the values of constant terms is emphasised. All these systems have a common Jacobian matrix and for all of them phase space has exactly the same structure. It means that all can be partitioned in the same way as regards the signs of the eigenvalues and thus as regards the precise nature of any steady states that might be present. Which steady states are actually present, depends on the values of terms of order zero in the ordinary differential equations (ODEs), and it is easy to find for which values of these terms a given point in phase space is steady. Models can be synthesised first at the level of the circuits involved in the Jacobian matrix (that determines which types and numbers of steady states are consistent with the model), then only at the level of terms of order zero in the ODE's (that determines which of the steady states actually exist), hence the title 'Circular casuality'.

  3. The Substance Abuse Counseling Needs of Women in the Criminal Justice System: A Needs Assessment Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laux, John M.; Dupuy, Paula J.; Moe, Jeffry L.; Cox, Jane A.; Lambert, Eric; Ventura, Lois A.; Williamson, Celia; Benjamin, Barbaranne J.

    2008-01-01

    The authors assessed the substance abuse counseling needs of women in the criminal justice system using interviews (n = 304) and surveys (n = 1,170). On the basis of the results, the authors call for gender-specific treatment as well as family-oriented support for women who are mothers.

  4. 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.

  5. A Theoretical Approach to Information Needs Across Different Healthcare Stakeholders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raitoharju, Reetta; Aarnio, Eeva

    Increased access to medical information can lead to information overload among both the employees in the healthcare sector as well as among healthcare consumers. Moreover, medical information can be hard to understand for consumers who have no prerequisites for interpreting and understanding it. Information systems (e.g. electronic patient records) are normally designed to meet the demands of one professional group, for instance those of physicians. Therefore, the same information in the same form is presented to all the users of the systems regardless of the actual need or prerequisites. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the differences in information needs across different stakeholders in healthcare. A literature review was conducted to collect examples of these different information needs. Based on the findings the role of more user specific information systems is discussed.

  6. Training Needs Analysis: Weaknesses in the Conventional Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leat, Michael James; Lovel, Murray Jack

    1997-01-01

    Identification of the training and development needs of administrative support staff is not aided by conventional performance appraisal, which measures summary or comparative effectiveness. Meaningful diagnostic evaluation integrates three levels of analysis (organization, task, and individual), using behavioral expectation scales. (SK)

  7. Behavior Management of Special Needs Learners: Positive Approaches.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Missouri LINC.

    The paper addresses behavior management strategies for developing new behaviors in special needs learners, strategies for changing existing behaviors, and strategies for developing behavioral generalization. An introductory overview identifies five basic principles of behavior management. Fourteen behavioral terms are then defined (e.g.,…

  8. Approaches to Dispute Resolution in Additional Support Needs in Scotland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddell, Sheila; Weedon, Elisabet

    2009-01-01

    The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 aimed, among other things, to increase parents' rights in relation to the education of their children. In addition to the creation of the Additional Supports Needs Tribunals for Scotland, parents were given new rights to challenge local authority decisions through mediation and…

  9. “Upstream Analysis”: An Integrated Promoter-Pathway Analysis Approach to Causal Interpretation of Microarray Data

    PubMed Central

    Koschmann, Jeannette; Bhar, Anirban; Stegmaier, Philip; Kel, Alexander E.; Wingender, Edgar

    2015-01-01

    A strategy is presented that allows a causal analysis of co-expressed genes, which may be subject to common regulatory influences. A state-of-the-art promoter analysis for potential transcription factor (TF) binding sites in combination with a knowledge-based analysis of the upstream pathway that control the activity of these TFs is shown to lead to hypothetical master regulators. This strategy was implemented as a workflow in a comprehensive bioinformatic software platform. We applied this workflow to gene sets that were identified by a novel triclustering algorithm in naphthalene-induced gene expression signatures of murine liver and lung tissue. As a result, tissue-specific master regulators were identified that are known to be linked with tumorigenic and apoptotic processes. To our knowledge, this is the first time that genes of expression triclusters were used to identify upstream regulators.

  10. 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

  11. Respiratory sensitization and allergy: Current research approaches and needs

    SciTech Connect

    Boverhof, Darrell R. Billington, Richard; Gollapudi, B. Bhaskar; Hotchkiss, John A.; Krieger, Shannon M.; Poole, Alan; Wiescinski, Connie M.; Woolhiser, Michael R.

    2008-01-01

    There are currently no accepted regulatory models for assessing the potential of a substance to cause respiratory sensitization and allergy. In contrast, a number of models exist for the assessment of contact sensitization and allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Research indicates that respiratory sensitizers may be identified through contact sensitization assays such as the local lymph node assay, although only a small subset of the compounds that yield positive results in these assays are actually respiratory sensitizers. Due to the increasing health concerns associated with occupational asthma and the impending directives on the regulation of respiratory sensitizers and allergens, an approach which can identify these compounds and distinguish them from contact sensitizers is required. This report discusses some of the important contrasts between respiratory allergy and ACD, and highlights several prominent in vivo, in vitro and in silico approaches that are being applied or could be further developed to identify compounds capable of causing respiratory allergy. Although a number of animal models have been used for researching respiratory sensitization and allergy, protocols and endpoints for these approaches are often inconsistent, costly and difficult to reproduce, thereby limiting meaningful comparisons of data between laboratories and development of a consensus approach. A number of emerging in vitro and in silico models show promise for use in the characterization of contact sensitization potential and should be further explored for their ability to identify and differentiate contact and respiratory sensitizers. Ultimately, the development of a consistent, accurate and cost-effective model will likely incorporate a number of these approaches and will require effective communication, collaboration and consensus among all stakeholders.

  12. Causally nonseparable processes admitting a causal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feix, Adrien; Araújo, Mateus; Brukner, Časlav

    2016-08-01

    A recent framework of quantum theory with no global causal order predicts the existence of ‘causally nonseparable’ processes. Some of these processes produce correlations incompatible with any causal order (they violate so-called ‘causal inequalities’ analogous to Bell inequalities) while others do not (they admit a ‘causal model’ analogous to a local model). Here we show for the first time that bipartite causally nonseparable processes with a causal model exist, and give evidence that they have no clear physical interpretation. We also provide an algorithm to generate processes of this kind and show that they have nonzero measure in the set of all processes. We demonstrate the existence of processes which stop violating causal inequalities but are still causally nonseparable when mixed with a certain amount of ‘white noise’. This is reminiscent of the behavior of Werner states in the context of entanglement and nonlocality. Finally, we provide numerical evidence for the existence of causally nonseparable processes which have a causal model even when extended with an entangled state shared among the parties.

  13. Technology Development Roadmaps - a Systematic Approach to Maturing Needed Technologies

    SciTech Connect

    John W. Colllins; Layne Pincock

    2010-07-01

    Abstract. Planning and decision making represent important challenges for all projects. This paper presents the steps needed to assess technical readiness and determine the path forward to mature the technologies required for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant. A Technology Readiness Assessment is used to evaluate the required systems, subsystems, and components (SSC) comprising the desired plant architecture and assess the SSCs against established Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). A validated TRL baseline is then established for the proposed physical design. Technology Development Roadmaps are generated to define the path forward and focus project research and development and engineering tasks on advancing the technologies to increasing levels of maturity. Tasks include modeling, testing, bench-scale demonstrations, pilot-scale demonstrations, and fully integrated prototype demonstrations. The roadmaps identify precise project objectives and requirements; create a consensus vision of project needs; provide a structured, defensible, decision-based project plan; and, minimize project costs and schedules.

  14. Expectations and interpretations during causal learning.

    PubMed

    Luhmann, Christian C; Ahn, Woo-Kyoung

    2011-05-01

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Systems approach to chemical spill response information needs

    SciTech Connect

    Parnarouskis, M.C.; Flessner, M.F.; Potts, R.G.

    1980-01-01

    The Chemical Hazards Response Information System (CHRIS) has been specifically designed to meet the emergency needs of US Coast Guard field personnel, currently providing them with information on 900 hazardous chemicals, with methods of predicting hazards resulting from accidental discharges, and with procedures for selecting and implementing response to accident discharges. The major components of CHRIS and the computerized hazard assessment models within the Hazard Assessment Computer System are described in detail.

  17. Pacific Island Pharmacovigilance: The Need for a Different Approach.

    PubMed

    McEwen, John; Vestergaard, Lasse S; Sanburg, Amanda L C

    2016-10-01

    Many Pacific Island countries (PICs) are recipients of funding support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). However, most of these countries cannot be expected to meet Global Fund and World Health Organization (WHO) minimum requirements for a functioning pharmacovigilance (PV) system. We argue that a different approach is required to move PV forward in such countries. Although the long-term aim is to build adequate national PV capacity, we propose an approach in which resources are focused initially towards ensuring a proper system for the reporting of "problems with medicines" such as substandard and counterfeit products. The limited health system resources in these countries require that PV will be supported by some of the organizations also giving funding aid for the supply of medicines. PMID:27364632

  18. Why health care corruption needs a new approach.

    PubMed

    Radin, Dagmar

    2016-07-01

    While corruption has been at the center of academic studies and on the agenda of international organizations for a couple of decades, in the health care sector corruption has not generated much interest or progress. At the centre of this issue is the lack of an interdisciplinary approach, which is warranted given the complexity of the issue and the lack of cooperation between STET scientifically rigorous academics and policy-makers, leaving room for more cooperation and progress. PMID:26608191

  19. Why health care corruption needs a new approach.

    PubMed

    Radin, Dagmar

    2016-07-01

    While corruption has been at the center of academic studies and on the agenda of international organizations for a couple of decades, in the health care sector corruption has not generated much interest or progress. At the centre of this issue is the lack of an interdisciplinary approach, which is warranted given the complexity of the issue and the lack of cooperation between STET scientifically rigorous academics and policy-makers, leaving room for more cooperation and progress.

  20. Causal learning with local computations.

    PubMed

    Fernbach, Philip M; Sloman, Steven A

    2009-05-01

    The authors proposed and tested a psychological theory of causal structure learning based on local computations. Local computations simplify complex learning problems via cues available on individual trials to update a single causal structure hypothesis. Structural inferences from local computations make minimal demands on memory, require relatively small amounts of data, and need not respect normative prescriptions as inferences that are principled locally may violate those principles when combined. Over a series of 3 experiments, the authors found (a) systematic inferences from small amounts of data; (b) systematic inference of extraneous causal links; (c) influence of data presentation order on inferences; and (d) error reduction through pretraining. Without pretraining, a model based on local computations fitted data better than a Bayesian structural inference model. The data suggest that local computations serve as a heuristic for learning causal structure.

  1. 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

  2. Analytical Approaches to Verify Food Integrity: Needs and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Richard H; Tran, Lien-Anh; Cavin, Christophe; Zbinden, Pascal; Konings, Erik J M

    2016-09-01

    A brief overview of the main analytical approaches and practices to determine food authenticity is presented, addressing, as well, food supply chain and future requirements to more effectively mitigate food fraud. Food companies are introducing procedures and mechanisms that allow them to identify vulnerabilities in their food supply chain under the umbrella of a food fraud prevention management system. A key step and first line of defense is thorough supply chain mapping and full transparency, assessing the likelihood of fraudsters to penetrate the chain at any point. More vulnerable chains, such as those where ingredients and/or raw materials are purchased through traders or auctions, may require a higher degree of sampling, testing, and surveillance. Access to analytical tools is therefore pivotal, requiring continuous development and possibly sophistication in identifying chemical markers, data acquisition, and modeling. Significant progress in portable technologies is evident already today, for instance, as in the rapid testing now available at the agricultural level. In the near future, consumers may also have the ability to scan products in stores or at home to authenticate labels and food content. For food manufacturers, targeted analytical methods complemented by untargeted approaches are end control measures at the factory gate when the material is delivered. In essence, testing for food adulterants is an integral part of routine QC, ideally tailored to the risks in the individual markets and/or geographies or supply chains. The development of analytical methods is a first step in verifying the compliance and authenticity of food materials. A next, more challenging step is the successful establishment of global consensus reference methods as exemplified by the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals initiative, which can serve as an approach that could also be applied to methods for contaminants and adulterants in food. The food

  3. Analytical Approaches to Verify Food Integrity: Needs and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Richard H; Tran, Lien-Anh; Cavin, Christophe; Zbinden, Pascal; Konings, Erik J M

    2016-09-01

    A brief overview of the main analytical approaches and practices to determine food authenticity is presented, addressing, as well, food supply chain and future requirements to more effectively mitigate food fraud. Food companies are introducing procedures and mechanisms that allow them to identify vulnerabilities in their food supply chain under the umbrella of a food fraud prevention management system. A key step and first line of defense is thorough supply chain mapping and full transparency, assessing the likelihood of fraudsters to penetrate the chain at any point. More vulnerable chains, such as those where ingredients and/or raw materials are purchased through traders or auctions, may require a higher degree of sampling, testing, and surveillance. Access to analytical tools is therefore pivotal, requiring continuous development and possibly sophistication in identifying chemical markers, data acquisition, and modeling. Significant progress in portable technologies is evident already today, for instance, as in the rapid testing now available at the agricultural level. In the near future, consumers may also have the ability to scan products in stores or at home to authenticate labels and food content. For food manufacturers, targeted analytical methods complemented by untargeted approaches are end control measures at the factory gate when the material is delivered. In essence, testing for food adulterants is an integral part of routine QC, ideally tailored to the risks in the individual markets and/or geographies or supply chains. The development of analytical methods is a first step in verifying the compliance and authenticity of food materials. A next, more challenging step is the successful establishment of global consensus reference methods as exemplified by the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals initiative, which can serve as an approach that could also be applied to methods for contaminants and adulterants in food. The food

  4. Insights into Platelet Storage and the Need for Multiple Approaches.

    PubMed

    Handigund, Mallikarjun; Cho, Yong Gon

    2015-01-01

    Upon accidental injury and the treatment of many diseases, patients may need a transfusion of blood components in order to achieve hemostasis. Platelets are small enucleated cells derived from bone marrow megakaryocytes that undergo change upon activation at sites of vascular injury and play a vital role in vascular repair and antimicrobial host defense, collectively contributing to hemostasis. They are the common blood components transfused whenever there is need, but supplies do not equal the demand as platelets are required in many medical and surgical procedures. In addition, surplus supplies of platelet concentrate are often discarded as they have a short shelf life. Currently, platelet concentrates are stored at room temperature for a maximum of 5 days from the date of collection; the temporal aspect is an added hurdle in the growing demand for platelet concentrates. Many investigations have been carried out in attempt to improve the quality and lengthen the shelf life of platelets, but the few that have succeeded are not commercially viable. Moreover, currently there is a declining trend in platelet research, quelling the hope of platelet storage improvement. Successful strategies would be a boon for medicine in particular and humanity in general. This review deals with past and current efforts toward improving the quality of platelet concentrates by reducing platelet storage lesions and increasing the viable storage period for platelets. Also presented are new perspectives based on past and current efforts, which should be investigated for platelet research in this decade.

  5. Health in cities: is a systems approach needed?

    PubMed

    Diez Roux, Ana V

    2015-11-01

    This paper reviews the potential utility of using the concepts and tools of systems to understand and act on health in cities. The basic elements of systems approaches and the links between cities as systems and population health as emerging from the functioning of a system are reviewed. The paper also discusses implications of systems thinking for urban health including the development of dynamic conceptual models, the use of new tools, the integration of data in new ways and the identification of data gaps, and the formulation of different kinds of questions and identification of new policies. The paper concludes with a review of caveats and challenges. PMID:26648353

  6. Workforce Development: A Survey of Industry Needs and Training Approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Ventre, Jerry; Weissman, Jane

    2009-04-01

    This paper presents information and data collected during 2008 on PV workforce needs by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council for the U.S. Department of Energy. The data was collected from licensed contractors, PV practitioners, educators and expert instructors at training sessions, and at focus group and advisory committee meetings. Respondents were primarily from three states: Florida, New York and California. Other states were represented, but to a lesser extent. For data collection, a 12-item questionnaire was developed that addressed key workforce development issues from the perspectives of both the PV industry and training institutions. A total of 63 responses were collected, although not every respondent answered every question. Industry representatives slightly outnumbered the educators, although the difference in responses was not significant.

  7. 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…

  8. Novel approaches are needed to develop tomorrow's antibacterial therapies.

    PubMed

    Spellberg, Brad; Bartlett, John; Wunderink, Rich; Gilbert, David N

    2015-01-15

    Society faces a crisis of rising antibiotic resistance even as the pipeline of new antibiotics has been drying up. Antibiotics are a public trust; every individual's use of antibiotics affects their efficacy for everyone else. As such, responses to the antibiotic crisis must take a societal perspective. The market failure of antibiotics is due to a combination of scientific challenges to discovering and developing new antibiotics, unfavorable economics, and a hostile regulatory environment. Scientific solutions include changing the way we screen for new antibiotics. More transformationally, developing new treatments that seek to disarm pathogens without killing them, or that modulate the host inflammatory response to infection, will reduce selective pressure and hence minimize resistance emergence. Economic transformation will require new business models to support antibiotic development. Finally, regulatory reform is needed so that clinical development programs are feasible, rigorous, and clinically relevant. Pulmonary and critical care specialists can have tremendous impact on the continued availability of effective antibiotics. Encouraging use of molecular diagnostic tests to allow pathogen-targeted, narrow-spectrum antibiotic therapy, using short rather than unnecessarily long course therapy, reducing inappropriate antibiotic use for probable viral infections, and reducing infection rates will help preserve the antibiotics we have for future generations.

  9. Sociotechnical approaches to workplace safety: Research needs and opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Michelle M.; Hettinger, Lawrence J.; Waterson, Patrick E.; Ian Noy, Y.; Dainoff, Marvin J.; Leveson, Nancy G.; Carayon, Pascale; Courtney, Theodore K.

    2015-01-01

    The sociotechnical systems perspective offers intriguing and potentially valuable insights into problems associated with workplace safety. While formal sociotechnical systems thinking originated in the 1950s, its application to the analysis and design of sustainable, safe working environments has not been fully developed. To that end, a Hopkinton Conference was organised to review and summarise the state of knowledge in the area and to identify research priorities. A group of 26 international experts produced collaborative articles for this special issue of Ergonomics, and each focused on examining a key conceptual, methodological and/or theoretical issue associated with sociotechnical systems and safety. In this concluding paper, we describe the major conference themes and recommendations. These are organised into six topic areas: (1) Concepts, definitions and frameworks, (2) defining research methodologies, (3) modelling and simulation, (4) communications and decision-making, (5) sociotechnical attributes of safe and unsafe systems and (6) potential future research directions for sociotechnical systems research. Practitioner Summary: Sociotechnical complexity, a characteristic of many contemporary work environments, presents potential safety risks that traditional approaches to workplace safety may not adequately address. In this paper, we summarise the investigations of a group of international researchers into questions associated with the application of sociotechnical systems thinking to improve worker safety. PMID:25728246

  10. Physical integration: a causal account for consciousness.

    PubMed

    Manzotti, Riccardo; Chella, Antonio

    2014-06-01

    The issue of integration in neural networks is intimately connected with that of consciousness. In this paper, integration as an effective level of physical organization is contrasted with a methodological integrative approach. Understanding how consciousness arises out of neural processes requires a model of integration in just causal physical terms. Based on a set of feasible criteria (physical grounding, causal efficacy, no circularity and scaling), a causal account of physical integration for consciousness centered on joint causation is outlined.

  11. Toward an integrated, causal, and psychological model of climato-economics.

    PubMed

    Loughnan, Steve; Bratanova, Boyka; Kuppens, Peter

    2013-10-01

    Van de Vliert puts forward a model of how climate and economics interact to shape human needs, stresses, and freedoms. Although we applaud the construction of this model, we suggest that more needs to be done. Specifically, by adopting a multi-level and experimental approach, we can develop an integrated, causal, and psychological model of climato-economics.

  12. What Works Clearinghouse Quick Review: "Looking Beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2013

    2013-01-01

    This study examined whether eligibility for the Florida Student Access Grant, a need-based grant for low-income students in Florida, affects college enrollment, credit accumulation, persistence over time in college, and, eventually, graduation. The sample for this study included seniors in Florida public high schools in 1999-2000 who submitted a…

  13. 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…

  14. Causal Mediation Analysis: Warning! Assumptions Ahead

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keele, Luke

    2015-01-01

    In policy evaluations, interest may focus on why a particular treatment works. One tool for understanding why treatments work is causal mediation analysis. In this essay, I focus on the assumptions needed to estimate mediation effects. I show that there is no "gold standard" method for the identification of causal mediation effects. In…

  15. Algorithm to assess causality after individual adverse events following immunizations.

    PubMed

    Halsey, Neal A; Edwards, Kathryn M; Dekker, Cornelia L; Klein, Nicola P; Baxter, Roger; Larussa, Philip; Marchant, Colin; Slade, Barbara; Vellozzi, Claudia

    2012-08-24

    Assessing individual reports of adverse events following immunizations (AEFI) can be challenging. Most published reviews are based on expert opinions, but the methods and logic used to arrive at these opinions are neither well described nor understood by many health care providers and scientists. We developed a standardized algorithm to assist in collecting and interpreting data, and to help assess causality after individual AEFI. Key questions that should be asked during the assessment of AEFI include: Is the diagnosis of the AEFI correct? Does clinical or laboratory evidence exist that supports possible causes for the AEFI other than the vaccine in the affected individual? Is there a known causal association between the AEFI and the vaccine? Is there strong evidence against a causal association? Is there a specific laboratory test implicating the vaccine in the pathogenesis? An algorithm can assist with addressing these questions in a standardized, transparent manner which can be tracked and reassessed if additional information becomes available. Examples in this document illustrate the process of using the algorithm to determine causality. As new epidemiologic and clinical data become available, the algorithm and guidelines will need to be modified. Feedback from users of the algorithm will be invaluable in this process. We hope that this algorithm approach can assist with educational efforts to improve the collection of key information on AEFI and provide a platform for teaching about causality assessment.

  16. Illusions of causality at the heart of pseudoscience.

    PubMed

    Matute, Helena; Yarritu, Ion; Vadillo, Miguel A

    2011-08-01

    Pseudoscience, superstitions, and quackery are serious problems that threaten public health and in which many variables are involved. Psychology, however, has much to say about them, as it is the illusory perceptions of causality of so many people that needs to be understood. The proposal we put forward is that these illusions arise from the normal functioning of the cognitive system when trying to associate causes and effects. Thus, we propose to apply basic research and theories on causal learning to reduce the impact of pseudoscience. We review the literature on the illusion of control and the causal learning traditions, and then present an experiment as an illustration of how this approach can provide fruitful ideas to reduce pseudoscientific thinking. The experiment first illustrates the development of a quackery illusion through the testimony of fictitious patients who report feeling better. Two different predictions arising from the integration of the causal learning and illusion of control domains are then proven effective in reducing this illusion. One is showing the testimony of people who feel better without having followed the treatment. The other is asking participants to think in causal terms rather than in terms of effectiveness.

  17. Photodetection and causality I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Haan, M.

    1985-09-01

    We investigate in this paper the link between the measurement process in quantum mechanics and casuality associated to a finite velocity of field propagation. We use models of interaction of a bound state with a scalar field. We first show that in the existing approaches, time delays resulting from the finite velocity of propagation have been obtained only as a consequence of ad hoc approximations. We show that exact causality can be restored in the case of a single photodetection by a slight change of the observable associated to the measurement process. Moreover, this modification may be justified by the introduction of a simple model for the photodetector. We present qualitative arguments to show that this procedure cannot be extended to the case of multiple photodetections. The process of repeated photodetection clashes therefore with causality. This paradox is closely related to the Zeno paradox described by Misra and Sudarshan 1). Both may be traced back to the positive definite character of the hamiltonian which is the generator of motion in quantum mechanics.

  18. Developing Causal Understanding with Causal Maps: The Impact of Total Links, Temporal Flow, and Lateral Position of Outcome Nodes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeong, Allan; Lee, Woon Jee

    2012-01-01

    This study examined some of the methodological approaches used by students to construct causal maps in order to determine which approaches help students understand the underlying causes and causal mechanisms in a complex system. This study tested the relationship between causal understanding (ratio of root causes correctly/incorrectly identified,…

  19. 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.

  20. Nonlinear connectivity by Granger causality.

    PubMed

    Marinazzo, Daniele; Liao, Wei; Chen, Huafu; Stramaglia, Sebastiano

    2011-09-15

    The communication among neuronal populations, reflected by transient synchronous activity, is the mechanism underlying the information processing in the brain. Although it is widely assumed that the interactions among those populations (i.e. functional connectivity) are highly nonlinear, the amount of nonlinear information transmission and its functional roles are not clear. The state of the art to understand the communication between brain systems are dynamic causal modeling (DCM) and Granger causality. While DCM models nonlinear couplings, Granger causality, which constitutes a major tool to reveal effective connectivity, and is widely used to analyze EEG/MEG data as well as fMRI signals, is usually applied in its linear version. In order to capture nonlinear interactions between even short and noisy time series, a few approaches have been proposed. We review them and focus on a recently proposed flexible approach has been recently proposed, consisting in the kernel version of Granger causality. We show the application of the proposed approach on EEG signals and fMRI data.

  1. The role of awareness campaigns in the improvement of separate collection rates of municipal waste among university students: A Causal Chain Approach.

    PubMed

    Saladié, Òscar; Santos-Lacueva, Raquel

    2016-02-01

    One of the main objectives of municipal waste management policies is to improve separate collection, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Several factors influence people behavior to recycling and, consequently, they play an important role to achieve the goals proposed in the management policies. People can improve separate collection rates because of a wide range of causes with different weight. Here, we have determined the uplift in probability to improve separate collection of municipal waste created by the awareness campaigns among 806 undergraduate students at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Catalonia) by means of the Causal Chain Approach, a probabilistic method. A 73.2% state having improved separate collection in recent years and the most of them (75.4%) remember some awareness campaign. The results show the uplift in probability to improve separate collection attributable to the awareness campaigns is 17.9%. They should be taken into account by policy makers in charge of municipal waste management. Nevertheless, it must be assumed an awareness campaign will never be sufficient to achieve the objectives defined in municipal waste management programmes.

  2. The TEACH Method: An Interactive Approach for Teaching the Needs-Based Theories Of Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moorer, Cleamon, Jr.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes an interactive approach for explaining and teaching the Needs-Based Theories of Motivation. The acronym TEACH stands for Theory, Example, Application, Collaboration, and Having Discussion. This method can help business students to better understand and distinguish the implications of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs,…

  3. 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

  4. Granger causality revisited.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  5. Embeddings of Causal Sets

    SciTech Connect

    Reid, David D.

    2009-07-06

    A key postulate of the causal set program is that this discrete partial order offers a sufficiently rich structure to make it a viable model of spacetime for quantum gravity. If the deep structure of spacetime is that of a causal set, then the correspondence principle (with the spacetimes of general relativity) must be obeyed. Therefore, one of the requirements of this program is to establish that the causal set structure is in fact, not just in principle, fully consistent with our macroscopic notion of spacetime as a Lorentzian manifold. An important component of any such 'manifold test' is the ability to find embeddings of causal sets into Lorentzian manifolds.

  6. Accounting for respiration is necessary to reliably infer Granger causality from cardiovascular variability series.

    PubMed

    Porta, Alberto; Bassani, Tito; Bari, Vlasta; Pinna, Gian D; Maestri, Roberto; Guzzetti, Stefano

    2012-03-01

    This study was designed to demonstrate the need of accounting for respiration (R) when causality between heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) is under scrutiny. Simulations generated according to a bivariate autoregressive closed-loop model were utilized to assess how causality changes as a function of the model parameters. An exogenous (X) signal was added to the bivariate autoregressive closed-loop model to evaluate the bias on causality induced when the X source was disregarded. Causality was assessed in the time domain according to a predictability improvement approach (i.e., Granger causality). HP and SAP variability series were recorded with R in 19 healthy subjects during spontaneous and controlled breathing at 10, 15, and 20 breaths/min. Simulations proved the importance of accounting for X signals. During spontaneous breathing, assessing causality without taking into consideration R leads to a significantly larger percentage of closed-loop interactions and a smaller fraction of unidirectional causality from HP to SAP. This finding was confirmed during paced breathing and it was independent of the breathing rate. These results suggest that the role of baroreflex cannot be correctly assessed without accounting for R.

  7. Treatment Needs of Driving While Intoxicated Offenders: The Need for a Multi-modal Approach to Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Mullen, Jillian; Ryan, Stacy R.; Mathias, Charles W.; Dougherty, Donald M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective This study aimed to characterize and compare the treatment needs of adults with driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses recruited from a correctional residential treatment facility and the community to provide recommendations for treatment development. Method A total of 119 adults (59 Residential, 60 Community) with at least one DWI offense were administered clinical diagnostic interviews to assess substance use disorders and completed a battery of questionnaires assessing demographic characteristics, legal history, psychiatric diagnoses, medical diagnoses, and health care utilization. Results Almost all (96.6%) DWI offenders met clinical diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder, approximately half of the sample also met diagnostic criteria for co-morbid substance use disorders and a substantial proportion also reported psychiatric and medical co-morbidities. However, a high percentage were not receiving treatment for these issues, most likely as a result of having limited access to care as the majority of participants had no current health insurance (64.45%) or primary care physician (74.0%). The residential sample had more extensive criminal histories compared to the community sample but was generally representative of the community in terms of their clinical characteristics. For instance, the groups did not differ in rates of substance use, psychiatric and medical health diagnoses or in the treatment of such issues, with the exception of alcohol abuse treatment. Conclusions DWI offenders represent a clinical population with high levels of complex and competing treatment needs which are not currently being met. Our findings demonstrate the need for standardized screening of DWI offenders and call for the development of a multi-modal treatment approach in efforts to reduce recidivism. PMID:25664371

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. No-Pass Zone: Multidisciplinary Approach to Responding to Patient Needs.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tracy L; Crouse, Marlene; Gipson, Kelly

    2016-01-01

    A nurse's need to juggle multiple priorities often leads to delays in responses to patient call lights, which may result in the patient's needs not being met quickly. Low patient satisfaction scores related to hospital staff responding to patient needs created urgency for this system to implement the No-Pass Zone, a multidisciplinary team approach to responding to call lights. A successful implementation of this intervention resulted in patients' needs being met more quickly as indicated by improved Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems performance postimplementation. PMID:26845421

  11. Causal Learning Across Domains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schulz, Laura E.; Gopnik, Alison

    2004-01-01

    Five studies investigated (a) children's ability to use the dependent and independent probabilities of events to make causal inferences and (b) the interaction between such inferences and domain-specific knowledge. In Experiment 1, preschoolers used patterns of dependence and independence to make accurate causal inferences in the domains of…

  12. Causality in Classical Electrodynamics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savage, Craig

    2012-01-01

    Causality in electrodynamics is a subject of some confusion, especially regarding the application of Faraday's law and the Ampere-Maxwell law. This has led to the suggestion that we should not teach students that electric and magnetic fields can cause each other, but rather focus on charges and currents as the causal agents. In this paper I argue…

  13. Assessing Interactive Causal Influence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Novick, Laura R.; Cheng, Patricia W.

    2004-01-01

    The discovery of conjunctive causes--factors that act in concert to produce or prevent an effect--has been explained by purely covariational theories. Such theories assume that concomitant variations in observable events directly license causal inferences, without postulating the existence of unobservable causal relations. This article discusses…

  14. Repeated Causal Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagmayer, York; Meder, Bjorn

    2013-01-01

    Many of our decisions refer to actions that have a causal impact on the external environment. Such actions may not only allow for the mere learning of expected values or utilities but also for acquiring knowledge about the causal structure of our world. We used a repeated decision-making paradigm to examine what kind of knowledge people acquire in…

  15. Agency, time, and causality

    PubMed Central

    Widlok, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive Scientists interested in causal cognition increasingly search for evidence from non-Western Educational Industrial Rich Democratic people but find only very few cross-cultural studies that specifically target causal cognition. This article suggests how information about causality can be retrieved from ethnographic monographs, specifically from ethnographies that discuss agency and concepts of time. Many apparent cultural differences with regard to causal cognition dissolve when cultural extensions of agency and personhood to non-humans are taken into account. At the same time considerable variability remains when we include notions of time, linearity and sequence. The article focuses on ethnographic case studies from Africa but provides a more general perspective on the role of ethnography in research on the diversity and universality of causal cognition. PMID:25414683

  16. Needs assessments in palliative care: an appraisal of definitions and approaches used.

    PubMed

    Higginson, Irene J; Hart, Sam; Koffman, Jonathan; Selman, Lucy; Harding, Richard

    2007-05-01

    We report a systematic appraisal of definitions and approaches to needs assessment in palliative care. Electronic databases were searched, and relevant individuals and organizations were contacted to identify needs assessments in palliative care. Over 200 articles were identified giving general information on needs assessment, and 77 articles comprised palliative care-related needs assessment reports. The reports originated from Africa (37), Australia (1), Europe (including former central/eastern European states) (35), USA (1), Latin America (5), and Asia (7). Two underpinning definitions of need were identified, that of Maslow from the field of psychology, and that of Bradshaw from sociology. However, in conducting needs assessments, these definitions were operationalized, and here the National Health Service Executive definition of need as "the ability to benefit from health care" is helpful. We identified three main categories of approach to needs assessment--epidemiological, corporate, and comparative--that can be used in combination. Careful consideration must be paid to any needs assessment data to ensure that the assessment is implemented.

  17. Needs assessments in palliative care: an appraisal of definitions and approaches used.

    PubMed

    Higginson, Irene J; Hart, Sam; Koffman, Jonathan; Selman, Lucy; Harding, Richard

    2007-05-01

    We report a systematic appraisal of definitions and approaches to needs assessment in palliative care. Electronic databases were searched, and relevant individuals and organizations were contacted to identify needs assessments in palliative care. Over 200 articles were identified giving general information on needs assessment, and 77 articles comprised palliative care-related needs assessment reports. The reports originated from Africa (37), Australia (1), Europe (including former central/eastern European states) (35), USA (1), Latin America (5), and Asia (7). Two underpinning definitions of need were identified, that of Maslow from the field of psychology, and that of Bradshaw from sociology. However, in conducting needs assessments, these definitions were operationalized, and here the National Health Service Executive definition of need as "the ability to benefit from health care" is helpful. We identified three main categories of approach to needs assessment--epidemiological, corporate, and comparative--that can be used in combination. Careful consideration must be paid to any needs assessment data to ensure that the assessment is implemented. PMID:17482037

  18. Public health approaches to community-based needs. Boston's infant mortality crisis as a case study.

    PubMed

    Rorie, J A; Richardson, K A; Gardner, R

    1997-01-01

    In light of a 10-year infant mortality crisis in Boston, a comprehensive public health approach was undertaken in which an extensive community-based needs assessment was used to develop a citywide maternal and child health improvement agenda. On the basis of the needs assessment, recommendations were made calling for community-based perinatal initiatives and midwifery services as critical elements in care for underserved communities and enhancement of perinatal services. A case description of one perinatal initiative illustrates the challenges of public health practice and describes a practice setting in which midwives provided leadership and guidance by using an interdisciplinary team approach in the implementation of a community empowerment project.

  19. Causal Networks or Causal Islands? The Representation of Mechanisms and the Transitivity of Causal Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Samuel G. B.; Ahn, Woo-kyoung

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of mechanisms is critical for causal reasoning. We contrasted two possible organizations of causal knowledge--an interconnected causal "network," where events are causally connected without any boundaries delineating discrete mechanisms; or a set of disparate mechanisms--causal "islands"--such that events in different…

  20. Student (dis)engagement and need-supportive teaching behavior: a multi-informant and multilevel approach.

    PubMed

    Van den Berghe, Lynn; Tallir, Isabel B; Cardon, Greet; Aelterman, Nathalie; Haerens, Leen

    2015-08-01

    Starting from self-determination theory, we explored whether student engagement/disengagement relates to teachers' need support and whether this relationship is moderated by teachers' causality orientations. A sample of 2004 students situated in 127 classes taught by 33 physical education teachers participated in the study. Both teachers and students reported on students' (dis)engagement, allowing investigation of the proposed relationships both at the student and teacher level. Most of the variance in need support was at the student level, but there was also between-teacher and between-class variance in need support. Engagement related to more need support, but only at the student level. In total, few moderation effects were found. Teachers with a relatively low controlled orientation were more need supportive when perceiving their students as emotionally and behaviorally engaged. By making teachers aware of these dynamics, automatic responses to student engagement can be better thought out. Recommendations for future research are discussed. PMID:26442767

  1. Student (dis)engagement and need-supportive teaching behavior: a multi-informant and multilevel approach.

    PubMed

    Van den Berghe, Lynn; Tallir, Isabel B; Cardon, Greet; Aelterman, Nathalie; Haerens, Leen

    2015-08-01

    Starting from self-determination theory, we explored whether student engagement/disengagement relates to teachers' need support and whether this relationship is moderated by teachers' causality orientations. A sample of 2004 students situated in 127 classes taught by 33 physical education teachers participated in the study. Both teachers and students reported on students' (dis)engagement, allowing investigation of the proposed relationships both at the student and teacher level. Most of the variance in need support was at the student level, but there was also between-teacher and between-class variance in need support. Engagement related to more need support, but only at the student level. In total, few moderation effects were found. Teachers with a relatively low controlled orientation were more need supportive when perceiving their students as emotionally and behaviorally engaged. By making teachers aware of these dynamics, automatic responses to student engagement can be better thought out. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. The Need for a Culturally Relevant Approach to Gifted Education: The Case of Cyprus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ieridou, Alexandra N.

    2013-01-01

    This article presents an overview of the status of gifted education in Cyprus and argues for the need for a culturally relevant approach. First, the history of education in Cyprus is briefly reviewed. Then, past unsuccessful efforts to provide education for academically advanced students in the public elementary schools are critically examined.…

  4. The Relationship among Student Basic Need Satisfaction, Approaches to Learning, Reporting of Avoidance Strategies and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Betoret, Fernando Domenech; Artiga, Amparo Gomez

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: This study examines the relationship between student basic need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, relatedness and belonging), their reporting of approaches to learning (deep and surface), their reporting of avoidance strategies (avoidance of effort and challenge, avoidance of help seeking and preference to avoid novelty) and…

  5. Causal inference with multiple time series: principles and problems.

    PubMed

    Eichler, Michael

    2013-08-28

    I review the use of the concept of Granger causality for causal inference from time-series data. First, I give a theoretical justification by relating the concept to other theoretical causality measures. Second, I outline possible problems with spurious causality and approaches to tackle these problems. Finally, I sketch an identification algorithm that learns causal time-series structures in the presence of latent variables. The description of the algorithm is non-technical and thus accessible to applied scientists who are interested in adopting the method.

  6. The need for significant reform: a practice-driven approach to curriculum.

    PubMed

    MacLeod, M L; Farrell, P

    1994-05-01

    The central theme of the curriculum revolution is the preparation of graduates with new and different perspectives and abilities who can function well in a rapidly changing health care environment. Discussions of approaches needed to prepare such graduates center on making substantive changes within the education system. Experience from a collaborative undergraduate nursing program reveal that revised structural and power relationships between nursing education and nursing practice are needed to support such fundamental changes in nursing curricula. This article explores structural and power relationship issues arising from implementing a practice-driven, phenomenological approach to a 4-year undergraduate nursing curriculum. The meaning of a practice-driven approach, the inherent benefits and risks, the outcomes and evaluation issues are included in the discussion. It is suggested that if learning to nurse is grounded in nursing practice as well as in nursing academia, then systems of nursing practice and of educating nurses must change. PMID:8051571

  7. A network approach for modulating memory processes via direct and indirect brain stimulation: Toward a causal approach for the neural basis of memory.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kamin; Ekstrom, Arne D; Tandon, Nitin

    2016-10-01

    Electrical stimulation of the brain is a unique tool to perturb endogenous neural signals, allowing us to evaluate the necessity of given neural processes to cognitive processing. An important issue, gaining increasing interest in the literature, is whether and how stimulation can be employed to selectively improve or disrupt declarative memory processes. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of both invasive and non-invasive stimulation studies aimed at modulating memory performance. The majority of past studies suggest that invasive stimulation of the hippocampus impairs memory performance; similarly, most non-invasive studies show that disrupting frontal or parietal regions also impairs memory performance, suggesting that these regions also play necessary roles in declarative memory. On the other hand, a handful of both invasive and non-invasive studies have also suggested modest improvements in memory performance following stimulation. These studies typically target brain regions connected to the hippocampus or other memory "hubs," which may affect endogenous activity in connected areas like the hippocampus, suggesting that to augment declarative memory, altering the broader endogenous memory network activity is critical. Together, studies reporting memory improvements/impairments are consistent with the idea that a network of distinct brain "hubs" may be crucial for successful memory encoding and retrieval rather than a single primary hub such as the hippocampus. Thus, it is important to consider neurostimulation from the network perspective, rather than from a purely localizationalist viewpoint. We conclude by proposing a novel approach to neurostimulation for declarative memory modulation that aims to facilitate interactions between multiple brain "nodes" underlying memory rather than considering individual brain regions in isolation.

  8. Meeting water needs for sustainable development: an overview of approaches, measures and data sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissner, Tabea; Reusser, Dominik E.; Sullivan, Caroline A.; Kropp, Jürgen P.

    2013-04-01

    An essential part of a global transition towards sustainability is the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), providing a blueprint of goals to meet human needs. Water is an essential resource in itself, but also a vital factor of production for food, energy and other industrial products. Access to sufficient water has only recently been recognized as a human right. One central MDG is halving the population without access to safe drinking water and sanitation. To adequately assess the state of development and the potential for a transition towards sustainability, consistent and meaningful measures of water availability and adequate access are thus fundamental. Much work has been done to identify thresholds and definitions to measure water scarcity. This includes some work on defining basic water needs of different sectors. A range of data and approaches has been made available from a variety of sources, but all of these approaches differ in their underlying assumptions, the nature of the data used, and consequently in the final results. We review and compare approaches, methods and data sources on human water use and human water needs. This data review enables identifying levels of consumption in different countries and different sectors. Further comparison is made between actual water needs (based on human and ecological requirements), and recognised levels of water abstraction. The results of our review highlight the differences between different accounts of water use and needs, and reflect the importance of standardised approaches to data definitions and measurements, making studies more comparable across space and time. The comparison of different use and allocation patterns in countries enables levels of water use to be identified which allow for an adequate level of human wellbeing to be maintained within sustainable water abstraction limits. Recommendations are provided of how data can be defined more clearly to make comparisons of water use more meaningful and

  9. Considerations on causality in pharmacovigilance.

    PubMed

    Edwards, I Ralph

    2012-01-01

    Causality has been a topic of debate by philosophers, scientists, lawyers and for centuries. It is essential to define as precisely as possible all steps in the logical chain of events, since each may strengthen or confound an argument. Almost always there are issues of missing and conflicting data that need to be addressed specifically. In pharmacovigilance, as in many other situations, there is not just one possible causation for an effect but several. Each must be evaluated in the given context for probability. There is also likely to be a causal chain of events to the adverse effect under consideration, and each must be considered. In an individual patient diagnosis the components of patient history, clinical findings and various laboratory test findings are combined to point to the probability of the patho-physiological diagnosis, which in turn is related to possible causes with a strength determined by the constellation of findings. The established Bradford-Hill criteria are valuable in considering all the possible causal factors. Pharmacoepidemiology allows for population incidences of causes for particular effects and therefore provides an a priori probability listing for competing possible causes, or at least of one possible cause against the background of all others in a control group. Since adverse effects of medicines are generally rare, it is not possible to exclude drug causation in an individual by reliance on epidemiological evidence alone, only to argue that the incidence is below a level determined by statistical power, of the study or studies combined. Other areas of society are concerned with the process of causal inference, and this is especially true in legal cases in which judgements are made on possible personal injury by drugs.

  10. High school teachers' perspectives on effective approaches for teaching biology to students with special needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kos, Agnieszka

    The demands of national educational reforms require high school biology teachers to provide high quality instruction to students with and without special needs. The reforms, however, do not provide teachers with adequate teaching strategies to meet the needs of all students in the same context. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to understand high school biology teachers' perspectives, practices, and challenges in relation to teaching students with special needs. This approach was used to develop a substantive model for high school biology teachers who are challenged with teaching students with and without special needs. Data were collected via in-depth interviews with 15 high school teachers in a Midwestern school district. The data were analyzed using open coding, axial coding, and selective coding procedures in accordance with the grounded theory approach. Essential model components included skills and training for teachers, classroom management strategies, teaching strategies, and student skills. The emergent substantive theory indicated that that teacher preparation and acquired skills greatly influence the effectiveness of inclusion implementation. Key findings also indicated the importance of using of a variety of instructional strategies and classroom management strategies that address students' special needs and their learning styles. This study contributes to social change by providing a model for teaching students and effectively implementing inclusion in regular science classrooms. Following further study, this model may be used to support teacher professional development and improve teaching practices that in turn may improve science literacy supported by the national educational reforms.

  11. Physical Activity and Movement Proficiency: The Need for a Biocultural Approach.

    PubMed

    Malina, Robert M; Cumming, Sean P; Coelho E Silva, Manuel J

    2016-05-01

    "Gaps in Our Knowledge" are discussed in the context of the need to integrate biological and behavioral factors in a biocultural approach to physical activity and movement proficiency. Specific issues considered include outdoor play, organized and informal activity, biological maturation, tracking of activity, development of movement proficiency, and individual differences. Studies considered are largely based on youth in economically better-off, developed countries in the western culture context. There is a need to extend studies of physical activity and movement proficiency to different cultural contexts. PMID:27137170

  12. Clinical development of gene therapy needs a tailored approach: a regulatory perspective from the European Union.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Gopalan; Cossu, Giulio; Galli, Maria Cristina; Flory, Egbert; Ovelgonne, Hans; Salmikangas, Paula; Schneider, Christian K; Trouvin, Jean-Hugues

    2014-03-01

    Gene therapy is a rapidly evolving field that needs an integrated approach, as acknowledged in the concept article on the revision of the guideline on gene transfer medicinal products. The first gene therapy application for marketing authorization was approved in the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) region in 2012, the product being Alipogene tiparvovec. The regulatory process for this product has been commented on extensively, highlighting the challenges posed by such a novel technology. Here, as current or previous members of the Committee for Advanced Therapies, we share our perspectives and views on gene therapy as a treatment modality based on current common understanding and regulatory experience of gene therapy products in the European Union to date. It is our view that a tailored approach is needed for a given gene therapy product in order to achieve successful marketing authorization.

  13. Causal conditionals and counterfactuals

    PubMed Central

    Frosch, Caren A.; Byrne, Ruth M.J.

    2012-01-01

    Causal counterfactuals e.g., ‘if the ignition key had been turned then the car would have started’ and causal conditionals e.g., ‘if the ignition key was turned then the car started’ are understood by thinking about multiple possibilities of different sorts, as shown in six experiments using converging evidence from three different types of measures. Experiments 1a and 1b showed that conditionals that comprise enabling causes, e.g., ‘if the ignition key was turned then the car started’ primed people to read quickly conjunctions referring to the possibility of the enabler occurring without the outcome, e.g., ‘the ignition key was turned and the car did not start’. Experiments 2a and 2b showed that people paraphrased causal conditionals by using causal or temporal connectives (because, when), whereas they paraphrased causal counterfactuals by using subjunctive constructions (had…would have). Experiments 3a and 3b showed that people made different inferences from counterfactuals presented with enabling conditions compared to none. The implications of the results for alternative theories of conditionals are discussed. PMID:22858874

  14. Causality discovery technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, M.; Ertl, T.; Jirotka, M.; Trefethen, A.; Schmidt, A.; Coecke, B.; Bañares-Alcántara, R.

    2012-11-01

    Causality is the fabric of our dynamic world. We all make frequent attempts to reason causation relationships of everyday events (e.g., what was the cause of my headache, or what has upset Alice?). We attempt to manage causality all the time through planning and scheduling. The greatest scientific discoveries are usually about causality (e.g., Newton found the cause for an apple to fall, and Darwin discovered natural selection). Meanwhile, we continue to seek a comprehensive understanding about the causes of numerous complex phenomena, such as social divisions, economic crisis, global warming, home-grown terrorism, etc. Humans analyse and reason causality based on observation, experimentation and acquired a priori knowledge. Today's technologies enable us to make observations and carry out experiments in an unprecedented scale that has created data mountains everywhere. Whereas there are exciting opportunities to discover new causation relationships, there are also unparalleled challenges to benefit from such data mountains. In this article, we present a case for developing a new piece of ICT, called Causality Discovery Technology. We reason about the necessity, feasibility and potential impact of such a technology.

  15. Management and medicine: why we need a new approach to the relationship.

    PubMed

    Kuhlmann, Ellen; von Knorring, Mia

    2014-02-25

    New Public Management has affected the relationship between corporate managerialism and professional modes of governing hospitals. While doctors' increasing involvement in management may have positive effects on health care, hospital governance, health care policies and medical education have largely failed to support this change. There is a need for new policies and approaches to support the changing connections between medicine and management that abandons both the military discourse of 'wars' and 'battlefields' and the new rhetoric of 'clinical leadership'. PMID:24569982

  16. On the Brink of Shifting Paradigms, Molecular Systems Engineering Ethics Needs to Take a Proactive Approach.

    PubMed

    Heidari, Raheleh; Elger, Bernice S; Stutzki, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    Molecular Systems Engineering (MSE) is a paradigm shift in both engineering and life sciences. While the field is still in its infancy the perspectives of MSE in revolutionising technology is promising. MSE will offer a wide range of applications in clinical, biotechnological and engineering fields while simultaneously posing serious questions on the ethical and societal aspects of such technology. The moral and societal aspects of MSE need systematic investigation from scientific and social perspectives. In a democratic setting, the societal outcomes of MSE's cutting-edge technology need to be consulted and influenced by society itself. For this purpose MSE needs inclusive public engagement strategies that bring together the public, ethicists, scientists and policy makers for optimum flow of information that maximizes the impact of public engagement. In this report we present an MSE consortium and its ethics framework for establishing a proactive approach in the study of the ethics of MSE technology.

  17. On the Brink of Shifting Paradigms, Molecular Systems Engineering Ethics Needs to Take a Proactive Approach.

    PubMed

    Heidari, Raheleh; Elger, Bernice S; Stutzki, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    Molecular Systems Engineering (MSE) is a paradigm shift in both engineering and life sciences. While the field is still in its infancy the perspectives of MSE in revolutionising technology is promising. MSE will offer a wide range of applications in clinical, biotechnological and engineering fields while simultaneously posing serious questions on the ethical and societal aspects of such technology. The moral and societal aspects of MSE need systematic investigation from scientific and social perspectives. In a democratic setting, the societal outcomes of MSE's cutting-edge technology need to be consulted and influenced by society itself. For this purpose MSE needs inclusive public engagement strategies that bring together the public, ethicists, scientists and policy makers for optimum flow of information that maximizes the impact of public engagement. In this report we present an MSE consortium and its ethics framework for establishing a proactive approach in the study of the ethics of MSE technology. PMID:27363376

  18. Support for information management in critical care: a new approach to identify needs.

    PubMed Central

    Rosenal, T. W.; Forsythe, D. E.; Musen, M. A.; Seiver, A.

    1995-01-01

    Managing information is necessary to support clinical decision making and action in critical care. By understanding the nature of information management and its relationship to sound clinical practice, we should come to use technology more wisely. We demonstrated that a new approach inspired by ethnographic research methods could identify useful and unexpected findings about clinical information management. In this approach, a clinician experienced in a specific domain (critical care), with advice from a medical anthropologist, made short-term observations of information management in that domain. We identified 8 areas in a critical care Unit in which information management was seriously in need of better support. We also found interesting differences in how these needs were viewed by nurses and physicians. Our interest in this approach was at two levels: 1. Identify and describe representative instances of sub-optimal information management in a critical care Unit. 2. Investigate the effectiveness of such short-term observations by clinicians. Our long-range goal is to explore the use of this approach and the information it reveals to optimize the process of developing and selecting new information support tools, preparing for their introduction, and optimizing clinical outcomes. PMID:8563267

  19. Barriers to drug treatment for IDU couples: the need for couple-based approaches.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Janie; McMahon, James M

    2012-01-01

    This qualitative study examines the interpersonal and structural barriers to drug treatment program entry, retention, and outcomes experienced by injection drug-using couples, and the program policies regarding injection drug-using couples seeking treatment in New York, New York. Our findings reveal a mismatch between the substantial need for concurrent and coordinated treatment for partnered injection-drug users and programmatic policies that are antithetical to such treatment approaches. This discrepancy can be attributed to the lack of viable options for couple-focused treatment approaches that fit within the current drug treatment system. We provide a rationale and a roadmap for the development of innovative approaches for couple-based drug treatment.

  20. How Does the Capability Approach Address Current Issues in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusive Education Field?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norwich, Brahm

    2014-01-01

    This paper aims to examine what the capability approach has to offer to the field of special needs and inclusive education. Several key questions are addressed: can the capability approach replace the language of needs and rights; whether the capability approach can address key issues in the field of disabilities and difficulties in education and…

  1. Causal networks or causal islands? The representation of mechanisms and the transitivity of causal judgment

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Samuel G. B.; Ahn, Woo-kyoung

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of mechanisms is critical for causal reasoning. We contrasted two possible organizations of causal knowledge—an interconnected causal network, where events are causally connected without any boundaries delineating discrete mechanisms; or a set of disparate mechanisms—causal islands—such that events in different mechanisms are not thought to be related even when they belong to the same causal chain. To distinguish these possibilities, we used causal transitivity—the inference given A causes B and B causes C that A causes C. Specifically, causal chains schematized as one chunk or mechanism in semantic memory (e.g., exercising, becoming thirsty, drinking water) led to transitive causal judgments. On the other hand, chains schematized as multiple chunks (e.g., having sex, becoming pregnant, becoming nauseous) led to intransitive judgments despite strong intermediate links (Experiments 1–3). Normative accounts of causal intransitivity could not explain these intransitive judgments (Experiments 4–5). PMID:25556901

  2. Causal premise semantics.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Stefan

    2013-08-01

    The rise of causality and the attendant graph-theoretic modeling tools in the study of counterfactual reasoning has had resounding effects in many areas of cognitive science, but it has thus far not permeated the mainstream in linguistic theory to a comparable degree. In this study I show that a version of the predominant framework for the formal semantic analysis of conditionals, Kratzer-style premise semantics, allows for a straightforward implementation of the crucial ideas and insights of Pearl-style causal networks. I spell out the details of such an implementation, focusing especially on the notions of intervention on a network and backtracking interpretations of counterfactuals.

  3. Causality assessment for suspected DILI during clinical phases of drug development.

    PubMed

    Regev, Arie; Seeff, Leonard B; Merz, Michael; Ormarsdottir, Sif; Aithal, Guruprasad P; Gallivan, Jim; Watkins, Paul B

    2014-11-01

    Causality assessment is a critical step in establishing the diagnosis of drug induced liver injury (DILI) during drug development. DILI may resemble almost any type of liver disease, and often presents a serious challenge to clinical investigators and drug makers. The diagnosis of DILI is largely based upon a combination of a compatible clinical course, exclusion of all other reasonable causes, resemblance of clinical and pathological features to known features of liver injury due to the drug (i.e., "drug's signature"), and incidence of liver injury among patients treated with the drug compared to placebo or comparator. Causality assessment for suspected DILI is currently performed using either evaluation by physicians with expertise in liver disorders (i.e., expert opinion) or standardized scoring instruments such as the Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method (RUCAM). Both approaches are widely used in the post marketing setting. Causality assessment based on expert opinion is considered superior to standardized instruments such as RUCAM, in the setting of drug development, and is currently the preferred approach during clinical trials. There is a need for a systematic revision of RUCAM that will render it more suitable for the setting of clinical trials and drug development. Careful monitoring and meticulous data collection during clinical trials are essential in all cases with established liver injury to allow for a proper causality assessment. A workshop was convened to discuss best practices for the assessment of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) in clinical trials. This publication is based on the conclusions of this workshop.

  4. Optimizing pentose utilization in yeast: the need for novel tools and approaches.

    PubMed

    Young, Eric; Lee, Sun-Mi; Alper, Hal

    2010-11-16

    Hexose and pentose cofermentation is regarded as one of the chief obstacles impeding economical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels. Over time, successful application of traditional metabolic engineering strategy has produced yeast strains capable of utilizing the pentose sugars (especially xylose and arabinose) as sole carbon sources, yet major difficulties still remain for engineering simultaneous, exogenous sugar metabolism. Beyond catabolic pathways, the focus must shift towards non-traditional aspects of cellular engineering such as host molecular transport capability, catabolite sensing and stress response mechanisms. This review highlights the need for an approach termed 'panmetabolic engineering', a new paradigm for integrating new carbon sources into host metabolic pathways. This approach will concurrently optimize the interdependent processes of transport and metabolism using novel combinatorial techniques and global cellular engineering. As a result, panmetabolic engineering is a whole pathway approach emphasizing better pathways, reduced glucose-induced repression and increased product tolerance. In this paper, recent publications are reviewed in light of this approach and their potential to expand metabolic engineering tools. Collectively, traditional approaches and panmetabolic engineering enable the reprogramming of extant biological complexity and incorporation of exogenous carbon catabolism.

  5. Scalar Fields via Causal Tapestries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulis, William

    2012-02-01

    Causal tapestries provide a framework for implementing an explicit Process Theory approach to quantum foundations which models information flow within a physical system. We consider event-transition tapestry pairs. An event tapestry O is a 4-tuple (L, K, M, Ip ) where K is an index set of cardinality κ, M = M x F(M) x D x P(M') a mathematical structure with M a causal space, F(M) a function space, D a descriptor space, P(M') either a Lie algebra or tangent space on a manifold M', Ip an event tapestry. L consists of elements of the form [n]<α>G, n in K, α in M and G an acyclic directed graph whose vertex set is a subset of Lp Likewise, a transition tapestry π is a 4-tuple (L', K', M', I'p ) where M' = M' x F(M') x D' x P'(M). The dynamic generates a consistent succession of O-π pairs by means of a game based on the technique of forcing used in logic to generate models. This dynamic has previously been shown to be compatible with Lorentz invariance. An application of this approach to model scalar fields is presented in which each informon is associated with a function of the form f(πk1 /σ1 ,,πkN /σN )sin ( σ1 t1 --πk1 )/ ( σ1 t1 --πk1 ) .sin ( σN tN --πkN )/ ( σN tN --πkN ) and the WSK interpolation theorem is used to generate the resulting scalar field on the causal manifold.

  6. Reference Data Layers for Earth and Environmental Science: History, Frameworks, Science Needs, Approaches, and New Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenhardt, W. C.

    2015-12-01

    Global Mapping Project, Web-enabled Landsat Data (WELD), International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP), hydrology, solid earth dynamics, sedimentary geology, climate modeling, integrated assessments and so on all have needs for or have worked to develop consistently integrated data layers for Earth and environmental science. This paper will present an overview of an abstract notion of data layers of this types, what we are referring to as reference data layers for Earth and environmental science, highlight some historical examples, and delve into new approaches. The concept of reference data layers in this context combines data availability, cyberinfrastructure and data science, as well as domain science drivers. We argue that current advances in cyberinfrastructure such as iPython notebooks and integrated science processing environments such as iPlant's Discovery Environment coupled with vast arrays of new data sources warrant another look at the how to create, maintain, and provide reference data layers. The goal is to provide a context for understanding science needs for reference data layers to conduct their research. In addition, to the topics described above this presentation will also outline some of the challenges to and present some ideas for new approaches to addressing these needs. Promoting the idea of reference data layers is relevant to a number of existing related activities such as EarthCube, RDA, ESIP, the nascent NSF Regional Big Data Innovation Hubs and others.

  7. Towards Current Profile Control in ITER: Potential Approaches and Research Needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, E.; Barton, J. E.; Wehner, W. P.

    2014-10-01

    Many challenging plasma control problems still need to be addressed in order for the ITER Plasma Control System (PCS) to be able to successfully achieve the ITER project goals. For instance, setting up a suitable toroidal current density profile is key for one possible advanced scenario characterized by noninductive sustainment of the plasma current and steady-state operation. The nonlinearity and high dimensionality exhibited by the plasma demand a model-based current-profile control synthesis procedure that can accommodate this complexity through embedding the known physics within the design. The development of a model capturing the dynamics of the plasma relevant for control design enables not only the design of feedback controllers for regulation or tracking but also the design of optimal feedforward controllers for a systematic model-based approach to scenario planning, the design of state estimators for a reliable real-time reconstruction of the plasma internal profiles based on limited and noisy diagnostics, and the development of a fast predictive simulation code for closed-loop performance evaluation before implementation. Progress towards control-oriented modeling of the current profile evolution and associated control design has been reported following both data-driven and first-principles-driven approaches. An overview of these two approaches will be provided, as well as a discussion on research needs associated with each one of the model applications described above. Supported by the US Department of Energy under DE-SC0001334 and DE-SC0010661.

  8. 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…

  9. Causal Responsibility and Counterfactuals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  10. Causal Premise Semantics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufmann, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    The rise of causality and the attendant graph-theoretic modeling tools in the study of counterfactual reasoning has had resounding effects in many areas of cognitive science, but it has thus far not permeated the mainstream in linguistic theory to a comparable degree. In this study I show that a version of the predominant framework for the formal…

  11. Causal essentialism in kinds.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Woo-kyoung; Taylor, Eric G; Kato, Daniel; Marsh, Jessecae K; Bloom, Paul

    2013-06-01

    The current study examines causal essentialism, derived from psychological essentialism of concepts. We examine whether people believe that members of a category share some underlying essence that is both necessary and sufficient for category membership and that also causes surface features. The main claim is that causal essentialism is restricted to categories that correspond to our intuitive notions of existing kinds and hence is more attenuated for categories that are based on arbitrary criteria. Experiments 1 and 3 found that people overtly endorse causal essences in nonarbitrary kinds but are less likely to do so for arbitrary categories. Experiments 2 and 4 found that people were more willing to generalize a member's known causal relations (or lack thereof) when dealing with a kind than when dealing with an arbitrary category. These differences between kinds and arbitrary categories were found across various domains-not only for categories of living things, but also for artefacts. These findings have certain real-world implications, including how people make sense of mental disorders that are treated as real kinds. PMID:23098315

  12. The Causal Asymmetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Peter A.

    2006-01-01

    It is hypothesized that there is a pervasive and fundamental bias in humans' understanding of physical causation: Once the roles of cause and effect are assigned to objects in interactions, people tend to overestimate the strength and importance of the causal object and underestimate that of the effect object in bringing about the outcome. This…

  13. Causality: Physics and Philosophy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chatterjee, Atanu

    2013-01-01

    Nature is a complex causal network exhibiting diverse forms and species. These forms or rather systems are physically open, structurally complex and naturally adaptive. They interact with the surrounding media by operating a positive-feedback loop through which, they adapt, organize and self-organize themselves in response to the ever-changing…

  14. “The Maasai Need Cows and the Cows Need Maasai,” the Use of a Photovoice Approach to Assess Animal Health Needs

    PubMed Central

    van der Meer, Frank; Clancy, Eoin; Thomas, Adam; Kutz, Susan; Hatfield, Jennifer; Orsel, Karin

    2015-01-01

    The Maasai pastoralists in sub-Saharan Africa depend on their livestock for income and food. Livestock production can be significantly improved by addressing animal health concerns. We explored the use of photovoice, a participatory action research method, to strengthen our understanding of the Maasai’s animal health needs. Nine interviewees, representing warriors, elders, and women, identified animal, social, and human health themes. The use of photography provided a new medium for Maasai to express their needs and a focus for researcher–participant communications, thereby facilitating new insights across language and cultural barriers. PMID:26664973

  15. A social impact assessment of the floodwater spreading project on the Gareh-Bygone plain in Iran: A causal comparative approach

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmadvand, Mostafa Karami, Ezatollah

    2009-02-15

    The purpose of this study was to explore the social impacts of the floodwater spreading project (FWSP) on the Gareh-Bygone plain, Iran. The study was in the form of a causal comparative design, and a triangulation technique was used to collect data including the use of survey data, archival data, and a participatory rural appraisal (PRA). The causal comparative method requires a comparison of villages with and without the FWSP. Therefore, a survey was conducted using stratified random sampling to select 202 households in villages with and without FWSP in the plain. Significant differences were found between the respondents in villages with and without FWSP with regard to social impact criteria. In spite of the project had negative impact on perceived wellbeing, social capital, social structure development; it had positive impact on quality of life, rural and agricultural economic conditions, and conservation of community resources. However, no significant difference was found between women and men regarding the SIA of FWSP in Gareh-Bygone plain. Analysis of the archival data and PRA techniques supported the survey results and demonstrated that the project improved environmental criteria and deteriorated social dimensions.

  16. Disorganization of Equilibrium Directional Interactions in the Brain Motor Network of Parkinson's disease: New Insight of Resting State Analysis Using Granger Causality and Graphical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Ghasemi, Mahdieh; Mahloojifar, Ali

    2013-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity, and slowness of movements. Particular changes related to various pathological attacks in PD could result in causal interactions of the brain network from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data. In this paper, we aimed to disclose the network structure of the directed influences over the brain using multivariate Granger causality analysis and graph theory in patients with PD as compared with control group. rs-fMRI at rest from 10 PD patients and 10 controls were analyzed. Topological properties of the networks showed that information flow in PD is smaller than that in healthy individuals. We found that there is a balanced local network in healthy control group, including positive pair-wise cross connections between caudate and cerebellum and reciprocal connections between motor cortex and caudate in the left and right hemispheres. The results showed that this local network is disrupted in PD due to disturbance of the interactions in the motor networks. These findings suggested alteration of the functional organization of the brain in the resting state that affects the information transmission from and to other brain regions related to both primary dysfunctions and higher-level cognition impairments in PD. Furthermore, we showed that regions with high degree values could be detected as betweenness centrality nodes. Our results demonstrate that properties of small-world connectivity could also recognize and quantify the characteristics of directed influence brain networks in PD. PMID:24098860

  17. Need for Orientation, Media Uses and Gratifications, and Media Effects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, David

    In order to study the influence of need for orientation and media gratifications on media use and media effects in political communication, two previous surveys were studied to compare the causal modeling approach and the contingent conditions approach. In the first study, 339 personal interviews were conducted with registered voters during a…

  18. Critical review of forensic trace evidence analysis and the need for a new approach.

    PubMed

    Stoney, David A; Stoney, Paul L

    2015-06-01

    The historical development, contributions and limitations of the two traditional approaches to trace evidence analysis are reviewed. The first approach was as generalist practitioner, looking broadly at an assemblage of many different particle types. The second was that of specialist practitioner, with attention focused on one specific particle type. Four factors have significantly impacted the effectiveness of these approaches: (1) increasing technological capabilities, (2) increasing complexity in the character of manufactured materials, (3) changes in forensic laboratory management, and (4) changing scientific and legal expectations. The effectiveness of each approach is assessed within the context of these changes. More recently, new technologies have been applied to some trace evidence problems, intended to address one or more limitations. This has led to a third approach founded on discrete, highly technical methods addressing specific analytical problems. After evaluating the contributions and limitations of this third approach, we consider the different ways that technologies could be developed to address unmet needs in forensic trace evidence analysis. The route toward effective use of new technologies is contrasted with how forensic science laboratories are currently choosing and employing them. The conclusion is that although new technologies are contributing, we are not on a path that will result in their most effective and appropriate use. A new approach is required. Based on an analysis of the contributions of each of the three exisiting approaches, seven characteristics of an effective trace evidence analysis capability were determined: (1) particle traces should be a major problem-solving tool, (2) there should be readily available, straightforward methods to enable their use, (3) all available and potentially useful particle types should be considered, (4) decisions to use them should be made in the context of each case, guided by what they can

  19. A public health approach to the needs of children affected by terrorism.

    PubMed

    Baker, Duiona R

    2002-01-01

    The devastating terrorist incidents of Pan Am Flight 103, the Oklahoma City bombing, the bombings of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001, have forever changed America. These terrorist acts have deeply shaken the sense of safety, security, and well-being of our surviving children and families. These terrorist acts may also have increased the public health risks of substance abuse and mental illness for our children. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is responsible for strengthening prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illness in children and families. America's children may exhibit a wide range of emotional, physical, and psychological reactions following natural and man-made disasters. Large-scale disasters witnessed by children all underscore the need for a broad mental health and substance abuse public health approach. This approach is critical for our children's well-being.

  20. Practical approaches to supporting young women with intellectual disabilities and high support needs with their menstruation.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Miriam Taylor; Carlson, Glenys M; Van Dooren, Kate

    2012-01-01

    Menstrual myths may influence decisions about menstrual and fertility management for women with intellectual disabilities and high support needs. We identify six myths (related to menstruation, menstrual management, communication, sexual feelings, menstrual difficulties, and surgical elimination) and the evidence that dispels these myths. We provide reflexive questions for practitioners to help them critically reflect on their own approaches to menstrual management. We encourage those supporting women with disabilities to consider the reflective questions we have provided and to strive to support informed decision-making about menstruation and the related areas of fertility and sexual feelings.

  1. The need to disentangle key concepts from ecosystem-approach jargon.

    PubMed

    Waylen, K A; Hastings, E J; Banks, E A; Holstead, K L; Irvine, R J; Blackstock, K L

    2014-10-01

    The ecosystem approach--as endorsed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) in 2000-is a strategy for holistic, sustainable, and equitable natural resource management, to be implemented via the 12 Malawi Principles. These principles describe the need to manage nature in terms of dynamic ecosystems, while fully engaging with local peoples. It is an ambitious concept. Today, the term is common throughout the research and policy literature on environmental management. However, multiple meanings have been attached to the term, resulting in confusion. We reviewed references to the ecosystem approach from 1957 to 2012 and identified 3 primary uses: as an alternative to ecosystem management or ecosystem-based management; in reference to an integrated and equitable approach to resource management as per the CBD; and as a term signifying a focus on understanding and valuing ecosystem services. Although uses of this term and its variants may overlap in meaning, typically, they do not entirely reflect the ethos of the ecosystem approach as defined by the CBD. For example, there is presently an increasing emphasis on ecosystem services, but focusing on these alone does not promote decentralization of management or use of all forms of knowledge, both of which are integral to the CBD's concept. We highlight that the Malawi Principles are at risk of being forgotten. To better understand these principles, more effort to implement them is required. Such efforts should be evaluated, ideally with comparative approaches, before allowing the CBD's concept of holistic and socially engaged management to be abandoned or superseded. It is possible that attempts to implement all 12 principles together will face many challenges, but they may also offer a unique way to promote holistic and equitable governance of natural resources. Therefore, we believe that the CBD's concept of the ecosystem approach demands more attention.

  2. The need to disentangle key concepts from ecosystem-approach jargon.

    PubMed

    Waylen, K A; Hastings, E J; Banks, E A; Holstead, K L; Irvine, R J; Blackstock, K L

    2014-10-01

    The ecosystem approach--as endorsed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) in 2000-is a strategy for holistic, sustainable, and equitable natural resource management, to be implemented via the 12 Malawi Principles. These principles describe the need to manage nature in terms of dynamic ecosystems, while fully engaging with local peoples. It is an ambitious concept. Today, the term is common throughout the research and policy literature on environmental management. However, multiple meanings have been attached to the term, resulting in confusion. We reviewed references to the ecosystem approach from 1957 to 2012 and identified 3 primary uses: as an alternative to ecosystem management or ecosystem-based management; in reference to an integrated and equitable approach to resource management as per the CBD; and as a term signifying a focus on understanding and valuing ecosystem services. Although uses of this term and its variants may overlap in meaning, typically, they do not entirely reflect the ethos of the ecosystem approach as defined by the CBD. For example, there is presently an increasing emphasis on ecosystem services, but focusing on these alone does not promote decentralization of management or use of all forms of knowledge, both of which are integral to the CBD's concept. We highlight that the Malawi Principles are at risk of being forgotten. To better understand these principles, more effort to implement them is required. Such efforts should be evaluated, ideally with comparative approaches, before allowing the CBD's concept of holistic and socially engaged management to be abandoned or superseded. It is possible that attempts to implement all 12 principles together will face many challenges, but they may also offer a unique way to promote holistic and equitable governance of natural resources. Therefore, we believe that the CBD's concept of the ecosystem approach demands more attention. PMID:25039668

  3. The need for comprehensive vulnerability approaches to mirror the multiplicity in mountain hazard risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiler, Margreth; Fuchs, Sven

    2014-05-01

    The concept of vulnerability is pillared by multiple disciplinary theories underpinning either a technical or a social origin of the concept and resulting in a range of paradigms for vulnerability quantification. By taking a natural scientific approach we argue that a large number of studies have focused either on damage-loss functions for individual mountain hazards or on semi-quantitative indicator-based approaches for multiple hazards (hazard chains). However, efforts to reduce susceptibility to hazards and to create disaster-resilient communities require intersections among these approaches, as well as among theories originating in natural and social sciences, since human activity cannot be seen independently from the environmental setting. Acknowledging different roots of disciplinary paradigms in risk management, issues determining structural, economic, institutional and social vulnerability have to be more comprehensively addressed in the future with respect to mountain hazards in Europe and beyond. It is argued that structural vulnerability as originator results in considerable economic vulnerability, generated by the institutional settings of dealing with natural hazards and shaped by the overall societal framework. If vulnerability and its counterpart, resilience, is analysed and evaluated by using such a comprehensive approach, a better understanding of the vulnerability-influencing parameters could be achieved, taking into account the interdependencies and interactions between the disciplinary foci. As a result, three key issues should be addressed in future research: (1) Vulnerability requires a new perspective on the relationship between society and environment: not as a duality, but more as a mutually constitutive relationship (including methods for assessment). (2) There is a need for concepts of vulnerability that emphasise the dynamics of temporal and spatial scales, particularly with respect to Global Change processes in mountain regions. (3

  4. Conditional Granger causality and partitioned Granger causality: differences and similarities.

    PubMed

    Malekpour, Sheida; Sethares, William A

    2015-12-01

    Neural information modeling and analysis often requires a measurement of the mutual influence among many signals. A common technique is the conditional Granger causality (cGC) which measures the influence of one time series on another time series in the presence of a third. Geweke has translated this condition into the frequency domain and has explored the mathematical relationships between the time and frequency domain expressions. Chen has observed that in practice, the expressions may return (meaningless) negative numbers, and has proposed an alternative which is based on a partitioned matrix scheme, which we call partitioned Granger causality (pGC). There has been some confusion in the literature about the relationship between cGC and pGC; some authors treat them as essentially identical measures, while others have noted that some properties (such as the relationship between the time and frequency domain expressions) do not hold for the pGC. This paper presents a series of matrix equalities that simplify the calculation of the pGC. In this simplified expression, the essential differences and similarities between the cGC and the pGC become clear; in essence, the pGC is dependent on only a subset of the parameters in the model estimation, and the noise residuals (which are uncorrelated in the cGC) need not be uncorrelated in the pGC. The mathematical results are illustrated with a simulation, and the measures are applied to an EEG dataset.

  5. Process-outcome interrelationship and standard setting in medical education: the need for a comprehensive approach.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Leif; Karle, Hans; Nystrup, Jørgen

    2007-09-01

    An outcome-based approach to medical education compared to a process/content orientation is currently being discussed intensively. In this article, the process and outcome interrelationship in medical education is discussed, with specific emphasis on the relation to the definition of standards in basic medical education. Perceptions of outcome have always been an integrated element of curricular planning. The present debate underlines the need for stronger focus on learning objectives and outcome assessment in many medical schools around the world. The need to maintain an integrated approach of process/content and outcome is underlined in this paper. A worry is expressed about the taxonomy of learning in pure outcome-based medical education, in which student assessment can be a major determinant for the learning process, leaving the control of the medical curriculum to medical examiners. Moreover, curricula which favour reductionism by stating everything in terms of instrumental outcomes or competences, do face a risk of lowering quality and do become a prey for political interference. Standards based on outcome alone rise unclarified problems in relationship to licensure requirements of medical doctors. It is argued that the alleged dichotomy between process/content and outcome seems artificial, and that formulation of standards in medical education must follow a comprehensive line in curricular planning. PMID:18251034

  6. Interpretation of cardiovascular outcome trials in type 2 diabetes needs a multiaxial approach

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Odd Erik

    2015-01-01

    In cardiovascular (CV) diabetology a “one-size fits-all” approach needs caution as vasculopathy and CV manifestations in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) with short disease duration are different as compared to those with longer duration. This is of relevance when interpreting results of CV outcome trials as responses to any intervention aimed to reduce CV risk might be different in patients with established vasculopathy as compared to those without, where also the duration of the intervention may play a role. Additionally, the mode-of-action of the intervention and its assumed time to peak CV risk modulation need to be taken into account: an intervention with possibly immediate effects, like on blood pressure or other direct functional dynamic parameters such as endothelial function or renal hemodynamics, could likely provide a meaningful impact on CV outcomes over a shorter time span than interventions that primarily target pathways that work on atherosclerotic processes, organ-remodelling, or vessel integrity. We are now faced with CV outcome results to interpret from a plethora of outcomes trials in T2D, some of which are testing the CV risk modulation predominantly beyond glucose lowering, e.g., as is the case for several trials testing the newer therapy classes di-peptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, glucagon-like protein-1 receptor analogues and sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors, and this paper reviews the data that support a call for a multiaxial approach to interpret these results. PMID:26265995

  7. A definition of causal effect for epidemiological research.

    PubMed

    Hernán, M A

    2004-04-01

    Estimating the causal effect of some exposure on some outcome is the goal of many epidemiological studies. This article reviews a formal definition of causal effect for such studies. For simplicity, the main description is restricted to dichotomous variables and assumes that no random error attributable to sampling variability exists. The appendix provides a discussion of sampling variability and a generalisation of this causal theory. The difference between association and causation is described-the redundant expression "causal effect" is used throughout the article to avoid confusion with a common use of "effect" meaning simply statistical association-and shows why, in theory, randomisation allows the estimation of causal effects without further assumptions. The article concludes with a discussion on the limitations of randomised studies. These limitations are the reason why methods for causal inference from observational data are needed.

  8. Child Care Subsidy Use and Child Development: Potential Causal Mechanisms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkinson, Laura E.

    2011-01-01

    Research using an experimental design is needed to provide firm causal evidence on the impacts of child care subsidy use on child development, and on underlying causal mechanisms since subsidies can affect child development only indirectly via changes they cause in children's early experiences. However, before costly experimental research is…

  9. The Role of Functional Form in Causal-Based Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rehder, Bob

    2015-01-01

    Two experiments tested how the "functional form" of the causal relations that link features of categories affects category-based inferences. Whereas "independent causes" can each bring about an effect by themselves, "conjunctive causes" all need to be present for an effect to occur. The causal model view of category…

  10. A Hybrid Approach to Finding Relevant Social Media Content for Complex Domain Specific Information Needs

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Delroy; Sheth, Amit P.; Jaykumar, Nishita; Thirunarayan, Krishnaprasad; Anand, Gaurish; Smith, Gary A.

    2015-01-01

    While contemporary semantic search systems offer to improve classical keyword-based search, they are not always adequate for complex domain specific information needs. The domain of prescription drug abuse, for example, requires knowledge of both ontological concepts and “intelligible constructs” not typically modeled in ontologies. These intelligible constructs convey essential information that include notions of intensity, frequency, interval, dosage and sentiments, which could be important to the holistic needs of the information seeker. In this paper, we present a hybrid approach to domain specific information retrieval that integrates ontology-driven query interpretation with synonym-based query expansion and domain specific rules, to facilitate search in social media on prescription drug abuse. Our framework is based on a context-free grammar (CFG) that defines the query language of constructs interpretable by the search system. The grammar provides two levels of semantic interpretation: 1) a top-level CFG that facilitates retrieval of diverse textual patterns, which belong to broad templates and 2) a low-level CFG that enables interpretation of specific expressions belonging to such textual patterns. These low-level expressions occur as concepts from four different categories of data: 1) ontological concepts, 2) concepts in lexicons (such as emotions and sentiments), 3) concepts in lexicons with only partial ontology representation, called lexico-ontology concepts (such as side effects and routes of administration (ROA)), and 4) domain specific expressions (such as date, time, interval, frequency and dosage) derived solely through rules. Our approach is embodied in a novel Semantic Web platform called PREDOSE, which provides search support for complex domain specific information needs in prescription drug abuse epidemiology. When applied to a corpus of over 1 million drug abuse-related web forum posts, our search framework proved effective in retrieving

  11. Granger causality and transfer entropy are equivalent for Gaussian variables.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Lionel; Barrett, Adam B; Seth, Anil K

    2009-12-01

    Granger causality is a statistical notion of causal influence based on prediction via vector autoregression. Developed originally in the field of econometrics, it has since found application in a broader arena, particularly in neuroscience. More recently transfer entropy, an information-theoretic measure of time-directed information transfer between jointly dependent processes, has gained traction in a similarly wide field. While it has been recognized that the two concepts must be related, the exact relationship has until now not been formally described. Here we show that for Gaussian variables, Granger causality and transfer entropy are entirely equivalent, thus bridging autoregressive and information-theoretic approaches to data-driven causal inference.

  12. Employee Training Needs and Perceived Value of Training in the Pearl River Delta of China: A Human Capital Development Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Au, Alan Kai Ming; Altman, Yochanan; Roussel, Josse

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to explore Hong Kong firms' training needs in the Pearl River Delta, a booming region in the fast growing People Republic of China economy, by resorting to a human capital approach. Also, to identify the training policies selected by those firms in order to cater for those needs. Design/methodology/approach: A survey based…

  13. THE CHILD'S CONCEPTION OF PHYSICAL CAUSALITY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    PIAGET, JEAN

    THE CHILD'S CONCEPTION OF PHYSICAL CAUSALITY WAS INVESTIGATED. THREE METHODS OF INVESTIGATION WERE USED. THE FIRST METHOD WAS PURELY VERBAL, AND CONSISTED OF A SERIES OF QUESTIONS DIRECTED TO CHILDREN, REGARDING SOME NATURAL PHENOMENON. THE SECOND METHOD INVOLVED A HALF-VERBAL, HALF-PRACTICAL APPROACH, WHEREIN A SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO NATURAL…

  14. Approaches for exposure characterization and data needs for hazardous waste site assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Waldman, J M

    1995-01-01

    This article provides an understanding of the approaches for determining exposure and dose to populations in the vicinity of hazardous waste sites. A review of the federal legislation and jurisdiction for assessments is provided, and the approaches of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry are compared. These methods strive to aid in the evaluation of public health impacts of contaminants that were, are, or may be released to the community, and they are concerned with various aspects of the contaminant fate, human contact, and toxic response for chemicals of concern. Such approaches have been designed for generic contamination scenarios, but they aim to be applicable to a wide range of chemicals and sites in the real world. Along with any modeling framework for exposure and dose characterization, detailed information or real data are requisite for the completion of any site-specific assessment. What kinds of data are needed and where they may be found are also discussed. A comprehensive framework for exposure characterization, recently proposed by Georgopoulos and Lioy, is outlined. The framework is one employing the following elements: chemodynamic analyses of sources and receptors; characterization of the target population; toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic analyses; uncertainty/error analyses; and evaluation of the characterization performance. PMID:7621812

  15. Context, causality, and appreciation.

    PubMed

    Ross, Stephanie

    2013-04-01

    I applaud and elaborate on the contextualism at the heart of Bullot & Reber's (B&R's) theory, challenge two aspects of the appreciative structure they posit (the causal reasoning that allegedly underlies the design stance and the segregation of the component stages), suggest that expert and novice appreciators operate differently, and question the degree to which B&R's final theory is open to empirical investigation. PMID:23507111

  16. Context, causality, and appreciation.

    PubMed

    Ross, Stephanie

    2013-04-01

    I applaud and elaborate on the contextualism at the heart of Bullot & Reber's (B&R's) theory, challenge two aspects of the appreciative structure they posit (the causal reasoning that allegedly underlies the design stance and the segregation of the component stages), suggest that expert and novice appreciators operate differently, and question the degree to which B&R's final theory is open to empirical investigation.

  17. Normalizing the causality between time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, X. San

    2015-08-01

    Recently, a rigorous yet concise formula was derived to evaluate information flow, and hence the causality in a quantitative sense, between time series. To assess the importance of a resulting causality, it needs to be normalized. The normalization is achieved through distinguishing a Lyapunov exponent-like, one-dimensional phase-space stretching rate and a noise-to-signal ratio from the rate of information flow in the balance of the marginal entropy evolution of the flow recipient. It is verified with autoregressive models and applied to a real financial analysis problem. An unusually strong one-way causality is identified from IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) to GE (General Electric Company) in their early era, revealing to us an old story, which has almost faded into oblivion, about "Seven Dwarfs" competing with a giant for the mainframe computer market.

  18. To Infinity and Beyond: Using a Narrative Approach to Identify Training Needs for Unknown and Dynamic Situations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dachner, Alison M.; Saxton, Brian M.; Noe, Raymond A.; Keeton, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    Training effectiveness depends on conducting a thorough needs assessment. Traditional needs assessment methods are insufficient for today's business environment characterized by rapid pace, risk, and uncertainty. To overcome the deficiencies of traditional needs assessment methods, a narrative-based unstructured interview approach with…

  19. Supporting Early Childhood Preservice Teachers in Their Work with Children and Families with Complex Needs: A Strengths Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenton, Angela; McFarland-Piazza, Laura

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the potential of tailoring the inherent principles of the Strengths Approach (McCashen, 2005) for preparing early childhood educators to work with children and families with complex needs. The term "Strengths Approach" (capitalized) is presented in the article as the name of a specific approach developed by St.…

  20. Sleepwalking Into Infertility: The Need for a Public Health Approach Toward Advanced Maternal Age.

    PubMed

    Lemoine, Marie-Eve; Ravitsky, Vardit

    2015-01-01

    In Western countries today, a growing number of women delay motherhood until their late 30s and even 40s, as they invest time in pursuing education and career goals before starting a family. This social trend results from greater gender equality and expanded opportunities for women and is influenced by the availability of contraception and assisted reproductive technologies (ART). However, advanced maternal age is associated with increased health risks, including infertility. While individual medical solutions such as ART and elective egg freezing can promote reproductive autonomy, they entail significant risks and limitations. We thus argue that women should be better informed regarding the risks of advanced maternal age and ART, and that these individual solutions need to be supplemented by a public health approach, including policy measures that provide women with the opportunity to start a family earlier in life without sacrificing personal career goals. PMID:26575814

  1. Sleepwalking Into Infertility: The Need for a Public Health Approach Toward Advanced Maternal Age.

    PubMed

    Lemoine, Marie-Eve; Ravitsky, Vardit

    2015-01-01

    In Western countries today, a growing number of women delay motherhood until their late 30s and even 40s, as they invest time in pursuing education and career goals before starting a family. This social trend results from greater gender equality and expanded opportunities for women and is influenced by the availability of contraception and assisted reproductive technologies (ART). However, advanced maternal age is associated with increased health risks, including infertility. While individual medical solutions such as ART and elective egg freezing can promote reproductive autonomy, they entail significant risks and limitations. We thus argue that women should be better informed regarding the risks of advanced maternal age and ART, and that these individual solutions need to be supplemented by a public health approach, including policy measures that provide women with the opportunity to start a family earlier in life without sacrificing personal career goals.

  2. Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology vs. the Postoperative Histology - the Continuing Need for Multi-Disciplinary Approach?

    PubMed

    Gill, G; Kalyanasundaram, K; Varughese, G; Wilson, P; Varadhan, L

    2016-07-01

    We set out to investigate the concordance rates that were observed between fine needle aspiration cytology (FNA) compared with that of the post operative histology obtained for thyroid nodules over an 8 year period at a large university hospital.A retrospective analysis of 355 cases was conducted; patients operated for hyperthyroidism were excluded for the purposes of this study. We identified malignancy in a total of 101 cases (28%) The chance of malignancy with 2 Thy1 specimens was 5% in this study and 9% was observed in those with a Thy 2 FNA. On the converse, 7% of patient had malignant cytology on FNA though post-operative histology turned out to be benign.This therefore highlights the potential for discordance between thyroid FNA cytology and post-operative histology in the assessment of any thyroid nodule and thus reinforcing the need for a multidisciplinary approach in the assessment of all thyroid nodules. PMID:27223871

  3. Causality in physiological signals.

    PubMed

    Müller, Andreas; Kraemer, Jan F; Penzel, Thomas; Bonnemeier, Hendrik; Kurths, Jürgen; Wessel, Niels

    2016-05-01

    Health is one of the most important non-material assets and thus also has an enormous influence on material values, since treating and preventing diseases is expensive. The number one cause of death worldwide today originates in cardiovascular diseases. For these reasons the aim of understanding the functions and the interactions of the cardiovascular system is and has been a major research topic throughout various disciplines for more than a hundred years. The purpose of most of today's research is to get as much information as possible with the lowest possible effort and the least discomfort for the subject or patient, e.g. via non-invasive measurements. A family of tools whose importance has been growing during the last years is known under the headline of coupling measures. The rationale for this kind of analysis is to identify the structure of interactions in a system of multiple components. Important information lies for example in the coupling direction, the coupling strength, and occurring time lags. In this work, we will, after a brief general introduction covering the development of cardiovascular time series analysis, introduce, explain and review some of the most important coupling measures and classify them according to their origin and capabilities in the light of physiological analyses. We will begin with classical correlation measures, go via Granger-causality-based tools, entropy-based techniques (e.g. momentary information transfer), nonlinear prediction measures (e.g. mutual prediction) to symbolic dynamics (e.g. symbolic coupling traces). All these methods have contributed important insights into physiological interactions like cardiorespiratory coupling, neuro-cardio-coupling and many more. Furthermore, we will cover tools to detect and analyze synchronization and coordination (e.g. synchrogram and coordigram). As a last point we will address time dependent couplings as identified using a recent approach employing ensembles of time series. The

  4. From computer-assisted intervention research to clinical impact: The need for a holistic approach.

    PubMed

    Ourselin, Sébastien; Emberton, Mark; Vercauteren, Tom

    2016-10-01

    The early days of the field of medical image computing (MIC) and computer-assisted intervention (CAI), when publishing a strong self-contained methodological algorithm was enough to produce impact, are over. As a community, we now have substantial responsibility to translate our scientific progresses into improved patient care. In the field of computer-assisted interventions, the emphasis is also shifting from the mere use of well-known established imaging modalities and position trackers to the design and combination of innovative sensing, elaborate computational models and fine-grained clinical workflow analysis to create devices with unprecedented capabilities. The barriers to translating such devices in the complex and understandably heavily regulated surgical and interventional environment can seem daunting. Whether we leave the translation task mostly to our industrial partners or welcome, as researchers, an important share of it is up to us. We argue that embracing the complexity of surgical and interventional sciences is mandatory to the evolution of the field. Being able to do so requires large-scale infrastructure and a critical mass of expertise that very few research centres have. In this paper, we emphasise the need for a holistic approach to computer-assisted interventions where clinical, scientific, engineering and regulatory expertise are combined as a means of moving towards clinical impact. To ensure that the breadth of infrastructure and expertise required for translational computer-assisted intervention research does not lead to a situation where the field advances only thanks to a handful of exceptionally large research centres, we also advocate that solutions need to be designed to lower the barriers to entry. Inspired by fields such as particle physics and astronomy, we claim that centralised very large innovation centres with state of the art technology and health technology assessment capabilities backed by core support staff and open

  5. Atomic and Molecular Data Needs for Radiation Damage Modeling: Multiscale Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakubovich, Alexander V.; Surdutovich, Eugene; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    2011-05-01

    We present a brief overview of the multiscale approach towards understanding of the processes responsible for the radiation damage caused by energetic ions. This knowledge is very important, because it can be utilized in the ion-beam cancer therapy, which is one of the most advanced modern techniques to cure certain type of cancer. The central element of the multiscale approach is the theoretical evaluation and quantification of the DNA damage within cell environment. To achieve this goal one needs a significant amount of data on various atomic and molecular processes involved into the cascade of events starting with the ion entering and propagation in the biological medium and resulting in the DNA damage. The discussion of the follow up biological processes are beyond the scope of this brief overview. We consider different paths of the DNA damage and focus on the the illustration of the thermo-mechanical effects caused by the propagation of ions through the biological environment and in particular on the possibility of the creation of the shock waves in the vicinity of the ion tracks. We demonstrate that at the initial stages after ion's passage the shock wave is so strong that it can contribute to the DNA damage due to large pressure gradients developed at the distances of a few nanometers from the ionic tracks. This novel mechanism of the DNA damage provides an important contribution to the cumulative biodamage caused by low-energy secondary electrons, holes and free radicals.

  6. Atomic and Molecular Data Needs for Radiation Damage Modeling: Multiscale Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Yakubovich, Alexander V.; Solov'yov, Andrey V.; Surdutovich, Eugene

    2011-05-11

    We present a brief overview of the multiscale approach towards understanding of the processes responsible for the radiation damage caused by energetic ions. This knowledge is very important, because it can be utilized in the ion-beam cancer therapy, which is one of the most advanced modern techniques to cure certain type of cancer. The central element of the multiscale approach is the theoretical evaluation and quantification of the DNA damage within cell environment. To achieve this goal one needs a significant amount of data on various atomic and molecular processes involved into the cascade of events starting with the ion entering and propagation in the biological medium and resulting in the DNA damage. The discussion of the follow up biological processes are beyond the scope of this brief overview. We consider different paths of the DNA damage and focus on the the illustration of the thermo-mechanical effects caused by the propagation of ions through the biological environment and in particular on the possibility of the creation of the shock waves in the vicinity of the ion tracks. We demonstrate that at the initial stages after ion's passage the shock wave is so strong that it can contribute to the DNA damage due to large pressure gradients developed at the distances of a few nanometers from the ionic tracks. This novel mechanism of the DNA damage provides an important contribution to the cumulative biodamage caused by low-energy secondary electrons, holes and free radicals.

  7. Causal Entropic Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wissner-Gross, A. D.; Freer, C. E.

    2013-04-01

    Recent advances in fields ranging from cosmology to computer science have hinted at a possible deep connection between intelligence and entropy maximization, but no formal physical relationship between them has yet been established. Here, we explicitly propose a first step toward such a relationship in the form of a causal generalization of entropic forces that we find can cause two defining behaviors of the human “cognitive niche”—tool use and social cooperation—to spontaneously emerge in simple physical systems. Our results suggest a potentially general thermodynamic model of adaptive behavior as a nonequilibrium process in open systems.

  8. Quantum information causality.

    PubMed

    Pitalúa-García, Damián

    2013-05-24

    How much information can a transmitted physical system fundamentally communicate? We introduce the principle of quantum information causality, which states the maximum amount of quantum information that a quantum system can communicate as a function of its dimension, independently of any previously shared quantum physical resources. We present a new quantum information task, whose success probability is upper bounded by the new principle, and show that an optimal strategy to perform it combines the quantum teleportation and superdense coding protocols with a task that has classical inputs. PMID:23745844

  9. Fast causal multicast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Birman, Kenneth P.; Schiper, Andre; Stephenson, Pat

    1990-01-01

    A new protocol is presented that efficiently implements a reliable, causally ordered multicast primitive and is easily extended into a totally ordered one. Intended for use in the ISIS toolkit, it offers a way to bypass the most costly aspects of ISIS while benefiting from virtual synchrony. The facility scales with bounded overhead. Measured speedups of more than an order of magnitude were obtained when the protocol was implemented within ISIS. One conclusion is that systems such as ISIS can achieve performance competitive with the best existing multicast facilities - a finding contradicting the widespread concern that fault-tolerance may be unacceptably costly.

  10. Learning a theory of causality.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Noah D; Ullman, Tomer D; Tenenbaum, Joshua B

    2011-01-01

    The very early appearance of abstract knowledge is often taken as evidence for innateness. We explore the relative learning speeds of abstract and specific knowledge within a Bayesian framework and the role for innate structure. We focus on knowledge about causality, seen as a domain-general intuitive theory, and ask whether this knowledge can be learned from co-occurrence of events. We begin by phrasing the causal Bayes nets theory of causality and a range of alternatives in a logical language for relational theories. This allows us to explore simultaneous inductive learning of an abstract theory of causality and a causal model for each of several causal systems. We find that the correct theory of causality can be learned relatively quickly, often becoming available before specific causal theories have been learned--an effect we term the blessing of abstraction. We then explore the effect of providing a variety of auxiliary evidence and find that a collection of simple perceptual input analyzers can help to bootstrap abstract knowledge. Together, these results suggest that the most efficient route to causal knowledge may be to build in not an abstract notion of causality but a powerful inductive learning mechanism and a variety of perceptual supports. While these results are purely computational, they have implications for cognitive development, which we explore in the conclusion.

  11. The lesson of causal discovery algorithms for quantum correlations: causal explanations of Bell-inequality violations require fine-tuning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Christopher J.; Spekkens, Robert W.

    2015-03-01

    An active area of research in the fields of machine learning and statistics is the development of causal discovery algorithms, the purpose of which is to infer the causal relations that hold among a set of variables from the correlations that these exhibit . We apply some of these algorithms to the correlations that arise for entangled quantum systems. We show that they cannot distinguish correlations that satisfy Bell inequalities from correlations that violate Bell inequalities, and consequently that they cannot do justice to the challenges of explaining certain quantum correlations causally. Nonetheless, by adapting the conceptual tools of causal inference, we can show that any attempt to provide a causal explanation of nonsignalling correlations that violate a Bell inequality must contradict a core principle of these algorithms, namely, that an observed statistical independence between variables should not be explained by fine-tuning of the causal parameters. In particular, we demonstrate the need for such fine-tuning for most of the causal mechanisms that have been proposed to underlie Bell correlations, including superluminal causal influences, superdeterminism (that is, a denial of freedom of choice of settings), and retrocausal influences which do not introduce causal cycles.

  12. Demystifying Concepts of Epidemic and Causal Association for Public Health Students--A Pedagogical Approach to Promote Critical and Analytical Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patil, Rajan R.

    2011-01-01

    Epidemiology is a difficult but an important subject in public health curriculum. As teachers, we need to be very innovative in teaching the core concepts in epidemiology since it is basically a research oriented subject that calls for enormous application of logic and mathematical skills. Very often, complex epidemiological concepts need to be…

  13. The urgent need to change the current medical approach on tobacco cessation in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Ponciano-Rodríguez, Guadalupe

    2010-01-01

    Despite of the accumulation of scientific evidence confirming the health consequences of smoking and the new paradigm of smoking as a disease where nicotine is the drug that modifies the functional and morphological characteristics of the brain in dependent smokers, tobacco smoking continues as an important public health problem in many Latin American countries. In contrast with big advances in the tobacco control area, as an example the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control signed by 168 countries, the role of health professional in the fight against tobacco is still less than ideal. In many Latin American schools of medicine, deficiencies in medical education has led to insecure physicians when they have to motivate their patients to stop smoking or to prevent young people to begin tobacco consumption. If each general practitioner or specialist during their daily medical assistance could talk to their smoker patients about the big benefits of stop smoking and support them to get free of tobacco, we would be winning a battle against smoking. Also if we could achieve generations of young non smoking doctors, who could be a real example for patients, this could also impact the prevalence of smokers. In this article we analyze the neurobiological bases of nicotine addiction, which we think are missing in the medical curriculum and could help doctors to understand tobacco smoking as a disease rather than a risk factor, and discuss the main reasons supporting an urgent change in the medical approach of tobacco cessation in Latin America as well as the need to actualize the medical curriculum in order to give physicians the skills needed to intervene successfully with their smoker patients and to be themselves non smokers.

  14. The urgent need to change the current medical approach on tobacco cessation in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Ponciano-Rodríguez, Guadalupe

    2010-01-01

    Despite of the accumulation of scientific evidence confirming the health consequences of smoking and the new paradigm of smoking as a disease where nicotine is the drug that modifies the functional and morphological characteristics of the brain in dependent smokers, tobacco smoking continues as an important public health problem in many Latin American countries. In contrast with big advances in the tobacco control area, as an example the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control signed by 168 countries, the role of health professional in the fight against tobacco is still less than ideal. In many Latin American schools of medicine, deficiencies in medical education has led to insecure physicians when they have to motivate their patients to stop smoking or to prevent young people to begin tobacco consumption. If each general practitioner or specialist during their daily medical assistance could talk to their smoker patients about the big benefits of stop smoking and support them to get free of tobacco, we would be winning a battle against smoking. Also if we could achieve generations of young non smoking doctors, who could be a real example for patients, this could also impact the prevalence of smokers. In this article we analyze the neurobiological bases of nicotine addiction, which we think are missing in the medical curriculum and could help doctors to understand tobacco smoking as a disease rather than a risk factor, and discuss the main reasons supporting an urgent change in the medical approach of tobacco cessation in Latin America as well as the need to actualize the medical curriculum in order to give physicians the skills needed to intervene successfully with their smoker patients and to be themselves non smokers. PMID:21243210

  15. The need for a systematic approach to disaster psychosocial response: a suggested competency framework.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robin S; Danford, Taryn

    2014-04-01

    Competency models attempt to define what makes expert performers "experts." Successful disaster psychosocial planning and the institutionalizing of psychosocial response within emergency management require clearly-defined skill sets. This necessitates anticipating both the short- and long-term psychosocial implications of a disaster or health emergency (ie, pandemic) by developing effective and sustained working relationships among psychosocial providers, programs, and other planning partners. The following article outlines recommended competencies for psychosocial responders to enable communities and organizations to prepare for and effectively manage a disaster response. Competency-based models are founded on observable performance or behavioral indicators, attitudes, traits, or personalities related to effective performance in a specific role or job. After analyzing the literature regarding competency-based frameworks, a proposed competency framework that details 13 competency domains is suggested. Each domain describes a series of competencies and suggests behavioral indicators for each competency and, where relevant, associated training expectations. These domains have been organized under three distinct categories or types of competencies: general competency domains; disaster psychosocial intervention competency domains; and disaster psychosocial program leadership and coordination competency domains. Competencies do not replace job descriptions nor should they be confused with performance assessments. What they can do is update and revise job descriptions; orient existing and new employees to their disaster/emergency roles and responsibilities; target training needs; provide the basis for ongoing self-assessment by agencies and individuals as they evaluate their readiness to respond; and provide a job- or role-relevant basis for performance appraisal dimensions or standards and review discussions. Using a modular approach to psychosocial planning, service

  16. The need for a systematic approach to disaster psychosocial response: a suggested competency framework.

    PubMed

    Cox, Robin S; Danford, Taryn

    2014-04-01

    Competency models attempt to define what makes expert performers "experts." Successful disaster psychosocial planning and the institutionalizing of psychosocial response within emergency management require clearly-defined skill sets. This necessitates anticipating both the short- and long-term psychosocial implications of a disaster or health emergency (ie, pandemic) by developing effective and sustained working relationships among psychosocial providers, programs, and other planning partners. The following article outlines recommended competencies for psychosocial responders to enable communities and organizations to prepare for and effectively manage a disaster response. Competency-based models are founded on observable performance or behavioral indicators, attitudes, traits, or personalities related to effective performance in a specific role or job. After analyzing the literature regarding competency-based frameworks, a proposed competency framework that details 13 competency domains is suggested. Each domain describes a series of competencies and suggests behavioral indicators for each competency and, where relevant, associated training expectations. These domains have been organized under three distinct categories or types of competencies: general competency domains; disaster psychosocial intervention competency domains; and disaster psychosocial program leadership and coordination competency domains. Competencies do not replace job descriptions nor should they be confused with performance assessments. What they can do is update and revise job descriptions; orient existing and new employees to their disaster/emergency roles and responsibilities; target training needs; provide the basis for ongoing self-assessment by agencies and individuals as they evaluate their readiness to respond; and provide a job- or role-relevant basis for performance appraisal dimensions or standards and review discussions. Using a modular approach to psychosocial planning, service

  17. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Reverse-engineering of biological networks is a central problem in systems biology. The use of intervention data, such as gene knockouts or knockdowns, is typically used for teasing apart causal relationships among genes. Under time or resource constraints, one needs to carefully choose which intervention experiments to carry out. Previous approaches for selecting most informative interventions have largely been focused on discrete Bayesian networks. However, continuous Bayesian networks are of great practical interest, especially in the study of complex biological systems and their quantitative properties. In this work, we present an efficient, information-theoretic active learning algorithm for Gaussian Bayesian networks (GBNs), which serve as important models for gene regulatory networks. In addition to providing linear-algebraic insights unique to GBNs, leading to significant runtime improvements, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on data simulated with GBNs and the DREAM4 network inference challenge data sets. Our method generally leads to faster recovery of underlying network structure and faster convergence to final distribution of confidence scores over candidate graph structures using the full data, in comparison to random selection of intervention experiments. PMID:26930205

  18. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Reverse-engineering of biological networks is a central problem in systems biology. The use of intervention data, such as gene knockouts or knockdowns, is typically used for teasing apart causal relationships among genes. Under time or resource constraints, one needs to carefully choose which intervention experiments to carry out. Previous approaches for selecting most informative interventions have largely been focused on discrete Bayesian networks. However, continuous Bayesian networks are of great practical interest, especially in the study of complex biological systems and their quantitative properties. In this work, we present an efficient, information-theoretic active learning algorithm for Gaussian Bayesian networks (GBNs), which serve as important models for gene regulatory networks. In addition to providing linear-algebraic insights unique to GBNs, leading to significant runtime improvements, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on data simulated with GBNs and the DREAM4 network inference challenge data sets. Our method generally leads to faster recovery of underlying network structure and faster convergence to final distribution of confidence scores over candidate graph structures using the full data, in comparison to random selection of intervention experiments. PMID:26930205

  19. On directed information theory and Granger causality graphs.

    PubMed

    Amblard, Pierre-Olivier; Michel, Olivier J J

    2011-02-01

    Directed information theory deals with communication channels with feedback. When applied to networks, a natural extension based on causal conditioning is needed. We show here that measures built from directed information theory in networks can be used to assess Granger causality graphs of stochastic processes. We show that directed information theory includes measures such as the transfer entropy, and that it is the adequate information theoretic framework needed for neuroscience applications, such as connectivity inference problems.

  20. Experimental test of nonlocal causality

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. MINIMIZING COGNITIVE ERRORS IN SITE-SPECIFIC CAUSAL ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Interest in causal investigations in aquatic systems has been a natural outgrowth of the increased use of biological monitoring to characterize the condition of resources. Although biological monitoring approaches are critical tools for detecting whether effects are occurring, t...

  4. Support Needs for Canadian Health Providers Responding to Disaster: New Insights from a Grounded Theory Approach

    PubMed Central

    Fahim, Christine; O'Sullivan, Tracey L.; Lane, Dan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: An earlier descriptive study exploring the various supports available to Canadian health and social service providers who deployed to the 2010 earthquake disaster in Haiti, indicated that when systems are compromised, professionals are at physical, emotional and mental risk during overseas deployment. While these risks are generally well-identified, there is little literature that explores the effectiveness of the supports in place to mitigate this risk. This study provides evidence to inform policy development regarding future disaster relief, and the effectiveness of supports available to responders assisting with international disaster response. Methods: This study follows Strauss and Corbin’s 1990 structured approach to grounded theory to develop a framework for effective disaster support systems. N=21 interviews with Canadian health and social service providers, who deployed to Haiti in response to the 2010 earthquake, were conducted and analyzed. Resulting data were transcribed, coded and analysed for emergent themes. Results and Discussion: Three themes were identified in the data and were used to develop the evolving theory. The interview data indicate that the experiences of responders are determined based on an interaction between the individual’s ‘lens’ or personal expectations, as well as the supports that an organization is able to provide. Therefore, organizations should consider the following factors: experience, expectations, and supports, to tailor a successful support initiative that caters to the needs of the volunteer workforce. PMID:26203399

  5. International trade in livestock and livestock products: the need for a commodity-based approach.

    PubMed

    Thomson, G R; Tambi, E N; Hargreaves, S K; Leyland, T J; Catley, A P; van 't Klooster, G G M; Penrith, M L

    2004-10-01

    International animal health standards designed to facilitate safe trade in livestock and livestock products are set by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and documented in the OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code. A core principle of the Code is the need for countries to eradicate important transboundary animal diseases (TADs) to reduce the risk of exporting disease to trading partners. International food safety standards are set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, administered jointly by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The goal of global eradication of most TADs is unachievable for the foreseeable future, other than in the case of rinderpest, and this prevents many countries, especially developing nations, from engaging in international trade under WTO rules. This paper proposes an alternative, commodity-based approach to the formulation of international animal health and food safety standards, based on the fact that different commodities pose very different risks when it comes to the spread of human and animal pathogens. Therefore, the risk mitigation strategies required are equally commodity-dependent. The authors conclude that more focused commodity standards would improve access to international markets for all countries, especially those in the developing world. For this objective to be realised, credible and independent certification is required. PMID:15508847

  6. Causal-explanatory pluralism: How intentions, functions, and mechanisms influence causal ascriptions.

    PubMed

    Lombrozo, Tania

    2010-12-01

    Both philosophers and psychologists have argued for the existence of distinct kinds of explanations, including teleological explanations that cite functions or goals, and mechanistic explanations that cite causal mechanisms. Theories of causation, in contrast, have generally been unitary, with dominant theories focusing either on counterfactual dependence or on physical connections. This paper argues that both approaches to causation are psychologically real, with different modes of explanation promoting judgments more or less consistent with each approach. Two sets of experiments isolate the contributions of counterfactual dependence and physical connections in causal ascriptions involving events with people, artifacts, or biological traits, and manipulate whether the events are construed teleologically or mechanistically. The findings suggest that when events are construed teleologically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to counterfactual dependence and relatively insensitive to the presence of physical connections, but when events are construed mechanistically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to both counterfactual dependence and physical connections. The conclusion introduces an account of causation, an "exportable dependence theory," that provides a way to understand the contributions of physical connections and teleology in terms of the functions of causal ascriptions. PMID:20801434

  7. Causal-explanatory pluralism: How intentions, functions, and mechanisms influence causal ascriptions.

    PubMed

    Lombrozo, Tania

    2010-12-01

    Both philosophers and psychologists have argued for the existence of distinct kinds of explanations, including teleological explanations that cite functions or goals, and mechanistic explanations that cite causal mechanisms. Theories of causation, in contrast, have generally been unitary, with dominant theories focusing either on counterfactual dependence or on physical connections. This paper argues that both approaches to causation are psychologically real, with different modes of explanation promoting judgments more or less consistent with each approach. Two sets of experiments isolate the contributions of counterfactual dependence and physical connections in causal ascriptions involving events with people, artifacts, or biological traits, and manipulate whether the events are construed teleologically or mechanistically. The findings suggest that when events are construed teleologically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to counterfactual dependence and relatively insensitive to the presence of physical connections, but when events are construed mechanistically, causal ascriptions are sensitive to both counterfactual dependence and physical connections. The conclusion introduces an account of causation, an "exportable dependence theory," that provides a way to understand the contributions of physical connections and teleology in terms of the functions of causal ascriptions.

  8. Structural Equations and Causal Explanations: Some Challenges for Causal SEM

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markus, Keith A.

    2010-01-01

    One common application of structural equation modeling (SEM) involves expressing and empirically investigating causal explanations. Nonetheless, several aspects of causal explanation that have an impact on behavioral science methodology remain poorly understood. It remains unclear whether applications of SEM should attempt to provide complete…

  9. Causality violation and paradoxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnikov, S. V.

    1997-03-01

    Paradoxes that can supposedly occur if causality is violated are discussed. It is shown that the existence of ``trajectories of multiplicity zero'' (i.e., trajectories that describe, say, a ball hitting its younger self so that the latter cannot fall into the time machine) is not paradoxical by itself. This apparent paradox can be resolved (at least sometimes) without any harm to local physics or to the time machine. Also a simple model is adduced for which the absence of true paradoxes caused by self-interaction in an acausal world is proved. The conclusion is made that the paradoxes appear if and (within this model) only if the fact is neglected that no conditions fixed to the past of a time machine guarantee that a system remains isolated after it intersects the Cauchy horizon.

  10. Causal electromagnetic interaction equations

    SciTech Connect

    Zinoviev, Yury M.

    2011-02-15

    For the electromagnetic interaction of two particles the relativistic causal quantum mechanics equations are proposed. These equations are solved for the case when the second particle moves freely. The initial wave functions are supposed to be smooth and rapidly decreasing at the infinity. This condition is important for the convergence of the integrals similar to the integrals of quantum electrodynamics. We also consider the singular initial wave functions in the particular case when the second particle mass is equal to zero. The discrete energy spectrum of the first particle wave function is defined by the initial wave function of the free-moving second particle. Choosing the initial wave functions of the free-moving second particle it is possible to obtain a practically arbitrary discrete energy spectrum.

  11. Do dental educators need to improve their approach to teaching rubber dam use?

    PubMed

    Hill, Edward E; Rubel, Barry S

    2008-10-01

    Most dentists are educated in rubber dam use in dental school, but there is often disparity between what is taught for various restorative procedures and what is practiced in the private sector. It is a common, although undocumented, belief that few practicing dentists routinely use rubber dam isolation. This study repeated a survey conducted in 1985 evaluating U.S. general dentists' attitudes toward rubber dam usage to see if improvement is needed in current dental educators' approach to this topic. Four hundred dentists were selected randomly from ten major geographically diverse cities using the website YellowPages.com. Each was mailed a letter requesting survey participation, which included a pre-stamped, pre-addressed postcard with the survey printed on the back. The target population, general dentists, returned 164 surveys (41 percent). Their responses can be summarized as follows: 71 percent do amalgams-of those, 53 percent never use a rubber dam whereas 12 percent always use a rubber dam; 100 percent do anterior direct resin composites-of those, 45 percent never use a rubber dam whereas 17 percent always use a rubber dam; 98 percent do posterior direct resin composites-of those, 39 percent never use a rubber dam and 18 percent always use a rubber dam; and 78 percent do endodontic procedures-of those, 11 percent never use a rubber dam whereas 58 percent always use a rubber dam. Most (74 percent) felt that their dental school rubber dam training was adequate; 42 percent felt that its use has an effect on the quality of restorative dentistry. Their most common reasons for not using a dam were the following: inconvenience (40 percent); unnecessary (28 percent); other (12 percent); patient refusal (11 percent); and time (9 percent). No respondent indicated that "cost" was a reason for not using rubber dams. This study indicates that many general dentists in this country continue to ignore the rubber dam for many restorative and some endodontic procedures. It

  12. Mitigating the effects of measurement noise on Granger causality

    SciTech Connect

    Nalatore, Hariharan; Ding Mingzhou; Rangarajan, Govindan

    2007-03-15

    Computing Granger causal relations among bivariate experimentally observed time series has received increasing attention over the past few years. Such causal relations, if correctly estimated, can yield significant insights into the dynamical organization of the system being investigated. Since experimental measurements are inevitably contaminated by noise, it is thus important to understand the effects of such noise on Granger causality estimation. The first goal of this paper is to provide an analytical and numerical analysis of this problem. Specifically, we show that, due to noise contamination (1) spurious causality between two measured variables can arise and (2) true causality can be suppressed. The second goal of the paper is to provide a denoising strategy to mitigate this problem. Specifically, we propose a denoising algorithm based on the combined use of the Kalman filter theory and the expectation-maximization algorithm. Numerical examples are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the denoising approach.

  13. Do we need a voxel-based approach for LiDAR data in geomorphology?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Székely, Balázs; Dorninger, Peter; Faber, Robert; Nothegger, Clemens

    2010-05-01

    Generations of geomorphologists have developed a multi-faceted approach to model the Earth's (and planetary) surface and the corresponding processes. This set of models is based on data, more specifically on conspicuously increasing amount of data. Obviously, all geomorphologists wish themselves more accurate and increasingly high resolution data on, or related to the Earth surface. This evolution also means that the studied boundary is not anymore a single surface; instead it is considered mostly a 2.5D object, sometimes a real 3D object. LiDAR technology can cope with this challenge: the data accuracy and resolution requirements can be fulfilled by applying this method. Although it is yet somewhat still expensive, more and more areas will be scanned, and in some regions the topographic point clouds are already multitemporal (causing of course other types of processing and evaluation problems). It is rather obvious that for certain, geomorphologically very interesting areas very dense and severalfold multitemporal LiDAR data will be available in the near future. These data sets will have various differences concerning the data density, accuracy, data acquisition technique (conventional or full-waveform), and perhaps most importantly, concerning the actual state of the surface. Similar to the satellite imagery integration problems, soon we all have to face with the LiDAR data integration problem. What type of surface or surfaces can be derived from this multitude of data sources with acceptable ambiguity? What conclusions can be drawn from these data that were originally acquired for various other purposes using various acquisition concepts? Will it be advantageous for geomorphic use to have a coverage of the surface with 100-200 points/m² density? Clearly, these data are, if they are once collected, still too expensive not to be integrated for further analyses. Consequently, we need a data reduction concept that effectively decreases the computer capacity needed

  14. Effectively Serving the Needs of Today's Business Student: The Product Life Cycle Approach to Class Organization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eastman, Jacqueline K.; Aviles, Maria; Hanna, Mark

    2012-01-01

    We illustrate a class organization process utilizing the concept of the Product Life Cycle to meet the needs of today's millennial student. In the Introduction stage of a business course, professors need to build structure to encourage commitment. In the Growth stage, professors need to promote the structure through multiple, brief activities that…

  15. Mutual Need Satisfaction in the Management Class: The L.E.T. Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeely, Bonnie

    1992-01-01

    Thomas Gordon's "Leadership Effectiveness Training" text states that for successful relationships to develop and persist in the workplace, mutual needs satisfaction must occur. A college instructor used the overall theme of Gordon's book to convey her own needs as a teacher to an organizational behavior class and ascertain her students' needs.…

  16. Spatio-temporal Granger causality: a new framework

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Qiang; Lu, Wenlian; Cheng, Wei; Valdes-Sosa, Pedro A.; Wen, Xiaotong; Ding, Mingzhou; Feng, Jianfeng

    2015-01-01

    That physiological oscillations of various frequencies are present in fMRI signals is the rule, not the exception. Herein, we propose a novel theoretical framework, spatio-temporal Granger causality, which allows us to more reliably and precisely estimate the Granger causality from experimental datasets possessing time-varying properties caused by physiological oscillations. Within this framework, Granger causality is redefined as a global index measuring the directed information flow between two time series with time-varying properties. Both theoretical analyses and numerical examples demonstrate that Granger causality is a monotonically increasing function of the temporal resolution used in the estimation. This is consistent with the general principle of coarse graining, which causes information loss by smoothing out very fine-scale details in time and space. Our results confirm that the Granger causality at the finer spatio-temporal scales considerably outperforms the traditional approach in terms of an improved consistency between two resting-state scans of the same subject. To optimally estimate the Granger causality, the proposed theoretical framework is implemented through a combination of several approaches, such as dividing the optimal time window and estimating the parameters at the fine temporal and spatial scales. Taken together, our approach provides a novel and robust framework for estimating the Granger causality from fMRI, EEG, and other related data. PMID:23643924

  17. Spatio-temporal Granger causality: a new framework.

    PubMed

    Luo, Qiang; Lu, Wenlian; Cheng, Wei; Valdes-Sosa, Pedro A; Wen, Xiaotong; Ding, Mingzhou; Feng, Jianfeng

    2013-10-01

    That physiological oscillations of various frequencies are present in fMRI signals is the rule, not the exception. Herein, we propose a novel theoretical framework, spatio-temporal Granger causality, which allows us to more reliably and precisely estimate the Granger causality from experimental datasets possessing time-varying properties caused by physiological oscillations. Within this framework, Granger causality is redefined as a global index measuring the directed information flow between two time series with time-varying properties. Both theoretical analyses and numerical examples demonstrate that Granger causality is a monotonically increasing function of the temporal resolution used in the estimation. This is consistent with the general principle of coarse graining, which causes information loss by smoothing out very fine-scale details in time and space. Our results confirm that the Granger causality at the finer spatio-temporal scales considerably outperforms the traditional approach in terms of an improved consistency between two resting-state scans of the same subject. To optimally estimate the Granger causality, the proposed theoretical framework is implemented through a combination of several approaches, such as dividing the optimal time window and estimating the parameters at the fine temporal and spatial scales. Taken together, our approach provides a novel and robust framework for estimating the Granger causality from fMRI, EEG, and other related data.

  18. Bridging cancer biology and the patients' needs with nanotechnology-based approaches.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Nuno A; Gregório, Ana C; Valério-Fernandes, Angela; Simões, Sérgio; Moreira, João N

    2014-06-01

    Cancer remains as stressful condition and a leading cause of death in the western world. Actual cornerstone treatments of cancer disease rest as an elusive alternative, offering limited efficacy with extensive secondary effects as a result of severe cytotoxic effects in healthy tissues. The advent of nanotechnology brought the promise to revolutionize many fields including oncology, proposing advanced systems for cancer treatment. Drug delivery systems rest among the most successful examples of nanotechnology. Throughout time they have been able to evolve as a function of an increased understanding from cancer biology and the tumor microenvironment. Marketing of Doxil® unleashed a remarkable impulse in the development of drug delivery systems. Since then, several nanocarriers have been introduced, with aspirations to overrule previous technologies, demonstrating increased therapeutic efficacy besides decreased toxicity. Spatial and temporal targeting to cancer cells has been explored, as well as the use of drug combinations co-encapsulated in the same particle as a mean to take advantage of synergistic interactions in vivo. Importantly, targeted delivery of siRNA for gene silencing therapy has made its way to the clinic for a "first in man" trial using lipid-polymeric-based particles. Focusing in state-of-the-art technology, this review will provide an insightful vision on nanotechnology-based strategies for cancer treatment, approaching them from a tumor biology-driven perspective, since their early EPR-based dawn to the ones that have truly the potential to address unmet medical needs in the field of oncology, upon targeting key cell subpopulations from the tumor microenvironment.

  19. Massive dose vitamin A programme in India - Need for a targeted approach

    PubMed Central

    Kapil, Umesh; Sachdev, H.P.S.

    2013-01-01

    The National Prophylaxis Programme against Nutritional Blindness due to vitamin A deficiency (NPPNB due to VAD) was started in 1970 with the specific aim of preventing nutritional blindness due to keratomalacia. The Programme was launched as an urgent remedial measure to combat the unacceptably high magnitude of xerophthalmic blindness in the country seen in the 1950s and 1960s. Clinical VAD has declined drastically during the last 40 years. Also, indicators of child health have shown substantial gains in different States in the country. The prevalence of severe undernutrition has come down significantly. Immunization coverage for measles and other vaccine preventable diseases has improved from 5-7 per cent in early seventies to currently 60-90 per cent, in different States. Similarly, there has been a significant improvement in the overall dietary intake of young children. There has been virtual disappearance of keratomalacia, and a sharp decline in the prevalence of Bitot spots. Prophylactic mega dose administration of vitamin A is primarily advocated because of the claim of 23 per cent reduction in childhood mortality. However, benefits on this scale have been found only in areas with rudimentary health care facilities where clinical deficiency is common, and there is substantial heterogeneity, especially with inclusion of all trials. There is an urgent need for adopting a targeted rather than universal prophylactic mega dose vitamin A supplementation in preschool children. This approach is justified on the basis of currently available evidence documenting a substantial decline in VAD prevalence, substantial heterogeneity and uncertainty about mortality effects in present era with improved health care, and resource constraints with competing priorities. PMID:24135191

  20. IITET and shadow TT: an innovative approach to training at the point of need

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Andrew; Lopez, Favio; Dirkse, James; Anderson, Darran; Berglie, Stephen; May, Christopher; Harkrider, Susan

    2014-06-01

    The Image Intensification and Thermal Equipment Training (IITET) project is a joint effort between Night Vision and Electronics Sensors Directorate (NVESD) Modeling and Simulation Division (MSD) and the Army Research Institute (ARI) Fort Benning Research Unit. The IITET effort develops a reusable and extensible training architecture that supports the Army Learning Model and trains Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) concepts to Shadow Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) payload operators. The training challenge of MUM-T during aviation operations is that UAS payload operators traditionally learn few of the scout-reconnaissance skills and coordination appropriate to MUM-T at the schoolhouse. The IITET effort leveraged the simulation experience and capabilities at NVESD and ARI's research to develop a novel payload operator training approach consistent with the Army Learning Model. Based on the training and system requirements, the team researched and identified candidate capabilities in several distinct technology areas. The training capability will support a variety of training missions as well as a full campaign. Data from these missions will be captured in a fully integrated AAR capability, which will provide objective feedback to the user in near-real-time. IITET will be delivered via a combination of browser and video streaming technologies, eliminating the requirement for a client download and reducing user computer system requirements. The result is a novel UAS Payload Operator training capability, nested within an architecture capable of supporting a wide variety of training needs for air and ground tactical platforms and sensors, and potentially several other areas requiring vignette-based serious games training.

  1. Expert Causal Reasoning and Explanation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuipers, Benjamin

    The relationship between cognitive psychologists and researchers in artificial intelligence carries substantial benefits for both. An ongoing investigation in causal reasoning in medical problem solving systems illustrates this interaction. This paper traces a dialectic of sorts in which three different types of causal resaoning for medical…

  2. Theory-Based Causal Induction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffiths, Thomas L.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2009-01-01

    Inducing causal relationships from observations is a classic problem in scientific inference, statistics, and machine learning. It is also a central part of human learning, and a task that people perform remarkably well given its notorious difficulties. People can learn causal structure in various settings, from diverse forms of data: observations…

  3. Causal Inference in Retrospective Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holland, Paul W.; Rubin, Donald B.

    1988-01-01

    The problem of drawing causal inferences from retrospective case-controlled studies is considered. A model for causal inference in prospective studies is applied to retrospective studies. Limitations of case-controlled studies are formulated concerning relevant parameters that can be estimated in such studies. A coffee-drinking/myocardial…

  4. Causal Inference and Developmental Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, E. Michael

    2010-01-01

    Causal inference is of central importance to developmental psychology. Many key questions in the field revolve around improving the lives of children and their families. These include identifying risk factors that if manipulated in some way would foster child development. Such a task inherently involves causal inference: One wants to know whether…

  5. The Development of Causal Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Brett K.; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

    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.…

  6. The Need to Disentangle Key Concepts from Ecosystem-Approach Jargon

    PubMed Central

    WAYLEN, K A; HASTINGS, E J; BANKS, E A; HOLSTEAD, K L; IRVINE, R J; BLACKSTOCK, K L

    2014-01-01

    The ecosystem approach—as endorsed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) in 2000—is a strategy for holistic, sustainable, and equitable natural resource management, to be implemented via the 12 Malawi Principles. These principles describe the need to manage nature in terms of dynamic ecosystems, while fully engaging with local peoples. It is an ambitious concept. Today, the term is common throughout the research and policy literature on environmental management. However, multiple meanings have been attached to the term, resulting in confusion. We reviewed references to the ecosystem approach from 1957 to 2012 and identified 3 primary uses: as an alternative to ecosystem management or ecosystem-based management; in reference to an integrated and equitable approach to resource management as per the CBD; and as a term signifying a focus on understanding and valuing ecosystem services. Although uses of this term and its variants may overlap in meaning, typically, they do not entirely reflect the ethos of the ecosystem approach as defined by the CBD. For example, there is presently an increasing emphasis on ecosystem services, but focusing on these alone does not promote decentralization of management or use of all forms of knowledge, both of which are integral to the CBD’s concept. We highlight that the Malawi Principles are at risk of being forgotten. To better understand these principles, more effort to implement them is required. Such efforts should be evaluated, ideally with comparative approaches, before allowing the CBD’s concept of holistic and socially engaged management to be abandoned or superseded. It is possible that attempts to implement all 12 principles together will face many challenges, but they may also offer a unique way to promote holistic and equitable governance of natural resources. Therefore, we believe that the CBD’s concept of the ecosystem approach demands more attention. La Necesidad de Desenredar Conceptos Clave del

  7. The Need to Disentangle Key Concepts from Ecosystem-Approach Jargon

    PubMed Central

    WAYLEN, K A; HASTINGS, E J; BANKS, E A; HOLSTEAD, K L; IRVINE, R J; BLACKSTOCK, K L

    2014-01-01

    The ecosystem approach—as endorsed by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) in 2000—is a strategy for holistic, sustainable, and equitable natural resource management, to be implemented via the 12 Malawi Principles. These principles describe the need to manage nature in terms of dynamic ecosystems, while fully engaging with local peoples. It is an ambitious concept. Today, the term is common throughout the research and policy literature on environmental management. However, multiple meanings have been attached to the term, resulting in confusion. We reviewed references to the ecosystem approach from 1957 to 2012 and identified 3 primary uses: as an alternative to ecosystem management or ecosystem-based management; in reference to an integrated and equitable approach to resource management as per the CBD; and as a term signifying a focus on understanding and valuing ecosystem services. Although uses of this term and its variants may overlap in meaning, typically, they do not entirely reflect the ethos of the ecosystem approach as defined by the CBD. For example, there is presently an increasing emphasis on ecosystem services, but focusing on these alone does not promote decentralization of management or use of all forms of knowledge, both of which are integral to the CBD’s concept. We highlight that the Malawi Principles are at risk of being forgotten. To better understand these principles, more effort to implement them is required. Such efforts should be evaluated, ideally with comparative approaches, before allowing the CBD’s concept of holistic and socially engaged management to be abandoned or superseded. It is possible that attempts to implement all 12 principles together will face many challenges, but they may also offer a unique way to promote holistic and equitable governance of natural resources. Therefore, we believe that the CBD’s concept of the ecosystem approach demands more attention. La Necesidad de Desenredar Conceptos Clave del

  8. On causality of extreme events

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Multiple metrics have been developed to detect causality relations between data describing the elements constituting complex systems, all of them considering their evolution through time. Here we propose a metric able to detect causality within static data sets, by analysing how extreme events in one element correspond to the appearance of extreme events in a second one. The metric is able to detect non-linear causalities; to analyse both cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets; and to discriminate between real causalities and correlations caused by confounding factors. We validate the metric through synthetic data, dynamical and chaotic systems, and data representing the human brain activity in a cognitive task. We further show how the proposed metric is able to outperform classical causality metrics, provided non-linear relationships are present and large enough data sets are available. PMID:27330866

  9. [Causality: risk factors and interventions].

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Olaf M; Vandenbroucke, Jan P

    2013-01-01

    A risk factor has a causal effect on a disease when the disease would not have occurred in the absence of the risk factor. Analogous reasoning applies to the effect of a particular therapy. Thinking in terms of contrasts is fundamental to causal reasoning in medicine. The contrast determines the content of the causal claim; the most important assumption here is that the prognosis between groups is comparable. Causal effects of risk factors are not always the same as the causal effect of an intervention: removal of a risk factor (e.g. smoking) for a disease does not necessarily mean that the risk will subsequently normalize. A second problem is that risk factors cannot always easily be translated into interventions. This applies to factors that cannot be changed (e.g. gender) or that can have multiple causes themselves (e.g. obesity).

  10. On causality of extreme events.

    PubMed

    Zanin, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

    Multiple metrics have been developed to detect causality relations between data describing the elements constituting complex systems, all of them considering their evolution through time. Here we propose a metric able to detect causality within static data sets, by analysing how extreme events in one element correspond to the appearance of extreme events in a second one. The metric is able to detect non-linear causalities; to analyse both cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets; and to discriminate between real causalities and correlations caused by confounding factors. We validate the metric through synthetic data, dynamical and chaotic systems, and data representing the human brain activity in a cognitive task. We further show how the proposed metric is able to outperform classical causality metrics, provided non-linear relationships are present and large enough data sets are available.

  11. Apparent causality affects perceived simultaneity.

    PubMed

    Kohlrausch, Armin; van Eijk, Rob; Juola, James F; Brandt, Inge; van de Par, Steven

    2013-10-01

    The present research addresses the question of how visual predictive information and implied causality affect audio-visual synchrony perception. Previous research has shown a systematic shift in the likelihood of observers to accept audio-leading stimulus pairs as being apparently simultaneous in variants of audio-visual stimulus pairs that differ in (1) the amount of visual predictive information available and (2) the apparent causal relation between the auditory and visual components. An experiment was designed to separate the predictability and causality explanations, and the results indicated that shifts in subjective simultaneity were explained completely by changes in the implied causal relations in the stimuli and that predictability had no added value. Together with earlier findings, these results further indicate that the observed shifts in subjective simultaneity due to causal relations among auditory and visual events do not reflect a mere change in response strategy, but rather result from early multimodal integration processes in event perception.

  12. CausalTrail: Testing hypothesis using causal Bayesian networks

    PubMed Central

    Trampert, Patrick; Lenhof, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Summary Causal Bayesian Networks are a special class of Bayesian networks in which the hierarchy directly encodes the causal relationships between the variables. This allows to compute the effect of interventions, which are external changes to the system, caused by e.g. gene knockouts or an administered drug. Whereas numerous packages for constructing causal Bayesian networks are available, hardly any program targeted at downstream analysis exists. In this paper we present CausalTrail, a tool for performing reasoning on causal Bayesian networks using the do-calculus. CausalTrail's features include multiple data import methods, a flexible query language for formulating hypotheses, as well as an intuitive graphical user interface. The program is able to account for missing data and thus can be readily applied in multi-omics settings where it is common that not all measurements are performed for all samples. Availability and Implementation CausalTrail is implemented in C++ using the Boost and Qt5 libraries. It can be obtained from https://github.com/dstoeckel/causaltrail PMID:26913195

  13. Photoemission in strongly correlated crystalline f-electron systems: A need for a new approach

    SciTech Connect

    Arko, A.J.; Joyce, J.J.; Sarrao, J.

    1998-12-01

    The unusual properties of heavy fermion (or heavy electron) materials have sparked an avalanche of research over the last two decades in order to understand the basic phenomena responsible for these properties. Photoelectron spectroscopy (often referred to as PES in the following sections), the most direct measurement of the electronic structure of a material, should in principle be able to shed considerable light on this matter. In general the distinction between a localized and a band-like state is trivially observed in band dispersion. Much of the past work was performed on poly-crystalline samples, scraped in-situ to expose a clean surface for PES. There have since been considerable advances both in the quality of specimens as well as experimental resolution, which raise questions regarding these conclusions. Much of the past work on poly-crystalline samples has been reported in several review articles, most notably Allen et al., and it is not necessary here to review those efforts again, with the exception of subsequent work performed at high resolution. The primary focus of the present review will be on new measurements obtained on single crystals, cleaved or prepared in situ and measured at high resolution, which seem to suggest that agreement with the GS and NCA approximations is less than perfect, and that perhaps the starting models need to be modified, or that even an entirely new approach is called for. Of the promising new models the Periodic Anderson Model is most closely related to the SIM. Indeed, at high temperatures it reverts to the SIM. However, the charge polaron model of Liu (1997) as well as the two-electron band model of Sheng and Cooper (1995) cannot yet be ruled out. Inasmuch as the bulk of the single crystal work was performed by the Los Alamos group, this review will draw heavily on those results. Moreover, since the GS and NCA approximations represent the most comprehensive and widely accepted treatment of heavy fermion PES, it is only

  14. Need Supportive Teaching in Practice: A Narrative Analysis in Schools with Contrasting Educational Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stroet, Kim; Opdenakker, Marie-Christine; Minnaert, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Research on self-determination theory (SDT) has shown that positive learning outcomes accrue in classrooms that support students' needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Studies on what need supportive teaching entails in practice are, however, scarce. In the present study, we aimed to gain in-depth understanding of typical manifestations…

  15. Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-Free Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hammel, Alice; Hourigan, Ryan

    2011-01-01

    A practical guide & reference manual, "Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs" addresses special needs in the broadest possible sense to equip teachers with proven, research-based curricular strategies that are grounded in both best practice and current special education law. Chapters address the full range of topics and issues music…

  16. Supervision Strategies and Approaches for Female Parolees: Examining the Link between Unmet Needs and Parolee Outcome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schram, Pamela J.; Koons-Witt, Barbara A.; Williams, Frank P., III; McShane, Marilyn D.

    2006-01-01

    A number of parolees are returning to the community with programming needs that may not have been addressed during their incarceration; these unmet needs may subsequently affect their successful reintegration into the community. Although there is an increasing female parole population, there has been a paucity of research concerning female…

  17. High School Teachers' Perspectives on Effective Approaches for Teaching Biology to Students with Special Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kos, Agnieszka

    2010-01-01

    The demands of national educational reforms require high school biology teachers to provide high quality instruction to students with and without special needs. The reforms, however, do not provide teachers with adequate teaching strategies to meet the needs of all students in the same context. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to…

  18. Service Approaches to Young People with Complex Needs Leaving Out-of-Home Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malvaso, Catia; Delfabbro, Paul; Hackett, Louisa; Mills, Hayley

    2016-01-01

    Although leaving statutory out-of-home care can be a challenging time for many young people, it is recognised that young people who have multiple or complex needs find this transition particularly difficult. This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by care leavers who have complex needs, as well as to identify some of…

  19. Understanding Social and Emotional Needs as an Approach in Developing a Positive Classroom Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozorio, Kristen

    2014-01-01

    The classroom environment is an important aspect of classroom management that concerns many teachers. Properly engaging students in the classroom can foster a positive environment. This study examines social and emotional needs of students and its implications in developing a positive classroom. How can meeting social and emotional needs of…

  20. Basic Human Needs: A Development Planning Approach. AID Discussion Paper No. 38.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crosswell, Michael

    The monograph explores basic needs of all human beings and considers various patterns of growth and development toward meeting these needs on a sustainable basis. The purpose of the study is to improve knowledge of analytical studies, research results, and financial assistance policies among personnel of the Agency for International Development…

  1. A basic need theory approach to problematic Internet use and the mediating effect of psychological distress

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Ting Yat; Yuen, Kenneth S. L.; Li, Wang On

    2015-01-01

    The Internet provides an easily accessible way to meet certain needs. Over-reliance on it leads to problematic use, which studies show can be predicted by psychological distress. Self-determination theory proposes that we all have the basic need for autonomy, competency, and relatedness. This has been shown to explain the motivations behind problematic Internet use. This study hypothesizes that individuals who are psychologically disturbed because their basic needs are not being met are more vulnerable to becoming reliant on the Internet when they seek such needs satisfaction from online activities, and tests a model in which basic needs predict problematic Internet use, fully mediated by psychological distress. Problematic Internet use, psychological distress, and basic needs satisfaction were psychometrically measured in a sample of 229 Hong Kong University students and structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. All indices showed the model has a good fit. Further, statistical testing supported a mediation effect for psychological distress between needs satisfaction and problematic Internet use. The results extend our understanding of the development and prevention of problematic Internet use based on the framework of self-determination theory. Psychological distress could be used as an early predictor, while preventing and treating problematic Internet use should emphasize the fulfillment of unmet needs. PMID:25642201

  2. 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

  3. History, causality, and sexology.

    PubMed

    Money, John

    2003-08-01

    In 1896, Krafft-Ebing published Psychopathia Sexualis. Popularly defined as hereditary weakness or taintedness in the family pedigree, degeneracy was called upon as a causal explanation for perversions of the sexual instinct. Although Krafft-Ebing accepted Karl Ulrichs proposal that homosexuality could be innate and probably located in the brain, he paid little attention to neuropathological sexology. Alfred Binet challenged Krafft-Ebing's orthodoxy by explaining fetishism in terms of associative learning, to which Krafft-Ebing's response was that only those with a hereditary taint would be vulnerable. Thus did the venerable nature-nurture antithesis maintain its rhetoric, even to the present day. Krafft-Ebing died too soon to meet the Freudian challenge of endopsychic determinism, and too soon also to encounter the idea of a developmental multivariate outcome of what I have termed the lovemap. Like other brain maps, for example the languagemap, the lovemap requires an intact human brain in which to develop. The personalized content of the lovemap has access to the brain by way of the special senses.

  4. A New Paradigm for Explanation in Medical Causal Reasoning Systems

    PubMed Central

    Jamieson, Patrick W.

    1989-01-01

    A significant obstacle confronting medical expert systems that employ causal reasoning is providing explanations without prohibitive computational expense. Another problem is the construction of a suitable user interface for the explanatory system. The interface should allow a physician to explore in detail the explanation of some concepts while avoiding lengthy explanations of lesser concern. A new method has been devised to deal with these problems by flexibly linking explanations with conclusions generated by a causal reasoning system. This approach allows the reasoning module to structure explanations without excessive computational overhead. It also allows the user to obtain additional detail of a causal explanation.

  5. Causal Sets: An Alternative View of Spacetime Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Reid, David D.

    2008-03-13

    The causal set program is one of a number of discrete spacetime approaches to the problem of quantum gravity. It proposes that the microstructure of spacetime is that of a partially ordered set, a causal set, in which the partial order encodes information about the causal structure of spacetime. Herein, I will introduce the main hypothesis of this program and discuss some of the developments that have taken place over its approximate 20-year history. This semi-technical paper is intended for general physics students and specialists in other areas of physics.

  6. Causal sets and conservation laws in tests of Lorentz symmetry

    SciTech Connect

    Mattingly, David

    2008-06-15

    Many of the most important astrophysical tests of Lorentz symmetry also assume that energy momentum of the observed particles is exactly conserved. In the causal set approach to quantum gravity a particular kind of Lorentz symmetry holds but energy-momentum conservation may be violated. We show that incorrectly assuming exact conservation can give rise to a spurious signal of Lorentz symmetry violation for a causal set. However, the size of this spurious signal is much smaller than can be currently detected and hence astrophysical Lorentz symmetry tests as currently performed are safe from causal set induced violations of energy-momentum conservation.

  7. Mood and Memory Research: The Need for a More Wholistic Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufman, Judith S.

    The interaction of emotion and cognition has received experimental attention, but the results have generally been weak and sometimes contradictory. Why this work on mood and memory has faltered is discussed, and a more holistic approach to the study of emotion and cognition is proposed. It is argued that a constructivist approach to memory may be…

  8. Strengthening the Focus on Business Results: The Need for Systems Approaches in Organizational Behavior Management

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyten, Cloyd

    2009-01-01

    Current Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) research and practice may be characterized as either behavior focused or results focused. These two approaches stem from different origins and have different characteristics. The behavior-focused approach stems from applied behavior analysis (ABA) methods and emphasizes direct observation of and…

  9. A Multi-Faceted Formative Assessment Approach: Better Recognising the Learning Needs of Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, James O.

    2010-01-01

    Students are increasingly subject to a series of learning pressures that prevent effective engagement in assessment. Thus, the aim of this study was to create a multi-faceted formative assessment approach that better enabled students to engage in the assessment process. A formative assessment approach, consisting of six key initiatives, is…

  10. Masculinities and young men's sex education needs in Ireland: problematizing client-centred health promotion approaches.

    PubMed

    Hyde, Abbey; Howlett, Etaoine; Drennan, Jonathan; Brady, Dympna

    2005-12-01

    In recent decades, dominant discourses in health promotion have emphasized empowerment, client participation and the notion of people identifying and being facilitated to meet their own health needs. However, there has been little analysis of the concept of 'need' and the possibility, at least, that the fulfillment of some such self-defined needs are not in the interest of social justice and equality. In this article, we present an account of the sex education needs of secondary school pupils from their own perspectives, and problematize the concept of self-identified needs in health education. Twenty-nine focus group interviews were conducted with 226 secondary school pupils in Ireland, and data were subjected to a qualitative analysis. Findings suggested that young men tended to prioritize practical guidance that would provide them with the skills and confidence to take the lead in sexual encounters, and display competence in the act of penetrative sex. We argue that these self-defined sex education needs emanate from a culture of traditional masculinity where, for a male, one's place in the pecking order is derived from one's capacity to conquer, lead and display mastery with regard to sex. In the discussion, we attempt to unpack the notion of clients identifying their own needs and the concept of empowerment as it relates to our data, in the context of gender-based structural inequalities.

  11. Space, Time, and Causality in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Woods, Adam J.; Hamilton, Roy H.; Kranjec, Alexander; Minhaus, Preet; Bikson, Marom; Yu, Jonathan; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2014-01-01

    The ability to perceive causality is a central human ability constructed from elemental spatial and temporal information present in the environment. Although the nature of causality has captivated philosophers and scientists since antiquity, the neural correlates of causality remain poorly understood. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to generate hypotheses for candidate brain regions related to component processes important for perceptual causality in the human brain: elemental space perception, elemental time perception, and decision-making (Experiment 1; n=16). We then used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to test neural hypotheses generated from the fMRI experiment (Experiment 2; n=16). In both experiments, participants judged causality in billiard-ball style launching events; a blue ball approaches and contacts a red ball. Spatial and temporal contributions to causal perception were assessed by parametrically varying the spatial linearity and the temporal delays of the movement of the balls. Experiment 1 demonstrated unique patterns of activation correlated with spatial, temporal, and decision-making components of causality perception. Using tDCS, we then tested hypotheses for the specific roles of the parietal and frontal cortices found in the fMRI experiment. Parietal stimulation only decreased participants’ perception of causality based on spatial violations, while frontal stimulation made participants less likely to perceive causality based on violations of space and time. Converging results from fMRI and tDCS indicate that parietal cortices contribute to causal perception because of their specific role in processing spatial relations, while the frontal cortices contribute more generally, consistent with their role in decision-making. PMID:24561228

  12. Space, time, and causality in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Woods, Adam J; Hamilton, Roy H; Kranjec, Alexander; Minhaus, Preet; Bikson, Marom; Yu, Jonathan; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2014-05-15

    The ability to perceive causality is a central human ability constructed from elemental spatial and temporal information present in the environment. Although the nature of causality has captivated philosophers and scientists since antiquity, the neural correlates of causality remain poorly understood. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to generate hypotheses for candidate brain regions related to component processes important for perceptual causality in the human brain: elemental space perception, elemental time perception, and decision-making (Experiment 1; n=16). We then used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to test neural hypotheses generated from the fMRI experiment (Experiment 2; n=16). In both experiments, participants judged causality in billiard-ball style launching events; a blue ball approaches and contacts a red ball. Spatial and temporal contributions to causal perception were assessed by parametrically varying the spatial linearity and the temporal delays of the movement of the balls. Experiment 1 demonstrated unique patterns of activation correlated with spatial, temporal, and decision-making components of causality perception. Using tDCS, we then tested hypotheses for the specific roles of the parietal and frontal cortices found in the fMRI experiment. Parietal stimulation only decreased participants' perception of causality based on spatial violations, while frontal stimulation made participants less likely to perceive causality based on violations of space and time. Converging results from fMRI and tDCS indicate that parietal cortices contribute to causal perception because of their specific role in processing spatial relations, while the frontal cortices contribute more generally, consistent with their role in decision-making.

  13. Causal Diffusion and the Survival of Charge Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel-Aziz, Mohamed; Gavin, Sean

    2004-10-01

    Diffusion may obliterate fluctuation signals of the QCD phase transition in nuclear collisions at SPS and RHIC energies. We propose a hyperbolic diffusion equation to study the dissipation of net charge fluctuations [1]. This equation is needed in a relativistic context, because the classic parabolic diffusion equation violates causality. We find that causality substantially limits the extent to which diffusion can dissipate these fluctuations. [1] M. Abdel-Aziz and S. Gavin, nucl-th/0404058

  14. Human causal discovery from observational data.

    PubMed Central

    Hashem, A. I.; Cooper, G. F.

    1996-01-01

    Utilizing Bayesian belief networks as a model of causality, we examined medical students' ability to discover causal relationships from observational data. Nine sets of patient cases were generated from relatively simple causal belief networks by stochastic simulation. Twenty participants examined the data sets and attempted to discover the underlying causal relationships. Performance was poor in general, except at discovering the absence of a causal relationship. This work supports the potential for combining human and computer methods for causal discovery. PMID:8947621

  15. Dynamic causal modeling with genetic algorithms.

    PubMed

    Pyka, M; Heider, D; Hauke, S; Kircher, T; Jansen, A

    2011-01-15

    In the last years, dynamic causal modeling has gained increased popularity in the neuroimaging community as an approach for the estimation of effective connectivity from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. The algorithm calls for an a priori defined model, whose parameter estimates are subsequently computed upon the given data. As the number of possible models increases exponentially with additional areas, it rapidly becomes inefficient to compute parameter estimates for all models in order to reveal the family of models with the highest posterior probability. In the present study, we developed a genetic algorithm for dynamic causal models and investigated whether this evolutionary approach can accelerate the model search. In this context, the configuration of the intrinsic, extrinsic and bilinear connection matrices represents the genetic code and Bayesian model selection serves as a fitness function. Using crossover and mutation, populations of models are created and compared with each other. The most probable ones survive the current generation and serve as a source for the next generation of models. Tests with artificially created data sets show that the genetic algorithm approximates the most plausible models faster than a random-driven brute-force search. The fitness landscape revealed by the genetic algorithm indicates that dynamic causal modeling has excellent properties for evolution-driven optimization techniques.

  16. A causal dispositional account of fitness.

    PubMed

    Triviño, Vanessa; Nuño de la Rosa, Laura

    2016-09-01

    The notion of fitness is usually equated to reproductive success. However, this actualist approach presents some difficulties, mainly the explanatory circularity problem, which have lead philosophers of biology to offer alternative definitions in which fitness and reproductive success are distinguished. In this paper, we argue  that none of these alternatives is satisfactory and, inspired by Mumford and Anjum's dispositional theory of causation, we offer a definition of fitness as a causal dispositional property. We argue that, under this framework, the distinctiveness that biologists usually attribute to fitness-namely, the fact that fitness is something different from both the physical traits of an organism and the number of offspring it leaves-can be explained, and the main problems associated with the concept of fitness can be solved. Firstly, we introduce Mumford and Anjum's dispositional theory of causation and present our definition of fitness as a causal disposition. We explain in detail each of the elements involved in our definition, namely: the relationship between fitness and the functional dispositions that compose it, the emergent character of fitness, and the context-sensitivity of fitness. Finally, we explain how fitness and realized fitness, as well as expected and realized fitness are distinguished in our approach to fitness as a causal disposition.

  17. Establishing Causality in Complex Human Interactions: Identifying Breakdowns of Intentionality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodison, Peter; Johnson, Peter; Thoms, Joanne

    People in complex scenarios face the challenge of understanding the purpose and effect of other human and computational behaviour on their own goals through intent recognition. They are left asking what caused person or system ‘x’ to do that? The necessity to provide this support human-computer interaction has increased alongside the deployment of autonomous systems that are to some degree unsupervised. This paper aims to examine intent recognition as a form of decision making about causality in complex systems. By finding the needs and limitations of this decision mechanism it is hoped this can be applied to the design of systems to support the awareness of information cues and reduce the number of intent recognition breakdowns between people and autonomous systems. The paper outlines theoretical foundations for this approach using simulation theory and process models of intention. The notion of breakdowns is then applied to intent recognition breakdowns in a diary study to gain insight into the phenomena.

  18. 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.

  19. Assessment of minimal residual disease in myeloma and the need for a consensus approach.

    PubMed

    Rawstron, Andy C; Paiva, Bruno; Stetler-Stevenson, Maryalice

    2016-01-01

    Treatment options for myeloma continue to develop at a rapid pace, and it is becoming increasingly challenging to determine the optimal therapeutic approaches because demonstrating a clear survival benefit now requires many years of follow-up. The detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) is recognized as a sensitive and rapid approach to evaluate treatment efficacy that predicts progression-free and overall survival independent of categorical response assessment and patients' biology. The benefit of MRD analysis is reflected in the many different techniques (multiparameter flow cytometry, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and high-throughput sequencing) and collaborative groups (including EMN, ESCCA, ICCS, EuroFlow, and EuroMRD) that have performed collaborative projects to harmonize quantitative MRD detection. The time has come to adopt a consensus approach, and this report reviews the benefits and disadvantages of different strategies for MRD detection in myeloma and highlights the requirements for a sensitive, reproducible, and clinically meaningful cellular analytical approach.

  20. Causal Network Inference Via Group Sparse Regularization.

    PubMed

    Bolstad, Andrew; Van Veen, Barry D; Nowak, Robert

    2011-06-11

    This paper addresses the problem of inferring sparse causal networks modeled by multivariate autoregressive (MAR) processes. Conditions are derived under which the Group Lasso (gLasso) procedure consistently estimates sparse network structure. The key condition involves a "false connection score" ψ. In particular, we show that consistent recovery is possible even when the number of observations of the network is far less than the number of parameters describing the network, provided that ψ < 1. The false connection score is also demonstrated to be a useful metric of recovery in nonasymptotic regimes. The conditions suggest a modified gLasso procedure which tends to improve the false connection score and reduce the chances of reversing the direction of causal influence. Computational experiments and a real network based electrocorticogram (ECoG) simulation study demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.

  1. Causal Network Inference Via Group Sparse Regularization

    PubMed Central

    Bolstad, Andrew; Van Veen, Barry D.; Nowak, Robert

    2011-01-01

    This paper addresses the problem of inferring sparse causal networks modeled by multivariate autoregressive (MAR) processes. Conditions are derived under which the Group Lasso (gLasso) procedure consistently estimates sparse network structure. The key condition involves a “false connection score” ψ. In particular, we show that consistent recovery is possible even when the number of observations of the network is far less than the number of parameters describing the network, provided that ψ < 1. The false connection score is also demonstrated to be a useful metric of recovery in nonasymptotic regimes. The conditions suggest a modified gLasso procedure which tends to improve the false connection score and reduce the chances of reversing the direction of causal influence. Computational experiments and a real network based electrocorticogram (ECoG) simulation study demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. PMID:21918591

  2. Medical Student Volunteerism Addresses Patients' Social Needs: A Novel Approach to Patient-Centered Care

    PubMed Central

    Onyekere, Chinwe; Ross, Sandra; Namba, Alexa; Ross, Justin C.; Mann, Barry D.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Healthcare providers must be equipped to recognize and address patients' psychosocial needs to improve overall health outcomes. To give future healthcare providers the tools and training necessary to identify and address psychosocial issues, Lankenau Medical Center in partnership with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine designed the Medical Student Advocate (MSA) program. Methods: The MSA program places volunteer second-year osteopathic medical students in care coordination teams at Lankenau Medical Associates, a primary care practice serving a diverse patient population in the Philadelphia, PA, region. As active members of the team, MSAs are referred high-risk patients who have resource needs such as food, employment, child care, and transportation. MSAs work collaboratively with patients and the multidisciplinary team to address patients' nonmedical needs. Results: From August 2013 to August 2015, 31 osteopathic medical students volunteered for the MSA program and served 369 patients with 720 identified needs. Faculty and participating medical students report that the MSA program provided an enhanced understanding of the holistic nature of patient care and a comprehensive view of patient needs. Conclusion: The MSA program provides students with a unique educational opportunity that encompasses early exposure to patient interaction, social determinants of health, population health, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Students develop skills to help them build patient relationships, understand the psychosocial factors shaping health outcomes, and engage with other healthcare professionals. This work in the preclinical years provides students with the knowledge to help them perform more effectively in the changing healthcare environment. PMID:27046404

  3. Cortical hierarchies perform Bayesian causal inference in multisensory perception.

    PubMed

    Rohe, Tim; Noppeney, Uta

    2015-02-01

    To form a veridical percept of the environment, the brain needs to integrate sensory signals from a common source but segregate those from independent sources. Thus, perception inherently relies on solving the "causal inference problem." Behaviorally, humans solve this problem optimally as predicted by Bayesian Causal Inference; yet, the underlying neural mechanisms are unexplored. Combining psychophysics, Bayesian modeling, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and multivariate decoding in an audiovisual spatial localization task, we demonstrate that Bayesian Causal Inference is performed by a hierarchy of multisensory processes in the human brain. At the bottom of the hierarchy, in auditory and visual areas, location is represented on the basis that the two signals are generated by independent sources (= segregation). At the next stage, in posterior intraparietal sulcus, location is estimated under the assumption that the two signals are from a common source (= forced fusion). Only at the top of the hierarchy, in anterior intraparietal sulcus, the uncertainty about the causal structure of the world is taken into account and sensory signals are combined as predicted by Bayesian Causal Inference. Characterizing the computational operations of signal interactions reveals the hierarchical nature of multisensory perception in human neocortex. It unravels how the brain accomplishes Bayesian Causal Inference, a statistical computation fundamental for perception and cognition. Our results demonstrate how the brain combines information in the face of uncertainty about the underlying causal structure of the world.

  4. Observations of Social Competence of Children in Need of Special Support Based on Traditional Disability Categories versus a Functional Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lillvist, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Background: Traditional disability categories may reveal little of the functional characteristics and social competence of a child. Objective: To compare the social competence of typically developing children, children with established disabilities and undiagnosed children identified by a functional approach to be in need of special support.…

  5. Coherent Teaching and Need-Based Learning in Science: An Approach to Teach Engineering Students in Basic Physics Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kurki-Suonio, T.; Hakola, A.

    2007-01-01

    In the present paper, we propose an alternative, based on constructivism, to the conventional way of teaching basic physics courses at the university level. We call this approach "coherent teaching" and the underlying philosophy of teaching science and engineering "need-based learning". We have been applying this philosophy in practice in a basic…

  6. Implementing a Public Health Approach to Addressing Mental Health Needs in a University Setting: Lessons and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parcover, Jason; Mays, Sally; McCarthy, Amy

    2015-01-01

    The mental health needs of college students are placing increasing demands on counseling center resources, and traditional outreach efforts may be outdated or incomplete. The public health model provides an approach for reaching more students, decreasing stigma, and addressing mental health concerns before they reach crisis levels. Implementing a…

  7. Assessing knowledge skills in the NHS: a training needs analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Seona

    2013-06-01

    This feature discusses the use of a training needs analysis exercise carried out by library staff at the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) Library Network to support the development of a fit for purpose programme of information skills training. A survey was designed based on a well-known information skills competency framework and used to gain an understanding of the knowledge skills needed by staff and how library training could best support these. The survey received a good response rate and led to the successful writing of a training plan for the Library Network for the delivery of information skills training. H.S.

  8. 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.

  9. An Empirical Study on Business English Teaching and Development in China--A Needs Analysis Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guiyu, Dai; Yang, Liu

    2016-01-01

    This paper first reviews the developmental history and status quo of Business English Program in China. Then based on the theory of needs analysis, it researches on 226 questionnaires from Business English Program students from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies to investigate the problems encountered and current situation of Business English…

  10. Dual Differentiation: An Approach for Meeting the Curricular Needs of Gifted Students with Learning Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baum, Susan M.; Cooper, Carolyn R.; Neu, Terry W.

    2001-01-01

    This article discusses the dual characteristics of gifted learning disabled students and suggests a unique curriculum that integrates both through talent development. Developed through Project HIGH HOPES, this dually differentiated curriculum offers strategies for addressing students' learning problems while fulfilling their need for sophisticated…

  11. Exploring Reading Comprehension Needs of Iranian EAP Students of Health Information Management (HIM): A Triangulated Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atai, Mahmood Reza; Nazari, Ogholgol

    2011-01-01

    Discipline-based English for Academic Purposes (EAP) reading programs in Iran are designed to fill the gap between the students' general English reading competence and their ability to read authentic discipline-specific texts. This study attempted to assess target and present reading comprehension needs of EAP students of Health Information…

  12. A Needs-Based Approach to the Development of a Diagnostic College English Speaking Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhao, Zhongbao

    2014-01-01

    This paper investigated the current situation of oral English teaching, learning, and assessment at the tertiary level in China through needs analysis and explored the implications for the development of a diagnostic speaking test. Through random sampling, the researcher administered both a student questionnaire and a teacher questionnaire to over…

  13. "But, We Don't Have a Library": Exploring Approaches to Addressing Branch Campuses' Library Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hostetler, Kirsten; DeSilva, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Librarians at Central Oregon Community College's Barber Library explored how to best serve the needs of three satellite campuses across a large geographic region. While initially intending to start an embedded librarianship program, a pair of surveys showed the relationships and awareness necessary for the foundation of such a program were…

  14. Pediatric Health Fairs: One Approach to the Health Needs of Appalachian Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huff, Cynthia O.

    An assessment of the health education needs of children in Tennessee resulted in the initiation of a pediatric health fair by nursing students at Carson-Newman College. The fair was presented to approximately 180 second-grade students in a rural elementary school in East Tennessee. The following activities took place at the exhibits: (1) at the…

  15. A Mixed-Methods, Multiprofessional Approach to Needs Assessment for Designing Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Heidi K.; McKeithen, Tom M.; Holthusen, Amy E.

    2011-01-01

    Like most hospital units, neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are multidisciplinary and team-based. As a result, providing optimal nutritional care to premature infants involves using the knowledge and skills of several types of professionals. Using traditional needs assessment methodologies to effectively understand the educational needs…

  16. Creativity and the Transformation of Higher Education: The Need for a Black Mountain College Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emanuel, Richard C.; Challons-Lipton, Siu

    2013-01-01

    The need for increased creativity in education is currently being proposed in much innovative thinking on higher education as universities are forced to recreate themselves. There are four conditions facing higher education worldwide: alignment, motivation, connection, and direction. Higher education is characterized by a hierarchy of subjects and…

  17. A need for non-tokamak approaches to magnetic fusion energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bathke, C. G.; Krakowski, R. A.; Miller, R. L.

    Focusing exclusively on conventional tokamak physics in the quest for commercial fusion power is premature, and the options for both advanced-tokamak and non-tokamak concepts need continued investigation. The basis for this claim is developed, and promising advanced-tokamak and non-tokamak options are suggested.

  18. Who Needs Contingency Approaches and Guidelines in Order to Adapt Vague Management Ideas?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ortenblad, Anders

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this conceptual paper is to question the assumption that the general idea of the learning organisation needs to be adapted to the specific context before it can be put into practical use. It is suggested that there are lots of ways to use management ideas, other than implementing them in the practice of organisations. It is further…

  19. Serving the Needs of Challenged Students at a Private Shanghai School: An Action Research Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Jerry

    2013-01-01

    This action research started in year 2009 at LIU Shanghai, a private school for children with autism spectrum disorder, to serve the needs of challenged students. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the strengths and challenges of the program, plus solicit recommendations from the parents and teachers for making improvements. The…

  20. "Trees and Things That Live in Trees": Three Children with Special Needs Experience the Project Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griebling, Susan; Elgas, Peg; Konerman, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    The authors report on research conducted during a project investigation undertaken with preschool children, ages 3-5. The report focuses on three children with special needs and the positive outcomes for each child as they engaged in the project Trees and Things That Live in Trees. Two of the children were diagnosed with developmental delays, and…

  1. The House of TESEP and the Communicative Approach: The Special Needs of State English Language Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holliday, Adrian

    1994-01-01

    English language teachers around the world are unsure about the appropriateness of the communicative approach (CAP) to the classroom. The problem concerns the nature of technology transfer between instrumentally oriented versus institutionally influenced English language teaching. A broader, rather than narrower version of the CAP can be adapted…

  2. Across Disciplines: A Three Pronged Approach--One Department's Response to Campus-Wide Writing Needs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christiansen, Pauline

    A west coast community college English department used the following three approaches to seek more effective cross discipline writing awareness: in-house techniques--including topics from various disciplines in classroom assignments; meeting-them-halfway techniques--providing resource people and materials for all instructors and students who…

  3. In the Common Good: The Need for a New Approach to Funding Australia's Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vickers, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    This article considers evidence which suggests that Australia's current approach to the funding of non-government schools does not serve the common good. Educational provision is now segmented and a majority of private schools have resources that are either moderately or highly superior to those available in public schools. The current funding…

  4. Personal paper: medicine in the 1990s needs a team approach.

    PubMed Central

    English, T.

    1997-01-01

    Health care increasingly emphasises the team approach in which doctors, nurses, and other health workers adapt and develop new skills. Before changes of this kind are widely accepted, however, there must be clarity about the training, status, authority, working relationships, career structure, and remuneration of those who undertake responsibilities well beyond their traditional roles. PMID:9066483

  5. The Guided Reading Approach: A Practical Method to Address Diverse Needs in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaffer, Laura M.; Schirmer, Barbara R.

    2010-01-01

    Many deaf students struggle with learning to read. This is the case nationally as well as at the Michigan School for the Deaf (MSD). In 2006, the elementary teaching staff began working together to implement a change in their reading instruction so their approach would be systematic and consistent across grade levels. With the diverse backgrounds…

  6. Towards an Agile Approach to Adapting Dynamic Collaboration Support to Student Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamson, David; Dyke, Gregory; Jang, Hyeju; Rosé, Carolyn Penstein

    2014-01-01

    This paper investigates the use of conversational agents to scaffold on-line collaborative learning discussions through an approach called Academically Productive Talk (APT). In contrast to past work on dynamic support for collaborative learning, where agents were used to elevate conceptual depth by leading students through directed lines of…

  7. Training and Developing an Age Diverse Workforce in SMEs: The Need for a Strategic Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beaver, Graham; Hutchings, Kate

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the importance of strategic human resource development (HRD) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with specific reference to key issues around training, development and education as well as an emerging issue of significance, age diversity management. Design/Methodology/Approach: The approach…

  8. Causality, initial conditions, and inflationary magnetogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsagas, Christos G.

    2016-05-01

    The post-inflationary evolution of inflation-produced magnetic fields, conventional or not, can change dramatically when two fundamental issues are accounted for. The first is causality, which demands that local physical processes can never affect superhorizon perturbations. The second is the nature of the transition from inflation to reheating and then to the radiation era, which determine the initial conditions at the start of these epochs. Causality implies that inflationary magnetic fields do not freeze into the matter until they have re-entered the causal horizon. The nature of the cosmological transitions and the associated initial conditions, on the other hand, determine the large-scale magnetic evolution after inflation. Put together, the two can slow down the adiabatic magnetic decay on superhorizon scales throughout the Universe's post-inflationary evolution and thus lead to considerably stronger residual magnetic fields. This is "good news" for both the conventional and the nonconventional scenarios of cosmic magnetogenesis. Mechanisms operating outside standard electromagnetism, in particular, do not need to enhance their fields too much during inflation in order to produce seeds that can feed the galactic dynamo today. In fact, even conventionally produced inflationary magnetic fields might be able to sustain the dynamo.

  9. Quantitative Risk reduction estimation Tool For Control Systems, Suggested Approach and Research Needs

    SciTech Connect

    Miles McQueen; Wayne Boyer; Mark Flynn; Sam Alessi

    2006-03-01

    For the past year we have applied a variety of risk assessment technologies to evaluate the risk to critical infrastructure from cyber attacks on control systems. More recently, we identified the need for a stand alone control system risk reduction estimation tool to provide owners and operators of control systems with a more useable, reliable, and credible method for managing the risks from cyber attack. Risk is defined as the probability of a successful attack times the value of the resulting loss, typically measured in lives and dollars. Qualitative and ad hoc techniques for measuring risk do not provide sufficient support for cost benefit analyses associated with cyber security mitigation actions. To address the need for better quantitative risk reduction models we surveyed previous quantitative risk assessment research; evaluated currently available tools; developed new quantitative techniques [17] [18]; implemented a prototype analysis tool to demonstrate how such a tool might be used; used the prototype to test a variety of underlying risk calculational engines (e.g. attack tree, attack graph); and identified technical and research needs. We concluded that significant gaps still exist and difficult research problems remain for quantitatively assessing the risk to control system components and networks, but that a useable quantitative risk reduction estimation tool is not beyond reach.

  10. Fresh Approach for Critically Ill Patients with Time-sensitive Needs.

    PubMed

    2016-07-01

    To meet the needs of critically ill patients with time-sensitive needs, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) created the Critical Care Resuscitation Unit (CCRU), a six-bed, short-stay ICU designed to accelerate care to resource-heavy patients who require immediate evaluation and treatment. The CCRU is modeled after UMMC's trauma resuscitation unit, but with resources and staff geared toward non-trauma, critically ill patients, many of whom require life-saving care. The unit is largely staffed by emergency providers who have undergone additional training in critical care. In place at UMMC since July 2013, the CCRU has enabled UMMC to accommodate many more incoming critically ill patients than it has in the past. In its first year of operation, critically ill transfer patients increased more than 64%. Investigators also observed reduced hospital length of stay for these patients, and they noted trends toward lower mortality. Before the creation of the CCRU, developers say that care of critically ill patients often was delayed because there was no space available in an appropriate ICU. Patients admitted to the CCRU present with a wide range of complex critical care needs that require immediate attention, such as ruptured blood vessels, aortic dissections, strokes requiring neuro interventional radiologic procedures, and aneurysmal bleeds. Developers have streamlined the transfer process so that appropriate care can commence even before patients arrive in the CCRU. PMID:27439226

  11. HIV prevention, structural change and social values: the need for an explicit normative approach

    PubMed Central

    Parkhurst, Justin O

    2012-01-01

    Background The fact that HIV prevention often deals with politicised sexual and drug taking behaviour is well known, but structural HIV prevention interventions in particular can involve alteration of social arrangements over which there may be further contested values at stake. As such, normative frameworks are required to inform HIV prevention decisions and avoid conflicts between social goals. Methods This paper provides a conceptual review and discussion of the normative issues surrounding structural HIV prevention strategies. It applies political and ethical concepts to explore the contested nature of HIV planning and suggests conceptual frameworks to inform future structural HIV responses. Results HIV prevention is an activity that cannot be pursued without making value judgements; it is inherently political. Appeals to health outcomes alone are insufficient when intervention strategies have broader social impacts, or when incidence reduction can be achieved at the expense of other social values such as freedom, equality, or economic growth. This is illustrated by the widespread unacceptability of forced isolation which may be efficacious in preventing spread of infectious agents, but conflicts with other social values. Conclusions While no universal value system exists, the capability approach provides one potential framework to help overcome seeming contradictions or value trade-offs in structural HIV prevention approaches. However, even within the capability approach, valuations must still be made. Making normative values explicit in decision making processes is required to ensure transparency, accountability, and representativeness of the public interest, while ensuring structural HIV prevention efforts align with broader social development goals as well. PMID:22713355

  12. Telemedicine licensure in the United States: the need for a cooperative regional approach.

    PubMed

    Cwiek, Mark A; Rafiq, Azhar; Qamar, Aamna; Tobey, Charles; Merrell, Ronald C

    2007-04-01

    The extraordinary successes and refinement of modern telemedicine applications in recent years have been diminished somewhat by the anachronistic licensure laws of the 50 state jurisdictions that limit the practice of medicine to specific state geographic boundaries. This approach is deficient when applied to telemedicine because, with the advent of the Internet and modern technological advances, differences in space and time are rendered nearly meaningless. It is recommended in this paper that the practice of telemedicine be handled differently than the practice of face-to-face medicine, as related to licensure. Although it may be argued persuasively that a national licensure model for telemedicine should be advanced, the political and constitutional hurdles may be too great to overcome. It is therefore recommended that a voluntary, regional geographic approach be instituted by jurisdictions already demonstrating a commonality of interests, such as through the Southern Governors' Association or the Western Governors' Association. The benefits to be derived from this approach would include improving access to healthcare and medical specialists, enhancing the quality and timeliness of care, cutting medical costs by moving information instead of people, securing patients' access to medical records and information, and facilitating commercial export of American telemedicine services. PMID:17489700

  13. [Cultural approach in nursing care of North African Muslims needing palliative care].

    PubMed

    Lepain, Catherine

    2003-03-01

    Working in a multi-cultural medical establishment, concerning both patients and nursing staff, calls for deliberations regarding the intercultural as well as palliative approach in nursing care. These deliberations are: 1) intra-personal, in questioning the nursing staff on his/her values, beliefs, convictions, personal culture and identity, as well as opinions regarding health, illness and death. 2) Interpersonal, in recognizing the other person through his/her culture, values, individuality, while taking into account his/her opinions on health, illness and death. The goal of this project is to initiate this intercultural approach by first studying the culture from the perspective of North African Muslims currently hospitalized. It will develop in three steps: The first step to consider consists in training health-care professionals. The second step will lead to the preparation of pedagogical support concerning "nursing care and North African culture". The third step should significantly demonstrate the intercultural approach in clinical nursing procedures. In the future, the project's aim should progress towards a health-care collaboration in which each patient feels implicated regardless of his/her condition, culture, beliefs, education or lifestyle. PMID:12749094

  14. Physiological mechanisms in plant growth models: do we need a supra-cellular systems biology approach?

    PubMed

    Poorter, Hendrik; Anten, Niels P R; Marcelis, Leo F M

    2013-09-01

    In the first part of this paper, we review the extent to which various types of plant growth models incorporate ecophysiological mechanisms. Many growth models have a central role for the process of photosynthesis; and often implicitly assume C-gain to be the rate-limiting step for biomass accumulation. We subsequently explore the extent to which this assumption actually holds and under what condition constraints on growth due to a limited sink strength are likely to occur. By using generalized dose-response curves for growth with respect to light and CO₂, models can be tested against a benchmark for their overall performance. In the final part, a call for a systems approach at the supra-cellular level is made. This will enable a better understanding of feedbacks and trade-offs acting on plant growth and its component processes. Mechanistic growth models form an indispensable element of such an approach and will, in the end, provide the link with the (sub-)cellular approaches that are yet developing. Improved insight will be gained if model output for the various physiological processes and morphological variables ('virtual profiling') is compared with measured correlation networks among these processes and variables. Two examples of these correlation networks are presented.

  15. 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.

  16. Reliability of the Granger causality inference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Douglas; Zhang, Yaoyu; Xiao, Yanyang; Cai, David

    2014-04-01

    How to characterize information flows in physical, biological, and social systems remains a major theoretical challenge. Granger causality (GC) analysis has been widely used to investigate information flow through causal interactions. We address one of the central questions in GC analysis, that is, the reliability of the GC evaluation and its implications for the causal structures extracted by this analysis. Our work reveals that the manner in which a continuous dynamical process is projected or coarse-grained to a discrete process has a profound impact on the reliability of the GC inference, and different sampling may potentially yield completely opposite inferences. This inference hazard is present for both linear and nonlinear processes. We emphasize that there is a hazard of reaching incorrect conclusions about network topologies, even including statistical (such as small-world or scale-free) properties of the networks, when GC analysis is blindly applied to infer the network topology. We demonstrate this using a small-world network for which a drastic loss of small-world attributes occurs in the reconstructed network using the standard GC approach. We further show how to resolve the paradox that the GC analysis seemingly becomes less reliable when more information is incorporated using finer and finer sampling. Finally, we present strategies to overcome these inference artifacts in order to obtain a reliable GC result.

  17. Causal tapestries for psychology and physics.

    PubMed

    Sulis, William H

    2012-04-01

    Archetypal dynamics is a formal approach to the modeling of information flow in complex systems used to study emergence. It is grounded in the Fundamental Triad of realisation (system), interpretation (archetype) and representation (formal model). Tapestries play a fundamental role in the framework of archetypal dynamics as a formal representational system. They represent information flow by means of multi layered, recursive, interlinked graphical structures that express both geometry (form or sign) and logic (semantics). This paper presents a detailed mathematical description of a specific tapestry model, the causal tapestry, selected for use in describing behaving systems such as appear in psychology and physics from the standpoint of Process Theory. Causal tapestries express an explicit Lorentz invariant transient now generated by means of a reality game. Observables are represented by tapestry informons while subjective or hidden components (for example intellectual and emotional processes) are incorporated into the reality game that determines the tapestry dynamics. As a specific example, we formulate a random graphical dynamical system using causal tapestries.

  18. Causal tapestries for psychology and physics.

    PubMed

    Sulis, William H

    2012-04-01

    Archetypal dynamics is a formal approach to the modeling of information flow in complex systems used to study emergence. It is grounded in the Fundamental Triad of realisation (system), interpretation (archetype) and representation (formal model). Tapestries play a fundamental role in the framework of archetypal dynamics as a formal representational system. They represent information flow by means of multi layered, recursive, interlinked graphical structures that express both geometry (form or sign) and logic (semantics). This paper presents a detailed mathematical description of a specific tapestry model, the causal tapestry, selected for use in describing behaving systems such as appear in psychology and physics from the standpoint of Process Theory. Causal tapestries express an explicit Lorentz invariant transient now generated by means of a reality game. Observables are represented by tapestry informons while subjective or hidden components (for example intellectual and emotional processes) are incorporated into the reality game that determines the tapestry dynamics. As a specific example, we formulate a random graphical dynamical system using causal tapestries. PMID:22452929

  19. Curvature constraints from the causal entropic principle

    SciTech Connect

    Bozek, Brandon; Albrecht, Andreas; Phillips, Daniel

    2009-07-15

    Current cosmological observations indicate a preference for a cosmological constant that is drastically smaller than what can be explained by conventional particle physics. The causal entropic principle (Bousso et al.) provides an alternative approach to anthropic attempts to predict our observed value of the cosmological constant by calculating the entropy created within a causal diamond. We have extended this work to use the causal entropic principle to predict the preferred curvature within the 'multiverse'. We have found that values larger than {rho}{sub k}=40{rho}{sub m} are disfavored by more than 99.99% peak value at {rho}{sub {lambda}}=7.9x10{sup -123} and {rho}{sub k}=4.3{rho}{sub m} for open universes. For universes that allow only positive curvature or both positive and negative curvature, we find a correlation between curvature and dark energy that leads to an extended region of preferred values. Our universe is found to be disfavored to an extent depending on the priors on curvature. We also provide a comparison to previous anthropic constraints on open universes and discuss future directions for this work.

  20. Use of comparative genomics approaches to characterize interspecies differences in response to environmental chemicals: Challenges, opportunities, and research needs

    SciTech Connect

    Burgess-Herbert, Sarah L.; Euling, Susan Y.

    2013-09-15

    A critical challenge for environmental chemical risk assessment is the characterization and reduction of uncertainties introduced when extrapolating inferences from one species to another. The purpose of this article is to explore the challenges, opportunities, and research needs surrounding the issue of how genomics data and computational and systems level approaches can be applied to inform differences in response to environmental chemical exposure across species. We propose that the data, tools, and evolutionary framework of comparative genomics be adapted to inform interspecies differences in chemical mechanisms of action. We compare and contrast existing approaches, from disciplines as varied as evolutionary biology, systems biology, mathematics, and computer science, that can be used, modified, and combined in new ways to discover and characterize interspecies differences in chemical mechanism of action which, in turn, can be explored for application to risk assessment. We consider how genetic, protein, pathway, and network information can be interrogated from an evolutionary biology perspective to effectively characterize variations in biological processes of toxicological relevance among organisms. We conclude that comparative genomics approaches show promise for characterizing interspecies differences in mechanisms of action, and further, for improving our understanding of the uncertainties inherent in extrapolating inferences across species in both ecological and human health risk assessment. To achieve long-term relevance and consistent use in environmental chemical risk assessment, improved bioinformatics tools, computational methods robust to data gaps, and quantitative approaches for conducting extrapolations across species are critically needed. Specific areas ripe for research to address these needs are recommended.

  1. Different Kinds of Causality in Event Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Tamplin, Andrea K.; Armendarez, Joseph; Thompson, Alexis N.

    2014-01-01

    Narrative memory is better for information that is more causally connected and occurs at event boundaries, such as a causal break. However, it is unclear whether there are common or distinct influences of causality. For the event boundaries that arise as a result of causal breaks, the events that follow may subsequently become more causally…

  2. On the concept of Bell’s local causality in local classical and quantum theory

    SciTech Connect

    Hofer-Szabó, Gábor; Vecsernyés, Péter

    2015-03-15

    The aim of this paper is to implement Bell’s notion of local causality into a framework, called local physical theory. This framework, based on the axioms of algebraic field theory, is broad enough to integrate both probabilistic and spatiotemporal concepts and also classical and quantum theories. Bell’s original idea of local causality will arise as the classical case of our definition. Classifying local physical theories by whether they obey local primitive causality, a property rendering the dynamics of the theory causal, we then investigate what is needed for a local physical theory to be locally causal. Finally, comparing local causality with the common cause principles and relating both to the Bell inequalities we find a nice parallelism: Bell inequalities cannot be derived neither from local causality nor from a common cause unless the local physical theory is classical or the common cause is commuting, respectively.

  3. Limitations of individual causal models, causal graphs, and ignorability assumptions, as illustrated by random confounding and design unfaithfulness.

    PubMed

    Greenland, Sander; Mansournia, Mohammad Ali

    2015-10-01

    We describe how ordinary interpretations of causal models and causal graphs fail to capture important distinctions among ignorable allocation mechanisms for subject selection or allocation. We illustrate these limitations in the case of random confounding and designs that prevent such confounding. In many experimental designs individual treatment allocations are dependent, and explicit population models are needed to show this dependency. In particular, certain designs impose unfaithful covariate-treatment distributions to prevent random confounding, yet ordinary causal graphs cannot discriminate between these unconfounded designs and confounded studies. Causal models for populations are better suited for displaying these phenomena than are individual-level models, because they allow representation of allocation dependencies as well as outcome dependencies across individuals. Nonetheless, even with this extension, ordinary graphical models still fail to capture distinctions between hypothetical superpopulations (sampling distributions) and observed populations (actual distributions), although potential-outcome models can be adapted to show these distinctions and their consequences.

  4. Algorithms for the inference of causality in dynamic processes: Application to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular variability.

    PubMed

    Faes, Luca; Porta, Alberto; Nollo, Giandomenico

    2015-08-01

    This study faces the problem of causal inference in multivariate dynamic processes, with specific regard to the detection of instantaneous and time-lagged directed interactions. We point out the limitations of the traditional Granger causality analysis, showing that it leads to false detection of causality when instantaneous and time-lagged effects coexist in the process structure. Then, we propose an improved algorithm for causal inference that combines the Granger framework with the approach proposed by Pearl for the study of causality among multiple random variables. This new approach is compared with the traditional one in theoretical and simulated examples of interacting processes, showing its ability to retrieve the correct structure of instantaneous and time-lagged interactions. These approaches for causal inference are then tested on the physiological variability series of heart period, arterial pressure and cerebral blood flow variability obtained in subjects with postural-related syncope during a tilt-test protocol.

  5. Zero emission coal, a new approach and why it is needed.

    SciTech Connect

    Ziock, H. J.; Guthrie, G. D.; Lackner, K. S.; Ruby, J. D.; Nawaz, Mohammad

    2001-01-01

    A new approach to zero emission coal-based power generation originated at Los Alamos National Laboratory is being pursued by the Zero Emission Coal Alliance (ZECA), an international coalition whose goal is no atmospheric emissions from coal-fueled power and hydrogen production plants. The avoidance of atmospheric emissions addresses carbon dioxide, in addition to the more commonly considered coal by-products such as NOX, SOX, particulates, and heavy metals. The new approach combines and updates a number of concepts previously tested separately at the pilot plant scale, but in a new, highly integrated design. The integrated approach will provide fuel to electric energy conversion efficiencies of approximately 70%, double that of today's conventional power plants, while simultaneously yielding a pure, high-pressure CO2 stream that is ready for sequestration. For sequestration, ZECA is examining the conversion of the CO2 into mineral carbonates, thereby achieving safe and permanent disposal of the CO2 in an inert solid form. The high efficiency power generation step provides for a substantial reduction ({approx} a factor of 2) in the amount of fuel consumed per unit of power reduced, thereby reducing the amount and cost of by-product disposal by a similar factor. Unlike most other emission reduction processes being investigated, which typically offer only marginal and short-term improvements, the ZECA concept is a long-term solution capable of supplying many centuries of abundant, secure, clean, low cost, coal-based fossil energy. As the underlying chemistry of the process works on carbon, the zero emission coal (ZEC) technology is also adaptable to a wide range of other fuels including biomass, heavy oils, tars, natural gas, etc.

  6. An approach to vehicle design: In-depth audit to understand the needs of older drivers.

    PubMed

    Karali, Sukru; Mansfield, Neil J; Gyi, Diane E

    2017-01-01

    The population of older people continues to increase around the world, and this trend is expected to continue; the population of older drivers is increasing accordingly. January 2012 figures from the DVLA in the UK stated that there were more than 15 million drivers aged over 60; more than 1 million drivers were aged over 80. There is a need for specific research tools to understand and capture how all users interact with features in the vehicle cabin e.g. controls and tasks, including the specific needs of the increasingly older driving population. This paper describes an in-depth audit that was conducted to understand how design of the vehicle cabin impacts on comfort, posture, usability, health and wellbeing in older drivers. The sample involved 47 drivers (38% female, 62% male). The age distribution was: 50-64 (n = 12), 65-79 (n = 20), and those 80 and over (n = 15). The methodology included tools to capture user experience in the vehicle cabin and functional performance tests relevant to specific driving tasks. It is shown that drivers' physical capabilities reduce with age and that there are associated difficulties in setting up an optimal driving position such that some controls cannot be operated as intended, and many adapt their driving cabins. The cabin set-up process consistently began with setting up the seat and finished with operation of the seat belt. PMID:27633243

  7. An approach to vehicle design: In-depth audit to understand the needs of older drivers.

    PubMed

    Karali, Sukru; Mansfield, Neil J; Gyi, Diane E

    2017-01-01

    The population of older people continues to increase around the world, and this trend is expected to continue; the population of older drivers is increasing accordingly. January 2012 figures from the DVLA in the UK stated that there were more than 15 million drivers aged over 60; more than 1 million drivers were aged over 80. There is a need for specific research tools to understand and capture how all users interact with features in the vehicle cabin e.g. controls and tasks, including the specific needs of the increasingly older driving population. This paper describes an in-depth audit that was conducted to understand how design of the vehicle cabin impacts on comfort, posture, usability, health and wellbeing in older drivers. The sample involved 47 drivers (38% female, 62% male). The age distribution was: 50-64 (n = 12), 65-79 (n = 20), and those 80 and over (n = 15). The methodology included tools to capture user experience in the vehicle cabin and functional performance tests relevant to specific driving tasks. It is shown that drivers' physical capabilities reduce with age and that there are associated difficulties in setting up an optimal driving position such that some controls cannot be operated as intended, and many adapt their driving cabins. The cabin set-up process consistently began with setting up the seat and finished with operation of the seat belt.

  8. Dhat syndrome: Evolution of concept, current understanding, and need of an integrated approach

    PubMed Central

    Kar, Sujita Kumar; Sarkar, Siddharth

    2015-01-01

    Dhat syndrome has often been construed as a culture-bound sexual neurosis of the Indian subcontinent. Symptoms similar to that of Dhat syndrome has been described in other cultures across different time periods. The present paper looks at the evolution of the concept of Dhat syndrome in India. The review also takes an overview of the current understanding of this syndrome in terms of nosological status as a distinct entity and its “culture-bound” status. The narrative finally attempts to discuss the integrated approach for the treatment of this disorder. PMID:26538854

  9. 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.

  10. Combating the Triple Threat: The Need for a One Health Approach.

    PubMed

    King, Lonnie J

    2013-10-01

    We live in a world that is rapidly changing, complex, and progressively interconnected. The convergence of people, animals, and their products embedded in an ever-changing environment has created a new dynamic. This dynamic is characterized by new threats to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. In addition, the health of each of these three domains is profoundly and inextricably linked and elaborately connected. Our interconnectedness strongly suggests that our future success in improving health will be based on a new integrative, holistic, and collaborative approach termed One Health. One Health demands that we work across professions, disciplines, and old boundaries. The challenges to our health are unique and profound, and old solutions to our new "wicked" problems are no longer as relevant or effective as in the past. The concept of One Health is not new but has reemerged as a concept to both better understand the triple threats to health and to better address these contemporary challenges using new approaches. This article discusses the health threats to each domain and calls for a new model to confront these challenges by shifting strategies and interventions upstream, closer to the origins of the threats. One Health is a new paradigm that can be used to improve the health of people, animals, and our environment as a collective rather than restricting our actions to any single domain.

  11. Understanding the Evolution of Mammalian Brain Structures; the Need for a (New) Cerebrotype Approach

    PubMed Central

    Willemet, Romain

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian brain varies in size by a factor of 100,000 and is composed of anatomically and functionally distinct structures. Theoretically, the manner in which brain composition can evolve is limited, ranging from highly modular (“mosaic evolution”) to coordinated changes in brain structure size (“concerted evolution”) or anything between these two extremes. There is a debate about the relative importance of these distinct evolutionary trends. It is shown here that the presence of taxa-specific allometric relationships between brain structures makes a taxa-specific approach obligatory. In some taxa, the evolution of the size of brain structures follows a unique, coordinated pattern, which, in addition to other characteristics at different anatomical levels, defines what has been called here a “taxon cerebrotype”. In other taxa, no clear pattern is found, reflecting heterogeneity of the species’ lifestyles. These results suggest that the evolution of brain size and composition depends on the complex interplay between selection pressures and constraints that have changed constantly during mammalian evolution. Therefore the variability in brain composition between species should not be considered as deviations from the normal, concerted mammalian trend, but in taxa and species-specific versions of the mammalian brain. Because it forms homogenous groups of species within this complex “space” of constraints and selection pressures, the cerebrotype approach developed here could constitute an adequate level of analysis for evo-devo studies, and by extension, for a wide range of disciplines related to brain evolution. PMID:24962772

  12. Discovery of causal mechanisms: Oxidative phosphorylation and the Calvin-Benson cycle.

    PubMed

    Scholl, Raphael; Nickelsen, Kärin

    2015-06-01

    We investigate the context of discovery of two significant achievements of twentieth century biochemistry: the chemiosmotic mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation (proposed in 1961 by Peter Mitchell) and the dark reaction of photosynthesis (elucidated from 1946 to 1954 by Melvin Calvin and Andrew A. Benson). The pursuit of these problems involved discovery strategies such as the transfer, recombination and reversal of previous causal and mechanistic knowledge in biochemistry. We study the operation and scope of these strategies by careful historical analysis, reaching a number of systematic conclusions: (1) even basic strategies can illuminate "hard cases" of scientific discovery that go far beyond simple extrapolation or analogy; (2) the causal-mechanistic approach to discovery permits a middle course between the extremes of a completely substrate-neutral and a completely domain-specific view of scientific discovery; (3) the existing literature on mechanism discovery underemphasizes the role of combinatorial approaches in defining and exploring search spaces of possible problem solutions; (4) there is a subtle interplay between a fine-grained mechanistic and a more coarse-grained causal level of analysis, and both are needed to make discovery processes intelligible. PMID:26013645

  13. Discovery of causal mechanisms: Oxidative phosphorylation and the Calvin-Benson cycle.

    PubMed

    Scholl, Raphael; Nickelsen, Kärin

    2015-06-01

    We investigate the context of discovery of two significant achievements of twentieth century biochemistry: the chemiosmotic mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation (proposed in 1961 by Peter Mitchell) and the dark reaction of photosynthesis (elucidated from 1946 to 1954 by Melvin Calvin and Andrew A. Benson). The pursuit of these problems involved discovery strategies such as the transfer, recombination and reversal of previous causal and mechanistic knowledge in biochemistry. We study the operation and scope of these strategies by careful historical analysis, reaching a number of systematic conclusions: (1) even basic strategies can illuminate "hard cases" of scientific discovery that go far beyond simple extrapolation or analogy; (2) the causal-mechanistic approach to discovery permits a middle course between the extremes of a completely substrate-neutral and a completely domain-specific view of scientific discovery; (3) the existing literature on mechanism discovery underemphasizes the role of combinatorial approaches in defining and exploring search spaces of possible problem solutions; (4) there is a subtle interplay between a fine-grained mechanistic and a more coarse-grained causal level of analysis, and both are needed to make discovery processes intelligible.

  14. Management of Hospital Infection Control in Iran: A Need for Implementation of Multidisciplinary Approach

    PubMed Central

    Mamishi, Setareh; Pourakbari, Babak; Teymuri, Mostafa; Babamahmoodi, Abdolreza; Mahmoudi, Shima

    2014-01-01

    Nosocomial, or hospital-acquired, infections are considered the most common complications affecting hospitalized patients. According to results obtained from studies conducted in the Children Medical Center Hospital, a teaching children's hospital and a tertiary care referral unit in Tehran, Iran, improvements in infection control practices in our hospital seem necessary. The aim of this study was to identify risk management and review potential hospital hazards that may pose a threat to the health as well as safety and welfare of patients in an Iranian referral hospital. Barriers to compliance and poor design of facilities, impractical guidelines and policies, lack of a framework for risk management, failure to apply behavioral-change theory, and insufficient obligation and enforcement by infection control personnel highlight the need of management systems in infection control in our hospital. In addition, surveillance and early reporting of infections, evaluation of risk-based interventions, and production of evidence-based guidelines in our country are recommended. PMID:25379367

  15. Risk analysis for U.S. offshore wind farms: the need for an integrated approach.

    PubMed

    Staid, Andrea; Guikema, Seth D

    2015-04-01

    Wind power is becoming an increasingly important part of the global energy portfolio, and there is growing interest in developing offshore wind farms in the United States to better utilize this resource. Wind farms have certain environmental benefits, notably near-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, particulates, and other contaminants of concern. However, there are significant challenges ahead in achieving large-scale integration of wind power in the United States, particularly offshore wind. Environmental impacts from wind farms are a concern, and these are subject to a number of on-going studies focused on risks to the environment. However, once a wind farm is built, the farm itself will face a number of risks from a variety of hazards, and managing these risks is critical to the ultimate achievement of long-term reductions in pollutant emissions from clean energy sources such as wind. No integrated framework currently exists for assessing risks to offshore wind farms in the United States, which poses a challenge for wind farm risk management. In this "Perspective", we provide an overview of the risks faced by an offshore wind farm, argue that an integrated framework is needed, and give a preliminary starting point for such a framework to illustrate what it might look like. This is not a final framework; substantial work remains. Our intention here is to highlight the research need in this area in the hope of spurring additional research about the risks to wind farms to complement the substantial amount of on-going research on the risks from wind farms. PMID:25691292

  16. Risk analysis for U.S. offshore wind farms: the need for an integrated approach.

    PubMed

    Staid, Andrea; Guikema, Seth D

    2015-04-01

    Wind power is becoming an increasingly important part of the global energy portfolio, and there is growing interest in developing offshore wind farms in the United States to better utilize this resource. Wind farms have certain environmental benefits, notably near-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, particulates, and other contaminants of concern. However, there are significant challenges ahead in achieving large-scale integration of wind power in the United States, particularly offshore wind. Environmental impacts from wind farms are a concern, and these are subject to a number of on-going studies focused on risks to the environment. However, once a wind farm is built, the farm itself will face a number of risks from a variety of hazards, and managing these risks is critical to the ultimate achievement of long-term reductions in pollutant emissions from clean energy sources such as wind. No integrated framework currently exists for assessing risks to offshore wind farms in the United States, which poses a challenge for wind farm risk management. In this "Perspective", we provide an overview of the risks faced by an offshore wind farm, argue that an integrated framework is needed, and give a preliminary starting point for such a framework to illustrate what it might look like. This is not a final framework; substantial work remains. Our intention here is to highlight the research need in this area in the hope of spurring additional research about the risks to wind farms to complement the substantial amount of on-going research on the risks from wind farms.

  17. The Team Approach to Home-Based Primary Care: Restructuring Care to Meet Patient, Program, and System Needs

    PubMed Central

    Reckrey, Jennifer M.; Soriano, Theresa A.; Hernandez, Cameron R.; DeCherrie, Linda V.; Chavez, Silvia; Zhang, Meng; Ornstein, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    Team-based models of care are an important way to meet the complex medical and psychosocial needs of the homebound. As part of a quality improvement project to address patient, program, and system needs, we restructured a portion of our large, physician-led academic home-based primary care practice into a team-based model. With support from an office-based nurse practitioner, a dedicated social worker, and a dedicated administrative assistant, physicians were able to care for a larger number of patients. Hospitalizations, readmissions, and patient satisfaction remained the same while physician panel size increased and physician satisfaction improved. Our Team Approach is an innovative way to improve interdisciplinary, team-based care though practice restructuring and serves as an example of how other practices can approach the complex task of caring for the homebound. PMID:25645568

  18. The team approach to home-based primary care: restructuring care to meet individual, program, and system needs.

    PubMed

    Reckrey, Jennifer M; Soriano, Theresa A; Hernandez, Cameron R; DeCherrie, Linda V; Chavez, Silvia; Zhang, Meng; Ornstein, Katherine

    2015-02-01

    Team-based models of care are an important way to meet the complex medical and psychosocial needs of the homebound. As part of a quality improvement project to address individual, program, and system needs, a portion of a large, physician-led academic home-based primary care practice was restructured into a team-based model. With support from an office-based nurse practitioner, a dedicated social worker, and a dedicated administrative assistant, physicians were able to care for a larger number of patients. Hospitalizations, readmissions, and patient satisfaction remained the same while physician panel size increased and physician satisfaction improved. The Team Approach is an innovative way to improve interdisciplinary, team-based care through practice restructuring and serves as an example of how other practices can approach the complex task of caring for the homebound.

  19. The team approach to home-based primary care: restructuring care to meet individual, program, and system needs.

    PubMed

    Reckrey, Jennifer M; Soriano, Theresa A; Hernandez, Cameron R; DeCherrie, Linda V; Chavez, Silvia; Zhang, Meng; Ornstein, Katherine

    2015-02-01

    Team-based models of care are an important way to meet the complex medical and psychosocial needs of the homebound. As part of a quality improvement project to address individual, program, and system needs, a portion of a large, physician-led academic home-based primary care practice was restructured into a team-based model. With support from an office-based nurse practitioner, a dedicated social worker, and a dedicated administrative assistant, physicians were able to care for a larger number of patients. Hospitalizations, readmissions, and patient satisfaction remained the same while physician panel size increased and physician satisfaction improved. The Team Approach is an innovative way to improve interdisciplinary, team-based care through practice restructuring and serves as an example of how other practices can approach the complex task of caring for the homebound. PMID:25645568

  20. Global warming and environmental contaminants in aquatic organisms: the need of the etho-toxicology approach.

    PubMed

    Manciocco, Arianna; Calamandrei, Gemma; Alleva, Enrico

    2014-04-01

    Environmental contaminants are associated with a wide spectrum of pathological effects. Temperature increase affects ambient distribution and toxicity of these chemicals in the water environment, representing a potentially emerging problem for aquatic species with short-, medium- and long-term repercussions on human health through the food chain. We assessed peer-reviewed literature, including primary studies, review articles and organizational reports available. We focused on studies concerning toxicity of environmental pollutants within a global warming scenario. Existing knowledge on the effects that the increase of water temperature in a contaminated situation has on physiological mechanisms of aquatic organisms is presented. Altogether we consider the potential consequences for the human beings due to fish and shellfish consumption. Finally, we propose an etho-toxicological approach to study the effects of toxicants in conditions of thermal increase, using aquatic organisms as experimental models under laboratory controlled conditions.

  1. Causality and complexity: the myth of objectivity in science.

    PubMed

    Mikulecky, Donald C

    2007-10-01

    Two distinctly different worldviews dominate today's thinking in science and in the world of ideas outside of science. Using the approach advocated by Robert M. Hutchins, it is possible to see a pattern of interaction between ideas in science and in other spheres such as philosophy, religion, and politics. Instead of compartmentalizing these intellectual activities, it is worthwhile to look for common threads of mutual influence. Robert Rosen has created an approach to scientific epistemology that might seem radical to some. However, it has characteristics that resemble ideas in other fields, in particular in the writings of George Lakoff, Leo Strauss, and George Soros. Historically, the atmosphere at the University of Chicago during Hutchins' presidency gave rise to Rashevsky's relational biology, which Rosen carried forward. Strauss was writing his political philosophy there at the same time. One idea is paramount in all this, and it is Lakoff who gives us the most insight into how the worldviews differ using this idea. The central difference has to do with causality, the fundamental concept that we use to build a worldview. Causal entailment has two distinct forms in Lakoff 's analysis: direct causality and complex causality. Rosen's writings on complexity create a picture of complex causality that is extremely useful in its detail, grounding in the ideas of Aristotle. Strauss asks for a return to the ancients to put philosophy back on track. Lakoff sees the weaknesses in Western philosophy in a similar way, and Rosen provides tools for dealing with the problem. This introduction to the relationships between the thinking of these authors is meant to stimulate further discourse on the role of complex causal entailment in all areas of thought, and how it brings them together in a holistic worldview. The worldview built on complex causality is clearly distinct from that built around simple, direct causality. One important difference is that the impoverished causal

  2. Comparison Analysis: Granger Causality and New Causality and Their Applications to Motor Imagery.

    PubMed

    Hu, Sanqing; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Jianhai; Kong, Wanzeng; Cao, Yu; Kozma, Robert

    2016-07-01

    In this paper we first point out a fatal drawback that the widely used Granger causality (GC) needs to estimate the autoregressive model, which is equivalent to taking a series of backward recursive operations which are infeasible in many irreversible chemical reaction models. Thus, new causality (NC) proposed by Hu et al. (2011) is theoretically shown to be more sensitive to reveal true causality than GC. We then apply GC and NC to motor imagery (MI) which is an important mental process in cognitive neuroscience and psychology and has received growing attention for a long time. We study causality flow during MI using scalp electroencephalograms from nine subjects in Brain-computer interface competition IV held in 2008. We are interested in three regions: Cz (central area of the cerebral cortex), C3 (left area of the cerebral cortex), and C4 (right area of the cerebral cortex) which are considered to be optimal locations for recognizing MI states in the literature. Our results show that: 1) there is strong directional connectivity from Cz to C3/C4 during left- and right-hand MIs based on GC and NC; 2) during left-hand MI, there is directional connectivity from C4 to C3 based on GC and NC; 3) during right-hand MI, there is strong directional connectivity from C3 to C4 which is much clearly revealed by NC than by GC, i.e., NC largely improves the classification rate; and 4) NC is demonstrated to be much more sensitive to reveal causal influence between different brain regions than GC.

  3. 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

  4. Causal inference from observational data.

    PubMed

    Listl, Stefan; Jürges, Hendrik; Watt, Richard G

    2016-10-01

    Randomized controlled trials have long been considered the 'gold standard' for causal inference in clinical research. In the absence of randomized experiments, identification of reliable intervention points to improve oral health is often perceived as a challenge. But other fields of science, such as social science, have always been challenged by ethical constraints to conducting randomized controlled trials. Methods have been established to make causal inference using observational data, and these methods are becoming increasingly relevant in clinical medicine, health policy and public health research. This study provides an overview of state-of-the-art methods specifically designed for causal inference in observational data, including difference-in-differences (DiD) analyses, instrumental variables (IV), regression discontinuity designs (RDD) and fixed-effects panel data analysis. The described methods may be particularly useful in dental research, not least because of the increasing availability of routinely collected administrative data and electronic health records ('big data'). PMID:27111146

  5. Fluctuations in relativistic causal hydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Avdhesh; Bhatt, Jitesh R.; Mishra, Ananta P.

    2014-05-01

    Formalism to calculate the hydrodynamic fluctuations by applying the Onsager theory to the relativistic Navier-Stokes equation is already known. In this work, we calculate hydrodynamic fluctuations within the framework of the second order hydrodynamics of Müller, Israel and Stewart and its generalization to the third order. We have also calculated the fluctuations for several other causal hydrodynamical equations. We show that the form for the Onsager-coefficients and form of the correlation functions remain the same as those obtained by the relativistic Navier-Stokes equation and do not depend on any specific model of hydrodynamics. Further we numerically investigate evolution of the correlation function using the one dimensional boost-invariant (Bjorken) flow. We compare the correlation functions obtained using the causal hydrodynamics with the correlation function for the relativistic Navier-Stokes equation. We find that the qualitative behavior of the correlation functions remains the same for all the models of the causal hydrodynamics.

  6. Medication Reconciliation and Therapy Management in Dialysis-Dependent Patients: Need for a Systematic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cardone, Katie E.; Manley, Harold J.; St. Peter, Wendy L.; Shaffer, Rachel; Somers, Michael; Mehrotra, Rajnish

    2013-01-01

    Summary Patients with ESRD undergoing dialysis have highly complex medication regimens and disproportionately higher total cost of care compared with the general Medicare population. As shown by several studies, dialysis-dependent patients are at especially high risk for medication-related problems. Providing medication reconciliation and therapy management services is critically important to avoid costs associated with medication-related problems, such as adverse drug events and hospitalizations in the ESRD population. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 included an unfunded mandate stipulating that medication therapy management be offered to high-risk patients enrolled in Medicare Part D. Medication management services are distinct from the dispensing of medications and involve a complete medication review for all disease states. The dialysis facility is a logical coordination center for medication management services, like medication therapy management, and it is likely the first health care facility that a patient will present to after a care transition. A dedicated and adequately trained clinician, such as a pharmacist, is needed to provide consistent, high-quality medication management services. Medication reconciliation and medication management services that could consistently and systematically identify and resolve medication-related problems would be likely to improve ESRD patient outcomes and reduce total cost of care. Herein, this work provides a review of available evidence and recommendations for optimal delivery of medication management services to ESRD patients in a dialysis facility-centered model. PMID:23990162

  7. Novel Approaches Are Needed to Develop Tomorrow’s Antibacterial Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, John; Wunderink, Rich; Gilbert, David N.

    2015-01-01

    Society faces a crisis of rising antibiotic resistance even as the pipeline of new antibiotics has been drying up. Antibiotics are a public trust; every individual’s use of antibiotics affects their efficacy for everyone else. As such, responses to the antibiotic crisis must take a societal perspective. The market failure of antibiotics is due to a combination of scientific challenges to discovering and developing new antibiotics, unfavorable economics, and a hostile regulatory environment. Scientific solutions include changing the way we screen for new antibiotics. More transformationally, developing new treatments that seek to disarm pathogens without killing them, or that modulate the host inflammatory response to infection, will reduce selective pressure and hence minimize resistance emergence. Economic transformation will require new business models to support antibiotic development. Finally, regulatory reform is needed so that clinical development programs are feasible, rigorous, and clinically relevant. Pulmonary and critical care specialists can have tremendous impact on the continued availability of effective antibiotics. Encouraging use of molecular diagnostic tests to allow pathogen-targeted, narrow-spectrum antibiotic therapy, using short rather than unnecessarily long course therapy, reducing inappropriate antibiotic use for probable viral infections, and reducing infection rates will help preserve the antibiotics we have for future generations. PMID:25590154

  8. Medication reconciliation and therapy management in dialysis-dependent patients: need for a systematic approach.

    PubMed

    Pai, Amy Barton; Cardone, Katie E; Manley, Harold J; St Peter, Wendy L; Shaffer, Rachel; Somers, Michael; Mehrotra, Rajnish

    2013-11-01

    Patients with ESRD undergoing dialysis have highly complex medication regimens and disproportionately higher total cost of care compared with the general Medicare population. As shown by several studies, dialysis-dependent patients are at especially high risk for medication-related problems. Providing medication reconciliation and therapy management services is critically important to avoid costs associated with medication-related problems, such as adverse drug events and hospitalizations in the ESRD population. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 included an unfunded mandate stipulating that medication therapy management be offered to high-risk patients enrolled in Medicare Part D. Medication management services are distinct from the dispensing of medications and involve a complete medication review for all disease states. The dialysis facility is a logical coordination center for medication management services, like medication therapy management, and it is likely the first health care facility that a patient will present to after a care transition. A dedicated and adequately trained clinician, such as a pharmacist, is needed to provide consistent, high-quality medication management services. Medication reconciliation and medication management services that could consistently and systematically identify and resolve medication-related problems would be likely to improve ESRD patient outcomes and reduce total cost of care. Herein, this work provides a review of available evidence and recommendations for optimal delivery of medication management services to ESRD patients in a dialysis facility-centered model.

  9. A need for holistic approach to the occupational health developing (in Serbia).

    PubMed

    Arandjelovic, Mirjana

    2011-09-01

    Countries in transition, such as Serbia, have been going through obligatory system reforms, including the reform of the healthcare system. As a rule, occupational health becomes marginalized by the authorities who decide on medical care. In spite of the fact that this branch of medicine cares for working population that mostly carries the burden of transition, when material situation equals the existential minimum, its potentials are not recognized. On the other hand, the World Health Organization makes a remark that such population's health is undermined now more than ever, and adopts a binding global plan for member countries and their experts in occupational health to take urgent measures for overall working people's health according to their needs. It seems that former work method of biomedicine specialists could not realize such ambition. This paper discusses the possibilities of occupational health future orientation toward holistic medicine, for the sake of workers' well-being and better quality of their lives, then creation of more humane society and vocational affirmation. Health promotion at workplace and salutogenic concept may have crucial roles. This concept is a huge challenge for academic public and vocational practitioners in poor countries in transition that are already burdened with the current economic and financial crisis. Each in their own way, helped by self-education and education, without big material investments, together they may take their countries to the road of health, the road still rarely taken, yet more secure.

  10. Recovery of imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act: The need for a new approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, J.M.; Goble, D.D.; Wiens, J.A.; Wilcove, D.S.; Bean, M.; Male, T.

    2005-01-01

    The recovery (delisting) of a threatened or endangered species is often accompanied by the expectation that conservation management of the species will no longer be necessary. However, the magnitude and pace of human impacts on the environment make it unlikely that substantial progress will be made in delisting many species unless the definition of "recovery" includes some form of active management. Preventing delisted species from again being at risk of extinction may require continuing, species-specific management actions. We characterize such species as "conservation-reliant", and suggest that viewing "recovery" as a continuum of states rather than as a simple "recovered/not recovered" dichotomy may enhance our ability to manage such species within the framework of the Endangered Species Act. With ongoing loss of habitat, disruption of natural disturbance regimes, and the increasing impacts of non-native invasive species, it is probable that the number of conservation-reliant species will increase. We propose the development of "recovery management agreements", with legally and biologically defensible contracts that would provide for continu-ing conservation management following delisting. The use of such formalized agreements will facilitate shared management responsibilities between federal wildlife agencies and other federal agencies, and with state, local, and tribal governments, as well as with private entities that have demonstrated the capability to meet the needs of conservation-reliant species. ?? The Ecological Society of America.

  11. A need for holistic approach to the occupational health developing (in Serbia).

    PubMed

    Arandjelovic, Mirjana

    2011-09-01

    Countries in transition, such as Serbia, have been going through obligatory system reforms, including the reform of the healthcare system. As a rule, occupational health becomes marginalized by the authorities who decide on medical care. In spite of the fact that this branch of medicine cares for working population that mostly carries the burden of transition, when material situation equals the existential minimum, its potentials are not recognized. On the other hand, the World Health Organization makes a remark that such population's health is undermined now more than ever, and adopts a binding global plan for member countries and their experts in occupational health to take urgent measures for overall working people's health according to their needs. It seems that former work method of biomedicine specialists could not realize such ambition. This paper discusses the possibilities of occupational health future orientation toward holistic medicine, for the sake of workers' well-being and better quality of their lives, then creation of more humane society and vocational affirmation. Health promotion at workplace and salutogenic concept may have crucial roles. This concept is a huge challenge for academic public and vocational practitioners in poor countries in transition that are already burdened with the current economic and financial crisis. Each in their own way, helped by self-education and education, without big material investments, together they may take their countries to the road of health, the road still rarely taken, yet more secure. PMID:21833693

  12. Biodiesel exhaust: the need for a systematic approach to health effects research.

    PubMed

    Larcombe, Alexander N; Kicic, Anthony; Mullins, Benjamin J; Knothe, Gerhard

    2015-10-01

    Biodiesel is a generic term for fuel that can be made from virtually any plant or animal oil via transesterification of triglycerides with an alcohol (and usually a catalyst). Biodiesel has received considerable scientific attention in recent years, as it is a renewable resource that is directly able to replace mineral diesel in many engines. Additionally, some countries have mandated a minimum biodiesel content in all diesel fuel sold on environmental grounds. When combusted, biodiesel produces exhaust emissions containing particulate matter, adsorbed chemicals and a range of gases. In many cases, absolute amounts of these pollutants are lower in biodiesel exhaust compared with mineral diesel exhaust, leading to speculation that biodiesel exhaust may be less harmful to health. Additionally, engine performance studies show that the concentrations of these pollutants vary significantly depending on the renewable oil used to make the biodiesel and the ratio of biodiesel to mineral diesel in the fuel mix. Given the strategic and legislative push towards the use of biodiesel in many countries, a concerning possibility is that certain biodiesels may produce exhaust emissions that are more harmful to health than others. This variation suggests that a comprehensive, systematic and comparative approach to assessing the potential for a range of different biodiesel exhausts to affect health is urgently required. Such an assessment could inform biodiesel production priorities, drive research and development into new exhaust treatment technologies, and ultimately minimize the health impacts of biodiesel exhaust exposure.

  13. What radiologists need to know about diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory breast cancer: a multidisciplinary approach.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Eren D; Jacene, Heather A; Bellon, Jennifer R; Nakhlis, Faina; Birdwell, Robyn L; Georgian-Smith, Dianne; Giess, Catherine S; Hirshfield-Bartek, Judi; Overmoyer, Beth; Van den Abbeele, Annick D

    2013-01-01

    Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare breast cancer with a highly virulent course and low 5-year survival rate. Trimodality treatment that includes preoperative chemotherapy, mastectomy, and radiation therapy is the therapeutic mainstay and has been shown to improve prognosis. Proper diagnosis and staging of IBC is critical to treatment planning and requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes imaging. Patients with IBC typically present with rapid onset of breast erythema, edema, and peau d'orange. Both tissue diagnosis of malignancy and clinical findings of inflammatory disease are required to confirm diagnosis of IBC. Imaging is used to identify a biopsy target; direct biopsy; stage IBC; differentiate curable from incurable (stage IV) disease; and help plan chemotherapy, surgical management, and radiation therapy. Comparison of baseline and posttreatment images helps confirm and quantitate disease response. When imaging is used early in the course of therapy to noninvasively predict treatment response, optimal tailored strategies for management of IBC can be implemented. Imaging is vital to diagnosis and treatment planning for patients with IBC, and radiologists are an integral part of the multidisciplinary patient care team.

  14. Systems Assurance, Complexity and Emergence: The Need for a Systems Based Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hessami, Ali; Karcanias, Nicos

    The complexity of modern products, systems and processes makes the task to identify, characterise and provide sufficient assurance about the desirable properties a major challenge. Stakeholders also, demand a degree of enhanced confidence about the absence of undesirable properties with a potential to cause harm or loss. The paper develops a framework of seven fundamental facets of performance as an ontology for emergent behavioural properties and a separate framework for the emergent structural properties of complex systems. The emergent behavioural aspects are explored and we develop a systems framework for assurance based on an Assessment and Management paradigm each comprising a number of principles and processes. The key argument advanced is that in the face of complexity and incessant change, enhanced confidence in the achievement of desirable and avoidance of undesirable properties requires a systems approach empowered by suitable modelling and relevant diagnostic tools explaining the nature of emergent properties. The principal focus of this paper is on safety, security and sustainability emergent behavioural (performance) aspects of complex products, systems and processes.

  15. The emergence of personality in animals: the need for a developmental approach.

    PubMed

    Trillmich, Fritz; Hudson, Robyn

    2011-09-01

    Interest has been growing among behavioral biologists in individual differences in animal behavior of the kind that can be considered to reflect differences in personality. Once considered the exclusive domain of human psychology, biologists have found evidence for personality across a wide range of species, while behavioral ecologist and theoretical biologists recognize the likely evolutionary origins and contribution to fitness of such. However, until recently most work has concentrated on ultimate questions of fitness and thus on adult animals, with little attention given to proximate, developmental origins. This is now changing, as approaches to studying animal personality broaden and methodologies are developed enabling this to be studied across periods of near continuous and often rapid ontogenetic change. Debate continues, however, about the right methodologies to characterize the phenomenon and attempt to do so in a comparable manner across taxa that differ as widely in the expression of "personality" as insects and mammals. This makes it necessary to discuss this field in an interdisciplinary context among psychologists and biologists, and was the rational for a meeting on "The Emergence of Personality in Animals" held in May 2010 at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung; ZiF), Bielefeld, Germany. The diversity of topics, viewpoints and organisms covered and the excitement created by the ensuing discussions is reflected in the resulting collection of papers forming this special issue.

  16. Biodiesel exhaust: the need for a systematic approach to health effects research.

    PubMed

    Larcombe, Alexander N; Kicic, Anthony; Mullins, Benjamin J; Knothe, Gerhard

    2015-10-01

    Biodiesel is a generic term for fuel that can be made from virtually any plant or animal oil via transesterification of triglycerides with an alcohol (and usually a catalyst). Biodiesel has received considerable scientific attention in recent years, as it is a renewable resource that is directly able to replace mineral diesel in many engines. Additionally, some countries have mandated a minimum biodiesel content in all diesel fuel sold on environmental grounds. When combusted, biodiesel produces exhaust emissions containing particulate matter, adsorbed chemicals and a range of gases. In many cases, absolute amounts of these pollutants are lower in biodiesel exhaust compared with mineral diesel exhaust, leading to speculation that biodiesel exhaust may be less harmful to health. Additionally, engine performance studies show that the concentrations of these pollutants vary significantly depending on the renewable oil used to make the biodiesel and the ratio of biodiesel to mineral diesel in the fuel mix. Given the strategic and legislative push towards the use of biodiesel in many countries, a concerning possibility is that certain biodiesels may produce exhaust emissions that are more harmful to health than others. This variation suggests that a comprehensive, systematic and comparative approach to assessing the potential for a range of different biodiesel exhausts to affect health is urgently required. Such an assessment could inform biodiesel production priorities, drive research and development into new exhaust treatment technologies, and ultimately minimize the health impacts of biodiesel exhaust exposure. PMID:26179557

  17. Stroke: a realistic approach to a growing problem in sub-Saharan Africa is urgently needed.

    PubMed

    Kolapo, Kehinde O; Vento, Sandro

    2011-06-01

    Stroke is an increasing problem in sub-Saharan Africa, even in children. High rates of hypertension, diabetes, alcohol abuse, smoking, insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption, sickle cell disease, HIV infection, antiretroviral use and race are likely contributing factors. Although often considered as related to increasing wealth, stroke is more strongly related to poverty, and in turn increases it. Case-fatality rates are high and premature death and years of life lost are a major problem. We propose an approach to stroke prevention and treatment that takes into account the real situation on the ground and can be applied in sub-Saharan Africa, an area where stroke units are largely not feasible and many patients do not reach hospitals. Involvement of community and faith-based organisations, use of simple diagnostic tests, emphasis on clinical examination to differentiate between haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke, prompt initiation of aspirin therapy and training of community nurses on essential management of stroke should be urgently implemented.

  18. Esophageal mucosal protection--why do we need a special approach?

    PubMed

    Simon, L

    1992-01-01

    The epidemiology and natural history of reflux induced peptic esophageal diseases remain incompletely understood. That is why it is easy to explain that the traditional therapeutic efforts were mostly restricted to the use of acid-reducing or neutralizing drogs. The author tries to survey--mainly on theoretical bases--a new approach of the maintenance treatment of peptic esophagitis and consequential columnar metaplasia. The mechanism of the esophageal antireflux barrier is composed by the (a) lower esophageal sphincter tone, (b) upper esophageal sphincter tone, (c) esophageal acid clearance and (d) esophageal epithelial resistance. The data of a 100-patient-group of gastroesophageal reflux disease cases were retrospectively evaluated principally considering the efficacy of antisecretory treatment relating to the accompanying diseases, recurrence of symptoms and prevention the development of Barrett's columnar lined esophagus and Barrett's ulceration. The decrease of exposure by damaging factors is an essential criterion of antisecretory therapy, having several disadvantages. Based only to logically well established arguments the author believes that gastroesophageal reflux disease and consecutive conditions might be an ideal model for studying and introducing esophageal cyto (-mucosal, -tissue) protection, considering that in the esophagus--in contradiction to the stomach--the cell and tissue injury, induced by several pathogenic agents, does not develop rapidly, and when the organ damage develops gradually, interventions may be possible to protect esophageal cell and the mucosa directly.

  19. Testing Quantum Mechanics with Observations of Causally Disconnected Cosmological Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedman, Andrew S.; Kaiser, D. I.; Gallicchio, J.; Guth, A. H.

    2014-01-01

    We discuss a thought experiment which would leverage cosmology to test quantum mechanics using astronomical observations. Specifically, we aim to close the "settings-independence" loophole in experimental tests of Bell's inequality by choosing the detector settings (e.g. polarizer orientations) using real-time observations of causally disconnected cosmic sources. This would help close one of the most important remaining Bell test loopholes whereby a local hidden variable theory could mimic the quantum predictions if the experimental settings choices shared even a small correlation due to unknown local causal influences prior to the experiment. The talk will focus on the theoretical cosmology constraints needed to choose optimal sources for such an experiment, describing general conditions for pairs of cosmic events with arbitrary redshifts and angular separations to have shared causal pasts in Friedman-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker universes with arbitrary curvature, including flat, dark energy dominated, accelerating universes like our own. While causally disjoint patches of the cosmic microwave background radiation at redshift z ~ 1090 could be used to set the detectors, z > 3.65 quasars observed at optical wavelengths are arguably the optimal candidate source pairs using present technology that meet the condition of having no shared causal past since the end of any period of inflation, 13.82 Gyr ago. Results are illustrated for our universe with causal structure animations to help visualize the intersections of past light cones for arbitrary event pairs.

  20. Causal quantum theory and the collapse locality loophole

    SciTech Connect

    Kent, Adrian

    2005-07-15

    Causal quantum theory is an umbrella term for ordinary quantum theory modified by two hypotheses: state vector reduction is a well-defined process, and strict local causality applies. The first of these holds in some versions of Copenhagen quantum theory and need not necessarily imply practically testable deviations from ordinary quantum theory. The second implies that measurement events which are spacelike separated have no nonlocal correlations. To test this prediction, which sharply differs from standard quantum theory, requires a precise definition of state vector reduction. Formally speaking, any precise version of causal quantum theory defines a local hidden variable theory. However, causal quantum theory is most naturally seen as a variant of standard quantum theory. For that reason it seems a more serious rival to standard quantum theory than local hidden variable models relying on the locality or detector efficiency loopholes. Some plausible versions of causal quantum theory are not refuted by any Bell experiments to date, nor is it evident that they are inconsistent with other experiments. They evade refutation via a neglected loophole in Bell experiments--the collapse locality loophole--which exists because of the possible time lag between a particle entering a measurement device and a collapse taking place. Fairly definitive tests of causal versus standard quantum theory could be made by observing entangled particles separated by {approx_equal}0.1 light seconds.

  1. IAEA Inspections for Undeclared and Declared Activities: Is a More Robust Approach Needed?

    SciTech Connect

    Mark Schanfein

    2009-07-01

    The United States has long supported a strong international safeguards system and for many years has served as the foremost supplier of technology, equipment, and training to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In doing so, it drew in many instances on DOE sponsored R&D and training that was directed towards domestic safeguards and then adapted for IAEA purposes. This was relatively straightforward because of the strong overlap between the development of nuclear material accountancy measures needed for both domestic and international purposes. Two factors have emerged that have made this strong reliance on domestic measures less and less able to be a source of support for the IAEA. One is the shift by the IAEA safeguards system towards detecting undeclared activities. The second is the shift of domestic attention away from nuclear material accountancy and towards physical protection. As a result, a gap in US sponsored R&D and training relevant to international safeguards has developed. The NNSA Next Generation Safeguards Initiative and the DOE NA-22 Safeguards R&D program are intended to help fill this gap and, thereby, permit the U.S. to remain as the pre-eminent supplier of technology for international safeguards purposes. In this context, IAEA challenges have been examined from the perspective of detecting the diversion of nuclear material from declared stocks; detecting undeclared production of nuclear material and activities at locations declared under INFCIRC/153; and detecting undeclared nuclear material and activities elsewhere in a state. Of these, the detection of undeclared nuclear material and activities is, perhaps, the IAEA’s most significant challenge. It is a challenge that even the international community finds difficult to meet because of the scope and the geographic scale of the problem, the technical constraints, the knowledge required, and the significant resources needed to deploy effective systems world-wide (e.g., satellite

  2. Reasoning about Causal Relationships: Inferences on Causal Networks

    PubMed Central

    Rottman, Benjamin Margolin; Hastie, Reid

    2013-01-01

    Over the last decade, a normative framework for making causal inferences, Bayesian Probabilistic Causal Networks, has come to dominate psychological studies of inference based on causal relationships. The following causal networks—[X→Y→Z, X←Y→Z, X→Y←Z]—supply answers for questions like, “Suppose both X and Y occur, what is the probability Z occurs?” or “Suppose you intervene and make Y occur, what is the probability Z occurs?” In this review, we provide a tutorial for how normatively to calculate these inferences. Then, we systematically detail the results of behavioral studies comparing human qualitative and quantitative judgments to the normative calculations for many network structures and for several types of inferences on those networks. Overall, when the normative calculations imply that an inference should increase, judgments usually go up; when calculations imply a decrease, judgments usually go down. However, two systematic deviations appear. First, people’s inferences violate the Markov assumption. For example, when inferring Z from the structure X→Y→Z, people think that X is relevant even when Y completely mediates the relationship between X and Z. Second, even when people’s inferences are directionally consistent with the normative calculations, they are often not as sensitive to the parameters and the structure of the network as they should be. We conclude with a discussion of productive directions for future research. PMID:23544658

  3. Evaluating a basic-needs strategy and population policies: the BACHUE approach.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, M J; Rodgers, G B; Wery, R

    1976-01-01

    The BACHUE model, a dynamic simulation technique developed within the International Labour Organization's World Employment Program, has been applied to the Philippines. The model simulates behavior and consequences in a number of key areas: fertility, marriage, migration, savings and expenditure, and labor force participation for households and a macro-model for demand, ouput, employment, and income. The design and development of the model are discussed in detail. The model was run for a series of 13 experiments ranging from nationlization of modern sectors, increasing self-employment, movement toward labor-intensive techniques, changes in growth rates of various sectors, and a reduction in fertility by 2% over 1976-1985, an increase over the 1% assumed in the base run. Runs R-2 to R-11 all showed that a change in basic needs is associated with significant declines in fertility, largely because of increasing education and decreasing mortality. Better economic conditions in rural areas also reduced migration. R-13 which examined the effects of a family planning program of moderate size on ultimate fertility, showed that even by year 2000 the effects were small. The population is reduced 5% over the run which assumes negative income tax and government subsidies to poor families but the gain in income per adult is less than 4%. Any real improvement in income as the result of family planning will take 40-50 years to achieve. Economic incentives, on the other hand, have much faster demographic results. The models also show that rural-urban migration is responsive to policy changes. Planners are cautioned that the model is not a picture of the entire range of human behavior but is an adjunct for use in analyzing interaction between policies.

  4. Filovirus Research: The Need for an Integrated Approach in Time and Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pinzon, Jorge E.

    2010-01-01

    The episodic appearance of Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV) across central Africa over the last 15 years not only underscores the importance of filoviruses as uniquely virulent agents to both human and wildlife communities but also implies a very complex transmission scenario that must be understood if we are to prevent or mitigate filovirus outbreaks in the future. Efforts of a global network of scientists and healthcare workers have expanded our knowledge of filoviruses to meet the growing threat of Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers in Africa. In recent decades, several newly emerging diseases have resulted in major threats to both affected communities and global public health. Viruses from wildlife hosts in particular, have exhibited a capability for cross-species transmission (CST), and have caused high-impact diseases in humans Such as Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers, Nipah and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SAILS). It has been estimated that about 60.3% (Jones et al. 2008) of human infectious diseases are of animal origin (zoonoses) and even some important viral diseases that are traditionally considered of human origin, for example measles and smallpox, may very well have their prehistoric origins in wildlife (Wolfe et al 2007). It maybe logical and prudent therefore, to anticipate that there are other, new filoviruses out there that will cross into humans at some point in time. If we anticipate that these will happen and wish to be prepared for and mitigate this potential, then an understanding of filoviruses as a biologic system in the environment will be essential to that process. We will need to know how the ecological dynamic of CST interacts with a 'new' viruse's evolutionary factors to overcome environmental, demographic and host-specific barriers to transmission and infectivity to humans.

  5. One Health approach to identify research needs in bovine and human babesioses: workshop report

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Babesia are emerging health threats to humans and animals in the United States. A collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, otherwise known as the One Health concept, was taken during a research workshop held in April 2009 to identify gaps in scientific knowledge regarding babesioses. The impetus for this analysis was the increased risk for outbreaks of bovine babesiosis, also known as Texas cattle fever, associated with the re-infestation of the U.S. by cattle fever ticks. Results The involvement of wildlife in the ecology of cattle fever ticks jeopardizes the ability of state and federal agencies to keep the national herd free of Texas cattle fever. Similarly, there has been a progressive increase in the number of cases of human babesiosis over the past 25 years due to an increase in the white-tailed deer population. Human babesiosis due to cattle-associated Babesia divergens and Babesia divergens-like organisms have begun to appear in residents of the United States. Research needs for human and bovine babesioses were identified and are presented herein. Conclusions The translation of this research is expected to provide veterinary and public health systems with the tools to mitigate the impact of bovine and human babesioses. However, economic, political, and social commitments are urgently required, including increased national funding for animal and human Babesia research, to prevent the re-establishment of cattle fever ticks and the increasing problem of human babesiosis in the United States. PMID:20377902

  6. Whole-grain dietary recommendations: the need for a unified global approach.

    PubMed

    Seal, Chris J; Nugent, Anne P; Tee, E-Siong; Thielecke, Frank

    2016-06-01

    Increased whole-grain (WG) consumption reduces the risk of CVD, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, is related to reduced body weight and weight gain and is related to improved intestinal health. Definitions of 'WG' and 'WG food' are proposed and used in some countries but are not consistent. Many countries promote WG consumption, but the emphasis given and the messages used vary. We surveyed dietary recommendations of fifty-three countries for mentions of WG to assess the extent, rationale and diversity in emphasis and wording of any recommendations. If present, recommendations were classified as either 'primary', where the recommendation was specific for WG, or 'secondary', where recommendations were made in order to achieve another (primary) target, most often dietary fibre intake. In total, 127 organisations were screened, including government, non-governmental organisations, charities and professional bodies, the WHO and European Food Safety Authority, of which forty-nine including WHO provide a WG intake recommendation. Recommendations ranged from 'specific' with specified target amounts (e.g. x g WG/d), 'semi-quantitative' where intake was linked to intake of cereal/carbohydrate foods with proportions of WG suggested (e.g. x servings of cereals of which y servings should be WG) to 'non-specific' based on 'eating more' WG or 'choosing WG where possible'. This lack of a harmonised message may result in confusion for the consumer, lessen the impact of public health messages and pose barriers to trade in the food industry. A science-based consensus or expert opinion on WG recommendations is needed, with a global reach to guide public health decision making and increase WG consumption globally. PMID:27082494

  7. [Need for alternative approaches in the evaluation of new antibacterial antibiotics].

    PubMed

    Trémolières, F; Garraffo, R; Lortholary, O

    2005-08-01

    The golden age of antibacterial antibiotics extend from year 1941 to the 1990s decade. At that time, something like an earth quake occurred: from the thirty molecules or so whose development was being achieved or was already marketed, only three were put on the French market, and faced the greatest difficulties to be prescribed by practicians, because: the knights of good practice want a strict limitation of their use to precise indications; the pharmaceutical companies find that the return on investment is almost impossible; the prescribers are stunned by the inconsistency between the MAs, the advances in science and the health economic authorities advices which claim that these products are not very interesting; the research for new antibiotics is stalling; thus, for the first time in 60 years, an iconoclastic question arises: do we need new antibiotics? However, while the debate is raging, many of us think "yes we do", as it is a duty to anticipate today the consequences of tomorrow's bacterial resistances. This paper presents three types of propositions to optimise the development of future molecules: sharpening of the data concerning preclinical security for a better predicting of both the activity and the toxicity; improvement in performances and organization of clinical trials, which implicates to reconsider some of the present methodological rules; inclusion in the evaluation data of some relevant and new features measuring the anti-bacterial activity while taking into account the present and future bacterial resistances. The development of new concepts to develop new drugs which would be active against tomorrow's bacteria compels us to manage in a new fashion today's systems, which have reached their own limits. PMID:16245387

  8. Herbal hepatotoxicity: Challenges and pitfalls of causality assessment methods

    PubMed Central

    Teschke, Rolf; Frenzel, Christian; Schulze, Johannes; Eickhoff, Axel

    2013-01-01

    The diagnosis of herbal hepatotoxicity or herb induced liver injury (HILI) represents a particular clinical and regulatory challenge with major pitfalls for the causality evaluation. At the day HILI is suspected in a patient, physicians should start assessing the quality of the used herbal product, optimizing the clinical data for completeness, and applying the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) scale for initial causality assessment. This scale is structured, quantitative, liver specific, and validated for hepatotoxicity cases. Its items provide individual scores, which together yield causality levels of highly probable, probable, possible, unlikely, and excluded. After completion by additional information including raw data, this scale with all items should be reported to regulatory agencies and manufacturers for further evaluation. The CIOMS scale is preferred as tool for assessing causality in hepatotoxicity cases, compared to numerous other causality assessment methods, which are inferior on various grounds. Among these disputed methods are the Maria and Victorino scale, an insufficiently qualified, shortened version of the CIOMS scale, as well as various liver unspecific methods such as the ad hoc causality approach, the Naranjo scale, the World Health Organization (WHO) method, and the Karch and Lasagna method. An expert panel is required for the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network method, the WHO method, and other approaches based on expert opinion, which provide retrospective analyses with a long delay and thereby prevent a timely assessment of the illness in question by the physician. In conclusion, HILI causality assessment is challenging and is best achieved by the liver specific CIOMS scale, avoiding pitfalls commonly observed with other approaches. PMID:23704820

  9. Herbal hepatotoxicity: challenges and pitfalls of causality assessment methods.

    PubMed

    Teschke, Rolf; Frenzel, Christian; Schulze, Johannes; Eickhoff, Axel

    2013-05-21

    The diagnosis of herbal hepatotoxicity or herb induced liver injury (HILI) represents a particular clinical and regulatory challenge with major pitfalls for the causality evaluation. At the day HILI is suspected in a patient, physicians should start assessing the quality of the used herbal product, optimizing the clinical data for completeness, and applying the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) scale for initial causality assessment. This scale is structured, quantitative, liver specific, and validated for hepatotoxicity cases. Its items provide individual scores, which together yield causality levels of highly probable, probable, possible, unlikely, and excluded. After completion by additional information including raw data, this scale with all items should be reported to regulatory agencies and manufacturers for further evaluation. The CIOMS scale is preferred as tool for assessing causality in hepatotoxicity cases, compared to numerous other causality assessment methods, which are inferior on various grounds. Among these disputed methods are the Maria and Victorino scale, an insufficiently qualified, shortened version of the CIOMS scale, as well as various liver unspecific methods such as the ad hoc causality approach, the Naranjo scale, the World Health Organization (WHO) method, and the Karch and Lasagna method. An expert panel is required for the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network method, the WHO method, and other approaches based on expert opinion, which provide retrospective analyses with a long delay and thereby prevent a timely assessment of the illness in question by the physician. In conclusion, HILI causality assessment is challenging and is best achieved by the liver specific CIOMS scale, avoiding pitfalls commonly observed with other approaches.

  10. The need for an organized approach for Government Medical Insurance Programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    PubMed

    Edlich, Richard F

    2005-01-01

    The Commonwealth of Virginia has a disorganized approach to enrolling their retired faculty in Medicare Supplement Insurance Programs. An organized approach to establishing Medicare Supplemental Insurance for retired University faculty should include the following administrative changes to correct this potential health-care crisis for retired state faculty members. First, the ombudsman for human resources for the state universities must receive educational programs that prepare the retired faculty members over the age of 65 to select the corporate insurance policy from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Company. Included in this educational program should be a review of the Advantage 65 Member Handbook. Second, they must point out to the faculty member that they are receiving a CORPORATE insurance policy rather than an individual insurance policy from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Company. They must provide the telephone numbers of the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield offices in Roanoke, Virginia. Concomitantly, they must send the name and address of the faculty member to the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resource Management. They should inform the faculty member that the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resource Management will be sending them newsletters that outline any changes in the corporate insurance policy that they coordinate with the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Company. The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resource Management must take on some new responsibilities in their efforts to coordinate health-care coverage of the retired faculty over the age of 65. First, they must have a computer registry of all corporate health-care policies of the individual faculty members to ensure that newsletters are being sent to them. Ideally, this agency should have a computerized system that allows it to send out its newsletter update by email to those retired faculty members who have computers. They should

  11. Supporting culturally and linguistically diverse children with speech, language and communication needs: Overarching principles, individual approaches.

    PubMed

    Verdon, Sarah; McLeod, Sharynne; Wong, Sandie

    2015-01-01

    Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are working with an increasing number of families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as the world's population continues to become more internationally mobile. The heterogeneity of these diverse populations makes it impossible to identify and document a one size fits all strategy for working with culturally and linguistically diverse families. This paper explores approaches to practice by SLPs identified as specialising in multilingual and multicultural practice in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts from around the world. Data were obtained from ethnographic observation of 14 sites in 5 countries on 4 continents. The sites included hospital settings, university clinics, school-based settings, private practices and Indigenous community-based services. There were 652 individual artefacts collected from the sites which included interview transcripts, photographs, videos, narrative reflections, informal and formal field notes. The data were analysed using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (Engeström, 1987). From the analysis six overarching Principles of Culturally Competent Practice (PCCP) were identified. These were: (1) identification of culturally appropriate and mutually motivating therapy goals, (2) knowledge of languages and culture, (3) use of culturally appropriate resources, (4) consideration of the cultural, social and political context, (5) consultation with families and communities, and (6) collaboration between professionals. These overarching principles align with the six position statements developed by the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2012) which aim to enhance the cultural competence of speech pathologists and their practice. The international examples provided in the current study demonstrate the individualised ways that these overarching principles are enacted in a range of different organisational, social, cultural and political contexts

  12. What is the best approach to tailoring hydrocortisone dose to meet patient needs in 2012?

    PubMed

    Debono, Miguel; Ross, Richard J

    2013-05-01

    Cortisol is an essential stress hormone and replacement with oral hydrocortisone is lifesaving in patients with adrenal insufficiency. Cortisol has a diurnal rhythm regulated by the central body clock and this rhythm is a metabolic signal for peripheral tissue clocks. Loss of cortisol rhythmicity is associated with fatigue, depression and insulin resistance. A general principle in endocrinology is to replace hormones to replicate physiological concentrations; however, the pharmacokinetics of oral immediate-release hydrocortisone make it impossible to fully mimic the cortisol rhythm and patients still have an increased morbidity and mortality despite replacement. Traditionally, physicians have replaced hydrocortisone with a total daily dose based on the diurnal 24-h cortisol production rate with hydrocortisone given twice or thrice daily, with the highest dose first thing in the morning. Monitoring treatment and dose titration has been much debated with some clinicians using cortisol day curves and others relying on clinical symptoms. The main challenge is that there is no established biomarker of cortisol activity. In addressing the clinical question, we have taken the view that an understanding of the cortisol circadian rhythm and hydrocortisone pharmacokinetics is essential when tailoring hydrocortisone dose. Using this approach, we have developed a thrice daily, weight-related, dosing regimen and a pharmacokinetic and clinical method to monitor treatment. Our argument for replicating the cortisol circadian rhythm is based on the observation that disruption of the rhythm is associated with ill health, and the few studies that have compared different treatment regimens. Further studies are required to definitively test the benefits of replacing the cortisol circadian rhythm in patients with adrenal insufficiency.

  13. Supporting culturally and linguistically diverse children with speech, language and communication needs: Overarching principles, individual approaches.

    PubMed

    Verdon, Sarah; McLeod, Sharynne; Wong, Sandie

    2015-01-01

    Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are working with an increasing number of families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as the world's population continues to become more internationally mobile. The heterogeneity of these diverse populations makes it impossible to identify and document a one size fits all strategy for working with culturally and linguistically diverse families. This paper explores approaches to practice by SLPs identified as specialising in multilingual and multicultural practice in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts from around the world. Data were obtained from ethnographic observation of 14 sites in 5 countries on 4 continents. The sites included hospital settings, university clinics, school-based settings, private practices and Indigenous community-based services. There were 652 individual artefacts collected from the sites which included interview transcripts, photographs, videos, narrative reflections, informal and formal field notes. The data were analysed using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (Engeström, 1987). From the analysis six overarching Principles of Culturally Competent Practice (PCCP) were identified. These were: (1) identification of culturally appropriate and mutually motivating therapy goals, (2) knowledge of languages and culture, (3) use of culturally appropriate resources, (4) consideration of the cultural, social and political context, (5) consultation with families and communities, and (6) collaboration between professionals. These overarching principles align with the six position statements developed by the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech (2012) which aim to enhance the cultural competence of speech pathologists and their practice. The international examples provided in the current study demonstrate the individualised ways that these overarching principles are enacted in a range of different organisational, social, cultural and political contexts

  14. A holistic approach to chronic pain management that involves all stakeholders: change is needed.

    PubMed

    Kress, Hans-Georg; Aldington, Dominic; Alon, Eli; Coaccioli, Stefano; Collett, Beverly; Coluzzi, Flaminia; Huygen, Frank; Jaksch, Wolfgang; Kalso, Eija; Kocot-Kępska, Magdalena; Mangas, Ana Cristina; Ferri, Cesar Margarit; Mavrocordatos, Philippe; Morlion, Bart; Müller-Schwefe, Gerhard; Nicolaou, Andrew; Hernández, Concepción Pérez; Sichère, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Chronic pain affects a large proportion of the population, imposing significant individual distress and a considerable burden on society, yet treatment is not always instituted and/or adequate. Comprehensive multidisciplinary management based on the biopsychosocial model of pain has been shown to be clinically effective and cost-efficient, but is not widely available. A literature review of stakeholder groups revealed many reasons for this, including: i) many patients believe healthcare professionals lack relevant knowledge, and consultations are rushed, ii) general practitioners consider that pain management has a low priority and is under-resourced, iii) pain specialists cite non-adherence to evidence-based treatment, sub-optimal prescribing, and chronic pain not being regarded as a disease in its own right, iv) nurses', pharmacists' and physiotherapists' skills are not fully utilized, and v) psychological therapy is employed infrequently and often too late. Many of the issues relating to physicians could be addressed by improving medical training, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels - for example, by making pain medicine a compulsory core subject of the undergraduate medical curriculum. This would improve physician/patient communication, increase the use of standardized pain assessment tools, and allow more patients to participate in treatment decisions. Patient care would also benefit from improved training for other multidisciplinary team members; for example, nurses could provide counseling and follow-up support, psychologists offer coping skills training, and physiotherapists have a greater role in rehabilitation. Equally important measures include the widespread adoption of a patient-centered approach, chronic pain being recognized as a disease in its own right, and the development of universal guidelines for managing chronic non-cancer pain. Perhaps the greatest barrier to improvement is lack of political will at both national and international

  15. Re-assessing causal accounts of learnt behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Burgess, K V; Dwyer, D M; Honey, R C

    2012-04-01

    Rats received either a common-cause (i.e., A→B, A→food) or a causal-chain training scenario (i.e., B→A, A→food) before their tendency to approach the food magazine during the presentation of B was assessed as a function of whether it was preceded by a potential alternative cause. Causal model theory predicts that the influence of an alternative cause should be restricted to the common-cause scenario. In Experiment 1, responding to B was reduced when it occurred after pressing a novel lever during the test phase. This effect was not influenced by the type of training scenario. In Experiment 2, rats were familiarized with the lever prior to test by training it as a potential cause of B. After this treatment, the lever now failed to influence test responding to B. In Experiment 3, rats given common-cause training responded more to B when it followed a cue that had previously been trained as a predictor of B, than when it followed another stimulus. This effect was not apparent in rats that received causal-chain training. This pattern of results is the opposite of that predicted by causal model theory. Thus, in three experiments, the presence of an alternative cause failed to influence test responding in manner consistent with causal model theory. These results undermine the application of causal model theory to rats, but are consistent with associative analyses.

  16. Re-assessing causal accounts of learnt behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Burgess, K V; Dwyer, D M; Honey, R C

    2012-04-01

    Rats received either a common-cause (i.e., A→B, A→food) or a causal-chain training scenario (i.e., B→A, A→food) before their tendency to approach the food magazine during the presentation of B was assessed as a function of whether it was preceded by a potential alternative cause. Causal model theory predicts that the influence of an alternative cause should be restricted to the common-cause scenario. In Experiment 1, responding to B was reduced when it occurred after pressing a novel lever during the test phase. This effect was not influenced by the type of training scenario. In Experiment 2, rats were familiarized with the lever prior to test by training it as a potential cause of B. After this treatment, the lever now failed to influence test responding to B. In Experiment 3, rats given common-cause training responded more to B when it followed a cue that had previously been trained as a predictor of B, than when it followed another stimulus. This effect was not apparent in rats that received causal-chain training. This pattern of results is the opposite of that predicted by causal model theory. Thus, in three experiments, the presence of an alternative cause failed to influence test responding in manner consistent with causal model theory. These results undermine the application of causal model theory to rats, but are consistent with associative analyses. PMID:22486754

  17. Estimating the need for palliative radiotherapy for brain metastasis: a benchmarking approach.

    PubMed

    Kong, W; Jarvis, C; Mackillop, W J

    2015-02-01

    Palliative radiotherapy (PRT) is useful in the management of many patients with brain metastases, but the need for this treatment in the general cancer population is unknown. The objective of this study was to estimate the appropriate rate of use of PRT for brain metastases (PRT.Br). Ontario's population-based cancer registry was used to identify patients who died of cancer. Radiotherapy records from all the province's radiotherapy centres were linked to Ontario's cancer registry to identify patients who received PRT.Br in the last 2 years of life. Multivariate analysis was used to identify social and health system-related barriers to the use of PRT.Br and to identify a subpopulation of patients with unimpeded access to PRT.Br. The rate of use of PRT.Br was measured in this benchmark subpopulation. The benchmark rate was standardised to the case mix of the overall cancer population. The study population included 231,397 patients who died of cancer in Ontario between 1998 and 2007. Overall, 13,944 patients received at least one course of PRT.Br in the last 2 years of life (6.0%). Multivariate analysis showed that the use of PRT.Br was strongly associated with: the availability of radiotherapy at the diagnosing hospital; the socioeconomic status of the community where the patient lived; and the distance from his/her home to the nearest radiotherapy centre. The benchmark subpopulation was defined as patients diagnosed in a hospital with radiotherapy facilities on site and who resided in a high income community, within 50 km of the nearest radiotherapy centre. The standardised benchmark rate of PRT.Br was 8.0% (95% confidence interval 7.5%, 8.5%). The overall shortfall between the actual rate and the benchmark was 25%, but varied by primary cancer site: lung, 27.6%; melanoma, 19.4%; breast, 13.9%. The magnitude of the shortfall in the use of PRT.Br varied widely across the province. At least 8.0% of patients who die of cancer require PRT.Br at least once in the last 2

  18. Regulatory causality evaluation methods applied in kava hepatotoxicity: are they appropriate?

    PubMed

    Teschke, Rolf; Wolff, Albrecht

    2011-02-01

    Since 1998 liver injury has been assumed in some patients after the use of kava (Piper methysticum G. Forster) as an anxyolytic herbal extract, but the regulatory causality evaluation of these cases was a matter of international and scientific debate. This review critically analyzes the regulatory issues of causality assessments of patients with primarily suspected kava hepatotoxicity and suggests recommendations for minimizing regulatory risks when assessing causality in these and other related cases. The various regulatory causality approaches were based on liver unspecific assessments such as ad hoc evaluations, the WHO scale using the definitions of the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring, and the Naranjo scale. Due to their liver unspecificity, however, these causality approaches are not suitable for assessing cases of primarily assumed liver related adverse reactions by drugs and herbs including kava. Major problems emerged trough the combination of regulatory inappropriate causality assessment methods with the poor data quality as presented by the regulatory agency when reassessment was done and the resulting data were heavily criticized worldwide within the scientific community. Conversely, causality of cases with primarily assumed kava hepatotoxicity is best assessed by structured, quantitative and liver specific causality algorithms such as the scale of the CIOMS (Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences) or the main-test as its update. Future strategies should therefore focus on the implementation of structured, quantitative and liver specific causality assessment methods as regulatory standards to improve regulatory causality assessments for liver injury by drugs and herbs including kava.

  19. "Causal reasoning" in rats: a reappraisal.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, D M; Starns, J; Honey, R C

    2009-10-01

    It has recently been argued that rats engage in causal reasoning and they do so in a way that is consistent with Bayes net theories (Blaisdell, Sawa, Leising & Waldmann, 2006). This argument was based upon the finding that the tendency of cues to elicit approach to a food-well was reduced when their presentation was contingent on lever pressing. There is, however, an alternative interpretation of the critical experimental findings that is based on the simple principle of response competition: wherein lever pressing interferes with the tendency to approach the food well. Here the authors replicated Experiments 1 and 2a of Blaisdell et al. (2006) and found reciprocal patterns of lever pressing and food well approach during the critical cues. These results lend direct support for an interpretation in terms of response competition while providing evidence contrary to Bayes net theories, and are readily interpreted within the theoretical framework provided by traditional associative learning theory.

  20. "Causal reasoning" in rats: a reappraisal.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, D M; Starns, J; Honey, R C

    2009-10-01

    It has recently been argued that rats engage in causal reasoning and they do so in a way that is consistent with Bayes net theories (Blaisdell, Sawa, Leising & Waldmann, 2006). This argument was based upon the finding that the tendency of cues to elicit approach to a food-well was reduced when their presentation was contingent on lever pressing. There is, however, an alternative interpretation of the critical experimental findings that is based on the simple principle of response competition: wherein lever pressing interferes with the tendency to approach the food well. Here the authors replicated Experiments 1 and 2a of Blaisdell et al. (2006) and found reciprocal patterns of lever pressing and food well approach during the critical cues. These results lend direct support for an interpretation in terms of response competition while providing evidence contrary to Bayes net theories, and are readily interpreted within the theoretical framework provided by traditional associative learning theory. PMID:19839709

  1. Pollutant fates in fluvial systems: on need of individual approach to each case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matys Grygar, Tomas; Elznicova, Jitka; Novakova, Tereza

    2015-04-01

    deposition in a channel belt and subsequent secondary pollution via physical mobilisation, most pollution storing in the floodplain in a surprisingly heterogeneous manner - in hotspots with a size comparable to fragments of abandoned channels (from a few to few tens of metres). The hotspots are hence best revealed by well-designed field analysis using portable instruments (gamma spectrometry or XRF). The Litavka is specific because most pollution is in its floodplain in the form of anthropogenic alluvium, a very thick vertical accretion body of "artificial" material added to the river system in the amount exceeding its normal transport capacity. That situation favours secondary pollution by chemical mobilisation of pollutants under low river discharges revealed by geochemical analysis. Our case studies show that simple "rules" such as continuous decay of pollutant concentrations downstream from the pollution source, existence of a continuous blanket of polluted overbank fines in floodplain, simple change of the pollution extent with growing distance from the river channel and as a consequence of extreme floods, or simple recipes such as low-density sampling to trace point pollution sources are too simplistic to be applicable in real polluted fluvial systems. Each river system represents a nearly unique combination of individual geomorphic processes, and each pollution has been specific by the mode how it entered the fluvial system. We will not offer "magic tools" in our contribution. In literature we can find all pieces we need for the jigsaw puzzle - pollutants fates in fluvial systems. The question is why so rarely researchers put them together. We would like to encourage them to do so.

  2. Recursive partitioning for heterogeneous causal effects

    PubMed Central

    Athey, Susan; Imbens, Guido

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we propose methods for estimating heterogeneity in causal effects in experimental and observational studies and for conducting hypothesis tests about the magnitude of differences in treatment effects across subsets of the population. We provide a data-driven approach to partition the data into subpopulations that differ in the magnitude of their treatment effects. The approach enables the construction of valid confidence intervals for treatment effects, even with many covariates relative to the sample size, and without “sparsity” assumptions. We propose an “honest” approach to estimation, whereby one sample is used to construct the partition and another to estimate treatment effects for each subpopulation. Our approach builds on regression tree methods, modified to optimize for goodness of fit in treatment effects and to account for honest estimation. Our model selection criterion anticipates that bias will be eliminated by honest estimation and also accounts for the effect of making additional splits on the variance of treatment effect estimates within each subpopulation. We address the challenge that the “ground truth” for a causal effect is not observed for any individual unit, so that standard approaches to cross-validation must be modified. Through a simulation study, we show that for our preferred method honest estimation results in nominal coverage for 90% confidence intervals, whereas coverage ranges between 74% and 84% for nonhonest approaches. Honest estimation requires estimating the model with a smaller sample size; the cost in terms of mean squared error of treatment effects for our preferred method ranges between 7–22%. PMID:27382149

  3. Learning a Theory of Causality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodman, Noah D.; Ullman, Tomer D.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2011-01-01

    The very early appearance of abstract knowledge is often taken as evidence for innateness. We explore the relative learning speeds of abstract and specific knowledge within a Bayesian framework and the role for innate structure. We focus on knowledge about causality, seen as a domain-general intuitive theory, and ask whether this knowledge can be…

  4. Identity, causality, and pronoun ambiguity.

    PubMed

    Sagi, Eyal; Rips, Lance J

    2014-10-01

    This article looks at the way people determine the antecedent of a pronoun in sentence pairs, such as: Albert invited Ron to dinner. He spent hours cleaning the house. The experiment reported here is motivated by the idea that such judgments depend on reasoning about identity (e.g., the identity of the he who cleaned the house). Because the identity of an individual over time depends on the causal-historical path connecting the stages of the individual, the correct antecedent will also depend on causal connections. The experiment varied how likely it is that the event of the first sentence (e.g., the invitation) would cause the event of the second (the house cleaning) for each of the two individuals (the likelihood that if Albert invited Ron to dinner, this would cause Albert to clean the house, versus cause Ron to clean the house). Decisions about the antecedent followed causal likelihood. A mathematical model of causal identity accounted for most of the key aspects of the data from the individual sentence pairs.

  5. Assessing Dynamic Spectral Causality by Lagged Adaptive Directed Transfer Function and Instantaneous Effect Factor

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haojie; Lu, Yunfeng; Zhu, Shanan

    2014-01-01

    It is of significance to assess the dynamic spectral causality among physiological signals. Several practical estimators adapted from spectral Granger causality have been exploited to track dynamic causality based on the framework of time-varying multivariate autoregressive (tvMVAR) models. The non-zero covariance of the model’s residuals has been used to describe the instantaneous effect phenomenon in some causality estimators. However, for the situations with Gaussian residuals in some autoregressive models, it is challenging to distinguish the directed instantaneous causality if the sufficient prior information about the “causal ordering” is missing. Here, we propose a new algorithm to assess the time-varying causal ordering of tvMVAR model under the assumption that the signals follow the same acyclic causal ordering for all time lags and to estimate the instantaneous effect factor (IEF) value in order to track the dynamic directed instantaneous connectivity. The time-lagged adaptive directed transfer function (ADTF) is also estimated to assess the lagged causality after removing the instantaneous effect. In the present study, we firstly investigated the performance of the causal-ordering estimation algorithm and the accuracy of IEF value. Then, we presented the results of IEF and time-lagged ADTF method by comparing with the conventional ADTF method through simulations of various propagation models. Statistical analysis results suggest that the new algorithm could accurately estimate the causal ordering and give a good estimation of the IEF values in the Gaussian residual conditions. Meanwhile, the time-lagged ADTF approach is also more accurate in estimating the time-lagged dynamic interactions in a complex nervous system after extracting the instantaneous effect. In addition to the simulation studies, we applied the proposed method to estimate the dynamic spectral causality on real visual evoked potential (VEP) data in a human subject. Its usefulness in

  6. Causal Inference for a Population of Causally Connected Units

    PubMed Central

    van der Laan, Mark J.

    2015-01-01

    Suppose that we observe a population of causally connected units. On each unit at each time-point on a grid we observe a set of other units the unit is potentially connected with, and a unit-specific longitudinal data structure consisting of baseline and time-dependent covariates, a time-dependent treatment, and a final outcome of interest. The target quantity of interest is defined as the mean outcome for this group of units if the exposures of the units would be probabilistically assigned according to a known specified mechanism, where the latter is called a stochastic intervention. Causal effects of interest are defined as contrasts of the mean of the unit-specific outcomes under different stochastic interventions one wishes to evaluate. This covers a large range of estimation problems from independent units, independent clusters of units, and a single cluster of units in which each unit has a limited number of connections to other units. The allowed dependence includes treatment allocation in response to data on multiple units and so called causal interference as special cases. We present a few motivating classes of examples, propose a structural causal model, define the desired causal quantities, address the identification of these quantities from the observed data, and define maximum likelihood based estimators based on cross-validation. In particular, we present maximum likelihood based super-learning for this network data. Nonetheless, such smoothed/regularized maximum likelihood estimators are not targeted and will thereby be overly bias w.r.t. the target parameter, and, as a consequence, generally not result in asymptotically normally distributed estimators of the statistical target parameter. To formally develop estimation theory, we focus on the simpler case in which the longitudinal data structure is a point-treatment data structure. We formulate a novel targeted maximum likelihood estimator of this estimand and show that the double robustness of the

  7. Entanglement, holography and causal diamonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Boer, Jan; Haehl, Felix M.; Heller, Michal P.; Myers, Robert C.

    2016-08-01

    We argue that the degrees of freedom in a d-dimensional CFT can be reorganized in an insightful way by studying observables on the moduli space of causal diamonds (or equivalently, the space of pairs of timelike separated points). This 2 d-dimensional space naturally captures some of the fundamental nonlocality and causal structure inherent in the entanglement of CFT states. For any primary CFT operator, we construct an observable on this space, which is defined by smearing the associated one-point function over causal diamonds. Known examples of such quantities are the entanglement entropy of vacuum excitations and its higher spin generalizations. We show that in holographic CFTs, these observables are given by suitably defined integrals of dual bulk fields over the corresponding Ryu-Takayanagi minimal surfaces. Furthermore, we explain connections to the operator product expansion and the first law of entanglemententropy from this unifying point of view. We demonstrate that for small perturbations of the vacuum, our observables obey linear two-derivative equations of motion on the space of causal diamonds. In two dimensions, the latter is given by a product of two copies of a two-dimensional de Sitter space. For a class of universal states, we show that the entanglement entropy and its spin-three generalization obey nonlinear equations of motion with local interactions on this moduli space, which can be identified with Liouville and Toda equations, respectively. This suggests the possibility of extending the definition of our new observables beyond the linear level more generally and in such a way that they give rise to new dynamically interacting theories on the moduli space of causal diamonds. Various challenges one has to face in order to implement this idea are discussed.

  8. Differentiating SIADH from Cerebral/Renal Salt Wasting: Failure of the Volume Approach and Need for a New Approach to Hyponatremia.

    PubMed

    Maesaka, John K; Imbriano, Louis; Mattana, Joseph; Gallagher, Dympna; Bade, Naveen; Sharif, Sairah

    2014-12-08

    Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte abnormality. Its diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are in a state of flux. It is evident that hyponatremic patients are symptomatic with a potential for serious consequences at sodium levels that were once considered trivial. The recommendation to treat virtually all hyponatremics exposes the need to resolve the diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma of deciding whether to water restrict a patient with the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) or administer salt and water to a renal salt waster. In this review, we briefly discuss the pathophysiology of SIADH and renal salt wasting (RSW), and the difficulty in differentiating SIADH from RSW, and review the origin of the perceived rarity of RSW, as well as the value of determining fractional excretion of urate (FEurate) in differentiating both syndromes, the high prevalence of RSW which highlights the inadequacy of the volume approach to hyponatremia, the importance of changing cerebral salt wasting to RSW, and the proposal to eliminate reset osmostat as a subtype of SIADH, and finally propose a new algorithm to replace the outmoded volume approach by highlighting FEurate. This algorithm eliminates the need to assess the volume status with less reliance on determining urine sodium concentration, plasma renin, aldosterone and atrial/brain natriuretic peptide or the BUN to creatinine ratio.

  9. Differentiating SIADH from Cerebral/Renal Salt Wasting: Failure of the Volume Approach and Need for a New Approach to Hyponatremia

    PubMed Central

    Maesaka, John K.; Imbriano, Louis; Mattana, Joseph; Gallagher, Dympna; Bade, Naveen; Sharif, Sairah

    2014-01-01

    Hyponatremia is the most common electrolyte abnormality. Its diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are in a state of flux. It is evident that hyponatremic patients are symptomatic with a potential for serious consequences at sodium levels that were once considered trivial. The recommendation to treat virtually all hyponatremics exposes the need to resolve the diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma of deciding whether to water restrict a patient with the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) or administer salt and water to a renal salt waster. In this review, we briefly discuss the pathophysiology of SIADH and renal salt wasting (RSW), and the difficulty in differentiating SIADH from RSW, and review the origin of the perceived rarity of RSW, as well as the value of determining fractional excretion of urate (FEurate) in differentiating both syndromes, the high prevalence of RSW which highlights the inadequacy of the volume approach to hyponatremia, the importance of changing cerebral salt wasting to RSW, and the proposal to eliminate reset osmostat as a subtype of SIADH, and finally propose a new algorithm to replace the outmoded volume approach by highlighting FEurate. This algorithm eliminates the need to assess the volume status with less reliance on determining urine sodium concentration, plasma renin, aldosterone and atrial/brain natriuretic peptide or the BUN to creatinine ratio. PMID:26237607

  10. An Integrated Systems Approach is Needed to Ensure the Sustainability of Antibiotic Effectiveness for Both Humans and Animals.

    PubMed

    So, Anthony D; Shah, Tejen A; Roach, Steven; Ling Chee, Yoke; Nachman, Keeve E

    2015-01-01

    The growing demand for animal products and the widespread use of antibiotics in bringing food animals to market have heightened concerns over cross-species transmission of drug resistance. Both the biology and emerging epidemiology strongly support the need for global coordination in stemming the generation and propagation of resistance, and the patchwork of global and country-level regulations still leaves significant gaps. More importantly, discussing such a framework opens the door to taking modular steps towards solving these challenges - for example, beginning among targeted parties rather than all countries, tying accountability to financial and technical support, or taxing antibiotic use in animals to deter low-value usage of these drugs. An international agreement would allow integrating surveillance data collection, monitoring and enforcement, research into antibiotic alternatives and more sustainable approaches to agriculture, technical assistance and capacity building, and financing under the umbrella of a One Health approach. PMID:26243242

  11. Drug utilization and prescribing patterns in a skilled nursing facility: the need for a rational approach to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Segal, J L; Thompson, J F; Floyd, R A

    1979-03-01

    A study was made of 50 patients drawn at random from a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) attended by seven physicians. For 59 percent of these patients, polypharmacy was practiced but no substantiating diagnoses were recorded. Approximately half of the drugs were administered pro re nata. More drugs were prescribed in potentially toxic dosages than in subtherapeutic dosages. The risk of an adverse drug reaction (ADR) was most often associated with anticholinergic agents, sedative-hypnotic drugs, and neuroleptics (thioridazine and chlorpromazine), particularly when prescribed concurrently. Risk of an ADR was highest when a drug was prescribed without recording a definite diagnostic indication. Lack of consistency by individual physicians in their approaches to the therapy of similar disease entities in comparable patients tended to support the concept of peer review in SNFs and also the need for teaching a rational approach to therapeutics in SNFs based on clinical pharmacology as applied to the elderly. PMID:429730

  12. Challenging empowerment: AIDS-affected South African children and the need for a multi-level relational approach.

    PubMed

    Ansell, Nicola

    2014-01-01

    Critics of empowerment have highlighted the concept's mutability, focus on individual transformation, one-dimensionality and challenges of operationalisation. Relating these critiques to children's empowerment raises new challenges. Drawing on scholarship on children's subjecthood and exercise of power, alongside empirical research with children affected by AIDS, I argue that empowerment envisaged as individual self-transformation and increased capacity to act independently offers little basis for progressive change. Rather it is essential to adopt a relational approach that recognises the need to transform power relationships at multiple levels. This analysis has implications for our wider understanding of empowerment in the 21st century.

  13. Computing and information services at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory - A management approach to a diversity of needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Felberg, F. H.

    1984-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a research and development organization with about 5,000 employees, presents a complicated set of requirements for an institutional system of computing and informational services. The approach taken by JPL in meeting this challenge is one of controlled flexibility. A central communications network is provided, together with selected computing facilities for common use. At the same time, staff members are given considerable discretion in choosing the mini- and microcomputers that they believe will best serve their needs. Consultation services, computer education, and other support functions are also provided.

  14. Causal Inference and Observational Research: The Utility of Twins

    PubMed Central

    McGue, Matt; Osler, Merete; Christensen, Kaare

    2011-01-01

    Valid causal inference is central to progress in theoretical and applied psychology. Although the randomized experiment is widely considered the gold standard for determining whether a given exposure increases the likelihood of some specified outcome, experiments are not always feasible and in some cases can result in biased estimates of causal effects. Alternatively, standard observational approaches are limited by the possibility of confounding, reverse causation, and the nonrandom distribution of exposure (i.e., selection). We describe the counterfactual model of causation and apply it to the challenges of causal inference in observational research, with a particular focus on aging. We argue that the study of twin pairs discordant on exposure, and in particular discordant monozygotic twins, provides a useful analog to the idealized counterfactual design. A review of discordant-twin studies in aging reveals that they are consistent with, but do not unambiguously establish, a causal effect of lifestyle factors on important late-life outcomes. Nonetheless, the existing studies are few in number and have clear limitations that have not always been considered in interpreting their results. It is concluded that twin researchers could make greater use of the discordant-twin design as one approach to strengthen causal inferences in observational research. PMID:21593989

  15. Causal Conceptions in Social Explanation and Moral Evaluation: A Historical Tour.

    PubMed

    Alicke, Mark D; Mandel, David R; Hilton, Denis J; Gerstenberg, Tobias; Lagnado, David A

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the causes of human behavior is essential for advancing one's interests and for coordinating social relations. The scientific study of how people arrive at such understandings or explanations has unfolded in four distinguishable epochs in psychology, each characterized by a different metaphor that researchers have used to represent how people think as they attribute causality and blame to other individuals. The first epoch was guided by an "intuitive scientist" metaphor, which emphasized whether observers perceived behavior to be caused by the unique tendencies of the actor or by common reactions to the requirements of the situation. This metaphor was displaced in the second epoch by an "intuitive lawyer" depiction that focused on the need to hold people responsible for their misdeeds. The third epoch was dominated by theories of counterfactual thinking, which conveyed a "person as reconstructor" approach that emphasized the antecedents and consequences of imagining alternatives to events, especially harmful ones. With the current upsurge in moral psychology, the fourth epoch emphasizes the moral-evaluative aspect of causal judgment, reflected in a "person as moralist" metaphor. By tracing the progression from the person-environment distinction in early attribution theories to present concerns with moral judgment, our goal is to clarify how causal constructs have been used, how they relate to one another, and what unique attributional problems each addresses. PMID:26581736

  16. Causal assessment of pharmaceutical treatments: why standards of evidence should not be the same for benefits and harms?

    PubMed

    Osimani, Barbara; Mignini, Fiorenzo

    2015-01-01

    It is increasingly acknowledged both among epidemiologists and regulators that the assessment of pharmaceutical harm requires specific methodological approaches that cannot simply duplicate those developed for testing efficacy. However, this intuition lacks sound epistemic bases and delivers ad hoc advice. This paper explains why the same methods of scientific inference do not fare equally well for efficacy and safety assessment by tracing them back to their epistemic foundations. To illustrate this, Cartwright's distinction into clinching and vouching methods is adopted and a series of reasons is provided for preferring the latter to the former: (1) the need to take into account all available knowledge and integrate it with incoming data; (2) the awareness that a latent unknown risk may always change the safety profile of a given drug (precautionary principle); (3) cumulative learning over time; (4) requirement of probabilistic causal assessment to allow decision under uncertainty; (5) impartiality; and (6) limited and local information provided by randomised controlled trials. Subsequently, the clinchers/vouchers distinction is applied to a case study concerning the debated causal association between paracetamol and asthma. This study illustrates the tension between implicit epistemologies adopted in evaluating evidence and causality; furthermore, it also shows that discounting causal evidence may be a result of unacknowledged low priors or lack of valid alternative options. We conclude with a presentation of the changing landscape in pharmacology and the trend towards an increased use of Bayesian tools for assessment of harms. PMID:25519721

  17. Effect of measurement noise on Granger causality.

    PubMed

    Nalatore, Hariharan; Sasikumar, N; Rangarajan, Govindan

    2014-12-01

    Most of the signals recorded in experiments are inevitably contaminated by measurement noise. Hence, it is important to understand the effect of such noise on estimating causal relations between such signals. A primary tool for estimating causality is Granger causality. Granger causality can be computed by modeling the signal using a bivariate autoregressive (AR) process. In this paper, we greatly extend the previous analysis of the effect of noise by considering a bivariate AR process of general order p. From this analysis, we analytically obtain the dependence of Granger causality on various noise-dependent system parameters. In particular, we show that measurement noise can lead to spurious Granger causality and can suppress true Granger causality. These results are verified numerically. Finally, we show how true causality can be recovered numerically using the Kalman expectation maximization algorithm.

  18. Stemming the tide of drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae: the need for an individualized approach to treatment.

    PubMed

    Buono, Sean A; Watson, Tyler D; Borenstein, Lee A; Klausner, Jeffrey D; Pandori, Mark W; Godwin, Hilary A

    2015-02-01

    Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae poses a significant public health challenge. In recent years, gonococci resistant to first- and second-line antibiotics have spread worldwide and new strains have developed that are increasingly resistant to third-generation cephalosporins, which are currently our last line of available treatments. Given the timeline required to develop new drugs or an effective vaccine for N. gonorrhoeae, a top priority is to use the drugs that are available as effectively as possible. Currently, clinical management of gonorrhoea is based upon treatment guidelines informed by international gonococcal antimicrobial susceptibility surveillance programmes. This approach, although currently the most practical, is subject to a number of limitations since surveillance data inherently provide population-level information. As a result, basing treatment guidelines on these data can result in the prescription of more aggressive or broader treatment than is needed by individual patients and hence inadvertently contribute to the development and spread of resistance to important drugs. Clearly, methods are needed that provide patient-specific drug susceptibility information in a time frame that would allow clinicians to prescribe individualized treatment regimens for gonorrhoea. Fortunately, in recent years, there have been a number of advances in the development of rapid methods for characterizing both the genotype and the drug resistance phenotype of N. gonorrhoeae strains. Here, we review these advances and propose additional studies that would help facilitate a transition towards an individualized treatment approach for gonorrhoea.

  19. 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…

  20. Causal diffusion and the survival of charge fluctuations in nuclear collisions

    SciTech Connect

    Aziz, Mohamed Abdel; Gavin, Sean

    2004-09-01

    Diffusion may obliterate fluctuation signals of the QCD phase transition in nuclear collisions at SPS and RHIC energies. We propose a hyperbolic diffusion equation to study the dissipation of net charge fluctuations. This equation is needed in a relativistic context, because the classic parabolic diffusion equation violates causality. We find that causality substantially limits the extent to which diffusion can dissipate these fluctuations.

  1. Impacts of smelter emissions on vegetation communities -- The identification of causal mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Galbraith, H.; Lipton, J.; Lejeune, K.; Cacela, D.

    1995-12-31

    Field measurements of vegetation community structure in an area of southwest Montana contaminated by arsenic and metals were combined with data from laboratory phytotoxicity studies and field soil sampling studies to identify the causal mechanisms responsible for modifications to the vegetation communities. Causal relationships between vegetation community modifications and continents were identified using two methodologies: Kendalltau correlations among soil contaminant concentrations, phytotoxicity scores, and vegetation community matrices; and a causality evaluation approach that included the identification and evaluation of all other stressors that could potentially have resulted in the observed vegetation impacts. It was concluded that the contaminants were important causal agents in the observed modifications to the vegetation communities.

  2. Constraints on Children's Judgments of Magical Causality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woolley, Jacqueline D.; Browne, Cheryl A.; Boerger, Elizabeth A.

    2006-01-01

    In 3 studies we addressed the operation of constraints on children's causal judgments. Our primary focus was whether children's beliefs about magical causality, specifically wishing, are constrained by features that govern the attribution of ordinary causality. In Experiment 1, children witnessed situations in which a confederate's wish appeared…

  3. Expectations and Interpretations during Causal Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luhmann, Christian C.; Ahn, Woo-kyoung

    2011-01-01

    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…

  4. Designing Effective Supports for Causal Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jonassen, David H.; Ionas, Ioan Gelu

    2008-01-01

    Causal reasoning represents one of the most basic and important cognitive processes that underpin all higher-order activities, such as conceptual understanding and problem solving. Hume called causality the "cement of the universe" [Hume (1739/2000). Causal reasoning is required for making predictions, drawing implications and inferences, and…

  5. Exploring Individual Differences in Preschoolers' Causal Stance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alvarez, Aubry; Booth, Amy E.

    2016-01-01

    Preschoolers, as a group, are highly attuned to causality, and this attunement is known to facilitate memory, learning, and problem solving. However, recent work reveals substantial individual variability in the strength of children's "causal stance," as demonstrated by their curiosity about and preference for new causal information. In…

  6. Representing Personal Determinants in Causal Structures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bandura, Albert

    1984-01-01

    Responds to Staddon's critique of the author's earlier article and addresses issues raised by Staddon's (1984) alternative models of causality. The author argues that it is not the formalizability of causal processes that is the issue but whether cognitive determinants of behavior are reducible to past stimulus inputs in causal structures.…

  7. Causal inference in economics and marketing.

    PubMed

    Varian, Hal R

    2016-07-01

    This is an elementary introduction to causal inference in economics written for readers familiar with machine learning methods. The critical step in any causal analysis is estimating the counterfactual-a prediction of what would have happened in the absence of the treatment. The powerful techniques used in machine learning may be useful for developing better estimates of the counterfactual, potentially improving causal inference.

  8. Guidelines for investigating causality of sequence variants in human disease.

    PubMed

    MacArthur, D G; Manolio, T A; Dimmock, D P; Rehm, H L; Shendure, J; Abecasis, G R; Adams, D R; Altman, R B; Antonarakis, S E; Ashley, E A; Barrett, J C; Biesecker, L G; Conrad, D F; Cooper, G M; Cox, N J; Daly, M J; Gerstein, M B; Goldstein, D B; Hirschhorn, J N; Leal, S M; Pennacchio, L A; Stamatoyannopoulos, J A; Sunyaev, S R; Valle, D; Voight, B F; Winckler, W; Gunter, C

    2014-04-24

    The discovery of rare genetic variants is accelerating, and clear guidelines for distinguishing disease-causing sequence variants from the many potentially functional variants present in any human genome are urgently needed. Without rigorous standards we risk an acceleration of false-positive reports of causality, which would impede the translation of genomic research findings into the clinical diagnostic setting and hinder biological understanding of disease. Here we discuss the key challenges of assessing sequence variants in human disease, integrating both gene-level and variant-level support for causality. We propose guidelines for summarizing confidence in variant pathogenicity and highlight several areas that require further resource development.

  9. Causality as individual essence: its bearing on synchronicity.

    PubMed

    Tougas, Cecile T

    2014-06-01

    Causality, time, and number are subjectively lived realities and need to be noticed as such. Fundamental to the wide range of living experience, they are also basic to scientific knowing. In this article I examine causality in relation to an article on synchronicity by Harald Atmanspacher and Wolfgang Fach. My examination is neither scientific nor metaphysical, but rather phenomenological, as it is a clarification of form as individual essence of a thing. This non-material form of an individual thing in the widest sense of the word 'thing' was rejected and so lost during modern seventeenth-century science but, renewed now, can help describe synchronicity. A commentary by William Willeford follows.

  10. [Temporal sequence in observational studies to establish causality].

    PubMed

    Silva, Luis Carlos

    2014-05-02

    The article includes a brief summary on the scope of the notions of causality and risk and considers some operational difficulties that arise when dealing with problems associated with them. It underscores the vital importance of timing and its link with the most commonly used observational research designs that address causal relationships. The article describes in detail the need to record the order in which the relevant events occur and how to consider this in the analysis. A detailed example of errors that are usually incurred in and their effect is provided.

  11. Depression and Distortion in the Attribution of Causality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rizley, Ross

    1978-01-01

    Two cognitive models of depression have attracted considerable attention recently: Seligman's (1975) learned helplessness model and Beck's (1967) cognitive schema approach. Describes each model and, in two studies, evaluates the assumption that depression is associated with systematic distortion in cognition regarding causal and controlling…

  12. The Importance of Qualitative Research for Causal Explanation in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maxwell, Joseph A.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of causation has long been controversial in qualitative research, and many qualitative researchers have rejected causal explanation as incompatible with an interpretivist or constructivist approach. This rejection conflates causation with the positivist "theory" of causation, and ignores an alternative understanding of causation,…

  13. When two become one: the limits of causality analysis of brain dynamics.

    PubMed

    Chicharro, Daniel; Ledberg, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Biological systems often consist of multiple interacting subsystems, the brain being a prominent example. To understand the functions of such systems it is important to analyze if and how the subsystems interact and to describe the effect of these interactions. In this work we investigate the extent to which the cause-and-effect framework is applicable to such interacting subsystems. We base our work on a standard notion of causal effects and define a new concept called natural causal effect. This new concept takes into account that when studying interactions in biological systems, one is often not interested in the effect of perturbations that alter the dynamics. The interest is instead in how the causal connections participate in the generation of the observed natural dynamics. We identify the constraints on the structure of the causal connections that determine the existence of natural causal effects. In particular, we show that the influence of the causal connections on the natural dynamics of the system often cannot be analyzed in terms of the causal effect of one subsystem on another. Only when the causing subsystem is autonomous with respect to the rest can this interpretation be made. We note that subsystems in the brain are often bidirectionally connected, which means that interactions rarely should be quantified in terms of cause-and-effect. We furthermore introduce a framework for how natural causal effects can be characterized when they exist. Our work also has important consequences for the interpretation of other approaches commonly applied to study causality in the brain. Specifically, we discuss how the notion of natural causal effects can be combined with Granger causality and Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM). Our results are generic and the concept of natural causal effects is relevant in all areas where the effects of interactions between subsystems are of interest.

  14. When Two Become One: The Limits of Causality Analysis of Brain Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Chicharro, Daniel; Ledberg, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Biological systems often consist of multiple interacting subsystems, the brain being a prominent example. To understand the functions of such systems it is important to analyze if and how the subsystems interact and to describe the effect of these interactions. In this work we investigate the extent to which the cause-and-effect framework is applicable to such interacting subsystems. We base our work on a standard notion of causal effects and define a new concept called natural causal effect. This new concept takes into account that when studying interactions in biological systems, one is often not interested in the effect of perturbations that alter the dynamics. The interest is instead in how the causal connections participate in the generation of the observed natural dynamics. We identify the constraints on the structure of the causal connections that determine the existence of natural causal effects. In particular, we show that the influence of the causal connections on the natural dynamics of the system often cannot be analyzed in terms of the causal effect of one subsystem on another. Only when the causing subsystem is autonomous with respect to the rest can this interpretation be made. We note that subsystems in the brain are often bidirectionally connected, which means that interactions rarely should be quantified in terms of cause-and-effect. We furthermore introduce a framework for how natural causal effects can be characterized when they exist. Our work also has important consequences for the interpretation of other approaches commonly applied to study causality in the brain. Specifically, we discuss how the notion of natural causal effects can be combined with Granger causality and Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM). Our results are generic and the concept of natural causal effects is relevant in all areas where the effects of interactions between subsystems are of interest. PMID:22438878

  15. 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.

  16. Velocity Requirements for Causality Violation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modanese, Giovanni

    We re-examine the "Regge-Tolman paradox" with reference to some recent experimental results. It is straightforward to find a formula for the velocity v of the moving system required to produce causality violation. This formula typically yields a velocity very close to the speed of light (for instance, v/c > 0.97 for X-shaped microwaves), which raises some doubts about the real physical observability of the violations. We then compute the velocity requirement introducing a delay between the reception of the primary signal and the emission of the secondary. It turns out that in principle for any delay it is possible to find moving observers able to produce active causal violation. This is mathematically due to the singularity of the Lorentz transformations for β →1. For a realistic delay due to the propagation of a luminal precursor, we find that causality violations in the reported experiments are still more unlikely (v/c > 0.989), and even in the hypothesis that the superluminal propagation velocity goes to infinity, the velocity requirement is bounded by v/c > 0.62. We also prove that if two oscopic bodies exchange energy and momentum through superluminal signals, then the swap of signal source and target is incompatible with the Lorentz transformations; therefore it is not possible to distinguish between source and target, even with reference to a definite reference frame.

  17. 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…

  18. Identifying tree crown delineation shapes and need for remediation on high resolution imagery using an evidence based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leckie, Donald G.; Walsworth, Nicholas; Gougeon, François A.

    2016-04-01

    In order to fully realize the benefits of automated individual tree mapping for tree species, health, forest inventory attribution and forest management decision making, the tree delineations should be as good as possible. The concept of identifying poorly delineated tree crowns and suggesting likely types of remediation was investigated. Delineations (isolations or isols) were classified into shape types reflecting whether they were realistic tree shapes and the likely kind of remediation needed. Shape type was classified by an evidence based rules approach using primitives based on isol size, shape indices, morphology, the presence of local maxima, and matches with template models representing trees of different sizes. A test set containing 50,000 isols based on an automated tree delineation of 40 cm multispectral airborne imagery of a diverse temperate-boreal forest site was used. Isolations representing single trees or several trees were the focus, as opposed to cases where a tree is split into several isols. For eight shape classes from regular through to convolute, shape classification accuracy was in the order of 62%; simplifying to six classes accuracy was 83%. Shape type did give an indication of the type of remediation and there were 6% false alarms (i.e., isols classed as needing remediation but did not). Alternately, there were 5% omissions (i.e., isols of regular shape and not earmarked for remediation that did need remediation). The usefulness of the concept of identifying poor delineations in need of remediation was demonstrated and one suite of methods developed and shown to be effective.

  19. Children's use of interventions to learn causal structure.

    PubMed

    McCormack, Teresa; Bramley, Neil; Frosch, Caren; Patrick, Fiona; Lagnado, David

    2016-01-01

    Children between 5 and 8 years of age freely intervened on a three-variable causal system, with their task being to discover whether it was a common cause structure or one of two causal chains. From 6 or 7 years of age, children were able to use information from their interventions to correctly disambiguate the structure of a causal chain. We used a Bayesian model to examine children's interventions on the system; this showed that with development children became more efficient in producing the interventions needed to disambiguate the causal structure and that the quality of interventions, as measured by their informativeness, improved developmentally. The latter measure was a significant predictor of children's correct inferences about the causal structure. A second experiment showed that levels of performance were not reduced in a task where children did not select and carry out interventions themselves, indicating no advantage for self-directed learning. However, children's performance was not related to intervention quality in these circumstances, suggesting that children learn in a different way when they carry out interventions themselves. PMID:26298433

  20. An Empirical Approach to Ocean Color Data: Reducing Bias and the Need for Post-Launch Radiometric Re-Calibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregg, Watson W.; Casey, Nancy W.; O'Reilly, John E.; Esaias, Wayne E.

    2009-01-01

    A new empirical approach is developed for ocean color remote sensing. Called the Empirical Satellite Radiance-In situ Data (ESRID) algorithm, the approach uses relationships between satellite water-leaving radiances and in situ data after full processing, i.e., at Level-3, to improve estimates of surface variables while relaxing requirements on post-launch radiometric re-calibration. The approach is evaluated using SeaWiFS chlorophyll, which is the longest time series of the most widely used ocean color geophysical product. The results suggest that ESRID 1) drastically reduces the bias of ocean chlorophyll, most impressively in coastal regions, 2) modestly improves the uncertainty, and 3) reduces the sensitivity of global annual median chlorophyll to changes in radiometric re-calibration. Simulated calibration errors of 1% or less produce small changes in global median chlorophyll (less than 2.7%). In contrast, the standard NASA algorithm set is highly sensitive to radiometric calibration: similar 1% calibration errors produce changes in global median chlorophyll up to nearly 25%. We show that 0.1% radiometric calibration error (about 1% in water-leaving radiance) is needed to prevent radiometric calibration errors from changing global annual median chlorophyll more than the maximum interannual variability observed in the SeaWiFS 9-year record (+/- 3%), using the standard method. This is much more stringent than the goal for SeaWiFS of 5% uncertainty for water leaving radiance. The results suggest ocean color programs might consider less emphasis of expensive efforts to improve post-launch radiometric re-calibration in favor of increased efforts to characterize in situ observations of ocean surface geophysical products. Although the results here are focused on chlorophyll, in principle the approach described by ESRID can be applied to any surface variable potentially observable by visible remote sensing.

  1. Structural equation modeling: building and evaluating causal models: Chapter 8

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, James B.; Scheiner, Samuel M.; Schoolmaster, Donald R.

    2015-01-01

    Scientists frequently wish to study hypotheses about causal relationships, rather than just statistical associations. This chapter addresses the question of how scientists might approach this ambitious task. Here we describe structural equation modeling (SEM), a general modeling framework for the study of causal hypotheses. Our goals are to (a) concisely describe the methodology, (b) illustrate its utility for investigating ecological systems, and (c) provide guidance for its application. Throughout our presentation, we rely on a study of the effects of human activities on wetland ecosystems to make our description of methodology more tangible. We begin by presenting the fundamental principles of SEM, including both its distinguishing characteristics and the requirements for modeling hypotheses about causal networks. We then illustrate SEM procedures and offer guidelines for conducting SEM analyses. Our focus in this presentation is on basic modeling objectives and core techniques. Pointers to additional modeling options are also given.

  2. Predicting the Cosmological Constant from the CausalEntropic Principle

    SciTech Connect

    Bousso, Raphael; Harnik, Roni; Kribs, Graham D.; Perez, Gilad

    2007-02-20

    We compute the expected value of the cosmological constant in our universe from the Causal Entropic Principle. Since observers must obey the laws of thermodynamics and causality, it asserts that physical parameters are most likely to be found in the range of values for which the total entropy production within a causally connected region is maximized. Despite the absence of more explicit anthropic criteria, the resulting probability distribution turns out to be in excellent agreement with observation. In particular, we find that dust heated by stars dominates the entropy production, demonstrating the remarkable power of this thermodynamic selection criterion. The alternative approach--weighting by the number of ''observers per baryon''--is less well-defined, requires problematic assumptions about the nature of observers, and yet prefers values larger than present experimental bounds.

  3. A review of causal inference for biomedical informatics

    PubMed Central

    Kleinberg, Samantha; Hripcsak, George

    2011-01-01

    Causality is an important concept throughout the health sciences and is particularly vital for informatics work such as finding adverse drug events or risk factors for disease using electronic health records. While philosophers and scientists working for centuries on formalizing what makes something a cause have not reached a consensus, new methods for inference show that we can make progress in this area in many practical cases. This article reviews core concepts in understanding and identifying causality and then reviews current computational methods for inference and explanation, focusing on inference from large-scale observational data. While the problem is not fully solved, we show that graphical models and Granger causality provide useful frameworks for inference and that a more recent approach based on temporal logic addresses some of the limitations of these methods. PMID:21782035

  4. Predicting the Cosmological Constant from the Causal Entropic Principle

    SciTech Connect

    Bousso, Raphael; Bousso, Raphael; Harnik, Roni; Kribs, Graham D.; Perez, Gilad

    2007-05-01

    We compute the expected value of the cosmological constant in our universe from the Causal Entropic Principle. Since observers must obey the laws of thermodynamics and causality, the principle asserts that physical parameters are most likely to be found in the range of values for which the total entropy production within a causally connected region is maximized. Despite the absence of more explicit anthropic criteria, the resulting probability distribution turns out to be in excellent agreement with observation. In particular, we find that dust heated by stars dominates the entropy production, demonstrating the remarkable power of this thermodynamic selection criterion. The alternative approach-weighting by the number of"observers per baryon" -- is less well-defined, requires problematic assumptions about the nature of observers, and yet prefers values larger than present experimental bounds.

  5. Statistical analysis of single-trial Granger causality spectra.

    PubMed

    Brovelli, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Granger causality analysis is becoming central for the analysis of interactions between neural populations and oscillatory networks. However, it is currently unclear whether single-trial estimates of Granger causality spectra can be used reliably to assess directional influence. We addressed this issue by combining single-trial Granger causality spectra with statistical inference based on general linear models. The approach was assessed on synthetic and neurophysiological data. Synthetic bivariate data was generated using two autoregressive processes with unidirectional coupling. We simulated two hypothetical experimental conditions: the first mimicked a constant and unidirectional coupling, whereas the second modelled a linear increase in coupling across trials. The statistical analysis of single-trial Granger causality spectra, based on t-tests and linear regression, successfully recovered the underlying pattern of directional influence. In addition, we characterised the minimum number of trials and coupling strengths required for significant detection of directionality. Finally, we demonstrated the relevance for neurophysiology by analysing two local field potentials (LFPs) simultaneously recorded from the prefrontal and premotor cortices of a macaque monkey performing a conditional visuomotor task. Our results suggest that the combination of single-trial Granger causality spectra and statistical inference provides a valuable tool for the analysis of large-scale cortical networks and brain connectivity.

  6. Improving causality induction with category learning.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yi; Wang, Zhihong; Shao, Zhiqing

    2014-01-01

    Causal relations are of fundamental importance for human perception and reasoning. According to the nature of causality, causality has explicit and implicit forms. In the case of explicit form, causal-effect relations exist at either clausal or discourse levels. The implicit causal-effect relations heavily rely on empirical analysis and evidence accumulation. This paper proposes a comprehensive causality extraction system (CL-CIS) integrated with the means of category-learning. CL-CIS considers cause-effect relations in both explicit and implicit forms and especially practices the relation between category and causality in computation. In elaborately designed experiments, CL-CIS is evaluated together with general causality analysis system (GCAS) and general causality analysis system with learning (GCAS-L), and it testified to its own capability and performance in construction of cause-effect relations. This paper confirms the expectation that the precision and coverage of causality induction can be remarkably improved by means of causal and category learning.

  7. Improving Causality Induction with Category Learning

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhihong; Shao, Zhiqing

    2014-01-01

    Causal relations are of fundamental importance for human perception and reasoning. According to the nature of causality, causality has explicit and implicit forms. In the case of explicit form, causal-effect relations exist at either clausal or discourse levels. The implicit causal-effect relations heavily rely on empirical analysis and evidence accumulation. This paper proposes a comprehensive causality extraction system (CL-CIS) integrated with the means of category-learning. CL-CIS considers cause-effect relations in both explicit and implicit forms and especially practices the relation between category and causality in computation. In elaborately designed experiments, CL-CIS is evaluated together with general causality analysis system (GCAS) and general causality analysis system with learning (GCAS-L), and it testified to its own capability and performance in construction of cause-effect relations. This paper confirms the expectation that the precision and coverage of causality induction can be remarkably improved by means of causal and category learning. PMID:24883419

  8. Voluntary action and causality in temporal binding.

    PubMed

    Cravo, Andre M; Claessens, Peter M E; Baldo, Marcus V C

    2009-10-01

    Previous studies have documented temporal attraction in perceived times of actions and their effects. While some authors argue that voluntary action is a necessary condition for this phenomenon, others claim that the causal relationship between action and effect is the crucial ingredient. In the present study, we investigate voluntary action and causality as the necessary and sufficient conditions for temporal binding. We used a variation of the launching effect proposed by Michotte, in which participants controlled the launch stimulus in some blocks. Volunteers reported causality ratings and estimated the interval between the two events. Our results show dissociations between causality ratings and temporal estimation. While causality ratings are not affected by voluntary action, temporal bindings were only found in the presence of both voluntary action and high causality. Our results indicate that voluntary action and causality are both necessary for the emergence of temporal binding.

  9. A capacity-based approach for addressing ancillary care needs: implications for research in resource limited settings.

    PubMed

    Bright, Patricia L; Nelson, Robert M

    2012-11-01

    A paediatric clinical trial conducted in a developing country is likely to encounter conditions or illnesses in participants unrelated to the study. Since local healthcare resources may be inadequate to meet these needs, research clinicians may face the dilemma of deciding when to provide ancillary care and to what extent. The authors propose a model for identifying ancillary care obligations that draws on assessments of urgency, the capacity of the local healthcare infrastructure and the capacity of the research infrastructure. The model lends itself to a decision tree that can be adapted to the local context and resources so as to provide procedural guidance. This approach can help in planning and establishing organisational policies that govern the provision of ancillary care.

  10. Monitoring is not enough: on the need for a model-based approach to migratory bird management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Bonney, Rick; Pashley, David N.; Cooper, Robert; Niles, Larry

    2000-01-01

    Informed management requires information about system state and about effects of potential management actions on system state. Population monitoring can provide the needed information about system state, as well as information that can be used to investigate effects of management actions. Three methods for investigating effects of management on bird populations are (1) retrospective analysis, (2) formal experimentation and constrained-design studies, and (3) adaptive management. Retrospective analyses provide weak inferences, regardless of the quality of the monitoring data. The active use of monitoring data in experimental or constrained-design studies or in adaptive management is recommended. Under both approaches, learning occurs via the comparison of estimates from the monitoring program with predictions from competing management models.

  11. 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

  12. Enhancing patient engagement in chronic disease self-management support initiatives in Australia: the need for an integrated approach.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Joanne E; Briggs, Andrew M; Brand, Caroline A; Osborne, Richard H

    2008-11-17

    Although emphasis on the prevention of chronic disease is important, governments in Australia need to balance this with continued assistance to the 77% of Australians reported to have at least one long-term medical condition. Self-management support is provided by health care and community services to enhance patients' ability to care for their chronic conditions in a cooperative framework. In Australia, there is a range of self-management support initiatives that have targeted patients (most notably, chronic disease self-management education programs) and health professionals (financial incentives, education and training). To date, there has been little coordination or integration of these self-management initiatives to enhance the patient-health professional clinical encounter. If self-management support is to work, there is a need to better understand the infrastructure, systems and training that are required to engage the key stakeholders - patients, carers, health professionals, and health care organisations. A coordinated approach is required in implementing these elements within existing and new health service models to enhance uptake and sustainability.

  13. Planning for climate change: the need for mechanistic systems-based approaches to study climate change impacts on diarrheal diseases

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Karen; Zimmerman, Julie; Elliott, Mark; Bartram, Jamie; Carlton, Elizabeth; Clasen, Thomas; Dillingham, Rebecca; Eisenberg, Joseph; Guerrant, Richard; Lantagne, Daniele; Mihelcic, James; Nelson, Kara

    2016-01-01

    Increased precipitation and temperature variability as well as extreme events related to climate change are predicted to affect the availability and quality of water globally. Already heavily burdened with diarrheal diseases due to poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, communities throughout the developing world lack the adaptive capacity to sufficiently respond to the additional adversity caused by climate change. Studies suggest that diarrhea rates are positively correlated with increased temperature, and show a complex relationship with precipitation. Although climate change will likely increase rates of diarrheal diseases on average, there is a poor mechanistic understanding of the underlying disease transmission processes and substantial uncertainty surrounding current estimates. This makes it difficult to recommend appropriate adaptation strategies. We review the relevant climate-related mechanisms behind transmission of diarrheal disease pathogens and argue that systems-based mechanistic approaches incorporating human, engineered and environmental components are urgently needed. We then review successful systems-based approaches used in other environmental health fields and detail one modeling framework to predict climate change impacts on diarrheal diseases and design adaptation strategies. PMID:26799810

  14. Planning for climate change: The need for mechanistic systems-based approaches to study climate change impacts on diarrheal diseases.

    PubMed

    Mellor, Jonathan E; Levy, Karen; Zimmerman, Julie; Elliott, Mark; Bartram, Jamie; Carlton, Elizabeth; Clasen, Thomas; Dillingham, Rebecca; Eisenberg, Joseph; Guerrant, Richard; Lantagne, Daniele; Mihelcic, James; Nelson, Kara

    2016-04-01

    Increased precipitation and temperature variability as well as extreme events related to climate change are predicted to affect the availability and quality of water globally. Already heavily burdened with diarrheal diseases due to poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, communities throughout the developing world lack the adaptive capacity to sufficiently respond to the additional adversity caused by climate change. Studies suggest that diarrhea rates are positively correlated with increased temperature, and show a complex relationship with precipitation. Although climate change will likely increase rates of diarrheal diseases on average, there is a poor mechanistic understanding of the underlying disease transmission processes and substantial uncertainty surrounding current estimates. This makes it difficult to recommend appropriate adaptation strategies. We review the relevant climate-related mechanisms behind transmission of diarrheal disease pathogens and argue that systems-based mechanistic approaches incorporating human, engineered and environmental components are urgently needed. We then review successful systems-based approaches used in other environmental health fields and detail one modeling framework to predict climate change impacts on diarrheal diseases and design adaptation strategies.

  15. Planning for climate change: The need for mechanistic systems-based approaches to study climate change impacts on diarrheal diseases.

    PubMed

    Mellor, Jonathan E; Levy, Karen; Zimmerman, Julie; Elliott, Mark; Bartram, Jamie; Carlton, Elizabeth; Clasen, Thomas; Dillingham, Rebecca; Eisenberg, Joseph; Guerrant, Richard; Lantagne, Daniele; Mihelcic, James; Nelson, Kara

    2016-04-01

    Increased precipitation and temperature variability as well as extreme events related to climate change are predicted to affect the availability and quality of water globally. Already heavily burdened with diarrheal diseases due to poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, communities throughout the developing world lack the adaptive capacity to sufficiently respond to the additional adversity caused by climate change. Studies suggest that diarrhea rates are positively correlated with increased temperature, and show a complex relationship with precipitation. Although climate change will likely increase rates of diarrheal diseases on average, there is a poor mechanistic understanding of the underlying disease transmission processes and substantial uncertainty surrounding current estimates. This makes it difficult to recommend appropriate adaptation strategies. We review the relevant climate-related mechanisms behind transmission of diarrheal disease pathogens and argue that systems-based mechanistic approaches incorporating human, engineered and environmental components are urgently needed. We then review successful systems-based approaches used in other environmental health fields and detail one modeling framework to predict climate change impacts on diarrheal diseases and design adaptation strategies. PMID:26799810

  16. Inferring causal molecular networks: empirical assessment through a community-based effort.

    PubMed

    Hill, Steven M; Heiser, Laura M; Cokelaer, Thomas; Unger, Michael; Nesser, Nicole K; Carlin, Daniel E; Zhang, Yang; Sokolov, Artem; Paull, Evan O; Wong, Chris K; Graim, Kiley; Bivol, Adrian; Wang, Haizhou; Zhu, Fan; Afsari, Bahman; Danilova, Ludmila V; Favorov, Alexander V; Lee, Wai Shing; Taylor, Dane; Hu, Chenyue W; Long, Byron L; Noren, David P; Bisberg, Alexander J; Mills, Gordon B; Gray, Joe W; Kellen, Michael; Norman, Thea; Friend, Stephen; Qutub, Amina A; Fertig, Elana J; Guan, Yuanfang; Song, Mingzhou; Stuart, Joshua M; Spellman, Paul T; Koeppl, Heinz; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio; Mukherjee, Sach

    2016-04-01

    It remains unclear whether causal, rather than merely correlational, relationships in molecular networks can be inferred in complex biological settings. Here we describe the HPN-DREAM network inference challenge, which focused on learning causal influences in signaling networks. We used phosphoprotein data from cancer cell lines as well as in silico data from a nonlinear dynamical model. Using the phosphoprotein data, we scored more than 2,000 networks submitted by challenge participants. The networks spanned 32 biological contexts and were scored in terms of causal validity with respect to unseen interventional data. A number of approaches were effective, and incorporating known biology was generally advantageous. Additional sub-challenges considered time-course prediction and visualization. Our results suggest that learning causal relationships may be feasible in complex settings such as disease states. Furthermore, our scoring approach provides a practical way to empirically assess inferred molecular networks in a causal sense.

  17. Inferring causal molecular networks: empirical assessment through a community-based effort.

    PubMed

    Hill, Steven M; Heiser, Laura M; Cokelaer, Thomas; Unger, Michael; Nesser, Nicole K; Carlin, Daniel E; Zhang, Yang; Sokolov, Artem; Paull, Evan O; Wong, Chris K; Graim, Kiley; Bivol, Adrian; Wang, Haizhou; Zhu, Fan; Afsari, Bahman; Danilova, Ludmila V; Favorov, Alexander V; Lee, Wai Shing; Taylor, Dane; Hu, Chenyue W; Long, Byron L; Noren, David P; Bisberg, Alexander J; Mills, Gordon B; Gray, Joe W; Kellen, Michael; Norman, Thea; Friend, Stephen; Qutub, Amina A; Fertig, Elana J; Guan, Yuanfang; Song, Mingzhou; Stuart, Joshua M; Spellman, Paul T; Koeppl, Heinz; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio; Mukherjee, Sach

    2016-04-01

    It remains unclear whether causal, rather than merely correlational, relationships in molecular networks can be inferred in complex biological settings. Here we describe the HPN-DREAM network inference challenge, which focused on learning causal influences in signaling networks. We used phosphoprotein data from cancer cell lines as well as in silico data from a nonlinear dynamical model. Using the phosphoprotein data, we scored more than 2,000 networks submitted by challenge participants. The networks spanned 32 biological contexts and were scored in terms of causal validity with respect to unseen interventional data. A number of approaches were effective, and incorporating known biology was generally advantageous. Additional sub-challenges considered time-course prediction and visualization. Our results suggest that learning causal relationships may be feasible in complex settings such as disease states. Furthermore, our scoring approach provides a practical way to empirically assess inferred molecular networks in a causal sense. PMID:26901648

  18. Applying Causal Reasoning to Analyze Value Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macedo, Patrícia; Camarinha-Matos, Luis M.

    Collaborative networked organizations are composed of heterogeneous and autonomous entities. Thus it is natural that each member has its own set of values and preferences, as a result, conflicts among partners might emerge due to some values misalignment. Therefore, tools to support the analysis of Value Systems in a collaborative context are relevant to improve the network management. Since a Value System reflects the set of values and preferences of an actor, which are cognitive issues, a cognitive approach based on qualitative causal maps is suggested. Qualitative inference methods are presented in order to assess the potential for conflicts among network members and the positive impact between members' Value Systems. The software tool developed, in order to support the proposed framework and the qualitative inference methods, is briefly presented.

  19. Equity Theory Ratios as Causal Schemas.

    PubMed

    Arvanitis, Alexios; Hantzi, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Equity theory approaches justice evaluations based on ratios of exchange inputs to exchange outcomes. Situations are evaluated as just if ratios are equal and unjust if unequal. We suggest that equity ratios serve a more fundamental cognitive function than the evaluation of justice. More particularly, we propose that they serve as causal schemas for exchange outcomes, that is, they assist in determining whether certain outcomes are caused by inputs of other people in the context of an exchange process. Equality or inequality of ratios in this sense points to an exchange process. Indeed, Study 1 shows that different exchange situations, such as disproportional or balanced proportional situations, create perceptions of give-and-take on the basis of equity ratios. Study 2 shows that perceptions of justice are based more on communicatively accepted rules of interaction than equity-based evaluations, thereby offering a distinction between an attribution and an evaluation cognitive process for exchange outcomes. PMID:27594846

  20. Lightweight causal and atomic group multicast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Birman, Kenneth P.; Schiper, Andre; Stephenson, Pat

    1991-01-01

    The ISIS toolkit is a distributed programming environment based on support for virtually synchronous process groups and group communication. A suite of protocols is presented to support this model. The approach revolves around a multicast primitive, called CBCAST, which implements a fault-tolerant, causally ordered message delivery. This primitive can be used directly or extended into a totally ordered multicast primitive, called ABCAST. It normally delivers messages immediately upon reception, and imposes a space overhead proportional to the size of the groups to which the sender belongs, usually a small number. It is concluded that process groups and group communication can achieve performance and scaling comparable to that of a raw message transport layer. This finding contradicts the widespread concern that this style of distributed computing may be unacceptably costly.

  1. Equity Theory Ratios as Causal Schemas.

    PubMed

    Arvanitis, Alexios; Hantzi, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Equity theory approaches justice evaluations based on ratios of exchange inputs to exchange outcomes. Situations are evaluated as just if ratios are equal and unjust if unequal. We suggest that equity ratios serve a more fundamental cognitive function than the evaluation of justice. More particularly, we propose that they serve as causal schemas for exchange outcomes, that is, they assist in determining whether certain outcomes are caused by inputs of other people in the context of an exchange process. Equality or inequality of ratios in this sense points to an exchange process. Indeed, Study 1 shows that different exchange situations, such as disproportional or balanced proportional situations, create perceptions of give-and-take on the basis of equity ratios. Study 2 shows that perceptions of justice are based more on communicatively accepted rules of interaction than equity-based evaluations, thereby offering a distinction between an attribution and an evaluation cognitive process for exchange outcomes.

  2. Equity Theory Ratios as Causal Schemas

    PubMed Central

    Arvanitis, Alexios; Hantzi, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Equity theory approaches justice evaluations based on ratios of exchange inputs to exchange outcomes. Situations are evaluated as just if ratios are equal and unjust if unequal. We suggest that equity ratios serve a more fundamental cognitive function than the evaluation of justice. More particularly, we propose that they serve as causal schemas for exchange outcomes, that is, they assist in determining whether certain outcomes are caused by inputs of other people in the context of an exchange process. Equality or inequality of ratios in this sense points to an exchange process. Indeed, Study 1 shows that different exchange situations, such as disproportional or balanced proportional situations, create perceptions of give-and-take on the basis of equity ratios. Study 2 shows that perceptions of justice are based more on communicatively accepted rules of interaction than equity-based evaluations, thereby offering a distinction between an attribution and an evaluation cognitive process for exchange outcomes.

  3. Equity Theory Ratios as Causal Schemas

    PubMed Central

    Arvanitis, Alexios; Hantzi, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Equity theory approaches justice evaluations based on ratios of exchange inputs to exchange outcomes. Situations are evaluated as just if ratios are equal and unjust if unequal. We suggest that equity ratios serve a more fundamental cognitive function than the evaluation of justice. More particularly, we propose that they serve as causal schemas for exchange outcomes, that is, they assist in determining whether certain outcomes are caused by inputs of other people in the context of an exchange process. Equality or inequality of ratios in this sense points to an exchange process. Indeed, Study 1 shows that different exchange situations, such as disproportional or balanced proportional situations, create perceptions of give-and-take on the basis of equity ratios. Study 2 shows that perceptions of justice are based more on communicatively accepted rules of interaction than equity-based evaluations, thereby offering a distinction between an attribution and an evaluation cognitive process for exchange outcomes. PMID:27594846

  4. Algorithms of causal inference for the analysis of effective connectivity among brain regions

    PubMed Central

    Chicharro, Daniel; Panzeri, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, powerful general algorithms of causal inference have been developed. In particular, in the framework of Pearl’s causality, algorithms of inductive causation (IC and IC*) provide a procedure to determine which causal connections among nodes in a network can be inferred from empirical observations even in the presence of latent variables, indicating the limits of what can be learned without active manipulation of the system. These algorithms can in principle become important complements to established techniques such as Granger causality and Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) to analyze causal influences (effective connectivity) among brain regions. However, their application to dynamic processes has not been yet examined. Here we study how to apply these algorithms to time-varying signals such as electrophysiological or neuroimaging signals. We propose a new algorithm which combines the basic principles of the previous algorithms with Granger causality to obtain a representation of the causal relations suited to dynamic processes. Furthermore, we use graphical criteria to predict dynamic statistical dependencies between the signals from the causal structure. We show how some problems for causal inference from neural signals (e.g., measurement noise, hemodynamic responses, and time aggregation) can be understood in a general graphical approach. Focusing on the effect of spatial aggregation, we show that when causal inference is performed at a coarser scale than the one at which the neural sources interact, results strongly depend on the degree of integration of the neural sources aggregated in the signals, and thus characterize more the intra-areal properties than the interactions among regions. We finally discuss how the explicit consideration of latent processes contributes to understand Granger causality and DCM as well as to distinguish functional and effective connectivity. PMID:25071541

  5. Algorithms of causal inference for the analysis of effective connectivity among brain regions.

    PubMed

    Chicharro, Daniel; Panzeri, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, powerful general algorithms of causal inference have been developed. In particular, in the framework of Pearl's causality, algorithms of inductive causation (IC and IC(*)) provide a procedure to determine which causal connections among nodes in a network can be inferred from empirical observations even in the presence of latent variables, indicating the limits of what can be learned without active manipulation of the system. These algorithms can in principle become important complements to established techniques such as Granger causality and Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) to analyze causal influences (effective connectivity) among brain regions. However, their application to dynamic processes has not been yet examined. Here we study how to apply these algorithms to time-varying signals such as electrophysiological or neuroimaging signals. We propose a new algorithm which combines the basic principles of the previous algorithms with Granger causality to obtain a representation of the causal relations suited to dynamic processes. Furthermore, we use graphical criteria to predict dynamic statistical dependencies between the signals from the causal structure. We show how some problems for causal inference from neural signals (e.g., measurement noise, hemodynamic responses, and time aggregation) can be understood in a general graphical approach. Focusing on the effect of spatial aggregation, we show that when causal inference is performed at a coarser scale than the one at which the neural sources interact, results strongly depend on the degree of integration of the neural sources aggregated in the signals, and thus characterize more the intra-areal properties than the interactions among regions. We finally discuss how the explicit consideration of latent processes contributes to understand Granger causality and DCM as well as to distinguish functional and effective connectivity.

  6. How prescriptive norms influence causal inferences.

    PubMed

    Samland, Jana; Waldmann, Michael R

    2016-11-01

    Recent experimental findings suggest that prescriptive norms influence causal inferences. The cognitive mechanism underlying this finding is still under debate. We compare three competing theories: The culpable control model of blame argues that reasoners tend to exaggerate the causal influence of norm-violating agents, which should lead to relatively higher causal strength estimates for these agents. By contrast, the counterfactual reasoning account of causal selection assumes that norms do not alter the representation of the causal model, but rather later causal selection stages. According to this view, reasoners tend to preferentially consider counterfactual states of abnormal rather than normal factors, which leads to the choice of the abnormal factor in a causal selection task. A third view, the accountability hypothesis, claims that the effects of prescriptive norms are generated by the ambiguity of the causal test question. Asking whether an agent is a cause can be understood as a request to assess her causal contribution but also her moral accountability. According to this theory norm effects on causal selection are mediated by accountability judgments that are not only sensitive to the abnormality of behavior but also to mitigating factors, such as intentionality and knowledge of norms. Five experiments are presented that favor the accountability account over the two alternative theories. PMID:27591550

  7. Space and time in perceptual causality.

    PubMed

    Straube, Benjamin; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2010-01-01

    Inferring causality is a fundamental feature of human cognition that allows us to theorize about and predict future states of the world. Michotte suggested that humans automatically perceive causality based on certain perceptual features of events. However, individual differences in judgments of perceptual causality cast doubt on Michotte's view. To gain insights in the neural basis of individual difference in the perception of causality, our participants judged causal relationships in animations of a blue ball colliding with a red ball (a launching event) while fMRI-data were acquired. Spatial continuity and temporal contiguity were varied parametrically in these stimuli. We did not find consistent brain activation differences between trials judged as caused and those judged as non-caused, making it unlikely that humans have universal instantiation of perceptual causality in the brain. However, participants were slower to respond to and showed greater neural activity for violations of causality, suggesting that humans are biased to expect causal relationships when moving objects appear to interact. Our participants demonstrated considerable individual differences in their sensitivity to spatial and temporal characteristics in perceiving causality. These qualitative differences in sensitivity to time or space in perceiving causality were instantiated in individual differences in activation of the left basal ganglia or right parietal lobe, respectively. Thus, the perception that the movement of one object causes the movement of another is triggered by elemental spatial and temporal sensitivities, which themselves are instantiated in specific distinct neural networks. PMID:20463866

  8. The discourse of causal explanations in school science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Tammy Jayne Anne

    Researchers and educators working from a systemic functional linguistic perspective have provided a body of work on science discourse which offers an excellent starting point for examining the linguistic aspects of the development of causal discourse in school science, discourse which Derewianka (1995) claimed is critical to success in secondary school. No work has yet described the development of causal language by identifying the linguistic features present in oral discourse or by comparing the causal discourse of native and non-native (ESL) speakers of English. The current research responds to this gap by examining the oral discourse collected from ESL and non-ESL students at the primary and high school grades. Specifically, it asks the following questions: (1) How do the teachers and students in these four contexts develop causal explanations and their relevant taxonomies through classroom interactions? (2) What are the causal discourse features being used by the students in these four contexts to construct oral causal explanations? The findings of the social practice analysis showed that the teachers in the four contexts differed in their approaches to teaching, with the primary school mainstream teacher focusing largely on the hands-on practice , the primary school ESL teacher moving from practice to theory, the high school mainstream teacher moving from theory to practice, and the high school ESL teacher relying primarily on theory. The findings from the quantitative, small corpus approach suggest that the developmental path of cause which has been identified in the writing of experts shows up not only in written texts but also in the oral texts which learners construct. Moreover, this move appears when the discourse of high school ESL and non-ESL students is compared, suggesting a developmental progression in the acquisition of these features by these students. The findings also reveal that the knowledge constructed, as shown by the concept maps created

  9. Inferring connectivity in networked dynamical systems: Challenges using Granger causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lusch, Bethany; Maia, Pedro D.; Kutz, J. Nathan

    2016-09-01

    Determining the interactions and causal relationships between nodes in an unknown networked dynamical system from measurement data alone is a challenging, contemporary task across the physical, biological, and engineering sciences. Statistical methods, such as the increasingly popular Granger causality, are being broadly applied for data-driven discovery of connectivity in fields from economics to neuroscience. A common version of the algorithm is called pairwise-conditional Granger causality, which we systematically test on data generated from a nonlinear model with known causal network structure. Specifically, we simulate networked systems of Kuramoto oscillators and use the Multivariate Granger Causality Toolbox to discover the underlying coupling structure of the system. We compare the inferred results to the original connectivity for a wide range of parameters such as initial conditions, connection strengths, community structures, and natural frequencies. Our results show a significant systematic disparity between the original and inferred network, unless the true structure is extremely sparse or dense. Specifically, the inferred networks have significant discrepancies in the number of edges and the eigenvalues of the connectivity matrix, demonstrating that they typically generate dynamics which are inconsistent with the ground truth. We provide a detailed account of the dynamics for the Erdős-Rényi network model due to its importance in random graph theory and network science. We conclude that Granger causal methods for inferring network structure are highly suspect and should always be checked against a ground truth model. The results also advocate the need to perform such comparisons with any network inference method since the inferred connectivity results appear to have very little to do with the ground truth system.

  10. Physical activity levels and supportive care needs for physical activity among breast cancer survivors with different psychosocial profiles: a cluster-analytical approach.

    PubMed

    Charlier, C; Pauwels, E; Lechner, L; Spittaels, H; Bourgois, J; DE Bourdeaudhuij, I; VAN Hoof, E

    2012-11-01

    The transition from breast cancer patient to survivor is associated with many treatment-related and psychosocial factors, which can influence health behaviour and associated needs. First, this study aimed to identify clusters of treatment-related and psychosocial factors among breast cancer survivors. Second, clusters' physical activity levels and care needs for physical activity were evaluated. Breast cancer survivors (n= 440; 52 ± 8 years) (3 weeks to 6 months post treatment) completed self-reports on physical and psychological symptoms; illness representations; social support and coping; physical activity and care needs for physical activity. Analyses identified four clusters: (1) a low distress-active approach group; (2) a low distress-resigned approach group; (3) a high distress-active approach group; and (4) a high distress-emotional approach group. Physical activity levels were higher in the low distress groups than in the high distress-emotional approach group. However, women with low distress and an active approach reported equal care needs for physical activity than women with high distress and an emotional approach. These findings suggest that care needs for physical activity are unrelated to distress and actual physical activity levels. The results emphasise the importance of screening for needs and provide a framework supporting the referral of breast cancer survivors to tailored interventions.

  11. Causal diagrams in systems epidemiology

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Methods of diagrammatic modelling have been greatly developed in the past two decades. Outside the context of infectious diseases, systematic use of diagrams in epidemiology has been mainly confined to the analysis of a single link: that between a disease outcome and its proximal determinant(s). Transmitted causes ("causes of causes") tend not to be systematically analysed. The infectious disease epidemiology modelling tradition models the human population in its environment, typically with the exposure-health relationship and the determinants of exposure being considered at individual and group/ecological levels, respectively. Some properties of the resulting systems are quite general, and are seen in unrelated contexts such as biochemical pathways. Confining analysis to a single link misses the opportunity to discover such properties. The structure of a causal diagram is derived from knowledge about how the world works, as well as from statistical evidence. A single diagram can be used to characterise a whole research area, not just a single analysis - although this depends on the degree of consistency of the causal relationships between different populations - and can therefore be used to integrate multiple datasets. Additional advantages of system-wide models include: the use of instrumental variables - now emerging as an important technique in epidemiology in the context of mendelian randomisation, but under-used in the exploitation of "natural experiments"; the explicit use of change models, which have advantages with respect to inferring causation; and in the detection and elucidation of feedback. PMID:22429606

  12. A Rational Approach to Estimating the Surgical Demand Elasticity Needed to Guide Manpower Reallocation during Contagious Outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Tsao, Hsiao-Mei; Sun, Ying-Chou; Liou, Der-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Background Emerging infectious diseases continue to pose serious threats to global public health. So far, however, few published study has addressed the need for manpower reallocation needed in hospitals when such a serious contagious outbreak occurs. Aim To quantify the demand elasticity of the major surgery types in order to guide future manpower reallocation during contagious outbreaks. Materials and Methods Based on a nationwide research database in Taiwan, we extracted the monthly volumes of major surgery types for the period 1998–2003, which covered the SARS period, in order to carry out a time series analysis. The demand elasticity of each surgery type was then estimated by autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) analysis. Results During the study period, the surgical volumes of most selected surgery types either increased or remained steady. We categorized these surgery types into low-, moderate- and high-elastic groups according to their demand elasticity. Appendectomy, ‘open reduction of fracture with internal fixation’ and ‘free skin graft’ were in the low demand elasticity group. Transurethral prostatectomy and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) were in the high demand elasticity group. The manpower of the departments carrying out the surgeries with low demand elasticity should be maintained during outbreaks. In contrast, departments in charge of surgeries mainly with high demand elasticity, like urology departments, may be in a position to have part of their staff reallocated. Conclusions Taking advantage of the demand variation during the SARS period in 2003, we adopted the concept of demand elasticity and used a time series approach to figure out an effective index of demand elasticity for various types of surgery that could be used as a rational reference to carry out manpower reallocation during contagious outbreak situations. PMID:25837596

  13. Obesity and asthma: co-morbidity or causal relationship?

    PubMed

    van Huisstede, A; Braunstahl, G J

    2010-09-01

    There is substantial evidence that obesity and asthma are related. "Obese asthma" may be a unique phenotype of asthma, characterized by decreased lung volumes, greater symptoms for a given degree of lung function impairment, destabilization or lack of asthma control, lack of eosinophilic inflammation and a different response to controller medication. Whether this relationship between obesity and asthma is causal or represents co-morbidity due to other factors is unclear. In previous reviews concerning the relationship between obesity and asthma, five hypotheses were put forth. One of these hypotheses is that a low grade systemic inflammation caused by adipokines from the fat tissue causes or enhances bronchial inflammation. In animal models, there is an increasing amount of evidence for the role of adipokines derived from fat tissue in the relationship between obesity and asthma. The data are conflicting in humans. Since obesity is a component of the metabolic syndrome and the metabolic syndrome is also a form of systemic inflammation, it is to be expected that there is a relationship between metabolic syndrome and asthma. The few data that are available show that there is no relationship between metabolic syndrome and asthma, but there is one between the metabolic syndrome and asthma-like symptoms. Further research is needed to confirm the relationship between obesity and asthma in humans, where a rigorous approach in the diagnosis of asthma is essential.

  14. Self-esteem and causal attributions.

    PubMed

    Chandler, T A; Lee, M S; Pengilly, J W

    1997-11-01

    The relationship between self-esteem and causal attributions of success and failure in achievement-related behavior was examined among undergraduate students. An integration of a self-consistency model of causal attribution and self-enhancement theory was attempted. Self-esteem and performance outcome conditions of success and failure served as independent variables. Success and failure conditions were created via feedback regarding the participants' performance on an anagram task. The participants' attributions of six causal elements (ability, effort, immediate effort, task difficulty, luck, and mood) were categorized and combined with three causal dimensions (internal-external locus, stability, and controllability), which served as dependent variables. Participants' expectations regarding performance also served as a dependent variable. The relationship between self-esteem, expectancies of success and failure, performance, and stable causality were reported. In terms of causal dimensions, internal, stable, and controllable dimensions were explained by self-enhancement.

  15. Multiple Causality: Consequences for Medical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Nydegger, Corinne N.

    1983-01-01

    When a scientifically trained health professional is called upon to deal with patients holding differing causal views of illness, the resulting lack of communication is frustrating to both. This discussion traces some implications for medical practice of significant cultural differences in two aspects of causal paradigms of illness: (1) terms accepted and (2) dimension or level of causality typically sought. The second is the more pervasive and intractable problem, having distinctive consequences for the role of curer, symptomatology, diagnosis and treatment. PMID:6858133

  16. Nonparametric causal inference for bivariate time series.

    PubMed

    McCracken, James M; Weigel, Robert S

    2016-02-01

    We introduce new quantities for exploratory causal inference between bivariate time series. The quantities, called penchants and leanings, are computationally straightforward to apply, follow directly from assumptions of probabilistic causality, do not depend on any assumed models for the time series generating process, and do not rely on any embedding procedures; these features may provide a clearer interpretation of the results than those from existing time series causality tools. The penchant and leaning are computed based on a structured method for computing probabilities.

  17. Causal inference in economics and marketing

    PubMed Central

    Varian, Hal R.

    2016-01-01

    This is an elementary introduction to causal inference in economics written for readers familiar with machine learning methods. The critical step in any causal analysis is estimating the counterfactual—a prediction of what would have happened in the absence of the treatment. The powerful techniques used in machine learning may be useful for developing better estimates of the counterfactual, potentially improving causal inference. PMID:27382144

  18. Causal inference in economics and marketing.

    PubMed

    Varian, Hal R

    2016-07-01

    This is an elementary introduction to causal inference in economics written for readers familiar with machine learning methods. The critical step in any causal analysis is estimating the counterfactual-a prediction of what would have happened in the absence of the treatment. The powerful techniques used in machine learning may be useful for developing better estimates of the counterfactual, potentially improving causal inference. PMID:27382144

  19. Nonparametric causal inference for bivariate time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCracken, James M.; Weigel, Robert S.

    2016-02-01

    We introduce new quantities for exploratory causal inference between bivariate time series. The quantities, called penchants and leanings, are computationally straightforward to apply, follow directly from assumptions of probabilistic causality, do not depend on any assumed models for the time series generating process, and do not rely on any embedding procedures; these features may provide a clearer interpretation of the results than those from existing time series causality tools. The penchant and leaning are computed based on a structured method for computing probabilities.

  20. A novel approach to quantitating leukemia fusion transcripts by qRT-PCR without the need for standard curves.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Jonathan A; Scott Reading, N; Szankasi, Philippe; Matynia, Anna P; Kelley, Todd W

    2015-08-01

    Acute myeloid leukemia patients with recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities including inv(16);CBFB-MYH11 and t(15;17);PML-RARA may be assessed by monitoring the levels of the corresponding abnormal fusion transcripts by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). Such testing is important for evaluating the response to therapy and for the detection of early relapse. Existing qRT-PCR methods are well established and in widespread use in clinical laboratories but they are laborious and require the generation of standard curves. Here, we describe a new method to quantitate fusion transcripts in acute myeloid leukemia by qRT-PCR without the need for standard curves. Our approach uses a plasmid calibrator containing both a fusion transcript sequence and a reference gene sequence, representing a perfect normalized copy number (fusion transcript copy number/reference gene transcript copy number; NCN) of 1.0. The NCN of patient specimens can be calculated relative to that of the single plasmid calibrator using experimentally derived PCR efficiency values. We compared the data obtained using the plasmid calibrator method to commercially available assays using standard curves and found that the results obtained by both methods are comparable over a broad range of values with similar sensitivities. Our method has the advantage of simplicity and is therefore lower in cost and may be less subject to errors that may be introduced during the generation of standard curves.

  1. An Integrated Approach Is Needed for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management: Insights from Ecosystem-Level Management Strategy Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Smith, Anthony D. M.; Smith, David C.; Johnson, Penelope

    2014-01-01

    An ecosystem approach is widely seen as a desirable goal for fisheries management but there is little consensus on what strategies or measures are needed to achieve it. Management strategy evaluation (MSE) is a tool that has been widely used to develop and test single species fisheries management strategies and is now being extended to support ecosystem based fisheries management (EBFM). We describe the application of MSE to investigate alternative strategies for achieving EBFM goals for a complex multispecies fishery in southeastern Australia. The study was undertaken as part of a stakeholder driven process to review and improve the ecological, economic and social performance of the fishery. An integrated management strategy, involving combinations of measures including quotas, gear controls and spatial management, performed best against a wide range of objectives and this strategy was subsequently adopted in the fishery, leading to marked improvements in performance. Although particular to one fishery, the conclusion that an integrated package of measures outperforms single focus measures we argue is likely to apply widely in fisheries that aim to achieve EBFM goals. PMID:24454722

  2. Obstructive sleep apnoea in adults: a common chronic condition in need of a comprehensive chronic condition management approach.

    PubMed

    Heatley, Emer M; Harris, Melanie; Battersby, Malcolm; McEvoy, R Doug; Chai-Coetzer, Ching Li; Antic, Nicholas A

    2013-10-01

    Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common disorder that has all the characteristics of a chronic condition. As with other chronic conditions, OSA requires ongoing management of treatments and problems, such as residual symptoms, deficits and co-morbidities. Also, many OSA patients have modifiable lifestyle factors that contribute to their disease, which could be improved with intervention. As health systems are in the process of developing more comprehensive chronic care structures and supports, tools such as chronic condition management programs are available to enable OSA patients and their health care providers to further engage and collaborate in health management. This review explains why the OSA patient group requires a more comprehensive approach to disease management, describes the chronic care model as a platform for management of chronic conditions, and assesses the suitability of particular chronic disease management programs in relation to the needs of the OSA population. Implementation of an evidence-based health-professional-led chronic condition management program into OSA patient care is likely to provide a context in which health risks are properly acknowledged and addressed. Such programs present an important opportunity to enable more optimal health outcomes than is possible by device-focused management alone.

  3. An integrated approach is needed for ecosystem based fisheries management: insights from ecosystem-level management strategy evaluation.

    PubMed

    Fulton, Elizabeth A; Smith, Anthony D M; Smith, David C; Johnson, Penelope

    2014-01-01

    An ecosystem approach is widely seen as a desirable goal for fisheries management but there is little consensus on what strategies or measures are needed to achieve it. Management strategy evaluation (MSE) is a tool that has been widely used to develop and test single species fisheries management strategies and is now being extended to support ecosystem based fisheries management (EBFM). We describe the application of MSE to investigate alternative strategies for achieving EBFM goals for a complex multispecies fishery in southeastern Australia. The study was undertaken as part of a stakeholder driven process to review and improve the ecological, economic and social performance of the fishery. An integrated management strategy, involving combinations of measures including quotas, gear controls and spatial management, performed best against a wide range of objectives and this strategy was subsequently adopted in the fishery, leading to marked improvements in performance. Although particular to one fishery, the conclusion that an integrated package of measures outperforms single focus measures we argue is likely to apply widely in fisheries that aim to achieve EBFM goals.

  4. Causal supports for early word learning.

    PubMed

    Booth, Amy E

    2009-01-01

    What factors determine whether a young child will learn a new word? Although there are surely numerous contributors, the current investigation highlights the role of causal information. Three-year-old children (N = 36) were taught 6 new words for unfamiliar objects or animals. Items were described in terms of their causal or noncausal properties. When tested only minutes after training, no significant differences between the conditions were evident. However, when tested several days after training, children performed better on words trained in the causal condition. These results demonstrate that the well-documented effect of causal information on learning and categorization extends to word learning in young children. PMID:19630905

  5. Assessing causality in multivariate accident models.

    PubMed

    Elvik, Rune

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the application of operational criteria of causality to multivariate statistical models developed to identify sources of systematic variation in accident counts, in particular the effects of variables representing safety treatments. Nine criteria of causality serving as the basis for the discussion have been developed. The criteria resemble criteria that have been widely used in epidemiology. To assess whether the coefficients estimated in a multivariate accident prediction model represent causal relationships or are non-causal statistical associations, all criteria of causality are relevant, but the most important criterion is how well a model controls for potentially confounding factors. Examples are given to show how the criteria of causality can be applied to multivariate accident prediction models in order to assess the relationships included in these models. It will often be the case that some of the relationships included in a model can reasonably be treated as causal, whereas for others such an interpretation is less supported. The criteria of causality are indicative only and cannot provide a basis for stringent logical proof of causality.

  6. 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

  7. Too Much or Not Enough? An Examination of Special Education Provision and School District Leaders' Perceptions of Current Needs and Common Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, David Lansing

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between special education provision in Norway and school district leaders' perspectives regarding (a) the need for special education and (b) the importance and prevalence of integrated and segregated approaches. Findings indicate that the percentage of students perceived as being in need of…

  8. Illusions of causality: how they bias our everyday thinking and how they could be reduced.

    PubMed

    Matute, Helena; Blanco, Fernando; Yarritu, Ion; Díaz-Lago, Marcos; Vadillo, Miguel A; Barberia, Itxaso

    2015-01-01

    Illusions of causality occur when people develop the belief that there is a causal connection between two events that are actually unrelated. Such illusions have been proposed to underlie pseudoscience and superstitious thinking, sometimes leading to disastrous consequences in relation to critical life areas, such as health, finances, and wellbeing. Like optical illusions, they can occur for anyone under well-known conditions. Scientific thinking is the best possible safeguard against them, but it does not come intuitively and needs to be taught. Teaching how to think scientifically should benefit from better understanding of the illusion of causality. In this article, we review experiments that our group has conducted on the illusion of causality during the last 20 years. We discuss how research on the illusion of causality can contribute to the teaching of scientific thinking and how scientific thinking can reduce illusion.

  9. Illusions of causality: how they bias our everyday thinking and how they could be reduced

    PubMed Central

    Matute, Helena; Blanco, Fernando; Yarritu, Ion; Díaz-Lago, Marcos; Vadillo, Miguel A.; Barberia, Itxaso

    2015-01-01

    Illusions of causality occur when people develop the belief that there is a causal connection between two events that are actually unrelated. Such illusions have been proposed to underlie pseudoscience and superstitious thinking, sometimes leading to disastrous consequences in relation to critical life areas, such as health, finances, and wellbeing. Like optical illusions, they can occur for anyone under well-known conditions. Scientific thinking is the best possible safeguard against them, but it does not come intuitively and needs to be taught. Teaching how to think scientifically should benefit from better understanding of the illusion of causality. In this article, we review experiments that our group has conducted on the illusion of causality during the last 20 years. We discuss how research on the illusion of causality can contribute to the teaching of scientific thinking and how scientific thinking can reduce illusion. PMID:26191014

  10. Illusions of causality: how they bias our everyday thinking and how they could be reduced.

    PubMed

    Matute, Helena; Blanco, Fernando; Yarritu, Ion; Díaz-Lago, Marcos; Vadillo, Miguel A; Barberia, Itxaso

    2015-01-01

    Illusions of causality occur when people develop the belief that there is a causal connection between two events that are actually unrelated. Such illusions have been proposed to underlie pseudoscience and superstitious thinking, sometimes leading to disastrous consequences in relation to critical life areas, such as health, finances, and wellbeing. Like optical illusions, they can occur for anyone under well-known conditions. Scientific thinking is the best possible safeguard against them, but it does not come intuitively and needs to be taught. Teaching how to think scientifically should benefit from better understanding of the illusion of causality. In this article, we review experiments that our group has conducted on the illusion of causality during the last 20 years. We discuss how research on the illusion of causality can contribute to the teaching of scientific thinking and how scientific thinking can reduce illusion. PMID:26191014

  11. Causal compensated perturbations in cosmology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Veeraraghavan, Shoba; Stebbins, Albert

    1990-01-01

    A theoretical framework is developed to calculate linear perturbations in the gravitational and matter fields which arise causally in response to the presence of stiff matter sources in a FRW cosmology. It is shown that, in order to satisfy energy and momentum conservation, the gravitational fields of the source must be compensated by perturbations in the matter and gravitational fields, and the role of such compensation in containing the initial inhomogeneities in their subsequent evolution is discussed. A complete formal solution is derived in terms of Green functions for the perturbations produced by an arbitrary source in a flat universe containing cold dark matter. Approximate Green function solutions are derived for the late-time density perturbations and late-time gravitational waves in a universe containing a radiation fluid. A cosmological energy-momentum pseudotensor is defined to clarify the nature of energy and momentum conservation in the expanding universe.

  12. Individual differences in causal uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Weary, G; Edwards, J A

    1994-08-01

    This article presents a scale that measures chronic individual differences in people's uncertainty about their ability to understand and detect cause-and-effect relationships in the social world: the Causal Uncertainty Scale (CUS). The results of Study 1 indicated that the scale has good internal and adequate test-retest reliability. Additionally, the results of a factor analysis suggested that the scale appears to be tapping a single construct. Study 2 examined the convergent and discriminant validity of the scale, and Studies 3 and 4 examined the predictive and incremental validity of the scale. The importance of the CUS to work on depressives' social information processing and for basic research and theory on human social judgment processes is discussed.

  13. Causality from the Cosmological Perspective in Vedanta and Western Physics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Danny Lee

    The relation between Western physics and Indian Vedanta philosophy is investigated through the topic of causality, taken in the sense of explanatory theories of the origin of the universe and the relations among its physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Both physics and Vedanta have a common goal of explanation by means of a unitary principle. While physics has long been separated from metaphysics, its discoveries indicate that consciousness must be included in a complete explanation. Consciousness is taken as the fundamental basis and source of all phenomena in Vedanta. This work traces the developments of causal explanation in Western physics and Indian philosophy, and considers how these views may relate to each other and how they may together suggest a comprehensive view of reality. Approaches typically applied by historians of religion to the study of creation myths, especially the psychological approach which considers myths from the perspective or cyclical stages of conscious development, are applied to the causal theories of the two cultures. The question of how causal explanations attempt to bridge the gap between cause and effect, unity and multiplicity, absolute and relative, conscious and unconscious, etc., is addressed. Though the investigation begins from the earliest causal explanations, viz., creation myths, emphasis is placed upon Samkara's commentaries of Advaita Vedanta, examined in the original Sanskrit, and upon the convergence of modern field theory, astrophysics, and cosmology, seen from the perspective of a previous doctorate in physics. Consideration is given to the comparison between physics and Vedanta as to goals, methods, and domains, to the question of the incompleteness of physics and the extent to which it nevertheless points beyond itself, to the possibility of a synthetic view and how it might be effected, and to analogies and metaphors through which physics and Vedanta may illuminate each other. An intuitive picture is

  14. Improvements in Hudson River Water Quality Create the Need for a new Approach to Monitoring and Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Mullan, G. D.; Juhl, A.; Sambrotto, R.; Lipscomb, J.; Brown, T.

    2008-12-01

    localized events, demonstrate that a new approach is needed to monitor and manage the lower Hudson River Estuary. One important component of this new approach is consideration of local and extreme conditions, rather than just spatial and temporal means. Another aspect is increased public dissemination of available water quality data. A new Hudson River water quality web site has been launched as an example of this type of public outreach.

  15. Causal Systems Categories: Differences in Novice and Expert Categorization of Causal Phenomena

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rottman, Benjamin M.; Gentner, Dedre; Goldwater, Micah B.

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the understanding of causal systems categories--categories defined by common causal structure rather than by common domain content--among college students. We asked students who were either novices or experts in the physical sciences to sort descriptions of real-world phenomena that varied in their causal structure (e.g., negative…

  16. The Power of Causal Beliefs and Conflicting Evidence on Causal Judgments and Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Muller, Stephanie M.; Catena, Andres; Maldonado, Antonio

    2009-01-01

    In two experiments, we investigated the relative impact of causal beliefs and empirical evidence on both decision making and causal judgments, and whether this relative impact could be altered by previous experience. 2. Selected groups of participants in both experiments received pre-training with either causal or neutral cues, or no pre-training…

  17. Three Cs in measurement models: causal indicators, composite indicators, and covariates.

    PubMed

    Bollen, Kenneth A; Bauldry, Shawn

    2011-09-01

    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 variables on which a latent variable depends: causal indicators, composite (formative) indicators, and covariates (the "Three Cs"). Causal indicators have conceptual unity, and their effects on latent variables are structural. Covariates are not concept measures, but are variables to control to avoid bias in estimating the relations between measures and latent variables. Composite (formative) indicators form exact linear combinations of variables that need not share a concept. Their coefficients are weights rather than structural effects, and composites are a matter of convenience. The failure to distinguish the Three Cs has led to confusion and questions, such as, Are causal and formative indicators different names for the same indicator type? Should an equation with causal or formative indicators have an error term? Are the coefficients of causal indicators less stable than effect indicators? Distinguishing between causal and composite indicators and covariates goes a long way toward eliminating this confusion. We emphasize the key role that subject matter expertise plays in making these distinctions. We provide new guidelines for working with these variable types, including identification of models, scaling latent variables, parameter estimation, and validity assessment. A running empirical example on self-perceived health illustrates our major points.

  18. Mendelian randomisation: a tool for assessing causality in observational epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, Nuala A; Meng, Sha; Didelez, Vanessa

    2011-01-01

    Detection and assessment of the effect of a modifiable risk factor on a disease with view to informing public health intervention policies are of fundamental concern in aetiological epidemiology. In order to have solid evidence that such a public health intervention has the desired effect, it is necessary to ascertain that an observed association or correlation between a risk factor and a disease means that the risk factor is causal for the disease. Inferring causality from observational data is difficult, typically due to confounding by social, behavioural, or physiological factors which are difficult to control for and particularly difficult to measure accurately. A possible approach to inferring causality when confounding is believed to be present but unobservable, as it may not even be fully understood, is based on the method of instrumental variables and is known under the name of Mendelian randomisation if the instrument is a genetic variant. While testing for the presence of a causal effect using this method is generally straightforward, point estimates of such an effect are only obtainable under additional parametric assumptions. This chapter introduces the concept and illustrates the method and its assumptions with simple real-life examples. It concludes with a brief discussion on pitfalls and limitations.

  19. A need for One Health approach – lessons learned from outbreaks of Rift Valley fever in Saudi Arabia and Sudan

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Osama Ahmed; Ahlm, Clas; Evander, Magnus

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging viral zoonosis that impacts human and animal health. It is transmitted from animals to humans directly through exposure to blood, body fluids, or tissues of infected animals or via mosquito bites. The disease is endemic to Africa but has recently spread to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Our aim was to compare two major outbreaks of RVF in Saudi Arabia (2000) and Sudan (2007) from a One Health perspective. Methods Using the terms ‘Saudi Arabia’, ‘Sudan’, and ‘RVF’, articles were identified by searching PubMed, Google Scholar, and web pages of international organizations as well as local sources in Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Results The outbreak in Saudi Arabia caused 883 human cases, with a case fatality rate of 14% and more than 40,000 dead sheep and goats. In Sudan, 698 human cases of RVF were recognized (case fatality, 31.5%), but no records of affected animals were available. The ecology and environment of the affected areas were similar with irrigation canals and excessive rains providing an attractive habitat for mosquito vectors to multiply. The outbreaks resulted in livestock trade bans leading to a vast economic impact on the animal market in the two countries. The surveillance system in Sudan showed a lack of data management and communication between the regional and federal health authorities, while in Saudi Arabia which is the stronger economy, better capacity and contingency plans resulted in efficient countermeasures. Studies of the epidemiology and vectors were also performed in Saudi Arabia, while in Sudan these issues were only partly studied. Conclusion We conclude that a One Health approach is the best option to mitigate outbreaks of RVF. Collaboration between veterinary, health, and environmental authorities both on national and regional levels is needed. PMID:24505511

  20. Multiscale causal connectivity analysis by canonical correlation: theory and application to epileptic brain.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guo Rong; Chen, Fuyong; Kang, Dezhi; Zhang, Xiangyang; Marinazzo, Daniele; Chen, Huafu

    2011-11-01

    Multivariate Granger causality is a well-established approach for inferring information flow in complex systems, and it is being increasingly applied to map brain connectivity. Traditional Granger causality is based on vector autoregressive (AR) or mixed autoregressive moving average (ARMA) model, which are potentially affected by errors in parameter estimation and may be contaminated by zero-lag correlation, notably when modeling neuroimaging data. To overcome this issue, we present here an extended canonical correlation approach to measure multivariate Granger causal interactions among time series. The procedure includes a reduced rank step for calculating canonical correlation analysis (CCA), and extends the definition of causality including instantaneous effects, thus avoiding the potential estimation problems of AR (or ARMA) models. We tested this approach on simulated data and confirmed its practical utility by exploring local network connectivity at different scales in the epileptic brain analyzing scalp and depth-EEG data during an interictal period. PMID:21788178