Science.gov

Sample records for causal model approach

  1. Quantum Supersymmetric Models in the Causal Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, Dan-Radu

    2007-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Answering the "Why" Question in Evaluation: The Causal-Model Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petrosino, Anthony

    2000-01-01

    Defines causal-model evaluation and uses an example from the crime prevention literature to contrast this approach with traditional evaluations. Discusses benefits and limitations of the approach, as well as other issues. (SLD)

  4. 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.

  5. [Causal analysis approaches in epidemiology].

    PubMed

    Dumas, O; Siroux, V; Le Moual, N; Varraso, R

    2014-02-01

    Epidemiological research is mostly based on observational studies. Whether such studies can provide evidence of causation remains discussed. Several causal analysis methods have been developed in epidemiology. This paper aims at presenting an overview of these methods: graphical models, path analysis and its extensions, and models based on the counterfactual approach, with a special emphasis on marginal structural models. Graphical approaches have been developed to allow synthetic representations of supposed causal relationships in a given problem. They serve as qualitative support in the study of causal relationships. The sufficient-component cause model has been developed to deal with the issue of multicausality raised by the emergence of chronic multifactorial diseases. Directed acyclic graphs are mostly used as a visual tool to identify possible confounding sources in a study. Structural equations models, the main extension of path analysis, combine a system of equations and a path diagram, representing a set of possible causal relationships. They allow quantifying direct and indirect effects in a general model in which several relationships can be tested simultaneously. Dynamic path analysis further takes into account the role of time. The counterfactual approach defines causality by comparing the observed event and the counterfactual event (the event that would have been observed if, contrary to the fact, the subject had received a different exposure than the one he actually received). This theoretical approach has shown limits of traditional methods to address some causality questions. In particular, in longitudinal studies, when there is time-varying confounding, classical methods (regressions) may be biased. Marginal structural models have been developed to address this issue. In conclusion, "causal models", though they were developed partly independently, are based on equivalent logical foundations. A crucial step in the application of these models is the

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. A conditional Granger causality model approach for group analysis in functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-04-01

    Granger causality model (GCM) derived from multivariate vector autoregressive models of data has been employed to identify effective connectivity in the human brain with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and to reveal complex temporal and spatial dynamics underlying a variety of cognitive processes. In the most recent fMRI effective connectivity measures, pair-wise 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 fMRI data with GCM. To compare the effectiveness of our approach with traditional pair-wise GCM models, we applied a well-established conditional GCM to preselected time series of brain regions resulting from general linear model (GLM) and group spatial kernel independent component analysis of an fMRI data set in the temporal domain. Data sets 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 data set, 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 that can be characterized as both afferent and efferent influences on the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex. These results suggest that the conditional GCM approach based on a linear multivariate vector autoregressive model can achieve greater accuracy

  14. When One Model Casts Doubt on Another: A Levels-of-Analysis Approach to Causal Discounting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khemlani, Sangeet S.; Oppenheimer, Daniel M.

    2011-01-01

    Discounting is a phenomenon in causal reasoning in which the presence of one cause casts doubt on another. We provide a survey of the descriptive and formal models that attempt to explain the discounting process and summarize what current models do not account for and where room for improvement exists. We propose a levels-of-analysis framework…

  15. Dynamic causal modelling revisited.

    PubMed

    Friston, K J; Preller, Katrin H; Mathys, Chris; Cagnan, Hayriye; Heinzle, Jakob; Razi, Adeel; Zeidman, Peter

    2017-02-17

    This paper revisits the dynamic causal modelling of fMRI timeseries by replacing the usual (Taylor) approximation to neuronal dynamics with a neural mass model of the canonical microcircuit. This provides a generative or dynamic causal model of laminar specific responses that can generate haemodynamic and electrophysiological measurements. In principle, this allows the fusion of haemodynamic and (event related or induced) electrophysiological responses. Furthermore, it enables Bayesian model comparison of competing hypotheses about physiologically plausible synaptic effects; for example, does attentional modulation act on superficial or deep pyramidal cells - or both? In this technical note, we describe the resulting dynamic causal model and provide an illustrative application to the attention to visual motion dataset used in previous papers. Our focus here is on how to answer long-standing questions in fMRI; for example, do haemodynamic responses reflect extrinsic (afferent) input from distant cortical regions, or do they reflect intrinsic (recurrent) neuronal activity? To what extent do inhibitory interneurons contribute to neurovascular coupling? What is the relationship between haemodynamic responses and the frequency of induced neuronal activity? This paper does not pretend to answer these questions; rather it shows how they can be addressed using neural mass models of fMRI timeseries.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. Causal Rasch models

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Causal models and learning from data: integrating causal modeling and statistical estimation.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Maya L; van der Laan, Mark J

    2014-05-01

    The practice of epidemiology requires asking causal questions. Formal frameworks for causal inference developed over the past decades have the potential to improve the rigor of this process. However, the appropriate role for formal causal thinking in applied epidemiology remains a matter of debate. We argue that a formal causal framework can help in designing a statistical analysis that comes as close as possible to answering the motivating causal question, while making clear what assumptions are required to endow the resulting estimates with a causal interpretation. A systematic approach for the integration of causal modeling with statistical estimation is presented. We highlight some common points of confusion that occur when causal modeling techniques are applied in practice and provide a broad overview on the types of questions that a causal framework can help to address. Our aims are to argue for the utility of formal causal thinking, to clarify what causal models can and cannot do, and to provide an accessible introduction to the flexible and powerful tools provided by causal models.

  19. 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.

  20. Granger causality for state-space models.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Lionel; Seth, Anil K

    2015-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Effective connectivity: Influence, causality and biophysical modeling

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Analysing connectivity with Granger causality and dynamic causal modelling.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  4. Causal reasoning with mental models

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Causal reasoning with mental models.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Hemispheric lateralization in top-down attention during spatial relation processing: a Granger causal model approach.

    PubMed

    Falasca, N W; D'Ascenzo, S; Di Domenico, A; Onofrj, M; Tommasi, L; Laeng, B; Franciotti, R

    2015-04-01

    Magnetoencephalography was recorded during a matching-to-sample plus cueing paradigm, in which participants judged the occurrence of changes in either categorical (CAT) or coordinate (COO) spatial relations. Previously, parietal and frontal lobes were identified as key areas in processing spatial relations and it was shown that each hemisphere was differently involved and modulated by the scope of the attention window (e.g. a large and small cue). In this study, Granger analysis highlighted the patterns of causality among involved brain areas--the direction of information transfer ran from the frontal to the visual cortex in the right hemisphere, whereas it ran in the opposite direction in the left side. Thus, the right frontal area seems to exert top-down influence, supporting the idea that, in this task, top-down signals are selectively related to the right side. Additionally, for CAT change preceded by a small cue, the right frontal gyrus was not involved in the information transfer, indicating a selective specialization of the left hemisphere for this condition. The present findings strengthen the conclusion of the presence of a remarkable hemispheric specialization for spatial relation processing and illustrate the complex interactions between the lateralized parts of the neural network. Moreover, they illustrate how focusing attention over large or small regions of the visual field engages these lateralized networks differently, particularly in the frontal regions of each hemisphere, consistent with the theory that spatial relation judgements require a fronto-parietal network in the left hemisphere for categorical relations and on the right hemisphere for coordinate spatial processing.

  7. 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.

  8. A Complex Systems Approach to Causal Discovery in Psychiatry.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Perturbative gravity in the causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, D. R.

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Hypothesizing and Refining Causal Models,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-12-01

    the purposes of this research, it was critica ! to be able to represent a sequence of events, in which the learning program would look for causal... tlc sense because tliv imply random behavior. This is an oversimplified, but usc^ul telcological assumption about the nature of dependences in designed

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Discounting and Augmentation in Causal Conditional Reasoning: Causal Models or Shallow Encoding?

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Simon; Ali, Nilufa; Chater, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Recent research comparing mental models theory and causal Bayes nets for their ability to account for discounting and augmentation inferences in causal conditional reasoning had some limitations. One of the experiments used an ordinal scale and multiple items and analysed the data by subjects and items. This procedure can create a variety of problems that can be resolved by using an appropriate cumulative link function mixed models approach in which items are treated as random effects. Experiment 1 replicated this earlier experiment and analysed the results using appropriate data analytic techniques. Although successfully replicating earlier research, the pattern of results could be explained by a much simpler “shallow encoding” hypothesis. Experiment 2 introduced a manipulation to critically test this hypothesis. The results favoured the causal Bayes nets predictions and not shallow encoding and were not consistent with mental models theory. Experiment 1 provided qualified support for the causal Bayes net approach using appropriate statistics because it also replicated the failure to observe one of the predicted main effects. Experiment 2 discounted one plausible explanation for this failure. While within the limited goals that were set for these experiments they were successful, more research is required to account for the pattern of findings using this paradigm. PMID:28030583

  18. Model Averaging for Improving Inference from Causal Diagrams.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-11

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

  19. A Quantum Probability Model of Causal Reasoning

    PubMed Central

    Trueblood, Jennifer S.; Busemeyer, Jerome R.

    2012-01-01

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

  20. A quantum probability model of causal reasoning.

    PubMed

    Trueblood, Jennifer S; Busemeyer, Jerome R

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Distinguishing Valid from Invalid Causal Indicator Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cadogan, John W.; Lee, Nick

    2016-01-01

    In this commentary from Issue 14, n3, authors John Cadogan and Nick Lee applaud the paper by Aguirre-Urreta, Rönkkö, and Marakas "Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives", 14(3), 75-97 (2016), since their explanations and simulations work toward demystifying causal indicator models, which are often used by scholars…

  2. Causal Measurement Models: Can Criticism Stimulate Clarification?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markus, Keith A.

    2016-01-01

    In their 2016 work, Aguirre-Urreta et al. provided a contribution to the literature on causal measurement models that enhances clarity and stimulates further thinking. Aguirre-Urreta et al. presented a form of statistical identity involving mapping onto the portion of the parameter space involving the nomological net, relationships between the…

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Young, Gerald

    2015-01-01

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

  5. A Quantum Bayes Net Approach to Causal Reasoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trueblood, Jennifer S.; Mistry, Percy K.; Pothos, Emmanuel M.

    When individuals have little knowledge about a causal system and must make causal inferences based on vague and imperfect information, their judgments often deviate from the normative prescription of classical probability. Previously, many researchers have dealt with violations of normative rules by elaborating causal Bayesian networks through the inclusion of hidden variables. While these models often provide good accounts of data, the addition of hidden variables is often post hoc, included when a Bayes net fails to capture data. Further, Bayes nets with multiple hidden variables are often difficult to test. Rather than elaborating a Bayes net with hidden variables, we generalize the probabilistic rules of these models. The basic idea is that any classic Bayes net can be generalized to a quantum Bayes net by replacing the probabilities in the classic model with probability amplitudes in the quantum model. We discuss several predictions of quantum Bayes nets for human causal reasoning.

  6. Time-varying linear and nonlinear parametric model for Granger causality analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Wei, Hua-Liang; Billings, Steve A; Liao, Xiao-Feng

    2012-04-01

    Statistical measures such as coherence, mutual information, or correlation are usually applied to evaluate the interactions between two or more signals. However, these methods cannot distinguish directions of flow between two signals. The capability to detect causalities is highly desirable for understanding the cooperative nature of complex systems. The main objective of this work is to present a linear and nonlinear time-varying parametric modeling and identification approach that can be used to detect Granger causality, which may change with time and may not be detected by traditional methods. A numerical example, in which the exact causal influences relationships, is presented to illustrate the performance of the method for time-varying Granger causality detection. The approach is applied to EEG signals to track and detect hidden potential causalities. One advantage of the proposed model, compared with traditional Granger causality, is that the results are easier to interpret and yield additional insights into the transient directed dynamical Granger causality interactions.

  7. The Causal Foundations of Structural Equation Modeling

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-02-16

    interpretation of SEM as “self-contradictory,” and none of the 11 discussants of his paper were able to detect his error and to articulate the correct...adequacy to serve as a language for causation. Sobel (1996), for example, states that the interpretation of the parameters of SEM model as effects “do...outcome framework, Sobel (2008) asserts that “In general (even in randomized studies), the structural and causal parameters are not equal, implying that

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Landsheer, J. A.

    2010-01-01

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

  9. A psychological approach to learning causal networks.

    PubMed

    Zargoush, Manaf; Alemi, Farrokh; Esposito Vinzi, Vinzenzo; Vang, Jee; Kheirbek, Raya

    2014-06-01

    We examine the role of a common cognitive heuristic in unsupervised learning of Bayesian probability networks from data. Human beings perceive a larger association between causal than diagnostic relationships. This psychological principal can be used to orient the arcs within Bayesian networks by prohibiting the direction that is less predictive. The heuristic increased predictive accuracy by an average of 0.51 % percent, a small amount. It also increased total agreement between different network learning algorithms (Max Spanning Tree, Taboo, EQ, SopLeq, and Taboo Order) by 25 %. Prior to use of the heuristic, the multiple raters Kappa between the algorithms was 0.60 (95 % confidence interval, CI, from 0.53 to 0.67) indicating moderate agreement among the networks learned through different algorithms. After the use of the heuristic, the multiple raters Kappa was 0.85 (95 % CI from 0.78 to 0.92). There was a statistically significant increase in agreement between the five algorithms (alpha < 0.05). These data suggest that the heuristic increased agreement between networks learned through use of different algorithms, without loss of predictive accuracy. Additional research is needed to see if findings persist in other data sets and to explain why a heuristic used by humans could improve construct validity of mathematical algorithms.

  10. Statistical approaches for enhancing causal interpretation of the M to Y relation in mediation analysis.

    PubMed

    MacKinnon, David P; Pirlott, Angela G

    2015-02-01

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

  11. A Quantitative Causal Model Theory of Conditional Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernbach, Philip M.; Erb, Christopher D.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Estimating Causal Effects with Ancestral Graph Markov Models

    PubMed Central

    Malinsky, Daniel; Spirtes, Peter

    2017-01-01

    We present an algorithm for estimating bounds on causal effects from observational data which combines graphical model search with simple linear regression. We assume that the underlying system can be represented by a linear structural equation model with no feedback, and we allow for the possibility of latent variables. Under assumptions standard in the causal search literature, we use conditional independence constraints to search for an equivalence class of ancestral graphs. Then, for each model in the equivalence class, we perform the appropriate regression (using causal structure information to determine which covariates to include in the regression) to estimate a set of possible causal effects. Our approach is based on the “IDA” procedure of Maathuis et al. (2009), which assumes that all relevant variables have been measured (i.e., no unmeasured confounders). We generalize their work by relaxing this assumption, which is often violated in applied contexts. We validate the performance of our algorithm on simulated data and demonstrate improved precision over IDA when latent variables are present. PMID:28217244

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markus, Keith A.

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Assessing a surrogate predictive value: a causal inference approach.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Ariel; Van der Elst, Wim; Meyvisch, Paul

    2017-03-30

    Several methods have been developed for the evaluation of surrogate endpoints within the causal-inference and meta-analytic paradigms. In both paradigms, much effort has been made to assess the capacity of the surrogate to predict the causal treatment effect on the true endpoint. In the present work, the so-called surrogate predictive function (SPF) is introduced for that purpose, using potential outcomes. The relationship between the SPF and the individual causal association, a new metric of surrogacy recently proposed in the literature, is studied in detail. It is shown that the SPF, in conjunction with the individual causal association, can offer an appealing quantification of the surrogate predictive value. However, neither the distribution of the potential outcomes nor the SPF are identifiable from the data. These 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 used to study the behavior of the SPF on the previous region. The method is illustrated using data from a clinical trial involving schizophrenic patients and a newly developed and user friendly R package Surrogate is provided to carry out the validation exercise. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Gauge invariance of quantum gravity in the causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schorn, Ivo

    1997-03-01

    We investigate gauge invariance of perturbative quantum gravity without matter fields in the causal Epstein - Glaser approach. This approach uses free fields only so that all objects of the theory are mathematically well defined. The first-order graviton self-couplings are obtained from the Einstein - Hilbert Lagrangian written in terms of Goldberg variables and expanded to lowest order on the flat Minkowski background metric (linearized Einstein theory). Similar to Yang - Mills theory, gauge invariance to first order requires an additional coupling to fermionic ghost fields. For second-order tree graphs, gauge invariance generates four-graviton normalization terms, which agree exactly with the next order of the expansion of the Einstein - Hilbert Lagrangian. Gauge invariance of the ghost sector is then examined in detail. It is stressed that, despite some formal similarities, the concept of operator gauge invariance used in the causal method is different from the conventional BRS-invariance commonly used in the literature.

  18. The role of causal models in analogical inference.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hee Seung; Holyoak, Keith J

    2008-09-01

    Computational models of analogy have assumed that the strength of an inductive inference about the target is based directly on similarity of the analogs and in particular on shared higher order relations. In contrast, work in philosophy of science suggests that analogical inference is also guided by causal models of the source and target. In 3 experiments, the authors explored the possibility that people may use causal models to assess the strength of analogical inferences. Experiments 1-2 showed that reducing analogical overlap by eliminating a shared causal relation (a preventive cause present in the source) from the target increased inductive strength even though it decreased similarity of the analogs. These findings were extended in Experiment 3 to cross-domain analogical inferences based on correspondences between higher order causal relations. Analogical inference appears to be mediated by building and then running a causal model. The implications of the present findings for theories of both analogy and causal inference are discussed.

  19. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Eye, Alexander; Wiedermann, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Katrina A.; Xu, Yonghong Jade

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Causal Inferences with Group Based Trajectory Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haviland, Amelia M.; Nagin, Daniel S.

    2005-01-01

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

  3. A Hybrid Causal Search Algorithm for Latent Variable Models

    PubMed Central

    Ogarrio, Juan Miguel; Spirtes, Peter; Ramsey, Joe

    2017-01-01

    Existing score-based causal model search algorithms such as GES (and a speeded up version, FGS) are asymptotically correct, fast, and reliable, but make the unrealistic assumption that the true causal graph does not contain any unmeasured confounders. There are several constraint-based causal search algorithms (e.g RFCI, FCI, or FCI+) that are asymptotically correct without assuming that there are no unmeasured confounders, but often perform poorly on small samples. We describe a combined score and constraint-based algorithm, GFCI, that we prove is asymptotically correct. On synthetic data, GFCI is only slightly slower than RFCI but more accurate than FCI, RFCI and FCI+. PMID:28239434

  4. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Nilufa; Chater, Nick; Oaksford, Mike

    2011-01-01

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

  6. A causal approach to the study of fertility and familism.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, V

    1990-01-01

    This paper tests, within the framework of LISREL, the causal structures of fertility using data from the 1973-74 Growth of Alberta Family Study (GAFS) of women aged 18-44 who are currently married or living common-law. Differential fertility among two groups of women classified by nativity also are examined. The women's background characteristics (e.g., age, religiosity, and education) are viewed as exogenous variables. The endogenous variables are familism and expected family size; familism is designated as an intermediate variable in the model, linking demographic and socioeconomic (including cultural) factors to fertility, The results indicate that familism acts as an important variable explaining fertility, particularly, among foreign-born women. The study confirms and extends earlier research findings that religiosity and education influence couples' fertility, the former positively and the latter negatively.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartolucci, Francesco; Pennoni, Fulvia; Vittadini, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The Causal Meaning of Genomic Predictors and How It Affects Construction and Comparison of Genome-Enabled Selection Models

    PubMed Central

    Valente, Bruno D.; Morota, Gota; Peñagaricano, Francisco; Gianola, Daniel; Weigel, Kent; Rosa, Guilherme J. M.

    2015-01-01

    The term “effect” in additive genetic effect suggests a causal meaning. However, inferences of such quantities for selection purposes are typically viewed and conducted as a prediction task. Predictive ability as tested by cross-validation is currently the most acceptable criterion for comparing models and evaluating new methodologies. Nevertheless, it does not directly indicate if predictors reflect causal effects. Such evaluations would require causal inference methods that are not typical in genomic prediction for selection. This suggests that the usual approach to infer genetic effects contradicts the label of the quantity inferred. Here we investigate if genomic predictors for selection should be treated as standard predictors or if they must reflect a causal effect to be useful, requiring causal inference methods. Conducting the analysis as a prediction or as a causal inference task affects, for example, how covariates of the regression model are chosen, which may heavily affect the magnitude of genomic predictors and therefore selection decisions. We demonstrate that selection requires learning causal genetic effects. However, genomic predictors from some models might capture noncausal signal, providing good predictive ability but poorly representing true genetic effects. Simulated examples are used to show that aiming for predictive ability may lead to poor modeling decisions, while causal inference approaches may guide the construction of regression models that better infer the target genetic effect even when they underperform in cross-validation tests. In conclusion, genomic selection models should be constructed to aim primarily for identifiability of causal genetic effects, not for predictive ability. PMID:25908318

  9. Bridging the Gap: Dynamic Causal Modeling and Granger Causality Analysis of Resting State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

    PubMed

    Bajaj, Sahil; Adhikari, Bhim M; Friston, Karl J; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2016-09-16

    Granger causality (GC) and dynamic causal modeling (DCM) are the two key approaches used to determine the directed interactions among brain areas. Recent discussions have provided a constructive account of the merits and demerits. GC, on one side, considers dependencies among measured responses, whereas DCM, on the other, models how neuronal activity in one brain area causes dynamics in another. In this study, our objective was to establish construct validity between GC and DCM in the context of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We first established the face validity of both approaches using simulated fMRI time series, with endogenous fluctuations in two nodes. Crucially, we tested both unidirectional and bidirectional connections between the two nodes to ensure that both approaches give veridical and consistent results, in terms of model comparison. We then applied both techniques to empirical data and examined their consistency in terms of the (quantitative) in-degree of key nodes of the default mode. Our simulation results suggested a (qualitative) consistency between GC and DCM. Furthermore, by applying nonparametric GC and stochastic DCM to resting-state fMRI data, we confirmed that both GC and DCM infer similar (quantitative) directionality between the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), the medial prefrontal cortex, the left middle temporal cortex, and the left angular gyrus. These findings suggest that GC and DCM can be used to estimate directed functional and effective connectivity from fMRI measurements in a consistent manner.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  11. A new causal model of dental diseases associated with endocarditis.

    PubMed

    Drangsholt, M T

    1998-07-01

    Infective endocarditis (IE) is a serious disease that is associated with dental diseases and treatment. The objective of this study was to summarize the epidemiological information about IE and reevaluate previous causal models in light of this evidence. The world biomedical literature was searched from 1930 to 1996 for descriptive and analytic epidemiological studies of IE. Multiple searching strategies were performed on 9 databases, including MEDLINE, CATLINE, and WORLDCAT. Results show that: 1) the incidence of IE varies between 0.70 to 6.8 per 100,000 person-years: 2) the incidence of IE increases 20 fold with advancing age: 3) over 50% of all IE cases are not associated with either an obvious procedural or infectious event 3 months prior to developing symptoms; 4) about 8% of all IE cases are associated with periodontal or dental disease without a dental procedure: 5) the time from the diagnosis of heart valve deformities to the development of IE approaches 20 years: 6) the median time from identifiable procedures to the onset of IE symptoms is about 2 to 4 weeks: 7) the risk of IE after a dental procedure is probably in the range of 1 per 3,000 to 5,000 procedures: and 8) over 80% of all IE cases are acquired in the community, and the bacteria are part of the host's endogenous flora. The synthesis of these data demonstrates that IE is a disorder with the epidemiological picture of a chronic disease such as cancer, instead of an acute infectious disease, with a long latent period and possibly several definable intermediates or stages. A new causal model is proposed that includes early bacteremias that may "prime" the endothelial surface of the heart valves over many years, and a late bacteremia over days to weeks that allows adherence and colonization of the valve, resulting in the characteristic fulminant infection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keselman, Alla

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Stephen G.; Grimm, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. The Role of Causal Models in Analogical Inference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hee Seung; Holyoak, Keith J.

    2008-01-01

    Computational models of analogy have assumed that the strength of an inductive inference about the target is based directly on similarity of the analogs and in particular on shared higher order relations. In contrast, work in philosophy of science suggests that analogical inference is also guided by causal models of the source and target. In 3…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Roy D.

    2014-01-01

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

  16. A Causal Model of Teacher Acceptance of Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Jui-Ling; Lieu, Pang-Tien; Liang, Jung-Hui; Liu, Hsiang-Te; Wong, Seng-lee

    2012-01-01

    This study proposes a causal model for investigating teacher acceptance of technology. We received 258 effective replies from teachers at public and private universities in Taiwan. A questionnaire survey was utilized to test the proposed model. The Lisrel was applied to test the proposed hypotheses. The result shows that computer self-efficacy has…

  17. Causal Model of Stress and Coping: Women in Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Long, Bonita C.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Tested model of managerial women's (n=249) stress. Model was developed from Lazarus's theoretical framework of stress/coping and incorporated causal antecedent constructs (demographics, sex role attitudes, agentic traits), mediating constructs (environment, appraisals, engagement coping, disengagement coping), and outcomes (work performance,…

  18. Whither Causal Models in the Neuroscience of ADHD?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coghill, Dave; Nigg, Joel; Rothenberger, Aribert; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund; Tannock, Rosemary

    2005-01-01

    In this paper we examine the current status of the science of ADHD from a theoretical point of view. While the field has reached the point at which a number of causal models have been proposed, it remains some distance away from demonstrating the viability of such models empirically. We identify a number of existing barriers and make proposals as…

  19. Formalizing the role of agent-based modeling in causal inference and epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Brandon D L; Galea, Sandro

    2015-01-15

    Calls for the adoption of complex systems approaches, including agent-based modeling, in the field of epidemiology have largely centered on the potential for such methods to examine complex disease etiologies, which are characterized by feedback behavior, interference, threshold dynamics, and multiple interacting causal effects. However, considerable theoretical and practical issues impede the capacity of agent-based methods to examine and evaluate causal effects and thus illuminate new areas for intervention. We build on this work by describing how agent-based models can be used to simulate counterfactual outcomes in the presence of complexity. We show that these models are of particular utility when the hypothesized causal mechanisms exhibit a high degree of interdependence between multiple causal effects and when interference (i.e., one person's exposure affects the outcome of others) is present and of intrinsic scientific interest. Although not without challenges, agent-based modeling (and complex systems methods broadly) represent a promising novel approach to identify and evaluate complex causal effects, and they are thus well suited to complement other modern epidemiologic methods of etiologic inquiry.

  20. 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.…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-07

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

  2. 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

  3. Political Socialization and Mass Media Use: A Reverse Causality Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tan, Alexis S.

    A reverse causality model treating mass media use for public affairs information as a result rather than as a cause of political behavior was tested utilizing surveys of 190 Mexican-American, 176 black, and 225 white adults. The criterion variable used in each sample was frequency of television and newspaper use for public affairs information. The…

  4. Sex Differences in a Causal Model of Career Maturity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Suzanne

    1989-01-01

    Studied sex differences among high school students (N=318) in career development process to determine whether sex differences exist in way six independent variables interact in career maturity causal model of career maturity and to compare each variable's effect on career maturity. Results suggest significant sex differences consistent with…

  5. Institutional Quality and Generalized Trust: A Nonrecursive Causal Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robbins, Blaine G.

    2012-01-01

    This paper investigates the association between institutional quality and generalized trust. Despite the importance of the topic, little quantitative empirical evidence exists to support either unidirectional or bidirectional causality for the reason that cross-sectional studies rarely model the reciprocal relationship between institutional…

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Critical region for an Ising model coupled to causal triangulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerda-Hernández, J.

    2017-02-01

    This paper extends the results obtained by Hernández et al for the annealed Ising model coupled to two-dimensional causal dynamical triangulations. We employ the Fortuin‑Kasteleyn (FK) representation in order to determine a region in the quadrant of the parameters β,μ >0 where the critical curve for the annealed model is possibly located. This can be done by outlining a region where the model has a unique infinite-volume Gibbs measure, and a region where the finite-volume Gibbs measure does not have weak limit (in fact, does not exist if the volume is large enough). We also improve the region where the model has a one dimensional geometry with respect to the unique weak limit measure, which implies that the Ising model on causal triangulation does not have phase transition in this region. Furthermore, we provide a better approximation of the free energy for the coupled model.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perkins, David N.; Grotzer, Tina A.

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

  10. Dynamic Granger-Geweke causality modeling with application to interictal spike propagation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Hara, Keiko; Solo, Victor; Vangel, Mark; Belliveau, John W; Stufflebeam, Steven M; Hämäläinen, Matti S

    2009-06-01

    A persistent problem in developing plausible neurophysiological models of perception, cognition, and action is the difficulty of characterizing the interactions between different neural systems. Previous studies have approached this problem by estimating causal influences across brain areas activated during cognitive processing using structural equation modeling (SEM) and, more recently, with Granger-Geweke causality. While SEM is complicated by the need for a priori directional connectivity information, the temporal resolution of dynamic Granger-Geweke estimates is limited because the underlying autoregressive (AR) models assume stationarity over the period of analysis. We have developed a novel optimal method for obtaining data-driven directional causality estimates with high temporal resolution in both time and frequency domains. This is achieved by simultaneously optimizing the length of the analysis window and the chosen AR model order using the SURE criterion. Dynamic Granger-Geweke causality in time and frequency domains is subsequently calculated within a moving analysis window. We tested our algorithm by calculating the Granger-Geweke causality of epileptic spike propagation from the right frontal lobe to the left frontal lobe. The results quantitatively suggested that the epileptic activity at the left frontal lobe was propagated from the right frontal lobe, in agreement with the clinical diagnosis. Our novel computational tool can be used to help elucidate complex directional interactions in the human brain.

  11. Dynamic Granger-Geweke causality modeling with application to interictal spike propagation

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Hara, Keiko; Solo, Victor; Vangel, Mark; Belliveau, John W.; Stufflebeam, Steven M.; Hamalainen, Matti S.

    2010-01-01

    A persistent problem in developing plausible neurophysiological models of perception, cognition, and action is the difficulty of characterizing the interactions between different neural systems. Previous studies have approached this problem by estimating causal influences across brain areas activated during cognitive processing using Structural Equation Modeling and, more recently, with Granger-Geweke causality. While SEM is complicated by the need for a priori directional connectivity information, the temporal resolution of dynamic Granger-Geweke estimates is limited because the underlying autoregressive (AR) models assume stationarity over the period of analysis. We have developed a novel optimal method for obtaining data-driven directional causality estimates with high temporal resolution in both time and frequency domains. This is achieved by simultaneously optimizing the length of the analysis window and the chosen AR model order using the SURE criterion. Dynamic Granger-Geweke causality in time and frequency domains is subsequently calculated within a moving analysis window. We tested our algorithm by calculating the Granger-Geweke causality of epileptic spike propagation from the right frontal lobe to the left frontal lobe. The results quantitatively suggested the epileptic activity at the left frontal lobe was propagated from the right frontal lobe, in agreement with the clinical diagnosis. Our novel computational tool can be used to help elucidate complex directional interactions in the human brain. PMID:19378280

  12. Spectral properties of a double-quantum-dot structure: A causal Green's function approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, J. Q.; Zheng, Hou-Zhi

    1999-09-01

    Spectral properties of a double quantum dot (QD) structure are studied by a causal Green's function (GF) approach. The double QD system is modeled by an Anderson-type Hamiltonian in which both the intra- and interdot Coulomb interactions are taken into account. The GF's are derived by an equation-of-motion method and the real-space renormalization-group technique. The numerical results show that the average occupation number of electrons in the QD exhibits staircase features and the local density of states depends appreciably on the electron occupation of the dot.

  13. Dynamical Causal Modeling from a Quantum Dynamical Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Demiralp, Emre; Demiralp, Metin

    2010-09-30

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-01

    Learning Environments 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S? Barbara Y. White and John R. Frederiksen 13a. TYPE OF REPORT 13b TIME COVERED 14. DATE OF REPORT (Year...architecture of a new type of learning environment that incorporates features of microworlds and of intelligent tutorng systems. The environment is based on...The design principles underlying the creation of one type of causal model are then given (for zero-order models of electrical circuit behavior); and

  15. Interventionist causal models in psychiatry: repositioning the mind-body problem.

    PubMed

    Kendler, K S; Campbell, J

    2009-06-01

    The diversity of research methods applied to psychiatric disorders results in a confusing plethora of causal claims. To help make sense of these claims, the interventionist model (IM) of causality has several attractive features. First, it connects causation with the practical interests of psychiatry, defining causation in terms of 'what would happen under interventions', a question of key interest to those of us whose interest is ultimately in intervening to prevent and treat illness. Second, it distinguishes between predictive-correlative and true causal relationships, an essential issue cutting across many areas in psychiatric research. Third, the IM is non-reductive and agnostic to issues of mind-body problem. Fourth, the IM model cleanly separates issues of causation from questions about the underlying mechanism. Clarifying causal influences can usefully structure the search for underlying mechanisms. Fifth, it provides a sorely needed conceptual rigor to multi-level modeling, thereby avoiding a return to uncritical holistic approaches that 'everything is relevant' to psychiatric illness. Sixth, the IM provides a clear way to judge both the generality and depth of explanations. In conclusion, the IM can provide a single, clear empirical framework for the evaluation of all causal claims of relevance to psychiatry and presents psychiatry with a method of avoiding the sterile metaphysical arguments about mind and brain which have preoccupied our field but yielded little of practical benefit.

  16. Measured, modeled, and causal conceptions of fitness.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Marshall

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. A Longitudinal Study of Hong Kong Chinese University Students' Academic Causal Attributions, Self-Concept, Learning Approaches, and Their Causal Effects on Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Lai Po

    The longitudinal changes in the causal attributions, academic self-concept, and learning approaches of 549 university students in Hong Kong were studied. Students were enrolled in two different disciplines: language/health studies (n=272) and construction/engineering (n=277). Measurements of causal dimensions, academic self-concept, learning…

  19. Teaching-Learning by Means of a Fuzzy-Causal User Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peña Ayala, Alejandro

    In this research the teaching-learning phenomenon that occurs during an E-learning experience is tackled from a fuzzy-causal perspective. The approach is suitable for dealing with intangible objects of a domain, such as personality, that are stated as linguistic variables. In addition, the bias that teaching content exerts on the user’s mind is sketched through causal relationships. Moreover, by means of fuzzy-causal inference, the user’s apprenticeship is estimated prior to delivering a lecture. This supposition is taken into account to adapt the behavior of a Web-based education system (WBES). As a result of an experimental trial, volunteers that took options of lectures chosen by this user model (UM) achieved higher learning than participants who received lectures’ options that were randomly selected. Such empirical evidence contributes to encourage researchers of the added value that a UM offers to adapt a WBES.

  20. Performance bounds for dynamic causal modeling of brain connectivity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shun Chi; Swindlehurst, A Lee

    2012-01-01

    The use of complex dynamical models have been proposed for describing the connections and causal interactions between different regions of the brain. The goal of these models is to accurately mimic the event-related potentials observed by EEG/MEG measurement systems, and are useful in understanding overall brain functionality. In this paper, we focus on a class of nonlinear dynamic causal models (DCM) that are described by a set of connectivity parameters. In practice, the DCM parameters are inferred using data obtained by an EEG or MEG sensor array in response to a certain event or stimulus, and the resulting estimates are used to analyze the strength and direction of the causal interactions between different brain regions. The usefulness of the parameter estimates will depend on how accurately they can be estimated, which in turn will depend on noise, the sampling rate, number of data samples collected, the accuracy of the source localization and reconstruction steps, etc. The goal of this paper is to derive Cramér-Rao performance bounds for DCM estimates, and examine the behavior of the bounds under different operating conditions.

  1. A Preliminary Evaluation of Causal Models of Male and Female Acquisition of Pilot Skills

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-01-01

    Male and Female Causal Models...Clearance number 97-531 A Preliminary Evaluation of Causal Models of Male and Female Acquisition of Pilot Skills12 Thomas R. Carretta and Malcolm James...knowledge and flying skills was tested on separate samples of male and female students. Causal model parameters were estimated separately for each

  2. 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.

  3. Processing of positive-causal and negative-causal coherence relations in primary school children and adults: a test of the cumulative cognitive complexity approach in German.

    PubMed

    Knoepke, Julia; Richter, Tobias; Isberner, Maj-Britt; Naumann, Johannes; Neeb, Yvonne; Weinert, Sabine

    2017-03-01

    Establishing local coherence relations is central to text comprehension. Positive-causal coherence relations link a cause and its consequence, whereas negative-causal coherence relations add a contrastive meaning (negation) to the causal link. According to the cumulative cognitive complexity approach, negative-causal coherence relations are cognitively more complex than positive-causal ones. Therefore, they require greater cognitive effort during text comprehension and are acquired later in language development. The present cross-sectional study tested these predictions for German primary school children from Grades 1 to 4 and adults in reading and listening comprehension. Accuracy data in a semantic verification task support the predictions of the cumulative cognitive complexity approach. Negative-causal coherence relations are cognitively more demanding than positive-causal ones. Moreover, our findings indicate that children's comprehension of negative-causal coherence relations continues to develop throughout the course of primary school. Findings are discussed with respect to the generalizability of the cumulative cognitive complexity approach to German.

  4. Do trend extraction approaches affect causality detection in climate change studies?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xu; Hassani, Hossein; Ghodsi, Mansi; Mukherjee, Zinnia; Gupta, Rangan

    2017-03-01

    Various scientific studies have investigated the causal link between solar activity (SS) and the earth's temperature (GT). Results from literature indicate that both the detected structural breaks and existing trend have significant effects on the causality detection outcomes. In this paper, we make a contribution to this literature by evaluating and comparing seven trend extraction methods covering various aspects of trend extraction studies to date. In addition, we extend previous work by using Convergent Cross Mapping (CCM) - an advanced non-parametric causality detection technique to provide evidence on the effect of existing trend in global temperature on the causality detection outcome. This paper illustrates the use of a method to find the most reliable trend extraction approach for data preprocessing, as well as provides detailed analyses of the causality detection of each component by this approach to achieve a better understanding of the causal link between SS and GT. Furthermore, the corresponding CCM results indicate increasing significance of causal effect from SS to GT since 1880 to recent years, which provide solid evidences that may contribute on explaining the escalating global tendency of warming up recent decades.

  5. Causal models of trip replanning in TravTek

    SciTech Connect

    Schryver, J.C.

    1998-07-01

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

  6. Applying optimal model selection in principal stratification for causal inference.

    PubMed

    Odondi, Lang'o; McNamee, Roseanne

    2013-05-20

    Noncompliance to treatment allocation is a key source of complication for causal inference. Efficacy estimation is likely to be compounded by the presence of noncompliance in both treatment arms of clinical trials where the intention-to-treat estimate provides a biased estimator for the true causal estimate even under homogeneous treatment effects assumption. Principal stratification method has been developed to address such posttreatment complications. The present work extends a principal stratification method that adjusts for noncompliance in two-treatment arms trials by developing model selection for covariates predicting compliance to treatment in each arm. We apply the method to analyse data from the Esprit study, which was conducted to ascertain whether unopposed oestrogen (hormone replacement therapy) reduced the risk of further cardiac events in postmenopausal women who survive a first myocardial infarction. We adjust for noncompliance in both treatment arms under a Bayesian framework to produce causal risk ratio estimates for each principal stratum. For mild values of a sensitivity parameter and using separate predictors of compliance in each arm, principal stratification results suggested that compliance with hormone replacement therapy only would reduce the risk for death and myocardial reinfarction by about 47% and 25%, respectively, whereas compliance with either treatment would reduce the risk for death by 13% and reinfarction by 60% among the most compliant. However, the results were sensitive to the user-defined sensitivity parameter.

  7. Causality and Composite Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Joglekar, Satish D.

    2007-10-03

    In this talk, we discuss the question of whether a composite structure of elementary particles, with a length scale 1/{lambda}, can leave observable effects of non-locality and causality violation at higher energies (but {<=}{lambda}); employing a model-independent approach based on Bogoliubov-Shirkov formulation of causality. We formulate a condition which must be fulfilled for the derived theory to be causal, if the fundamental theory is so; and analyze it to exhibit possibilities which fulfil and which violate the condition. We comment on how causality violating amplitudes can arise.

  8. Causal Analysis After Haavelmo

    PubMed Central

    Heckman, James; Pinto, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Neural Representation and Causal Models in Motor Cortex.

    PubMed

    Chaisanguanthum, Kris S; Shen, Helen H; Sabes, Philip N

    2017-03-22

    Dorsal premotor (PMd) and primary motor (M1) cortices play a central role in mapping sensation to movement. Many studies of these areas have focused on correlation-based tuning curves relating neural activity to task or movement parameters, but the link between tuning and movement generation is unclear. We recorded motor preparatory activity from populations of neurons in PMd/M1 as macaque monkeys performed a visually guided reaching task and show that tuning curves for sensory inputs (reach target direction) and motor outputs (initial movement direction) are not typically aligned. We then used a simple, causal model to determine the expected relationship between sensory and motor tuning. The model shows that movement variability is minimized when output neurons (those that directly drive movement) have target and movement tuning that are linearly related across targets and cells. In contrast, for neurons that only affect movement via projections to output neurons, the relationship between target and movement tuning is determined by the pattern of projections to output neurons and may even be uncorrelated, as was observed for the PMd/M1 population as a whole. We therefore determined the relationship between target and movement tuning for subpopulations of cells defined by the temporal duration of their spike waveforms, which may distinguish cell types. We found a strong correlation between target and movement tuning for only a subpopulation of neurons with intermediate spike durations (trough-to-peak ∼350 μs after high-pass filtering), suggesting that these cells have the most direct role in driving motor output.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study focuses on how macaque premotor and primary motor cortices transform sensory inputs into motor outputs. We develop empirical and theoretical links between causal models of this transformation and more traditional, correlation-based "tuning curve" analyses. Contrary to common assumptions, we show that sensory and motor

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geuther, Steven C.; Shih, Ann T.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gopnik, Alison; Wellman, Henry M

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gopnik, Alison; Wellman, Henry M.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zigler, Corwin Matthew; Dominici, Francesca

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, Susanne; Horenko, Illia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Mediation analysis with intermediate confounding: structural equation modeling viewed through the causal inference lens.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. [The Granger causality models and their applications in brain effective connectivity networks].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Tiezhu; Zheng, Gang; Pan, Zhiying; Li, Qiang; Wang, Li; Lu, Guangming

    2013-12-01

    Granger causality model is an analysis method that requires no priori knowledge and emphasizes time sequence. Such model applied to brain effective connectivity network can reflect the directional connectivity among brain regions or neurons. This paper reviews the principle of Granger causality model, basic test steps and improved models, analyzes and discusses applications and existing problems of Granger causality model in brain effective connectivity network.

  18. Spatiotemporal causal modeling for the management of Dengue Fever

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Granger Causality in Multivariate Time Series Using a Time-Ordered Restricted Vector Autoregressive Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siggiridou, Elsa; Kugiumtzis, Dimitris

    2016-04-01

    Granger causality has been used for the investigation of the inter-dependence structure of the underlying systems of multi-variate time series. In particular, the direct causal effects are commonly estimated by the conditional Granger causality index (CGCI). In the presence of many observed variables and relatively short time series, CGCI may fail because it is based on vector autoregressive models (VAR) involving a large number of coefficients to be estimated. In this work, the VAR is restricted by a scheme that modifies the recently developed method of backward-in-time selection (BTS) of the lagged variables and the CGCI is combined with BTS. Further, the proposed approach is compared favorably to other restricted VAR representations, such as the top-down strategy, the bottom-up strategy, and the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO), in terms of sensitivity and specificity of CGCI. This is shown by using simulations of linear and nonlinear, low and high-dimensional systems and different time series lengths. For nonlinear systems, CGCI from the restricted VAR representations are compared with analogous nonlinear causality indices. Further, CGCI in conjunction with BTS and other restricted VAR representations is applied to multi-channel scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings of epileptic patients containing epileptiform discharges. CGCI on the restricted VAR, and BTS in particular, could track the changes in brain connectivity before, during and after epileptiform discharges, which was not possible using the full VAR representation.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprang, M. Virginia; And Others

    1993-01-01

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

  1. Causal Inference and Model Selection in Complex Settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shandong

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

  2. Causal Network Models for Predicting Compound Targets and Driving Pathways in Cancer.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Savina; Min, Junxia; Nigsch, Florian; Camargo, Miguel; Hutz, Janna; Cornett, Allen; Cleaver, Stephen; Buckler, Alan; Jenkins, Jeremy L

    2014-06-01

    Gene-expression data are often used to infer pathways regulating transcriptional responses. For example, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) induced by compound treatment can help characterize hits from phenotypic screens, either by correlation with known drug signatures or by pathway enrichment. Pathway enrichment is, however, typically computed with DEGs rather than "upstream" nodes that are potentially causal of "downstream" changes. Here, we present graph-based models to predict causal targets from compound-microarray data. We test several approaches to traversing network topology, and show that a consensus minimum-rank score (SigNet) beat individual methods and could highly rank compound targets among all network nodes. In addition, larger, less canonical networks outperformed linear canonical interactions. Importantly, pathway enrichment using causal nodes rather than DEGs recovers relevant pathways more often. To further validate our approach, we used integrated data sets from the Cancer Genome Atlas to identify driving pathways in triple-negative breast cancer. Critical pathways were uncovered, including the epidermal growth factor receptor 2-phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase-AKT-MAPK growth pathway andATR-p53-BRCA DNA damage pathway, in addition to unexpected pathways, such as TGF-WNT cytoskeleton remodeling, IL12-induced interferon gamma production, and TNFR-IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) apoptosis; the latter was validated by pooled small hairpin RNA profiling in cancer cells. Overall, our approach can bridge transcriptional profiles to compound targets and driving pathways in cancer.

  3. Estimation and Inference for the Causal Effect of Receiving Treatment on a Multinomial Outcome: An Alternative Approach

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Stuart G.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Recently Cheng (Biometrics, 2009) proposed a model for the causal effect of receiving treatment when there is all-or-none compliance in one randomization group, with maximum likelihood estimation based on convex programming. We discuss an alternative approach that involves a model for all-or-none compliance in two randomization groups and estimation via a perfect fit or an EM algorithm for count data. We believe this approach is easier to implement, which would facilitate the reproduction of calculations. PMID:20560933

  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. Missing data estimation in fMRI dynamic causal modeling.

    PubMed

    Zaghlool, Shaza B; Wyatt, Christopher L

    2014-01-01

    Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) can be used to quantify cognitive function in individuals as effective connectivity. However, ambiguity among subjects in the number and location of discernible active regions prevents all candidate models from being compared in all subjects, precluding the use of DCM as an individual cognitive phenotyping tool. This paper proposes a solution to this problem by treating missing regions in the first-level analysis as missing data, and performing estimation of the time course associated with any missing region using one of four candidate methods: zero-filling, average-filling, noise-filling using a fixed stochastic process, or one estimated using expectation-maximization. The effect of this estimation scheme was analyzed by treating it as a preprocessing step to DCM and observing the resulting effects on model evidence. Simulation studies show that estimation using expectation-maximization yields the highest classification accuracy using a simple loss function and highest model evidence, relative to other methods. This result held for various dataset sizes and varying numbers of model choice. In real data, application to Go/No-Go and Simon tasks allowed computation of signals from the missing nodes and the consequent computation of model evidence in all subjects compared to 62 and 48 percent respectively if no preprocessing was performed. These results demonstrate the face validity of the preprocessing scheme and open the possibility of using single-subject DCM as an individual cognitive phenotyping tool.

  6. Physiologically informed dynamic causal modeling of fMRI data.

    PubMed

    Havlicek, Martin; Roebroeck, Alard; Friston, Karl; Gardumi, Anna; Ivanov, Dimo; Uludag, Kamil

    2015-11-15

    The functional MRI (fMRI) signal is an indirect measure of neuronal activity. In order to deconvolve the neuronal activity from the experimental fMRI data, biophysical generative models have been proposed describing the link between neuronal activity and the cerebral blood flow (the neurovascular coupling), and further the hemodynamic response and the BOLD signal equation. These generative models have been employed both for single brain area deconvolution and to infer effective connectivity in networks of multiple brain areas. In the current paper, we introduce a new fMRI model inspired by experimental observations about the physiological underpinnings of the BOLD signal and compare it with the generative models currently used in dynamic causal modeling (DCM), a widely used framework to study effective connectivity in the brain. We consider three fundamental aspects of such generative models for fMRI: (i) an adaptive two-state neuronal model that accounts for a wide repertoire of neuronal responses during and after stimulation; (ii) feedforward neurovascular coupling that links neuronal activity to blood flow; and (iii) a balloon model that can account for vascular uncoupling between the blood flow and the blood volume. Finally, we adjust the parameterization of the BOLD signal equation for different magnetic field strengths. This paper focuses on the form, motivation and phenomenology of DCMs for fMRI and the characteristics of the various models are demonstrated using simulations. These simulations emphasize a more accurate modeling of the transient BOLD responses - such as adaptive decreases to sustained inputs during stimulation and the post-stimulus undershoot. In addition, we demonstrate using experimental data that it is necessary to take into account both neuronal and vascular transients to accurately model the signal dynamics of fMRI data. By refining the models of the transient responses, we provide a more informed perspective on the underlying neuronal

  7. Neural masses and fields in dynamic causal modeling

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Rosalyn; Pinotsis, Dimitris A.; Friston, Karl

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) provides a framework for the analysis of effective connectivity among neuronal subpopulations that subtend invasive (electrocorticograms and local field potentials) and non-invasive (electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography) electrophysiological responses. This paper reviews the suite of neuronal population models including neural masses, fields and conductance-based models that are used in DCM. These models are expressed in terms of sets of differential equations that allow one to model the synaptic underpinnings of connectivity. We describe early developments using neural mass models, where convolution-based dynamics are used to generate responses in laminar-specific populations of excitatory and inhibitory cells. We show that these models, though resting on only two simple transforms, can recapitulate the characteristics of both evoked and spectral responses observed empirically. Using an identical neuronal architecture, we show that a set of conductance based models—that consider the dynamics of specific ion-channels—present a richer space of responses; owing to non-linear interactions between conductances and membrane potentials. We propose that conductance-based models may be more appropriate when spectra present with multiple resonances. Finally, we outline a third class of models, where each neuronal subpopulation is treated as a field; in other words, as a manifold on the cortical surface. By explicitly accounting for the spatial propagation of cortical activity through partial differential equations (PDEs), we show that the topology of connectivity—through local lateral interactions among cortical layers—may be inferred, even in the absence of spatially resolved data. We also show that these models allow for a detailed analysis of structure–function relationships in the cortex. Our review highlights the relationship among these models and how the hypothesis asked of empirical data suggests an appropriate

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Evaluating Social Causality and Responsibility Models: An Initial Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    events and executed actions as inputs. Causal information and social information are also important inputs. Causal information includes an action ... theory and a plan library (discussed below). Social information specifies social roles and the power relationship of the roles. The in- ference

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sloman, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Dynamic causal models of steady-state responses

    PubMed Central

    Moran, R.J.; Stephan, K.E.; Seidenbecher, T.; Pape, H.-C.; Dolan, R.J.; Friston, K.J.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we describe a dynamic causal model (DCM) of steady-state responses in electrophysiological data that are summarised in terms of their cross-spectral density. These spectral data-features are generated by a biologically plausible, neural-mass model of coupled electromagnetic sources; where each source comprises three sub-populations. Under linearity and stationarity assumptions, the model's biophysical parameters (e.g., post-synaptic receptor density and time constants) prescribe the cross-spectral density of responses measured directly (e.g., local field potentials) or indirectly through some lead-field (e.g., electroencephalographic and magnetoencephalographic data). Inversion of the ensuing DCM provides conditional probabilities on the synaptic parameters of intrinsic and extrinsic connections in the underlying neuronal network. This means we can make inferences about synaptic physiology, as well as changes induced by pharmacological or behavioural manipulations, using the cross-spectral density of invasive or non-invasive electrophysiological recordings. In this paper, we focus on the form of the model, its inversion and validation using synthetic and real data. We conclude with an illustrative application to multi-channel local field potential data acquired during a learning experiment in mice. PMID:19000769

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jensen, Eva

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Dynamic causal modelling for functional near-infrared spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Gradient-based MCMC samplers for dynamic causal modelling

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerrard, Sue; Rugg, Gordon

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Towards an Algebra for Analyzing Causal Relations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellett, Frederick S., Jr.; Ericson, David P.

    Correlation-based approaches to causal analysis contain too much irrelevant information that masks and modulates the true nature of causal processes in the world. Both causal modeling and path analysis/structural equations give the wrong answers for certain conceptions of causation, given certain assumptions about the "error" variables.…

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  19. Modeling the Perception of Audiovisual Distance: Bayesian Causal Inference and Other Models

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Studies of audiovisual perception of distance are rare. Here, visual and auditory cue interactions in distance are tested against several multisensory models, including a modified causal inference model. In this causal inference model predictions of estimate distributions are included. In our study, the audiovisual perception of distance was overall better explained by Bayesian causal inference than by other traditional models, such as sensory dominance and mandatory integration, and no interaction. Causal inference resolved with probability matching yielded the best fit to the data. Finally, we propose that sensory weights can also be estimated from causal inference. The analysis of the sensory weights allows us to obtain windows within which there is an interaction between the audiovisual stimuli. We find that the visual stimulus always contributes by more than 80% to the perception of visual distance. The visual stimulus also contributes by more than 50% to the perception of auditory distance, but only within a mobile window of interaction, which ranges from 1 to 4 m. PMID:27959919

  20. Causal inference as an emerging statistical approach in neurology: an example for epilepsy in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Moura, Lidia Mvr; Westover, M Brandon; Kwasnik, David; Cole, Andrew J; Hsu, John

    2017-01-01

    The elderly population faces an increasing number of cases of chronic neurological conditions, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. Because the elderly with epilepsy are commonly excluded from randomized controlled clinical trials, there are few rigorous studies to guide clinical practice. When the elderly are eligible for trials, they either rarely participate or frequently have poor adherence to therapy, thus limiting both generalizability and validity. In contrast, large observational data sets are increasingly available, but are susceptible to bias when using common analytic approaches. Recent developments in causal inference-analytic approaches also introduce the possibility of emulating randomized controlled trials to yield valid estimates. We provide a practical example of the application of the principles of causal inference to a large observational data set of patients with epilepsy. This review also provides a framework for comparative-effectiveness research in chronic neurological conditions.

  1. Causal inference as an emerging statistical approach in neurology: an example for epilepsy in the elderly

    PubMed Central

    Moura, Lidia MVR; Westover, M Brandon; Kwasnik, David; Cole, Andrew J; Hsu, John

    2017-01-01

    The elderly population faces an increasing number of cases of chronic neurological conditions, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. Because the elderly with epilepsy are commonly excluded from randomized controlled clinical trials, there are few rigorous studies to guide clinical practice. When the elderly are eligible for trials, they either rarely participate or frequently have poor adherence to therapy, thus limiting both generalizability and validity. In contrast, large observational data sets are increasingly available, but are susceptible to bias when using common analytic approaches. Recent developments in causal inference-analytic approaches also introduce the possibility of emulating randomized controlled trials to yield valid estimates. We provide a practical example of the application of the principles of causal inference to a large observational data set of patients with epilepsy. This review also provides a framework for comparative-effectiveness research in chronic neurological conditions. PMID:28115873

  2. 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.

  3. Dynamic Interactions and Intersubjectivity: Challenges to Causal Modeling in Studies of College Student Debt

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dowd, Alicia C.

    2008-01-01

    Loans are a central component of college finance, yet research has generated a dearth of strong evidence of their effect on student choices. This article examines challenges to causal modeling regarding the effects of borrowing and the prospects of indebtedness on students' college-going behaviors. Statistical estimates of causal effects are…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schochet, Peter Z.

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. Collinearity and causal diagrams – a lesson on the importance of model specification

    PubMed Central

    Schisterman, Enrique F.; Perkins, Neil J.; Mumford, Sunni L.; Ahrens, Katherine A.; Mitchell, Emily M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Correlated data are ubiquitous in epidemiologic research, particularly in nutritional and environmental epidemiology where mixtures of factors are studied. Our objective is to demonstrate how highly correlated data arise in epidemiologic research and provide guidance on how to proceed analytically when faced with highly correlated data utilizing a directed acyclic graph approach. Methods We identified three fundamental structural scenarios in which high correlation between a given variable and the exposure can arise: intermediates, confounders, and colliders. For each of these scenarios we evaluated the consequences of increasing correlation between the given variable and the exposure on the bias and variance for the total effect of the exposure on the outcome using unadjusted and adjusted models. We derived closed form solutions for continuous outcomes using linear regression and empirically present our findings for binary outcomes using logistic regression. Results For models properly specified, total effect estimates remained unbiased even when there was almost perfect correlation between the exposure and a given intermediate, confounder, or collider. In general, as the correlation increased the variance of the parameter estimate for the exposure in the adjusted models increased, while in the unadjusted models it increased to a lesser extent or decreased. Conclusion Our findings highlight the importance of considering the causal framework under study when specifying regression models. Strategies that do not take into consideration the causal structure may lead to biased effect estimation for the original question of interest, even under high correlation. PMID:27676260

  7. 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

  8. Causality and headache triggers

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayduk, Leslie

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. A causal model for longitudinal randomised trials with time-dependent non-compliance.

    PubMed

    Becque, Taeko; White, Ian R; Haggard, Mark

    2015-05-30

    In the presence of non-compliance, conventional analysis by intention-to-treat provides an unbiased comparison of treatment policies but typically under-estimates treatment efficacy. With all-or-nothing compliance, efficacy may be specified as the complier-average causal effect (CACE), where compliers are those who receive intervention if and only if randomised to it. We extend the CACE approach to model longitudinal data with time-dependent non-compliance, focusing on the situation in which those randomised to control may receive treatment and allowing treatment effects to vary arbitrarily over time. Defining compliance type to be the time of surgical intervention if randomised to control, so that compliers are patients who would not have received treatment at all if they had been randomised to control, we construct a causal model for the multivariate outcome conditional on compliance type and randomised arm. This model is applied to the trial of alternative regimens for glue ear treatment evaluating surgical interventions in childhood ear disease, where outcomes are measured over five time points, and receipt of surgical intervention in the control arm may occur at any time. We fit the models using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods to obtain estimates of the CACE at successive times after receiving the intervention. In this trial, over a half of those randomised to control eventually receive intervention. We find that surgery is more beneficial than control at 6months, with a small but non-significant beneficial effect at 12months.

  12. Visual causal models enhance clinical explanations of treatments for generalized anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. A local adjustment strategy for the initialization of dynamic causal modelling to infer effective connectivity in brain epileptic structures.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Wentao; Karfoul, Ahmad; Shu, Huazhong; Le Bouquin Jeannès, Régine

    2017-03-07

    This paper addresses the question of effective connectivity in the human cerebral cortex in the context of epilepsy. Among model based approaches to infer brain connectivity, spectral Dynamic Causal Modelling is a conventional technique for which we propose an alternative to estimate cross spectral density. The proposed strategy we investigated tackles the sub-estimation of the free energy using the well-known variational Expectation-Maximization algorithm highly sensitive to the initialization of the parameters vector by a permanent local adjustment of the initialization process. The performance of the proposed strategy in terms of effective connectivity identification is assessed using simulated data generated by a neuronal mass model (simulating unidirectional and bidirectional flows) and real epileptic intracerebral Electroencephalographic signals. Results show the efficiency of proposed approach compared to the conventional Dynamic Causal Modelling and the one wherein a deterministic annealing scheme is employed.

  14. Causal Indicator Models Have Nothing to Do with Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Roy D.; Breivik, Einar

    2016-01-01

    In this article, Roy Howell, and Einar Breivik, congratulate Aguirre-Urreta, M. I., Rönkkö, M., & Marakas, G. M., for their work (2016) "Omission of Causal Indicators: Consequences and Implications for Measurement," Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 14(3), 75-97. doi:10.1080/15366367.2016.1205935. They call it…

  15. A Bayesian Nonparametric Causal Model for Regression Discontinuity Designs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karabatsos, George; Walker, Stephen G.

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Causal Models with Unmeasured Variables: An Introduction to LISREL.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfle, Lee M.

    Whenever one uses ordinary least squares regression, one is making an implicit assumption that all of the independent variables have been measured without error. Such an assumption is obviously unrealistic for most social data. One approach for estimating such regression models is to measure implied coefficients between latent variables for which…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, Eva

    2014-07-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. A causal model for the effectiveness of internal quality assurance for the health science area.

    PubMed

    Seeorn, Kittiya

    2005-10-01

    The purposes of this research were 1) to study the effectiveness of Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) of the Health science area, and 2) to study the factors affecting the effectiveness of the IQA of the Health science area. A causal model has been developed by the researcher comprised of the 6 exogenous latent variables: Attitude towards quality assurance, Teamwork, Staff training, Resource sufficiency, Organizational culture, and Leadership, and the 4 endogenous latent variables, which are the effectiveness of the IQA, Student-centered approach, Decentralized administration, PDCA cycle of work (Plan-Do-Check-Act), and Staff job satisfaction. The research sample consisted of 108 health science faculties derived by stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected by 10 questionnaires having reliability ranging from 0.79 to 0.96. Data analyses were descriptive statistics, and Linear Structure Relationship (LISREL) analysis. The major findings were as follows: 1. The 4 dimensions of effectiveness for the IQA of the Health science areas were significantly higher at the .05 level, after the Health science faculty applied the IQA programme according to the National Education Act of 1999. 2. The causal model of the effectiveness of the IQA was valid and fitted the empirical data. The 6 predictors accounted for 83% of the variance in the effectiveness of IQA. Culture and Leadership were the predictors that significantly accounted for the effectiveness of the IQA.

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

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Wei; Wu, Chunxian

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Guarnera, Enrico; Berezovsky, Igor N.

    2016-01-01

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

  3. [Causal models of achievement motive, goal orientation, intrinsic interest, and academic achievement in classroom].

    PubMed

    Tanaka, A; Yamauchi, H

    2000-10-01

    This study investigated the effect of achievement motive on goal orientation, and that of goal orientation on intrinsic interest in learning and academic achievement, based on the model proposed by Elliot and Church (1997). A sample of 222 fifth and sixth grade students of an elementary school, and another of 307 seventh, eighth and ninth grade students of a junior high school participated in the study. The approach-avoidance framework of Elliot and Harackiewicz (1996) was used to classify goal orientations. With multiple-sample structural equation modeling, the paths in two causal models, one for each of the elementary and junior high school samples, were compared. A path was found from hope for success to mastery orientation, from both hope for success and fear of failure to performance-approach orientation, and from fear of failure to performance-avoidance orientation. Mastery and performance-approach orientations each had a positive effect on intrinsic interest in learning. For elementary school children, performance-approach orientation enhanced academic achievement, and for junior high school students, mastery orientation mainly facilitated it. Performance-avoidance orientation had a negative effect on both intrinsic interest and academic achievement.

  4. Reasoning, Learning, and Classifying with Uncertain Causal Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-19

    preschoolers .   Cognitive   Science ,  28,  303  -­‐333.   Waldmann,  M...probability  of  an  effect  e  to  its   parents ,               (1)     where  l.c  and  l.e  are...the  causal  links  between  e  and  its   parents .     We  stipulate  that  the  joint  probability  distribution

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. Inferring Tree Causal Models of Cancer Progression with Probability Raising

    PubMed Central

    Mauri, Giancarlo; Antoniotti, Marco; Mishra, Bud

    2014-01-01

    Existing techniques to reconstruct tree models of progression for accumulative processes, such as cancer, seek to estimate causation by combining correlation and a frequentist notion of temporal priority. In this paper, we define a novel theoretical framework called CAPRESE (CAncer PRogression Extraction with Single Edges) to reconstruct such models based on the notion of probabilistic causation defined by Suppes. We consider a general reconstruction setting complicated by the presence of noise in the data due to biological variation, as well as experimental or measurement errors. To improve tolerance to noise we define and use a shrinkage-like estimator. We prove the correctness of our algorithm by showing asymptotic convergence to the correct tree under mild constraints on the level of noise. Moreover, on synthetic data, we show that our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art, that it is efficient even with a relatively small number of samples and that its performance quickly converges to its asymptote as the number of samples increases. For real cancer datasets obtained with different technologies, we highlight biologically significant differences in the progressions inferred with respect to other competing techniques and we also show how to validate conjectured biological relations with progression models. PMID:25299648

  9. Affirming Proposed Variable Relationship Patterns in a Conceptual Nursing Model by Converting Qualitative Data to Causal Loop Diagrams

    PubMed Central

    Browne, Jennifer A.

    2016-01-01

    Even with decades of use, there is minimal understanding about the impact that the use of Health Information Technology has on nursing work and workarounds. Reliance on quantitative methods has to some degree constrained our understanding by viewing phenomena from only one perspective. This multimethods research used qualitative data to develop causal loop diagrams and inform a Health Information Technology Workaround model. This approach can play an important role in generating an improved understanding of nursing clinical workflow and workarounds. This research strategy has not been identified in nursing literature to date, but perhaps will encourage future exploration and paradigm crossing. Investigating the use of causal loop diagrams and systems modelling in nursing can create an opportunity to enrich our insights and encourage scientific dialogue about the complexity of clinical workflow and the integration of Health Information Technology. PMID:28269931

  10. Test of a Drug Use Causal Model Using Asymptotically Distribution Free Methods.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huba, George J.; Bentler, Peter M.

    1983-01-01

    Reexamined previous statistical comparisons of two models for adolescent drug abuse using new statistical estimation methods in causal modeling not requiring assumptions about normally distributed variables. An asymptotically distribution free method shows that the models fit even better than assumed in the initial work. (Author/JAC)

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

    PubMed Central

    Bollen, Kenneth A.; Bauldry, Shawn

    2013-01-01

    In the last two decades attention to causal (and formative) indicators has grown. Accompanying this growth has been the belief that we can classify indicators into two categories, effect (reflective) indicators and causal (formative) indicators. This paper argues that the dichotomous view is too simple. Instead, there are effect indicators and three 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 variable(s). 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. PMID:21767021

  12. A Note on the Usefulness of the Behavioural Rasch Selection Model for Causal Inference in the Social Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabbitt, Matthew P.

    2016-11-01

    Social scientists are often interested in examining causal relationships where the outcome of interest is represented by an intangible concept, such as an individual's well-being or ability. Estimating causal relationships in this scenario is particularly challenging because the social scientist must rely on measurement models to measure individual's properties or attributes and then address issues related to survey data, such as omitted variables. In this paper, the usefulness of the recently proposed behavioural Rasch selection model is explored using a series of Monte Carlo experiments. The behavioural Rasch selection model is particularly useful for these types of applications because it is capable of estimating the causal effect of a binary treatment effect on an outcome that is represented by an intangible concept using cross-sectional data. Other methodology typically relies of summary measures from measurement models that require additional assumptions, some of which make these approaches less efficient. Recommendations for application of the behavioural Rasch selection model are made based on results from the Monte Carlo experiments.

  13. 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

  14. Causality links among renewable energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and economic growth in Africa: evidence from a panel ARDL-PMG approach.

    PubMed

    Attiaoui, Imed; Toumi, Hassen; Ammouri, Bilel; Gargouri, Ilhem

    2017-04-05

    This research examines the causality (For the remainder of the paper, the notion of causality refers to Granger causality.) links among renewable energy consumption (REC), CO2 emissions (CE), non-renewable energy consumption (NREC), and economic growth (GDP) using an autoregressive distributed lag model based on the pooled mean group estimation (ARDL-PMG) and applying Granger causality tests for a panel consisting of 22 African countries for the period between 1990 and 2011. There is unidirectional and irreversible short-run causality from CE to GDP. The causal direction between CE and REC is unobservable over the short-term. Moreover, we find unidirectional, short-run causality from REC to GDP. When testing per pair of variables, there are short-run bidirectional causalities among REC, CE, and GDP. However, if we add CE to the variables REC and NREC, the causality to GDP is observable, and causality from the pair REC and NREC to economic growth is neutral. Likewise, if we add NREC to the variables GDP and REC, there is causality. There are bidirectional long-run causalities among REC, CE, and GDP, which supports the feedback assumption. Causality from GDP to REC is not strong for the panel. If we test per pair of variables, the strong causality from GDP and CE to REC is neutral. The long-run PMG estimates show that NREC and gross domestic product increase CE, whereas REC decreases CE.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besson, Ugo

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Scheduling with partial orders and a causal model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  18. Distinguishing causal interactions in neural populations.

    PubMed

    Seth, Anil K; Edelman, Gerald M

    2007-04-01

    We describe a theoretical network analysis that can distinguish statistically causal interactions in population neural activity leading to a specific output. We introduce the concept of a causal core to refer to the set of neuronal interactions that are causally significant for the output, as assessed by Granger causality. Because our approach requires extensive knowledge of neuronal connectivity and dynamics, an illustrative example is provided by analysis of Darwin X, a brain-based device that allows precise recording of the activity of neuronal units during behavior. In Darwin X, a simulated neuronal model of the hippocampus and surrounding cortical areas supports learning of a spatial navigation task in a real environment. Analysis of Darwin X reveals that large repertoires of neuronal interactions contain comparatively small causal cores and that these causal cores become smaller during learning, a finding that may reflect the selection of specific causal pathways from diverse neuronal repertoires.

  19. 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.

  20. Critical Thinking and Political Participation: The Development and Assessment of a Causal Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guyton, Edith M.

    An assessment of a four-stage conceptual model reveals that critical thinking has indirect positive effects on political participation through its direct effects on personal control, political efficacy, and democratic attitudes. The model establishes causal relationships among selected personality variables (self-esteem, personal control, and…

  1. The control outcome calibration approach for causal inference with unobserved confounding.

    PubMed

    Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric

    2014-03-01

    Unobserved confounding can seldom be ruled out with certainty in nonexperimental studies. Negative controls are sometimes used in epidemiologic practice to detect the presence of unobserved confounding. An outcome is said to be a valid negative control variable to the extent that it is influenced by unobserved confounders of the exposure effects on the outcome in view, although not directly influenced by the exposure. Thus, a negative control outcome found to be empirically associated with the exposure after adjustment for observed confounders indicates that unobserved confounding may be present. In this paper, we go beyond the use of control outcomes to detect possible unobserved confounding and propose to use control outcomes in a simple but formal counterfactual-based approach to correct causal effect estimates for bias due to unobserved confounding. The proposed control outcome calibration approach is developed in the context of a continuous or binary outcome, and the control outcome and the exposure can be discrete or continuous. A sensitivity analysis technique is also developed, which can be used to assess the degree to which a violation of the main identifying assumption of the control outcome calibration approach might impact inference about the effect of the exposure on the outcome in view.

  2. Dynamic Causal Modelling of epileptic seizure propagation pathways: a combined EEG-fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Murta, Teresa; Leal, Alberto; Garrido, Marta I; Figueiredo, Patrícia

    2012-09-01

    Simultaneous EEG-fMRI offers the possibility of non-invasively studying the spatiotemporal dynamics of epileptic activity propagation from the focus towards an extended brain network, through the identification of the haemodynamic correlates of ictal electrical discharges. In epilepsy associated with hypothalamic hamartomas (HH), seizures are known to originate in the HH but different propagation pathways have been proposed. Here, Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) was employed to estimate the seizure propagation pathway from fMRI data recorded in a HH patient, by testing a set of clinically plausible network connectivity models of discharge propagation. The model consistent with early propagation from the HH to the temporal-occipital lobe followed by the frontal lobe was selected as the most likely model to explain the data. Our results demonstrate the applicability of DCM to investigate patient-specific effective connectivity in epileptic networks identified with EEG-fMRI. In this way, it is possible to study the propagation pathway of seizure activity, which has potentially great impact in the decision of the surgical approach for epilepsy treatment.

  3. Investigation of effective connectivity in the motor cortex of fMRI data using Granger causality model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xingchun; Tang, Ni; Yin, Kai; Wu, Xia; Wen, Xiaotong; Yao, Li; Zhao, Xiaojie

    2007-03-01

    Effective connectivity of brain regions based on brain data (e.g. EEG, fMRI, etc.) is a focused research at present. Many researchers tried to investigate it using different methods. Granger causality model (GCM) is presently used to investigate effective connectivity of brain regions more and more. It can explore causal relationship between time series, meaning that if a time-series y causes x, then knowledge of y should help predict future values of x. In present work, time invariant GCM was applied to fMRI data considering slow changing of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD). The time invariant GCM often requires determining model order, estimating model parameters and significance test. In particular, we extended significance test method to make results more reasonable. The fMRI data were acquired from finger movement experiment of two right-handed subjects. We obtained the activation maps of two subjects using SPM'2 software firstly. Then we chose left SMA and left SMC as regions of interest (ROIs) with different radiuses, and calculated causality from left SMA to left SMC using the mean time courses of the two ROIs. The results from both subjects showed that left SMA influenced on left SMC. Hence GCM was suggested to be an effective approach in investigation of effective connectivity based on fMRI data.

  4. 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.

  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. Modeling the Mechanism of Action of a DGAT1 Inhibitor Using a Causal Reasoning Platform

    PubMed Central

    Enayetallah, Ahmed E.; Ziemek, Daniel; Leininger, Michael T.; Randhawa, Ranjit; Yang, Jianxin; Manion, Tara B.; Mather, Dawn E.; Zavadoski, William J.; Kuhn, Max; Treadway, Judith L.; des Etages, Shelly Ann G.; Gibbs, E. Michael; Greene, Nigel; Steppan, Claire M.

    2011-01-01

    Triglyceride accumulation is associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Genetic disruption of diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1), which catalyzes the final reaction of triglyceride synthesis, confers dramatic resistance to high-fat diet induced obesity. Hence, DGAT1 is considered a potential therapeutic target for treating obesity and related metabolic disorders. However, the molecular events shaping the mechanism of action of DGAT1 pharmacological inhibition have not been fully explored yet. Here, we investigate the metabolic molecular mechanisms induced in response to pharmacological inhibition of DGAT1 using a recently developed computational systems biology approach, the Causal Reasoning Engine (CRE). The CRE algorithm utilizes microarray transcriptomic data and causal statements derived from the biomedical literature to infer upstream molecular events driving these transcriptional changes. The inferred upstream events (also called hypotheses) are aggregated into biological models using a set of analytical tools that allow for evaluation and integration of the hypotheses in context of their supporting evidence. In comparison to gene ontology enrichment analysis which pointed to high-level changes in metabolic processes, the CRE results provide detailed molecular hypotheses to explain the measured transcriptional changes. CRE analysis of gene expression changes in high fat habituated rats treated with a potent and selective DGAT1 inhibitor demonstrate that the majority of transcriptomic changes support a metabolic network indicative of reversal of high fat diet effects that includes a number of molecular hypotheses such as PPARG, HNF4A and SREBPs. Finally, the CRE-generated molecular hypotheses from DGAT1 inhibitor treated rats were found to capture the major molecular characteristics of DGAT1 deficient mice, supporting a phenotype of decreased lipid and increased insulin sensitivity. PMID:22073239

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Confirmatory Analytic Tests of Three Causal Models Relating Job Perceptions to Job Satisfaction.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-12-01

    Perceptions ~Job SatisfactionD I~i- Confirmatory Analysi s Precognitive Postcognitive L ft A e S T R A f T I ( C O n" " n ," , V fV f f vv r e # d o i t c e...in the causal order, and job perceptions and job satisfaction are reciprocally related; (b) a precognitive -recursive model in which job perceptions...occur after job satisfaction in the causal order and are effects but not causes of job satisfaction; and (c) a precognitive DD FOR 1473 EDITION 01O NOV

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisicaro, Sebastiano A.; Lance, Charles E.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Examining a Causal Model of Early Drug Involvement Among Inner City Junior High School Youths.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dembo, Richard; And Others

    Reflecting the need to construct more inclusive, socially and culturally relevant conceptions of drug use than currently exist, the determinants of drug involvement among inner-city youths within the context of a causal model were investigated. The drug involvement of the Black and Puerto Rican junior high school girls and boys was hypothesized to…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. The Relationship between Social Anxiety and Social Support in Adolescents: A Test of Competing Causal Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calsyn, Robert J.; Winter, Joel P.; Burger, Gary K.

    2005-01-01

    This study compared the strength of competing causal models in explaining the relationship between perceived support, enacted support, and social anxiety in adolescents. The social causation hypothesis postulates that social support causes social anxiety, whereas the social selection hypothesis postulates that social anxiety causes social support.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgins, George E.; Tewksbury, Richard

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weisberg, Deena S.; Gopnik, Alison

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Hindsight Bias Doesn't Always Come Easy: Causal Models, Cognitive Effort, and Creeping Determinism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nestler, Steffen; Blank, Hartmut; von Collani, Gernot

    2008-01-01

    Creeping determinism, a form of hindsight bias, refers to people's hindsight perceptions of events as being determined or inevitable. This article proposes, on the basis of a causal-model theory of creeping determinism, that the underlying processes are effortful, and hence creeping determinism should disappear when individuals lack the cognitive…

  19. Causal Models and Exploratory Analysis in Heterogeneous Information Fusion for Detecting Potential Terrorists

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-11-01

    analysis because results depend on human imagination and judgment; (5) Design for routine exploratory analysis under deep uncertainty; and (6...Working Paper Causal Models and Exploratory Analysis in Heterogeneous Information Fusion for Detecting Potential Terrorists Paul K. Davis...Security Research Division (NSRD). NSRD conducts research and analysis on defense and national security topics for the U.S. and allied defense

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Predicting Adaptive Performance in Multicultural Teams: A Causal Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    Applied Psychology, 91, 1189-1207. [6] Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications, and programming. Mahwah...means of Factor Analysis (FA), Multidimensional Scaling (MDS), and Structural Equation Modeling (LISREL). Unpublished manuscript; in process of being... equation modeling . New York, NY: Guilford Press. [14] Kozlowski, S. W. J., Gully, S. M., Brown, K. G., Salas, E., Smith, E. M., & Nason, E. R. (2001

  2. 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.

  3. Joint Modeling Compliance and Outcome for Causal Analysis in Longitudinal Studies

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Xin; Brown, Gregory K.; Elliott, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    This article discusses joint modeling of compliance and outcome for longitudinal studies when noncompliance is present. We focus on two-arm randomized longitudinal studies in which subjects are randomized at baseline, treatment is applied repeatedly over time, and compliance behaviors and clinical outcomes are measured and recorded repeatedly over time. In the proposed Markov compliance and outcome model, we use the potential outcome framework to define pre-randomization principal strata from the joint distribution of compliance under treatment and control arms, and estimate the effect of treatment within each principal strata. Besides the causal effect of the treatment, our proposed model can estimate the impact of the causal effect of the treatment at a given time on the future compliance. Bayesian methods are used to estimate the parameters. The results are illustrated using a study assessing the effect of cognitive behavior therapy on depression. A simulation study is used to assess the repeated sampling properties of the proposed model. PMID:23576159

  4. Joint modeling compliance and outcome for causal analysis in longitudinal studies.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xin; Brown, Gregory K; Elliott, Michael R

    2014-09-10

    This article discusses joint modeling of compliance and outcome for longitudinal studies when noncompliance is present. We focus on two-arm randomized longitudinal studies in which subjects are randomized at baseline, treatment is applied repeatedly over time, and compliance behaviors and clinical outcomes are measured and recorded repeatedly over time. In the proposed Markov compliance and outcome model, we use the potential outcome framework to define pre-randomization principal strata from the joint distribution of compliance under treatment and control arms, and estimate the effect of treatment within each principal strata. Besides the causal effect of the treatment, our proposed model can estimate the impact of the causal effect of the treatment at a given time on future compliance. Bayesian methods are used to estimate the parameters. The results are illustrated using a study assessing the effect of cognitive behavior therapy on depression. A simulation study is used to assess the repeated sampling properties of the proposed model.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. A causal model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk.

    PubMed

    Cox, Louis Anthony Tony

    2011-01-01

    Research on the etiology of chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), an irreversible degenerative lung disease affecting 15% to 20% of smokers, has blossomed over the past half-century. Profound new insights have emerged from a combination of in vitro and -omics studies on affected lung cell populations (including cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocytes, regulatory CD4(+) helper T cells, dendritic cells, alveolar macrophages and neutrophils, alveolar and bronchiolar epithelial cells, goblet cells, and fibroblasts) and extracellular matrix components (especially, elastin and collagen fibers); in vivo studies on wild-type and genetically engineered mice and other rodents; clinical investigation of cell- and molecular-level changes in asymptomatic smokers and COPD patients; genetic studies of susceptible and rapidly-progressing phenotypes (both human and animal); biomarker studies of enzyme and protein degradation products in induced sputum, bronchiolar lavage, urine, and blood; and epidemiological and clinical investigations of the time course of disease progression. To this rich mix of data, we add a relatively simple in silico computational model that incorporates recent insights into COPD disease causation and progression. Our model explains irreversible degeneration of lung tissue as resulting from a cascade of positive feedback loops: a macrophage inflammation loop, a neutrophil inflammation loop, and an alveolar epithelial cell apoptosis loop. Unrepaired damage results in clinical symptoms. The resulting model illustrates how to simplify and make more understandable the main aspects of the very complex dynamics of COPD initiation and progression, as well as how to predict the effects on risk of interventions that affect specific biological responses.

  7. Learning World Models in Environments with Manifest Causal Structure,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1995-05-01

    an agent with no prior knowledge than for people because people are told much of what they need to know and do not learn tabula rasa . Many people nd...drafts of this thesis, and for being a great role model. Thanks to Eric Grimson for being much more than an academic advisor. I thank Jonathan Amsterdam...early training of the secretary robot, the trainer plays the role of a babysitter more than that of a teacher. The trainer is available in case of an

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Analogical and category-based inference: a theoretical integration with Bayesian causal models.

    PubMed

    Holyoak, Keith J; Lee, Hee Seung; Lu, Hongjing

    2010-11-01

    A fundamental issue for theories of human induction is to specify constraints on potential inferences. For inferences based on shared category membership, an analogy, and/or a relational schema, it appears that the basic goal of induction is to make accurate and goal-relevant inferences that are sensitive to uncertainty. People can use source information at various levels of abstraction (including both specific instances and more general categories), coupled with prior causal knowledge, to build a causal model for a target situation, which in turn constrains inferences about the target. We propose a computational theory in the framework of Bayesian inference and test its predictions (parameter-free for the cases we consider) in a series of experiments in which people were asked to assess the probabilities of various causal predictions and attributions about a target on the basis of source knowledge about generative and preventive causes. The theory proved successful in accounting for systematic patterns of judgments about interrelated types of causal inferences, including evidence that analogical inferences are partially dissociable from overall mapping quality.

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

    PubMed

    Buchanan, David W; Sobel, David M

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Gradient-free MCMC methods for dynamic causal modelling

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Blum, Robert L.

    1983-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Deep brain stimulation for neurodegenerative disease: a computational blueprint using dynamic causal modeling.

    PubMed

    Moran, Rosalyn

    2015-01-01

    Advances in deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric disorders represent a new clinical avenue that may potentially augment or adjunct traditional pharmacological approaches to disease treatment. Using modern molecular biology and genomics, pharmacological development proceeds through an albeit lengthy and expensive pipeline from candidate compound to preclinical and clinical trials. Such a pathway, however, is lacking in the field of neurostimulation, with developments arising from a selection of early sources and motivated by diverse fields including surgery and neuroscience. In this chapter, I propose that biophysical models of connected brain networks optimized using empirical neuroimaging data from patients and healthy controls can provide a principled computational pipeline for testing and developing neurostimulation interventions. Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) provides such a computational framework, serving as a method to test effective connectivity between and within regions of an active brain network. Importantly, the methodology links brain dynamics with behavior by directly assessing experimental task effects under different behavioral or cognitive sets. Therefore, healthy brain dynamics in circuits of interest can be defined mathematically with stimulation interventions in pathological counterparts simulated with the goal of restoring normal functionality. In this chapter, I outline the dynamic characterization of brain circuits using DCM and propose a blueprint for testing in silico, the effects of stimulation in neurodegenerative disorders affecting cognition. In particular, the models can be simulated to test whether neuroimaging correlates of nondiseased brain dynamics can be reinstantiated in a pathological setting using DBS. Thus, the key advantage of this framework is that distributed effects of DBS on neural circuitry and network connectivity can be predicted in silico. The chapter also includes a review of how

  15. Comparing causality measures of fMRI data using PCA, CCA and vector autoregressive modelling.

    PubMed

    Shah, Adnan; Khalid, Muhammad Usman; Seghouane, Abd-Krim

    2012-01-01

    Extracting the directional interaction between activated brain areas from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) time series measurements of their activity is a significant step in understanding the process of brain functions. In this paper, the directional interaction between fMRI time series characterizing the activity of two neuronal sites is quantified using two measures; one derived based on univariate autoregressive and autoregressive exogenous (AR/ARX) and other derived based on multivariate vector autoregressive and vector autoregressive exogenous (VAR/VARX) models. The significance and effectiveness of these measures is illustrated on both simulated and real fMRI data sets. It has been revealed that VAR modelling of the regions of interest is robust in inferring true causality compared to principal component analysis (PCA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) based causality methods.

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

    PubMed

    Haslberger, A; Varga, F; Karlic, H

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Multifactorial causal model of brain (dis)organization and therapeutic intervention: Application to Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Iturria-Medina, Yasser; Carbonell, Félix M; Sotero, Roberto C; Chouinard-Decorte, Francois; Evans, Alan C

    2017-02-28

    Generative models focused on multifactorial causal mechanisms in brain disorders are scarce and generally based on limited data. Despite the biological importance of the multiple interacting processes, their effects remain poorly characterized from an integrative analytic perspective. Here, we propose a spatiotemporal multifactorial causal model (MCM) of brain (dis)organization and therapeutic intervention that accounts for local causal interactions, effects propagation via physical brain networks, cognitive alterations, and identification of optimum therapeutic interventions. In this article, we focus on describing the model and applying it at the population-based level for studying late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). By interrelating six different neuroimaging modalities and cognitive measurements, this model accurately predicts spatiotemporal alterations in brain amyloid-β (Aβ) burden, glucose metabolism, vascular flow, resting state functional activity, structural properties, and cognitive integrity. The results suggest that a vascular dysregulation may be the most-likely initial pathologic event leading to LOAD. Nevertheless, they also suggest that LOAD it is not caused by a unique dominant biological factor (e.g. vascular or Aβ) but by the complex interplay among multiple relevant direct interactions. Furthermore, using theoretical control analysis of the identified population-based multifactorial causal network, we show the crucial advantage of using combinatorial over single-target treatments, explain why one-target Aβ based therapies might fail to improve clinical outcomes, and propose an efficiency ranking of possible LOAD interventions. Although still requiring further validation at the individual level, this work presents the first analytic framework for dynamic multifactorial brain (dis)organization that may explain both the pathologic evolution of progressive neurological disorders and operationalize the influence of multiple interventional

  18. Noninvasive Electromagnetic Source Imaging and Granger Causality Analysis: An Electrophysiological Connectome (eConnectome) Approach.

    PubMed

    Sohrabpour, Abbas; Ye, Shuai; Worrell, Gregory A; Zhang, Wenbo; He, Bin

    2016-10-11

    Combined source imaging techniques and directional connectivity analysis can provide useful information about the underlying brain networks in a noninvasive fashion. Source imaging techniques have been used successfully to either determine the source of activity or to extract source time-courses for Granger causality analysis, previously. In this work, we utilize source imaging algorithms to both find the network nodes (regions of interest) and then extract the activation time series for further Granger causality analysis. The aim of this work is to find network nodes objectively from noninvasive electromagnetic signals, extract activation timecourses and apply Granger analysis on the extracted series to study brain networks under realistic conditions.

  19. Olfactory Network Differences in Master Sommeliers: Connectivity Analysis Using Granger Causality and Graph Theoretical Approach.

    PubMed

    Sreenivasan, Karthik; Zhuang, Xiaowei; Banks, Sarah J; Mishra, Virendra; Yang, Zhengshi; Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Cordes, Dietmar

    2017-03-01

    Previous studies investigating the differences in olfactory processing and judgments between trained sommeliers and controls have shown increased activations in brain regions involving higher level cognitive processes in sommeliers. However, there is little information about the influence of expertise on causal connectivity and topological properties of the connectivity networks between these regions. Therefore, the current study focuses on addressing these questions in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of olfactory perception in Master Sommeliers. fMRI data were acquired from Master Sommeliers and control participants during different olfactory and nonolfactory tasks. Mean time series were extracted from 90 different regions of interest (ROIs; based on Automated Anatomical Labeling atlas). The underlying neuronal variables were extracted using blind hemodynamic deconvolution and then input into a dynamic multivariate autoregressive model to obtain connectivity between every pair of ROIs as a function of time. These connectivity values were then statistically compared to obtain paths that were significantly different between the two groups. The obtained connectivity matrices were further studied using graph theoretical methods. In sommeliers, significantly greater connectivity was observed in connections involving the precuneus, caudate, putamen, and several frontal and temporal regions. The controls showed increased connectivity from the left hippocampus to the frontal regions. Furthermore, the sommeliers exhibited significantly higher small-world topology than the controls. These findings are significant, given that learning about neuroplasticity in adulthood in these regions may then have added clinical importance in diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's where early neurodegeneration is isolated to regions important in smell.

  20. 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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. From animal model to human brain networking: dynamic causal modeling of motivational systems.

    PubMed

    Gonen, Tal; Admon, Roee; Podlipsky, Ilana; Hendler, Talma

    2012-05-23

    An organism's behavior is sensitive to different reinforcements in the environment. Based on extensive animal literature, the reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) proposes three separate neurobehavioral systems to account for such context-sensitive behavior, affecting the tendency to react to punishment, reward, or goal-conflict stimuli. The translation of animal findings to complex human behavior, however, is far from obvious. To examine whether the neural networks underlying humans' motivational processes are similar to those proposed by the RST model, we conducted a functional MRI study, in which 24 healthy subjects performed an interactive game that engaged the different motivational systems using distinct time periods (states) of punishment, reward, and conflict. Crucially, we found that the different motivational states elicited activations in brain regions that corresponded exactly to the brain systems underlying RST. Moreover, dynamic causal modeling of each motivational system confirmed that the coupling strengths between the key brain regions of each system were enabled selectively by the appropriate motivational state. These results may shed light on the impairments that underlie psychopathologies associated with dysfunctional motivational processes and provide a translational validity for the RST.

  5. Using Stochastic Causal Trees to Augment Bayesian Networks for Modeling eQTL Datasets

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The combination of genotypic and genome-wide expression data arising from segregating populations offers an unprecedented opportunity to model and dissect complex phenotypes. The immense potential offered by these data derives from the fact that genotypic variation is the sole source of perturbation and can therefore be used to reconcile changes in gene expression programs with the parental genotypes. To date, several methodologies have been developed for modeling eQTL data. These methods generally leverage genotypic data to resolve causal relationships among gene pairs implicated as associates in the expression data. In particular, leading studies have augmented Bayesian networks with genotypic data, providing a powerful framework for learning and modeling causal relationships. While these initial efforts have provided promising results, one major drawback associated with these methods is that they are generally limited to resolving causal orderings for transcripts most proximal to the genomic loci. In this manuscript, we present a probabilistic method capable of learning the causal relationships between transcripts at all levels in the network. We use the information provided by our method as a prior for Bayesian network structure learning, resulting in enhanced performance for gene network reconstruction. Results Using established protocols to synthesize eQTL networks and corresponding data, we show that our method achieves improved performance over existing leading methods. For the goal of gene network reconstruction, our method achieves improvements in recall ranging from 20% to 90% across a broad range of precision levels and for datasets of varying sample sizes. Additionally, we show that the learned networks can be utilized for expression quantitative trait loci mapping, resulting in upwards of 10-fold increases in recall over traditional univariate mapping. Conclusions Using the information from our method as a prior for Bayesian network

  6. 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

  7. An introduction to causal inference.

    PubMed

    Pearl, Judea

    2010-02-26

    This paper summarizes recent advances in causal inference and underscores the paradigmatic shifts that must be undertaken in moving from traditional statistical analysis to causal analysis of multivariate data. Special emphasis is placed on the assumptions that underlie all causal inferences, the languages used in formulating those assumptions, the conditional nature of all causal and counterfactual claims, and the methods that have been developed for the assessment of such claims. These advances are illustrated using a general theory of causation based on the Structural Causal Model (SCM) described in Pearl (2000a), which subsumes and unifies other approaches to causation, and provides a coherent mathematical foundation for the analysis of causes and counterfactuals. In particular, the paper surveys the development of mathematical tools for inferring (from a combination of data and assumptions) answers to three types of causal queries: those about (1) the effects of potential interventions, (2) probabilities of counterfactuals, and (3) direct and indirect effects (also known as "mediation"). Finally, the paper defines the formal and conceptual relationships between the structural and potential-outcome frameworks and presents tools for a symbiotic analysis that uses the strong features of both. The tools are demonstrated in the analyses of mediation, causes of effects, and probabilities of causation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Testing causal models of the relationship between childhood gender atypical behaviour and parent-child relationship.

    PubMed

    Alanko, Katarina; Santtila, Pekka; Salo, Benny; Jern, Patrik; Johansson, Ada; Sandnabba, N Kenneth

    2011-06-01

    An association between childhood gender atypical behaviour (GAB) and a negative parent-child relationship has been demonstrated in several studies, yet the causal relationship of this association is not fully understood. In the present study, different models of causation between childhood GAB and parent-child relationships were tested. Direction of causation modelling was applied to twin data from a population-based sample (n= 2,565) of Finnish 33- to 43-year-old twins. Participants completed retrospective self-report questionnaires. Five different models of causation were then fitted to the data: GAB → parent-child relationship, parent-child relationship → GAB, reciprocal causation, a bivariate genetic model, and a model assuming no correlation. It was found that a model in which GAB and quality of mother-child, and father-child relationship reciprocally affect each other best fitted the data. The findings are discussed in light of how we should understand, including causality, the association between GAB and parent-child relationship.

  10. The causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem-an econometric approach.

    PubMed

    Asumadu-Sarkodie, Samuel; Owusu, Phebe Asantewaa

    2017-01-01

    Achieving a long-term food security and preventing hunger include a better nutrition through sustainable systems of production, distribution, and consumption. Nonetheless, the quest for an alternative to increasing global food supply to meet the growing demand has led to the use of poor agricultural practices that promote climate change. Given the contribution of the agricultural ecosystem towards greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this study investigated the causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem by employing a data spanning from 1961 to 2012. Evidence from long-run elasticity shows that a 1 % increase in the area of rice paddy harvested will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.49 %, a 1 % increase in biomass-burned crop residues will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.00 %, a 1 % increase in cereal production will increase carbon dioxide emissions by 1.38 %, and a 1 % increase in agricultural machinery will decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 0.09 % in the long run. There was a bidirectional causality between carbon dioxide emissions, cereal production, and biomass-burned crop residues. The Granger causality shows that the agricultural ecosystem in Ghana is sensitive to climate change vulnerability.

  11. Information recovery in molecular biology: causal modelling of regulated promoter switching experiments.

    PubMed

    Anderssen, Robert S; Helliwell, Christopher A

    2013-07-01

    The recovery of information from indirect measurements takes different forms depending on the sophistication with which the process being researched can be modelled mathematically. The forms range from (1) the historical and classical inverse problems regularization situation where explicit models which guaranteed existence and uniqueness have been formulated, through (2) situations where model formulation is performed implicitly as a calibration-and-prediction ansatz, to (3) the exploratory (biology) situation where the underlying mechanism is unknown and constraining information about its dynamics is being sought through appropriate experimentation. Each represents a different aspect of the solution of inverse problems. It is the nature of the exploratory form that is discussed in this paper. The focus is the causal modelling of regulated promoter switching experiments performed to understand the dynamics of the genetic control of various biological developmental processes such as vernalization in plants; in particular, regulated promoter switching experiments used to examine the relationship between FLC transcription activity and the associated histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation at a vernalization-responsive gene in plants. Using a causal representation with Kohlrausch function fading memory, it is shown how such modelling can be used to quantitatively assess the closeness of the linking of one biological process with another, and, in particular, to conclude that the dynamics of FLC transcription and associated H3K27me3 activity are closely linked biologically.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komperda, Regis

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Modelling the impact of causal and non-causal factors on disruption duration for Toronto's subway system: An exploratory investigation using hazard modelling.

    PubMed

    Louie, Jacob; Shalaby, Amer; Habib, Khandker Nurul

    2017-01-01

    Most investigations of incident-related delay duration in the transportation context are restricted to highway traffic, with little attention given to delays due to transit service disruptions. Studies of transit-based delay duration are also considerably less comprehensive than their highway counterparts with respect to examining the effects of non-causal variables on the delay duration. However, delays due to incidents in public transit service can have serious consequences on the overall urban transportation system due to the pivotal and vital role of public transit. The ability to predict the durations of various types of transit system incidents is indispensable for better management and mitigation of service disruptions. This paper presents a detailed investigation on incident delay durations in Toronto's subway system over the year 2013, focusing on the effects of the incidents' location and time, the train-type involved, and the non-adherence to proper recovery procedures. Accelerated Failure Time (AFT) hazard models are estimated to investigate the relationship between these factors and the resulting delay duration. The empirical investigation reveals that incident types that impact both safety and operations simultaneously generally have longer expected delays than incident types that impact either safety or operations alone. Incidents at interchange stations are cleared faster than incidents at non-interchange stations. Incidents during peak periods have nearly the same delay durations as off-peak incidents. The estimated models are believed to be useful tools in predicting the relative magnitude of incident delay duration for better management of subway operations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Tracking slow modulations in synaptic gain using dynamic causal modelling: validation in epilepsy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Bouzat, Juan L

    2014-03-01

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

  19. The relationship of family characteristics and bipolar disorder using causal-pie models.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y-C; Kao, C-F; Lu, M-K; Yang, Y-K; Liao, S-C; Jang, F-L; Chen, W J; Lu, R-B; Kuo, P-H

    2014-01-01

    Many family characteristics were reported to increase the risk of bipolar disorder (BPD). The development of BPD may be mediated through different pathways, involving diverse risk factor profiles. We evaluated the associations of family characteristics to build influential causal-pie models to estimate their contributions on the risk of developing BPD at the population level. We recruited 329 clinically diagnosed BPD patients and 202 healthy controls to collect information in parental psychopathology, parent-child relationship, and conflict within family. Other than logistic regression models, we applied causal-pie models to identify pathways involved with different family factors for BPD. The risk of BPD was significantly increased with parental depression, neurosis, anxiety, paternal substance use problems, and poor relationship with parents. Having a depressed mother further predicted early onset of BPD. Additionally, a greater risk for BPD was observed with higher numbers of paternal/maternal psychopathologies. Three significant risk profiles were identified for BPD, including paternal substance use problems (73.0%), maternal depression (17.6%), and through poor relationship with parents and conflict within the family (6.3%). Our findings demonstrate that different aspects of family characteristics elicit negative impacts on bipolar illness, which can be utilized to target specific factors to design and employ efficient intervention programs.

  20. Combining group-based trajectory modeling and propensity score matching for causal inferences in nonexperimental longitudinal data.

    PubMed

    Haviland, Amelia; Nagin, Daniel S; Rosenbaum, Paul R; Tremblay, Richard E

    2008-03-01

    A central theme of research on human development and psychopathology is whether a therapeutic intervention or a turning-point event, such as a family break-up, alters the trajectory of the behavior under study. This article describes and applies a method for using observational longitudinal data to make more transparent causal inferences about the impact of such events on developmental trajectories. The method combines 2 distinct lines of research: work on the use of finite mixture modeling to analyze developmental trajectories and work on propensity score matching. The propensity scores are used to balance observed covariates and the trajectory groups are used to control pretreatment measures of response. The trajectory groups also aid in characterizing classes of subjects for which no good matches are available. The approach is demonstrated with an analysis of the impact of gang membership on violent delinquency based on data from a large longitudinal study conducted in Montréal, Canada.

  1. Non-Abelian Gauge Symmetry in the Causal Epstein-Glaser Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurth, Tobias

    Non-Abelian gauge symmetry in (3 + 1)-dimensional space-time is analyzed in the causal Epstein-Glaser framework. In this formalism, the technical details concerning the well-known UV and IR problem in quantum field theory are separated and reduced to well-defined problems, namely the causal splitting and the adiabatic switching of operator-valued distributions. Non-Abelian gauge invariance in perturbation theory is completely discussed in the well-defined Fock space of free asymptotic fields. The LSZ formalism is not used in this construction. The linear operator condition of asymptotic gauge invariance is sufficient for the unitarity of the S matrix in the physical subspace and the usual Slavnov-Taylor identities. We explicitly derive the most general specific coupling compatible with this condition. By analyzing only tree graphs in the second order of perturbation theory we show that the well-known Yang-Mills couplings with anticommuting ghosts are the only ones which are compatible with asymptotic gauge invariance. The required generalizations for linear gauges are given.

  2. 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.

  3. Causality, mathematical models and statistical association: dismantling evidence-based medicine.

    PubMed

    Thompson, R Paul

    2010-04-01

    From humble beginnings, largely at the medical school at McMaster University, Canada, the evidence-based medicine (EBM) movement has enjoyed a spectacular rise in international acceptance over the last 25 years. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews based on them have pride of place (the gold standard) in EBM's hierarchy of evidence; models and theories are relegated to the bottom of the hierarchy. In the last decade, RCTs have been extensively criticized. I briefly rehearse those criticisms because they are an important backdrop to the criticism of EBM developed in this paper. In essence, the argument developed here is that RCTs use mathematics solely as a tool of analysis rather than as the language of the science and that this fundamentally affects the validity of causal claims. As EBM gives pride of place to RCTs and devalues theoretical models - a devaluation that would be incomprehensible to a physicist or biologist - the validity of EBM's causal claims and knowledge claims are weak and far from a 'gold standard'.

  4. 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.

  5. Comparing two causal models of career maturity for hearing-impaired adolescents.

    PubMed

    King, S

    1990-01-01

    Conte (1983) suggested that existing theories of career development are inadequate for disabled populations because they fail to take into consideration the special life events and characteristics of people with a disability. The purpose of this study was to determine if Conte's reservations about contemporary theories could be supported by data. To this end, two causal models of career development were developed: one with five variables unique to the experience of the hearing impaired and the other without. Using data collected from 71 hearing-impaired adolescents, path analyses were conducted and the two models were compared for their ability to explain variance in career maturity. The results suggest that, although the second model may be more descriptive of the career development process for the deaf, it is no more powerful than the first in explaining variance in career maturity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  7. CADDIS Volume 1. Stressor Identification: About Causal Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    An introduction to the history of our approach to causal assessment, A chronology of causal history and philosophy, An introduction to causal history and philosophy, References for the Causal Assessment Background section of Stressor Identification

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawley, Frank E.; Black, Carolyn B.

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

  9. Experimental Animal Models Evaluating the Causal Role of Lipoprotein(a) in Atherosclerosis and Aortic Stenosis.

    PubMed

    Yeang, Calvin; Cotter, Bruno; Tsimikas, Sotirios

    2016-02-01

    Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], comprised of apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] and a low-density lipoprotein-like particle, is a genetically determined, causal risk factor for cardiovascular disease and calcific aortic valve stenosis. Lp(a) is the major plasma lipoprotein carrier of oxidized phospholipids, is pro-inflammatory, inhibits plasminogen activation, and promotes smooth muscle cell proliferation, as defined mostly through in vitro studies. Although Lp(a) is not expressed in commonly studied laboratory animals, mouse and rabbit models transgenic for Lp(a) and apo(a) have been developed to address their pathogenicity in vivo. These models have provided significant insights into the pathophysiology of Lp(a), particularly in understanding the mechanisms of Lp(a) in mediating atherosclerosis. Studies in Lp(a)-transgenic mouse models have demonstrated that apo(a) is retained in atheromas and suggest that it promotes fatty streak formation. Furthermore, rabbit models have shown that Lp(a) promotes atherosclerosis and vascular calcification. However, many of these models have limitations. Mouse models need to be transgenic for both apo(a) and human apolipoprotein B-100 since apo(a) does not covalently associated with mouse apoB to form Lp(a). In established mouse and rabbit models of atherosclerosis, Lp(a) levels are low, generally < 20 mg/dL, which is considered to be within the normal range in humans. Furthermore, only one apo(a) isoform can be expressed in a given model whereas over 40 isoforms exist in humans. Mouse models should also ideally be studied in an LDL receptor negative background for atherosclerosis studies, as mice don't develop sufficiently elevated plasma cholesterol to study atherosclerosis in detail. With recent data that cardiovascular disease and calcific aortic valve stenosis is causally mediated by the LPA gene, development of optimized Lp(a)-transgenic animal models will provide an opportunity to further understand the mechanistic role of Lp(a) in

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Dynamic Causal Modeling applied to fMRI data shows high reliability

    PubMed Central

    Schuyler, Brianna; Ollinger, John M.; Oakes, Terrence R.; Johnstone, Tom; Davidson, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility are vital to interpret neuroscientific results from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments. Here we examine the scan-rescan reliability of the percent signal change (PSC) and parameters estimated using Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) in scans taken in the same scan session, less than five minutes apart. We find fair to good reliability of PSC in regions that are involved with the task, and fair to excellent reliability with DCM. Also, the DCM analysis uncovers group differences that were not present in the analysis of PSC, which implies that DCM may be more sensitive to the nuances of signal changes in fMRI data. PMID:19619665

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Causal inference in occupational epidemiology: accounting for the healthy worker effect by using structural nested models.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-15

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

  14. The development of causal reasoning.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Deanna

    2012-05-01

    How do inference rules for causal learning themselves change developmentally? A model of the development of causal reasoning must address this question, as well as specify the inference rules. Here, the evidence for developmental changes in processes of causal reasoning is reviewed, with the distinction made between diagnostic causal inference and causal prediction. Also addressed is the paradox of a causal reasoning literature that highlights the competencies of young children and the proneness to error among adults. WIREs Cogn Sci 2012, 3:327-335. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1160 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  15. Accounting for uncertainty in confounder and effect modifier selection when estimating average causal effects in generalized linear models.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Confounder selection and adjustment are essential elements of assessing the causal effect of an exposure or treatment in observational studies. Building upon work by Wang et al. (2012, Biometrics 68, 661-671) and Lefebvre et al. (2014, Statistics in Medicine 33, 2797-2813), we propose and evaluate a Bayesian method to estimate average causal effects in studies with a large number of potential confounders, relatively few observations, likely interactions between confounders and the exposure of interest, and uncertainty on which confounders and interaction terms should be included. Our method is applicable across all exposures and outcomes that can be handled through generalized linear models. In this general setting, estimation of the average causal effect is different from estimation of the exposure coefficient in the outcome model due to noncollapsibility. We implement a Bayesian bootstrap procedure to integrate over the distribution of potential confounders and to estimate the causal effect. Our method permits estimation of both the overall population causal effect and effects in specified subpopulations, providing clear characterization of heterogeneous exposure effects that may vary considerably across different covariate profiles. Simulation studies demonstrate that the proposed method performs well in small sample size situations with 100-150 observations and 50 covariates. The method is applied to data on 15,060 US Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor between 2000 and 2009 to evaluate whether surgery reduces hospital readmissions within 30 days of diagnosis.

  16. 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

  17. Investigating the multi-causal and complex nature of the accident causal influence of construction project features.

    PubMed

    Manu, Patrick A; Ankrah, Nii A; Proverbs, David G; Suresh, Subashini

    2012-09-01

    Construction project features (CPFs) are organisational, physical and operational attributes that characterise construction projects. Although previous studies have examined the accident causal influence of CPFs, the multi-causal attribute of this causal phenomenon still remain elusive and thus requires further investigation. Aiming to shed light on this facet of the accident causal phenomenon of CPFs, this study examines relevant literature and crystallises the attained insight of the multi-causal attribute by a graphical model which is subsequently operationalised by a derived mathematical risk expression that offers a systematic approach for evaluating the potential of CPFs to cause harm and consequently their health and safety (H&S) risk implications. The graphical model and the risk expression put forth by the study thus advance current understanding of the accident causal phenomenon of CPFs and they present an opportunity for project participants to manage the H&S risk associated with CPFs from the early stages of project procurement.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-15

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

  19. Dynamic causal modelling of EEG and fMRI to characterize network architectures in a simple motor task.

    PubMed

    Bönstrup, Marlene; Schulz, Robert; Feldheim, Jan; Hummel, Friedhelm C; Gerloff, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) has extended the understanding of brain network dynamics in a variety of functional systems. In the motor system, DCM studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or on magneto-/electroencephalography (M/EEG) have demonstrated movement-related causal information flow from secondary to primary motor areas and have provided evidence for nonlinear cross-frequency interactions among motor areas. The present study sought to investigate to what extent fMRI- and EEG-based DCM might provide complementary and synergistic insights into neuronal network dynamics. Both modalities share principal similarities in the formulation of the DCM. Thus, we hypothesized that DCM based on induced EEG responses (DCM-IR) and on fMRI would reveal congruent task-dependent network dynamics. Brain electrical (63-channel surface EEG) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signals were recorded in separate sessions from 14 healthy participants performing simple isometric right and left hand grips. DCM-IR and DCM-fMRI were used to estimate coupling parameters modulated by right and left hand grips within a core motor network of six regions comprising bilateral primary motor cortex (M1), ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and supplementary motor area (SMA). We found that DCM-fMRI and DCM-IR similarly revealed significant grip-related increases in facilitatory coupling between SMA and M1 contralateral to the active hand. A grip-dependent interhemispheric reciprocal inhibition between M1 bilaterally was only revealed by DCM-fMRI but not by DCM-IR. Frequency-resolved coupling analysis showed that the information flow from contralateral SMA to M1 was predominantly a linear alpha-to-alpha (9-13Hz) interaction. We also detected some cross-frequency coupling from SMA to contralateral M1, i.e., between lower beta (14-21Hz) at the SMA and higher beta (22-30Hz) at M1 during right hand grip and between alpha (9-13Hz) at SMA and lower beta (14-21Hz) at M1

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Incorporating Transmission Into Causal Models of Infectious Diseases for Improved Understanding of the Effect and Impact of Risk Factors.

    PubMed

    Paynter, Stuart

    2016-03-15

    Conventional measures of causality (which compare risks between exposed and unexposed individuals) do not factor in the population-scale dynamics of infectious disease transmission. We used mathematical models of 2 childhood infections (respiratory syncytial virus and rotavirus) to illustrate this problem. These models incorporated 3 causal pathways whereby malnutrition could act to increase the incidence of severe infection: increasing the proportion of infected children who develop severe infection, increasing the children's susceptibility to infection, and increasing infectiousness. For risk factors that increased the proportion of infected children who developed severe infection, the population attributable fraction (PAF) calculated conventionally was the same as the PAF calculated directly from the models. However, for risk factors that increased transmission (by either increasing susceptibility to infection or increasing infectiousness), the PAF calculated directly from the models was much larger than that predicted by the conventional PAF calculation. The models also showed that even when conventional studies find no association between a risk factor and an outcome, risk factors that increase transmission can still have a large impact on disease burden. For a complete picture of infectious disease causality, transmission effects must be incorporated into causal models.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chater, Nick; Oaksford, Mike

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bollen, Kenneth A.; Bauldry, Shawn

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Introduction to causal diagrams for confounder selection.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Elizabeth J; Aitken, Zoe; Lawrie, Jock; Dharmage, Shyamali C; Burgess, John A; Forbes, Andrew B

    2014-04-01

    In respiratory health research, interest often lies in estimating the effect of an exposure on a health outcome. If randomization of the exposure of interest is not possible, estimating its effect is typically complicated by confounding bias. This can often be dealt with by controlling for the variables causing the confounding, if measured, in the statistical analysis. Common statistical methods used to achieve this include multivariable regression models adjusting for selected confounding variables or stratification on those variables. Therefore, a key question is which measured variables need to be controlled for in order to remove confounding. An approach to confounder-selection based on the use of causal diagrams (often called directed acyclic graphs) is discussed. A causal diagram is a visual representation of the causal relationships believed to exist between the variables of interest, including the exposure, outcome and potential confounding variables. After creating a causal diagram for the research question, an intuitive and easy-to-use set of rules can be applied, based on a foundation of rigorous mathematics, to decide which measured variables must be controlled for in the statistical analysis in order to remove confounding, to the extent that is possible using the available data. This approach is illustrated by constructing a causal diagram for the research question: 'Does personal smoking affect the risk of subsequent asthma?'. Using data taken from the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study, the statistical analysis suggested by the causal diagram approach was performed.

  5. Sedimentary selenium as a causal factor for adverse biological effects: Toxicity thresholds and stream modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Va Derveer, W.; Canton, S.

    1995-12-31

    Selenium (Se) in the aquatic environment exhibits a strong association with particulate organic matter and as a result, measurements of waterborne concentration can be an unreliable predictor of bioaccumulation and adverse effects. Particulate-bound Se, typically measured as sedimentary Se, has been repeatedly implicated as a causal factor for Se bioaccumulation and subsequent potential for reproductive failures in fish and/or birds at sites receiving coal-fired power plant and refinery effluents as well as irrigation drainage. In fact, the premise that adverse biological effects are largely induced by sedimentary Se satisfies all of Hill`s criteria for a causal association. Despite these findings, most efforts to control Se continue to focus on waterborne concentrations because sedimentary toxicity thresholds are largely unknown. Sedimentary Se and associated biological effects data from studies of Se-bearing industrial effluent and irrigation drainage were compiled to initiate development of biological effects thresholds, The probability of adverse effects on fish or birds appears to be low up to a sedimentary Se concentration of about 2.8 {micro}g/g dry weight and high at 6.4 {micro}g/g dry weight (10th and 50th percentile of effects data, respectively). In addition, a preliminary regression model was derived for predicting dissolved to sedimentary Se transfer in streams as an interactive function of site-specific sedimentary organic carbon content (R{sup 2} = 0,870, p < 0.001) based on irrigation drainage studies in Colorado. This dissolved Se interaction with sedimentary organic carbon provides a possible explanation for the variable biological response to waterborne Se-organic-rich sites are predisposed to greater Se bioaccumulation and subsequent biological effects than organic-poor sites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Coping with dating errors in causality estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, D. A.; Marwan, N.; Breitenbach, S. F. M.; Lechleitner, F.; Kurths, J.

    2017-01-01

    We consider the problem of estimating causal influences between observed processes from time series possibly corrupted by errors in the time variable (dating errors) which are typical in palaeoclimatology, planetary science and astrophysics. “Causality ratio” based on the Wiener-Granger causality is proposed and studied for a paradigmatic class of model systems to reveal conditions under which it correctly indicates directionality of unidirectional coupling. It is argued that in the case of a priori known directionality, the causality ratio allows a characterization of dating errors and observational noise. Finally, we apply the developed approach to palaeoclimatic data and quantify the influence of solar activity on tropical Atlantic climate dynamics over the last two millennia. A stronger solar influence in the first millennium A.D. is inferred. The results also suggest a dating error of about 20 years in the solar proxy time series over the same period.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Marginal Structural Models for Skewed Outcomes: Identifying Causal Relationships in Health Care Utilization

    PubMed Central

    Héroux, Julie; Moodie, Erica E. M.; Strumpf, Erin; Coyle, Natalie; Tousignant, Pierre; Diop, Mamadou

    2017-01-01

    Evaluating the impacts of clinical or policy interventions on health care utilization requires addressing methodological challenges for causal inference while also analyzing highly skewed data. We examine the impact of registering with a Family Medicine Group (FMG), an integrated primary care model in Quebec, on hospitalization and emergency department visits using propensity scores to adjust for baseline characteristics and marginal structural models to account for time-varying exposure. We also evaluate the performance of different marginal structural GLMs in the presence of highly skewed data and conduct a simulation study to determine the robustness of different GLMs to distributional model mis-specification. Although the simulations found that the zero-inflated Poisson likelihood performed the best overall, the negative binomial likelihood gave the best fit for both outcomes in the real dataset. Our results suggest that registration to a FMG for all three years caused a small reduction in the number of emergency room visits, and no significant change in the number of hospitalizations in the final year. PMID:24167024

  12. Semiparametric transformation models for causal inference in time to event studies with all-or-nothing compliance.

    PubMed

    Yu, Wen; Chen, Kani; Sobel, Michael E; Ying, Zhiliang

    2015-03-01

    We consider causal inference in randomized survival studies with right censored outcomes and all-or-nothing compliance, using semiparametric transformation models to estimate the distribution of survival times in treatment and control groups, conditional on covariates and latent compliance type. Estimands depending on these distributions, for example, the complier average causal effect (CACE), the complier effect on survival beyond time t, and the complier quantile effect are then considered. Maximum likelihood is used to estimate the parameters of the transformation models, using a specially designed expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm to overcome the computational difficulties created by the mixture structure of the problem and the infinite dimensional parameter in the transformation models. The estimators are shown to be consistent, asymptotically normal, and semiparametrically efficient. Inferential procedures for the causal parameters are developed. A simulation study is conducted to evaluate the finite sample performance of the estimated causal parameters. We also apply our methodology to a randomized study conducted by the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York to assess the reduction in breast cancer mortality due to screening.

  13. Semiparametric transformation models for causal inference in time to event studies with all-or-nothing compliance

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wen; Chen, Kani; Sobel, Michael E.; Ying, Zhiliang

    2014-01-01

    We consider causal inference in randomized survival studies with right censored outcomes and all-or-nothing compliance, using semiparametric transformation models to estimate the distribution of survival times in treatment and control groups, conditional on covariates and latent compliance type. Estimands depending on these distributions, for example, the complier average causal effect (CACE), the complier effect on survival beyond time t, and the complier quantile effect are then considered. Maximum likelihood is used to estimate the parameters of the transformation models, using a specially designed expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm to overcome the computational difficulties created by the mixture structure of the problem and the infinite dimensional parameter in the transformation models. The estimators are shown to be consistent, asymptotically normal, and semiparametrically efficient. Inferential procedures for the causal parameters are developed. A simulation study is conducted to evaluate the finite sample performance of the estimated causal parameters. We also apply our methodology to a randomized study conducted by the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York to assess the reduction in breast cancer mortality due to screening. PMID:25870521

  14. Causal relationship model between variables using linear regression to improve professional commitment of lecturer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Setyaningsih, S.

    2017-01-01

    The main element to build a leading university requires lecturer commitment in a professional manner. Commitment is measured through willpower, loyalty, pride, loyalty, and integrity as a professional lecturer. A total of 135 from 337 university lecturers were sampled to collect data. Data were analyzed using validity and reliability test and multiple linear regression. Many studies have found a link on the commitment of lecturers, but the basic cause of the causal relationship is generally neglected. These results indicate that the professional commitment of lecturers affected by variables empowerment, academic culture, and trust. The relationship model between variables is composed of three substructures. The first substructure consists of endogenous variables professional commitment and exogenous three variables, namely the academic culture, empowerment and trust, as well as residue variable ɛ y . The second substructure consists of one endogenous variable that is trust and two exogenous variables, namely empowerment and academic culture and the residue variable ɛ 3. The third substructure consists of one endogenous variable, namely the academic culture and exogenous variables, namely empowerment as well as residue variable ɛ 2. Multiple linear regression was used in the path model for each substructure. The results showed that the hypothesis has been proved and these findings provide empirical evidence that increasing the variables will have an impact on increasing the professional commitment of the lecturers.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jian; Chen, Changkun

    2014-05-01

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

  17. The Mediation Formula: A Guide to the Assessment of Causal Pathways in Nonlinear Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-27

    Science Department Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1596, USA judea@cs.ucla.edu October 27, 2011 Abstract Mediation analysis aims to uncover causal pathways along...ADDRESS(ES) University of California, Los Angeles,Department of Computer Science ,Los Angeles,CA,90095 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER 9...Indirect Effects 1.1 Direct versus Total Effects The target of many empirical studies in the social, behavioral, and health sciences is the causal effect

  18. Network interactions underlying mirror feedback in stroke: A dynamic causal modeling study.

    PubMed

    Saleh, Soha; Yarossi, Mathew; Manuweera, Thushini; Adamovich, Sergei; Tunik, Eugene

    2017-01-01

    Mirror visual feedback (MVF) is potentially a powerful tool to facilitate recovery of disordered movement and stimulate activation of under-active brain areas due to stroke. The neural mechanisms underlying MVF have therefore been a focus of recent inquiry. Although it is known that sensorimotor areas can be activated via mirror feedback, the network interactions driving this effect remain unknown. The aim of the current study was to fill this gap by using dynamic causal modeling to test the interactions between regions in the frontal and parietal lobes that may be important for modulating the activation of the ipsilesional motor cortex during mirror visual feedback of unaffected hand movement in stroke patients. Our intent was to distinguish between two theoretical neural mechanisms that might mediate ipsilateral activation in response to mirror-feedback: transfer of information between bilateral motor cortices versus recruitment of regions comprising an action observation network which in turn modulate the motor cortex. In an event-related fMRI design, fourteen chronic stroke subjects performed goal-directed finger flexion movements with their unaffected hand while observing real-time visual feedback of the corresponding (veridical) or opposite (mirror) hand in virtual reality. Among 30 plausible network models that were tested, the winning model revealed significant mirror feedback-based modulation of the ipsilesional motor cortex arising from the contralesional parietal cortex, in a region along the rostral extent of the intraparietal sulcus. No winning model was identified for the veridical feedback condition. We discuss our findings in the context of supporting the latter hypothesis, that mirror feedback-based activation of motor cortex may be attributed to engagement of a contralateral (contralesional) action observation network. These findings may have important implications for identifying putative cortical areas, which may be targeted with non

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, Dmitry A.; Mokhov, Igor I.

    2009-07-01

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

  20. Reasoning the causality of city sprawl, traffic congestion, and green land disappearance in Taiwan using the CLD model.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mei-Chih; Chang, Kaowen

    2014-11-06

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

  1. Numerical limitations in application of vector autoregressive modeling and Granger causality to analysis of EEG time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammerdiner, Alla; Xanthopoulos, Petros; Pardalos, Panos M.

    2007-11-01

    In this chapter a potential problem with application of the Granger-causality based on the simple vector autoregressive (VAR) modeling to EEG data is investigated. Although some initial studies tested whether the data support the stationarity assumption of VAR, the stability of the estimated model is rarely (if ever) been verified. In fact, in cases when the stability condition is violated the process may exhibit a random walk like behavior or even be explosive. The problem is illustrated by an example.

  2. 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

  3. Attribution and social cognitive neuroscience: a new approach for the "online-assessment" of causality ascriptions and their emotional consequences.

    PubMed

    Terbeck, Sylvia; Chesterman, Paul; Fischmeister, Florian Ph S; Leodolter, Ulrich; Bauer, Herbert

    2008-08-15

    Attribution theory plays a central role in understanding cognitive processes that have emotional consequences; however, there has been very limited attention to its neural basis. After reviewing classical studies in social psychology in which attribution has been experimentally manipulated we developed a new approach that allows the investigation of state attributions and emotional consequences using neuroscience methodologies. Participants responded to the Erikson Flanker Task, but, in order to maintain the participant's beliefs about the nature of the task and to produce a significant number of error responses, an adaptive algorithm tuned the available time to respond such that, dependent on the subject's current performance, the negative feedback rate was held at chance level. In order to initiate variation in attribution participants were informed that one and the same task was either easy or difficult. As a result of these two different instructions the two groups differed significantly in error attribution only on the locus of causality dimension. Additionally, attributions were found to be stable over a large number of trials, while accuracy and reaction time remained the same. Thus, the new paradigm is particularly suitable for cognitive neuroscience research that evaluates brain behaviour relationships of higher order processes in 'simulated achievement settings'.

  4. Relativistic causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valente, Giovanni; Owen Weatherall, James

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. A Causal Inference Model Explains Perception of the McGurk Effect and Other Incongruent Audiovisual Speech

    PubMed Central

    Magnotti, John F.

    2017-01-01

    Audiovisual speech integration combines information from auditory speech (talker’s voice) and visual speech (talker’s mouth movements) to improve perceptual accuracy. However, if the auditory and visual speech emanate from different talkers, integration decreases accuracy. Therefore, a key step in audiovisual speech perception is deciding whether auditory and visual speech have the same source, a process known as causal inference. A well-known illusion, the McGurk Effect, consists of incongruent audiovisual syllables, such as auditory “ba” + visual “ga” (AbaVga), that are integrated to produce a fused percept (“da”). This illusion raises two fundamental questions: first, given the incongruence between the auditory and visual syllables in the McGurk stimulus, why are they integrated; and second, why does the McGurk effect not occur for other, very similar syllables (e.g., AgaVba). We describe a simplified model of causal inference in multisensory speech perception (CIMS) that predicts the perception of arbitrary combinations of auditory and visual speech. We applied this model to behavioral data collected from 60 subjects perceiving both McGurk and non-McGurk incongruent speech stimuli. The CIMS model successfully predicted both the audiovisual integration observed for McGurk stimuli and the lack of integration observed for non-McGurk stimuli. An identical model without causal inference failed to accurately predict perception for either form of incongruent speech. The CIMS model uses causal inference to provide a computational framework for studying how the brain performs one of its most important tasks, integrating auditory and visual speech cues to allow us to communicate with others. PMID:28207734

  8. Causal linear parametric model for baroreflex gain assessment in patients with recent myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Nollo, G; Porta, A; Faes, L; Del Greco, M; Disertori, M; Ravelli, F

    2001-04-01

    Spectral and cross-spectral analysis of R-R interval and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) spontaneous fluctuations have been proposed for noninvasive evaluation of baroreflex sensitivity (BRS). However, results are not in good agreement with clinical measurements. In this study, a bivariate parametric autoregressive model with exogenous input (ARXAR model), able to divide the R-R variability into SAP-related and -unrelated parts, was used to quantify the gain (alpha(ARXAR)) of the baroreflex regulatory mechanism. For performance assessing, two traditional noninvasive methods based on frequency domain analysis [spectral, baroreflex gain by autogressive model (alpha(AR)); cross-spectral, baroreflex gain by bivariate autoregressive model (alpha(2AR))] and one based on the time domain [baroreflex gain by sequence analysis (alpha(SEQ))] were considered and compared with the baroreflex gain by phenylephrine test (alpha(PHE)). The BRS evaluation was performed on 30 patients (61 +/- 10 yr) with recent (10 +/- 3 days) myocardial infarction. The ARXAR model allowed dividing the R-R variability (950 +/- 1,099 ms(2)) into SAP-related (256 +/- 418 ms(2)) and SAP-unrelated (694 +/- 728 ms(2)) parts. alpha(AR) (12.2 +/- 6.1 ms/mmHg) and alpha(2AR) (8.9 +/- 5.6 ms/mmHg) as well as alpha(SEQ) (12.6 +/- 7.1 ms/mmHg) overestimated BRS assessed by alpha(PHE) (6.4 +/- 4.7 ms/mmHg), whereas the ARXAR index gave a comparable value (alpha(ARXAR) = 5.4 +/- 3.3 ms/mmHg). All noninvasive methods were significantly correlated to alpha(PHE) (alpha(ARXAR) and alpha(SEQ) were more correlated than the other indexes). Thus the baroreflex gain obtained describing the causal dependence of R-R interval on SAP showed a good agreement with alpha(PHE) and may provide additional information regarding the gain estimation in the frequency domain.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. A Program for Standard Errors of Indirect Effects in Recursive Causal Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfle, Lee M.; Ethington, Corinna A.

    In his early exposition of path analysis, Duncan (1966) noted that the method "provides a calculus for indirect effects." Despite the interest in indirect causal effects, most users treat them as if they are population parameters and do not test whether they are statistically significant. Sobel (1982) has recently derived the asymptotic…

  11. 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

  12. A Granger causality measure for point process models of ensemble neural spiking activity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sanggyun; Putrino, David; Ghosh, Soumya; Brown, Emery N

    2011-03-01

    The ability to identify directional interactions that occur among multiple neurons in the brain is crucial to an understanding of how groups of neurons cooperate in order to generate specific brain functions. However, an optimal method of assessing these interactions has not been established. Granger causality has proven to be an effective method for the analysis of the directional interactions between multiple sets of continuous-valued data, but cannot be applied to neural spike train recordings due to their discrete nature. This paper proposes a point process framework that enables Granger causality to be applied to point process data such as neural spike trains. The proposed framework uses the point process likelihood function to relate a neuron's spiking probability to possible covariates, such as its own spiking history and the concurrent activity of simultaneously recorded neurons. Granger causality is assessed based on the relative reduction of the point process likelihood of one neuron obtained excluding one of its covariates compared to the likelihood obtained using all of its covariates. The method was tested on simulated data, and then applied to neural activity recorded from the primary motor cortex (MI) of a Felis catus subject. The interactions present in the simulated data were predicted with a high degree of accuracy, and when applied to the real neural data, the proposed method identified causal relationships between many of the recorded neurons. This paper proposes a novel method that successfully applies Granger causality to point process data, and has the potential to provide unique physiological insights when applied to neural spike trains.

  13. Variational Bayesian identification and prediction of stochastic nonlinear dynamic causal models.

    PubMed

    Daunizeau, J; Friston, K J; Kiebel, S J

    2009-11-01

    In this paper, we describe a general variational Bayesian approach for approximate inference on nonlinear stochastic dynamic models. This scheme extends established approximate inference on hidden-states to cover: (i) nonlinear evolution and observation functions, (ii) unknown parameters and (precision) hyperparameters and (iii) model comparison and prediction under uncertainty. Model identification or inversion entails the estimation of the marginal likelihood or evidence of a model. This difficult integration problem can be finessed by optimising a free-energy bound on the evidence using results from variational calculus. This yields a deterministic update scheme that optimises an approximation to the posterior density on the unknown model variables. We derive such a variational Bayesian scheme in the context of nonlinear stochastic dynamic hierarchical models, for both model identification and time-series prediction. The computational complexity of the scheme is comparable to that of an extended Kalman filter, which is critical when inverting high dimensional models or long time-series. Using Monte-Carlo simulations, we assess the estimation efficiency of this variational Bayesian approach using three stochastic variants of chaotic dynamic systems. We also demonstrate the model comparison capabilities of the method, its self-consistency and its predictive power.

  14. Variational Bayesian identification and prediction of stochastic nonlinear dynamic causal models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daunizeau, J.; Friston, K. J.; Kiebel, S. J.

    2009-11-01

    In this paper, we describe a general variational Bayesian approach for approximate inference on nonlinear stochastic dynamic models. This scheme extends established approximate inference on hidden-states to cover: (i) nonlinear evolution and observation functions, (ii) unknown parameters and (precision) hyperparameters and (iii) model comparison and prediction under uncertainty. Model identification or inversion entails the estimation of the marginal likelihood or evidence of a model. This difficult integration problem can be finessed by optimising a free-energy bound on the evidence using results from variational calculus. This yields a deterministic update scheme that optimises an approximation to the posterior density on the unknown model variables. We derive such a variational Bayesian scheme in the context of nonlinear stochastic dynamic hierarchical models, for both model identification and time-series prediction. The computational complexity of the scheme is comparable to that of an extended Kalman filter, which is critical when inverting high dimensional models or long time-series. Using Monte-Carlo simulations, we assess the estimation efficiency of this variational Bayesian approach using three stochastic variants of chaotic dynamic systems. We also demonstrate the model comparison capabilities of the method, its self-consistency and its predictive power.

  15. Variational Bayesian identification and prediction of stochastic nonlinear dynamic causal models

    PubMed Central

    Daunizeau, J.; Friston, K.J.; Kiebel, S.J.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we describe a general variational Bayesian approach for approximate inference on nonlinear stochastic dynamic models. This scheme extends established approximate inference on hidden-states to cover: (i) nonlinear evolution and observation functions, (ii) unknown parameters and (precision) hyperparameters and (iii) model comparison and prediction under uncertainty. Model identification or inversion entails the estimation of the marginal likelihood or evidence of a model. This difficult integration problem can be finessed by optimising a free-energy bound on the evidence using results from variational calculus. This yields a deterministic update scheme that optimises an approximation to the posterior density on the unknown model variables. We derive such a variational Bayesian scheme in the context of nonlinear stochastic dynamic hierarchical models, for both model identification and time-series prediction. The computational complexity of the scheme is comparable to that of an extended Kalman filter, which is critical when inverting high dimensional models or long time-series. Using Monte-Carlo simulations, we assess the estimation efficiency of this variational Bayesian approach using three stochastic variants of chaotic dynamic systems. We also demonstrate the model comparison capabilities of the method, its self-consistency and its predictive power. PMID:19862351

  16. Modeling Causal Relationship Between Brain Regions Within the Drug-Cue Processing Network in Chronic Cocaine Smokers.

    PubMed

    Ray, Suchismita; Haney, Margaret; Hanson, Catherine; Biswal, Bharat; Hanson, Stephen José

    2015-12-01

    The cues associated with drugs of abuse have an essential role in perpetuating problematic use, yet effective connectivity or the causal interaction between brain regions mediating the processing of drug cues has not been defined. The aim of this fMRI study was to model the causal interaction between brain regions within the drug-cue processing network in chronic cocaine smokers and matched control participants during a cocaine-cue exposure task. Specifically, cocaine-smoking (15M; 5F) and healthy control (13M; 4F) participants viewed cocaine and neutral cues while in the scanner (a Siemens 3 T magnet). We examined whole brain activation, including activation related to drug-cue processing. Time series data extracted from ROIs determined through our General Linear Model (GLM) analysis and prior publications were used as input to IMaGES, a computationally powerful Bayesian search algorithm. During cocaine-cue exposure, cocaine users showed a particular feed-forward effective connectivity pattern between the ROIs of the drug-cue processing network (amygdala → hippocampus → dorsal striatum → insula → medial frontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex) that was not present when the controls viewed the cocaine cues. Cocaine craving ratings positively correlated with the strength of the causal influence of the insula on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in cocaine users. This study is the first demonstration of a causal interaction between ROIs within the drug-cue processing network in cocaine users. This study provides insight into the mechanism underlying continued substance use and has implications for monitoring treatment response.

  17. Commentary on Causal Prescriptive Statements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur C.; Hu, Xiangen

    2011-01-01

    Causal prescriptive statements are valued in the social sciences when there is the goal of helping people through interventions. The articles in this special issue cover different methods for testing causal prescriptive statements. This commentary identifies both virtues and liabilities of these different approaches. We argue that it is extremely…

  18. Simulations of a modified SOP model applied to retrospective revaluation of human causal learning.

    PubMed

    Aitken, Michael R F; Dickinson, Anthony

    2005-05-01

    Dickinson and Burke (1996) proposed a modified version of Wagner's (1981) SOP associative theory to explain retrospective revaluation of human causal judgments. In this modified SOP (MSOP), excitatory learning occurs when cue and outcome representations are either both directly activated or both associatively activated. By contrast, inhibitory learning occurs when one representation is directly activated while the other is associatively activated. Finite node simulations of MSOP yielded simple acquisition, overshadowing, blocking, and inhibitory learning under forward contingencies. Importantly, retrospective revaluation was predicted in the form of unovershadowing and backward inhibitory learning. However, MSOP did not yield backward blocking. These predictions are evaluated against the relevant empirical evidence and contrasted with the predictions of other associative theories that have been applied to retrospective revaluation of human causal and predictive learning.

  19. Assessing dynamic spectral causality by lagged adaptive directed transfer function and instantaneous effect factor.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haojie; Lu, Yunfeng; Zhu, Shanan; He, Bin

    2014-07-01

    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 nonzero 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 this study, we first 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 time

  20. The Agent-based Approach: A New Direction for Computational Models of Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlesinger, Matthew; Parisi, Domenico

    2001-01-01

    Introduces the concepts of online and offline sampling and highlights the role of online sampling in agent-based models of learning and development. Compares the strengths of each approach for modeling particular developmental phenomena and research questions. Describes a recent agent-based model of infant causal perception. Discusses limitations…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. Linking canonical microcircuits and neuronal activity: Dynamic causal modelling of laminar recordings.

    PubMed

    Pinotsis, D A; Geerts, J P; Pinto, L; FitzGerald, T H B; Litvak, V; Auksztulewicz, R; Friston, K J

    2017-02-01

    Neural models describe brain activity at different scales, ranging from single cells to whole brain networks. Here, we attempt to reconcile models operating at the microscopic (compartmental) and mesoscopic (neural mass) scales to analyse data from microelectrode recordings of intralaminar neural activity. Although these two classes of models operate at different scales, it is relatively straightforward to create neural mass models of ensemble activity that are equipped with priors obtained after fitting data generated by detailed microscopic models. This provides generative (forward) models of measured neuronal responses that retain construct validity in relation to compartmental models. We illustrate our approach using cross spectral responses obtained from V1 during a visual perception paradigm that involved optogenetic manipulation of the basal forebrain. We find that the resulting neural mass model can distinguish between activity in distinct cortical layers - both with and without optogenetic activation - and that cholinergic input appears to enhance (disinhibit) superficial layer activity relative to deep layers. This is particularly interesting from the perspective of predictive coding, where neuromodulators are thought to boost prediction errors that ascend the cortical hierarchy.

  5. Exploring the relationship between child physical abuse and adult dating violence using a causal inference approach in an emerging adult population in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Wesley G; Park, MiRang; Richards, Tara N; Tomsich, Elizabeth; Gover, Angela; Powers, Ráchael A

    2014-12-01

    Child maltreatment is one of the most commonly examined risk factors for violence in dating relationships. Often referred to as the intergenerational transmission of violence or cycle of violence, a fair amount of research suggests that experiencing abuse during childhood significantly increases the likelihood of involvement in violent relationships later, but these conclusions are primarily based on correlational research designs. Furthermore, the majority of research linking childhood maltreatment and dating violence has focused on samples of young people from the United States. Considering these limitations, the current study uses a rigorous, propensity score matching approach to estimate the causal effect of experiencing child physical abuse on adult dating violence among a large sample of South Korean emerging adults. Results indicate that the link between child physical abuse and adult dating violence is spurious rather than causal. Study limitations and implications are discussed.

  6. Identifying the Default Mode Network Structure Using Dynamic Causal Modeling on Resting-state Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2013-01-01

    The default mode network is part of the brain structure that shows higher neural activity and energy consumption when one is at rest. The key regions in the default mode network are highly interconnected as conveyed by both the white matter fiber tracing and the synchrony of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging signals. However, the causal information flow within the default mode network is still poorly understood. The current study used the dynamic causal modeling on resting-state fMRI dataset to identify the network structure underlying the default mode network. The endogenous brain fluctuations were explicitly modeled by Fourier series at the low frequency band of 0.01–0.08 Hz, and those Fourier series were set as driving inputs of the DCM models. Model comparison procedures favored a model that the MPFC sends information to the PCC and the bilateral inferior parietal lobule sends information to both the PCC and MPFC. Further analyses provide evidence that the endogenous connectivity might be higher in the right hemisphere than in the left hemisphere. These data provided insight on the functions of each node in the DMN, and also validate the usage of DCM on resting-state fMRI data. PMID:23927904

  7. Identifying the default mode network structure using dynamic causal modeling on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Di, Xin; Biswal, Bharat B

    2014-02-01

    The default mode network is part of the brain structure that shows higher neural activity and energy consumption when one is at rest. The key regions in the default mode network are highly interconnected as conveyed by both the white matter fiber tracing and the synchrony of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging signals. However, the causal information flow within the default mode network is still poorly understood. The current study used the dynamic causal modeling on a resting-state fMRI data set to identify the network structure underlying the default mode network. The endogenous brain fluctuations were explicitly modeled by Fourier series at the low frequency band of 0.01-0.08Hz, and those Fourier series were set as driving inputs of the DCM models. Model comparison procedures favored a model wherein the MPFC sends information to the PCC and the bilateral inferior parietal lobule sends information to both the PCC and MPFC. Further analyses provide evidence that the endogenous connectivity might be higher in the right hemisphere than in the left hemisphere. These data provided insight into the functions of each node in the DMN, and also validate the usage of DCM on resting-state fMRI data.

  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. Dynamic Causal Modeling of Hippocampal Links within the Human Default Mode Network: Lateralization and Computational Stability of Effective Connections.

    PubMed

    Ushakov, Vadim; Sharaev, Maksim G; Kartashov, Sergey I; Zavyalova, Viktoria V; Verkhlyutov, Vitaliy M; Velichkovsky, Boris M

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper was to study causal relationships between left and right hippocampal regions (LHIP and RHIP, respectively) within the default mode network (DMN) as represented by its key structures: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and the inferior parietal cortex of left (LIPC) and right (RIPC) hemispheres. Furthermore, we were interested in testing the stability of the connectivity patterns when adding or deleting regions of interest. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a group of 30 healthy right-handed subjects in the resting state were collected and a connectivity analysis was performed. To model the effective connectivity, we used the spectral Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM). Three DCM analyses were completed. Two of them modeled interaction between five nodes that included four DMN key structures in addition to either LHIP or RHIP. The last DCM analysis modeled interactions between four nodes whereby one of the main DMN structures, PCC, was excluded from the analysis. The results of all DCM analyses indicated a high level of stability in the computational method: those parts of the winning models that included the key DMN structures demonstrated causal relations known from recent research. However, we discovered new results as well. First of all, we found a pronounced asymmetry in LHIP and RHIP connections. LHIP demonstrated a high involvement of DMN activity with preponderant information outflow to all other DMN regions. Causal interactions of LHIP were bidirectional only in the case of LIPC. On the contrary, RHIP was primarily affected by inputs from LIPC, RIPC, and LHIP without influencing these or other DMN key structures. For the first time, an inhibitory link was found from MPFC to LIPC, which may indicate the subjects' effort to maintain a resting state. Functional connectivity data echoed these results, though they also showed links not reflected in the patterns of effective

  10. Dynamic Causal Modeling of Hippocampal Links within the Human Default Mode Network: Lateralization and Computational Stability of Effective Connections

    PubMed Central

    Ushakov, Vadim; Sharaev, Maksim G.; Kartashov, Sergey I.; Zavyalova, Viktoria V.; Verkhlyutov, Vitaliy M.; Velichkovsky, Boris M.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper was to study causal relationships between left and right hippocampal regions (LHIP and RHIP, respectively) within the default mode network (DMN) as represented by its key structures: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and the inferior parietal cortex of left (LIPC) and right (RIPC) hemispheres. Furthermore, we were interested in testing the stability of the connectivity patterns when adding or deleting regions of interest. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a group of 30 healthy right-handed subjects in the resting state were collected and a connectivity analysis was performed. To model the effective connectivity, we used the spectral Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM). Three DCM analyses were completed. Two of them modeled interaction between five nodes that included four DMN key structures in addition to either LHIP or RHIP. The last DCM analysis modeled interactions between four nodes whereby one of the main DMN structures, PCC, was excluded from the analysis. The results of all DCM analyses indicated a high level of stability in the computational method: those parts of the winning models that included the key DMN structures demonstrated causal relations known from recent research. However, we discovered new results as well. First of all, we found a pronounced asymmetry in LHIP and RHIP connections. LHIP demonstrated a high involvement of DMN activity with preponderant information outflow to all other DMN regions. Causal interactions of LHIP were bidirectional only in the case of LIPC. On the contrary, RHIP was primarily affected by inputs from LIPC, RIPC, and LHIP without influencing these or other DMN key structures. For the first time, an inhibitory link was found from MPFC to LIPC, which may indicate the subjects’ effort to maintain a resting state. Functional connectivity data echoed these results, though they also showed links not reflected in the patterns of effective

  11. Effective Connectivity within the Default Mode Network: Dynamic Causal Modeling of Resting-State fMRI Data

    PubMed Central

    Sharaev, Maksim G.; Zavyalova, Viktoria V.; Ushakov, Vadim L.; Kartashov, Sergey I.; Velichkovsky, Boris M.

    2016-01-01

    The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a brain system that mediates internal modes of cognitive activity, showing higher neural activation when one is at rest. Nowadays, there is a lot of interest in assessing functional interactions between its key regions, but in the majority of studies only association of Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activation patterns is measured, so it is impossible to identify causal influences. There are some studies of causal interactions (i.e., effective connectivity), however often with inconsistent results. The aim of the current work is to find a stable pattern of connectivity between four DMN key regions: the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), left and right intraparietal cortex (LIPC and RIPC). For this purpose functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 30 healthy subjects (1000 time points from each one) was acquired and spectral dynamic causal modeling (DCM) on a resting-state fMRI data was performed. The endogenous brain fluctuations were explicitly modeled by Discrete Cosine Set at the low frequency band of 0.0078–0.1 Hz. The best model at the group level is the one where connections from both bilateral IPC to mPFC and PCC are significant and symmetrical in strength (p < 0.05). Connections between mPFC and PCC are bidirectional, significant in the group and weaker than connections originating from bilateral IPC. In general, all connections from LIPC/RIPC to other DMN regions are much stronger. One can assume that these regions have a driving role within the DMN. Our results replicate some data from earlier works on effective connectivity within the DMN as well as provide new insights on internal DMN relationships and brain’s functioning at resting state. PMID:26869900

  12. A pedagogical walkthrough of computational modeling and simulation of Wnt signaling pathway using static causal models in MATLAB.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Shriprakash

    2016-12-01

    Simulation study in systems biology involving computational experiments dealing with Wnt signaling pathways abound in literature but often lack a pedagogical perspective that might ease the understanding of beginner students and researchers in transition, who intend to work on the modeling of the pathway. This paucity might happen due to restrictive business policies which enforce an unwanted embargo on the sharing of important scientific knowledge. A tutorial introduction to computational modeling of Wnt signaling pathway in a human colorectal cancer dataset using static Bayesian network models is provided. The walkthrough might aid biologists/informaticians in understanding the design of computational experiments that is interleaved with exposition of the Matlab code and causal models from Bayesian network toolbox. The manuscript elucidates the coding contents of the advance article by Sinha (Integr. Biol. 6:1034-1048, 2014) and takes the reader in a step-by-step process of how (a) the collection and the transformation of the available biological information from literature is done, (b) the integration of the heterogeneous data and prior biological knowledge in the network is achieved, (c) the simulation study is designed, (d) the hypothesis regarding a biological phenomena is transformed into computational framework, and (e) results and inferences drawn using d-connectivity/separability are reported. The manuscript finally ends with a programming assignment to help the readers get hands-on experience of a perturbation project. Description of Matlab files is made available under GNU GPL v3 license at the Google code project on https://code.google.com/p/static-bn-for-wnt-signaling-pathway and https: //sites.google.com/site/shriprakashsinha/shriprakashsinha/projects/static-bn-for-wnt-signaling-pathway. Latest updates can be found in the latter website.

  13. 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…

  14. A Systems Genetics Approach Implicates USF1, FADS3, and Other Causal Candidate Genes for Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia

    PubMed Central

    Plaisier, Christopher L.; Horvath, Steve; Huertas-Vazquez, Adriana; Cruz-Bautista, Ivette; Herrera, Miguel F.; Tusie-Luna, Teresa; Aguilar-Salinas, Carlos; Pajukanta, Päivi

    2009-01-01

    We hypothesized that a common SNP in the 3' untranslated region of the upstream transcription factor 1 (USF1), rs3737787, may affect lipid traits by influencing gene expression levels, and we investigated this possibility utilizing the Mexican population, which has a high predisposition to dyslipidemia. We first associated rs3737787 genotypes in Mexican Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia (FCHL) case/control fat biopsies, with global expression patterns. To identify sets of co-expressed genes co-regulated by similar factors such as transcription factors, genetic variants, or environmental effects, we utilized weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). Through WGCNA in the Mexican FCHL fat biopsies we identified two significant Triglyceride (TG)-associated co-expression modules. One of these modules was also associated with FCHL, the other FCHL component traits, and rs3737787 genotypes. This USF1-regulated FCHL-associated (URFA) module was enriched for genes involved in lipid metabolic processes. Using systems genetics procedures we identified 18 causal candidate genes in the URFA module. The FCHL causal candidate gene fatty acid desaturase 3 (FADS3) was associated with TGs in a recent Caucasian genome-wide significant association study and we replicated this association in Mexican FCHL families. Based on a USF1-regulated FCHL-associated co-expression module and SNP rs3737787, we identify a set of causal candidate genes for FCHL-related traits. We then provide evidence from two independent datasets supporting FADS3 as a causal gene for FCHL and elevated TGs in Mexicans. PMID:19750004

  15. Zigzagging causality EPR model: answer to Vigier and coworkers and to Sutherland

    SciTech Connect

    de Beauregard, O.C.

    1987-08-01

    The concept of propagation in time of Vigier and co-workers (V et al.) implies the ideal of a supertime; it is thus alien to most Minkowskian pictures and certainly to the authors. From this stems much of V et al.'s misunderstandings of his position. In steady motion of a classical fluid nobody thinks that momentum conservation is violated, or that momentum is shot upstream without cause because of the suction from the sinks. Similarly with momentum-energy in spacetime and the acceptance of an advanced causality. As for the CT invariance of the Feynman propagator, the causality asymmetry it entails is factlike, not lawlike. The geometrical counterpart of the symmetry between prediction and retrodiction and between retarded and advanced waves, as expressed in the alternative expressions = = for a transition amplitude between a preparation lt. slashA> and a measurement lt. slashB>, is CPT-invariant, not PT-invariant. These three expressions respectively illustrate the collapse, the retrocollapse, and the symmetric collapse-and-retrocollapse concepts. As for Sutherland's argument, what it falsifies is not the authors retrocausation concept but the hidden-variables assumption he has unwittingly made.

  16. A Bayesian Semiparametric Multivariate Causal Model, with Automatic Covariate Selection and for Possibly-Nonignorable Missing Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karabatsos, G.; Walker, S.G.

    2010-01-01

    Causal inference is central to educational research, where in data analysis the aim is to learn the causal effects of educational treatments on academic achievement, to evaluate educational policies and practice. Compared to a correlational analysis, a causal analysis enables policymakers to make more meaningful statements about the efficacy of…

  17. From meta-omics to causality: experimental models for human microbiome research.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Joëlle V; Desai, Mahesh S; Shah, Pranjul; Schneider, Jochen G; Wilmes, Paul

    2013-05-03

    Large-scale 'meta-omic' projects are greatly advancing our knowledge of the human microbiome and its specific role in governing health and disease states. A myriad of ongoing studies aim at identifying links between microbial community disequilibria (dysbiosis) and human diseases. However, due to the inherent complexity and heterogeneity of the human microbiome, cross-sectional, case-control and longitudinal studies may not have enough statistical power to allow causation to be deduced from patterns of association between variables in high-resolution omic datasets. Therefore, to move beyond reliance on the empirical method, experiments are critical. For these, robust experimental models are required that allow the systematic manipulation of variables to test the multitude of hypotheses, which arise from high-throughput molecular studies. Particularly promising in this respect are microfluidics-based in vitro co-culture systems, which allow high-throughput first-pass experiments aimed at proving cause-and-effect relationships prior to testing of hypotheses in animal models. This review focuses on widely used in vivo, in vitro, ex vivo and in silico approaches to study host-microbial community interactions. Such systems, either used in isolation or in a combinatory experimental approach, will allow systematic investigations of the impact of microbes on the health and disease of the human host. All the currently available models present pros and cons, which are described and discussed. Moreover, suggestions are made on how to develop future experimental models that not only allow the study of host-microbiota interactions but are also amenable to high-throughput experimentation.

  18. Analyzing multiple spike trains with nonparametric Granger causality.

    PubMed

    Nedungadi, Aatira G; Rangarajan, Govindan; Jain, Neeraj; Ding, Mingzhou

    2009-08-01

    Simultaneous recordings of spike trains from multiple single neurons are becoming commonplace. Understanding the interaction patterns among these spike trains remains a key research area. A question of interest is the evaluation of information flow between neurons through the analysis of whether one spike train exerts causal influence on another. For continuous-valued time series data, Granger causality has proven an effective method for this purpose. However, the basis for Granger causality estimation is autoregressive data modeling, which is not directly applicable to spike trains. Various filtering options distort the properties of spike trains as point processes. Here we propose a new nonparametric approach to estimate Granger causality directly from the Fourier transforms of spike train data. We validate the method on synthetic spike trains generated by model networks of neurons with known connectivity patterns and then apply it to neurons simultaneously recorded from the thalamus and the primary somatosensory cortex of a squirrel monkey undergoing tactile stimulation.

  19. Paradoxical Behavior of Granger Causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Witt, Annette; Battaglia, Demian; Gail, Alexander

    2013-03-01

    Granger causality is a standard tool for the description of directed interaction of network components and is popular in many scientific fields including econometrics, neuroscience and climate science. For time series that can be modeled as bivariate auto-regressive processes we analytically derive an expression for spectrally decomposed Granger Causality (SDGC) and show that this quantity depends only on two out of four groups of model parameters. Then we present examples of such processes whose SDGC expose paradoxical behavior in the sense that causality is high for frequency ranges with low spectral power. For avoiding misinterpretations of Granger causality analysis we propose to complement it by partial spectral analysis. Our findings are illustrated by an example from brain electrophysiology. Finally, we draw implications for the conventional definition of Granger causality. Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Goettingen

  20. Scalar Matter Coupled to Quantum Gravity in the Causal Approach. One-Loop Calculations and Perturbative Gauge Invariance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grillo, Nicola

    2001-02-01

    Quantum gravity coupled to scalar massive matter fields is investigated in the framework of causal perturbation theory using the Epstein-Glaser regularization/renormalization scheme. Detailed one-loop calculations include the matter loop graviton self-energy and the matter self-energy. The condition of perturbative operator gauge invariance to second order implies the usual Slavnov-Ward identities for the graviton two-point connected Green function in the loop graph sector and generates the correct quartic graviton-matter interaction in the tree graph sector. The mass zero case is also discussed.

  1. 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.…

  2. Achievement in Mother Tongue Literature: Some Strategies of Causal Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bulcock, Jeffrey W.

    Three stages of linear causal model building procedures (conceptual, main theory, and auxiliary theory) were used to examine the cultural and personality resources of individuals and their school-related skills as determinants of achievement in mother tongue literature. A path analytic approach was used to test a popular model of literature…

  3. Causal evolution of wave packets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eckstein, Michał; Miller, Tomasz

    2017-03-01

    Drawing from the optimal transport theory adapted to the relativistic setting we formulate the principle of a causal flow of probability and apply it in the wave-packet formalism. We demonstrate that whereas the Dirac Hamiltonian impels a causal evolution of probabilities, even in the presence of interactions, the relativistic-Schrödinger model is acausal. We quantify the causality breakdown in the latter model and argue that, in contrast to the popular viewpoint, it is not related to the localization properties of the states.

  4. Analyzing information flow in brain networks with nonparametric Granger causality.

    PubMed

    Dhamala, Mukeshwar; Rangarajan, Govindan; Ding, Mingzhou

    2008-06-01

    Multielectrode neurophysiological recording and high-resolution neuroimaging generate multivariate data that are the basis for understanding the patterns of neural interactions. How to extract directions of information flow in brain networks from these data remains a key challenge. Research over the last few years has identified Granger causality as a statistically principled technique to furnish this capability. The estimation of Granger causality currently requires autoregressive modeling of neural data. Here, we propose a nonparametric approach based on widely used Fourier and wavelet transforms to estimate both pairwise and conditional measures of Granger causality, eliminating the need of explicit autoregressive data modeling. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach by applying it to synthetic data generated by network models with known connectivity and to local field potentials recorded from monkeys performing a sensorimotor task.

  5. Analyzing Information Flow in Brain Networks with Nonparametric Granger Causality

    PubMed Central

    Dhamala, Mukeshwar; Rangarajan, Govindan; Ding, Mingzhou

    2009-01-01

    Multielectrode neurophysiological recording and high-resolution neuroimaging generate multivariate data that are the basis for understanding the patterns of neural interactions. How to extract directions of information flow in brain networks from these data remains a key challenge. Research over the last few years has identified Granger causality as a statistically principled technique to furnish this capability. The estimation of Granger causality currently requires autoregressive modeling of neural data. Here, we propose a nonparametric approach based on widely used Fourier and wavelet transforms to estimate Granger causality, eliminating the need of explicit autoregressive data modeling. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach by applying it to synthetic data generated by network models with known connectivity and to local field potentials recorded from monkeys performing a sensorimotor task. PMID:18394927

  6. Effect of measurement noise on Granger causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nalatore, Hariharan; N, Sasikumar; 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Naturalistic Model of Causal Reasoning: Developing an Experiential User Guide (EUG) to Understand Fusion Algorithms and Simulation Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-01

    unlimited, 88ABW-2011-0712, 23 Feb 2011 1.0 INTRODUCTION The key issue we investigated in this research effort was the psychological nature of...progress, or explain why they are running into trouble. Physicians depend on causal reasoning when they diagnose their patients . The purpose of this...Aristotle but, for our purposes, the account offered by Hume (1739-1740) is much more in line with our modern notion of physical cause- and-effect

  9. Temporal Information of Directed Causal Connectivity in Multi-Trial ERP Data using Partial Granger Causality.

    PubMed

    Youssofzadeh, Vahab; Prasad, Girijesh; Naeem, Muhammad; Wong-Lin, KongFatt

    2016-01-01

    Partial Granger causality (PGC) has been applied to analyse causal functional neural connectivity after effectively mitigating confounding influences caused by endogenous latent variables and exogenous environmental inputs. However, it is not known how this connectivity obtained from PGC evolves over time. Furthermore, PGC has yet to be tested on realistic nonlinear neural circuit models and multi-trial event-related potentials (ERPs) data. In this work, we first applied a time-domain PGC technique to evaluate simulated neural circuit models, and demonstrated that the PGC measure is more accurate and robust in detecting connectivity patterns as compared to conditional Granger causality and partial directed coherence, especially when the circuit is intrinsically nonlinear. Moreover, the connectivity in PGC settles faster into a stable and correct configuration over time. After method verification, we applied PGC to reveal the causal connections of ERP trials of a mismatch negativity auditory oddball paradigm. The PGC analysis revealed a significant bilateral but asymmetrical localised activity in the temporal lobe close to the auditory cortex, and causal influences in the frontal, parietal and cingulate cortical areas, consistent with previous studies. Interestingly, the time to reach a stable connectivity configuration (~250–300 ms) coincides with the deviation of ensemble ERPs of oddball from standard tones. Finally, using a sliding time window, we showed higher resolution dynamics of causal connectivity within an ERP trial. In summary, time-domain PGC is promising in deciphering directed functional connectivity in nonlinear and ERP trials accurately, and at a sufficiently early stage. This data-driven approach can reduce computational time, and determine the key architecture for neural circuit modeling.

  10. Ecological and cosmological coexistence thinking in a hypervariable environment: causal models of economic success and failure among farmers, foragers, and fishermen of southwestern Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Bram; Tsiazonera; Tombo, Jaovola; Hajasoa, Patricia; Nagnisaha, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    A fact of life for farmers, hunter-gatherers, and fishermen in the rural parts of the world are that crops fail, wild resources become scarce, and winds discourage fishing. In this article we approach subsistence risk from the perspective of “coexistence thinking,” the simultaneous application of natural and supernatural causal models to explain subsistence success and failure. In southwestern Madagascar, the ecological world is characterized by extreme variability and unpredictability, and the cosmological world is characterized by anxiety about supernatural dangers. Ecological and cosmological causes seem to point to different risk minimizing strategies: to avoid losses from drought, flood, or heavy winds, one should diversify activities and be flexible; but to avoid losses caused by disrespected spirits one should narrow one’s range of behaviors to follow the code of taboos and offerings. We address this paradox by investigating whether southwestern Malagasy understand natural and supernatural causes as occupying separate, contradictory explanatory systems (target dependence), whether they make no categorical distinction between natural and supernatural forces and combine them within a single explanatory system (synthetic thinking), or whether they have separate natural and supernatural categories of causes that are integrated into one explanatory system so that supernatural forces drive natural forces (integrative thinking). Results from three field studies suggest that (a) informants explain why crops, prey, and market activities succeed or fail with reference to natural causal forces like rainfall and pests, (b) they explain why individual persons experience success or failure primarily with supernatural factors like God and ancestors, and (c) they understand supernatural forces as driving natural forces, so that ecology and cosmology represent distinct sets of causes within a single explanatory framework. We expect that future cross-cultural analyses

  11. Ecological and cosmological coexistence thinking in a hypervariable environment: causal models of economic success and failure among farmers, foragers, and fishermen of southwestern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Bram; Tsiazonera; Tombo, Jaovola; Hajasoa, Patricia; Nagnisaha, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    A fact of life for farmers, hunter-gatherers, and fishermen in the rural parts of the world are that crops fail, wild resources become scarce, and winds discourage fishing. In this article we approach subsistence risk from the perspective of "coexistence thinking," the simultaneous application of natural and supernatural causal models to explain subsistence success and failure. In southwestern Madagascar, the ecological world is characterized by extreme variability and unpredictability, and the cosmological world is characterized by anxiety about supernatural dangers. Ecological and cosmological causes seem to point to different risk minimizing strategies: to avoid losses from drought, flood, or heavy winds, one should diversify activities and be flexible; but to avoid losses caused by disrespected spirits one should narrow one's range of behaviors to follow the code of taboos and offerings. We address this paradox by investigating whether southwestern Malagasy understand natural and supernatural causes as occupying separate, contradictory explanatory systems (target dependence), whether they make no categorical distinction between natural and supernatural forces and combine them within a single explanatory system (synthetic thinking), or whether they have separate natural and supernatural categories of causes that are integrated into one explanatory system so that supernatural forces drive natural forces (integrative thinking). Results from three field studies suggest that (a) informants explain why crops, prey, and market activities succeed or fail with reference to natural causal forces like rainfall and pests, (b) they explain why individual persons experience success or failure primarily with supernatural factors like God and ancestors, and (c) they understand supernatural forces as driving natural forces, so that ecology and cosmology represent distinct sets of causes within a single explanatory framework. We expect that future cross-cultural analyses may

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    This study demonstrates the utility of applying a causal indicator modeling framework to investigate important predictors of reading comprehension in third, seventh, and tenth grade students. The results indicated that a 4-factor multiple indicator multiple indicator cause (MIMIC) model of reading comprehension provided adequate fit at each grade level. This model included latent predictor constructs of decoding, verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, and working memory and accounted for a large portion of the reading comprehension variance (73% to 87%) across grade levels. Verbal reasoning contributed the most unique variance to reading comprehension at all grade levels. In addition, we fit a multiple group 4-factor MIMIC model to investigate the relative stability (or variability) of the predictor contributions to reading comprehension across development (i.e., grade levels). The results revealed that the contributions of verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, and working memory to reading comprehension were stable across the three grade levels. Decoding was the only predictor that could not be constrained to be equal across grade levels. The contribution of decoding skills to reading comprehension was higher in third grade and then remained relatively stable between seventh and tenth grade. These findings illustrate the feasibility of using MIMIC models to explain individual differences in reading comprehension across the development of reading skills.

  14. 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

  15. Analysis of causal relationships by structural equation modeling to determine the factors influencing cognitive function in elderly people in Japan.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Daisuke; Nakatani, Ken; Takeda, Tokunori; Fujita, Takashi; Sunahara, Nobuyuki; Inoue, Katsumi; Notoya, Masako

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to identify a potentiality factor that is a preventive factor for decline in cognitive function. Additionally, this study pursues to clarify the causal relationship between the each potential factor and its influence on cognitive function. Subjects were 366 elderly community residents (mean age 73.7 ± 6.4, male 51, female 315) who participated in the Taketoyo Project from 2007 to 2011. Factor analysis was conducted to identify groupings within mental, social, life, physical and cognitive functions. In order to detect clusters of 14 variables, the item scores were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. We performed Structural Equation Modeling analysis to calculate the standardization coefficient and correlation coefficient for every factor. The cause and effect hypothesis model was used to gather two intervention theory hypotheses for dementia prevention (direct effect, indirect effect) in one system. Finally, we performed another Structural Equation Modeling analysis to calculate the standardization of the cause and effect hypothesis model. Social participation was found to be activated by the improvement of four factors, and in turn, activated "Social participation" acted on cognitive function.

  16. Formalizing Neurath's ship: Approximate algorithms for online causal learning.

    PubMed

    Bramley, Neil R; Dayan, Peter; Griffiths, Thomas L; Lagnado, David A

    2017-04-01

    Higher-level cognition depends on the ability to learn models of the world. We can characterize this at the computational level as a structure-learning problem with the goal of best identifying the prevailing causal relationships among a set of relata. However, the computational cost of performing exact Bayesian inference over causal models grows rapidly as the number of relata increases. This implies that the cognitive processes underlying causal learning must be substantially approximate. A powerful class of approximations that focuses on the sequential absorption of successive inputs is captured by the Neurath's ship metaphor in philosophy of science, where theory change is cast as a stochastic and gradual process shaped as much by people's limited willingness to abandon their current theory when considering alternatives as by the ground truth they hope to approach. Inspired by this metaphor and by algorithms for approximating Bayesian inference in machine learning, we propose an algorithmic-level model of causal structure learning under which learners represent only a single global hypothesis that they update locally as they gather evidence. We propose a related scheme for understanding how, under these limitations, learners choose informative interventions that manipulate the causal system to help elucidate its workings. We find support for our approach in the analysis of 3 experiments. (PsycINFO Database Record

  17. A model comparison approach shows stronger support for economic models of fertility decline

    PubMed Central

    Shenk, Mary K.; Towner, Mary C.; Kress, Howard C.; Alam, Nurul

    2013-01-01

    The demographic transition is an ongoing global phenomenon in which high fertility and mortality rates are replaced by low fertility and mortality. Despite intense interest in the causes of the transition, especially with respect to decreasing fertility rates, the underlying mechanisms motivating it are still subject to much debate. The literature is crowded with competing theories, including causal models that emphasize (i) mortality and extrinsic risk, (ii) the economic costs and benefits of investing in self and children, and (iii) the cultural transmission of low-fertility social norms. Distinguishing between models, however, requires more comprehensive, better-controlled studies than have been published to date. We use detailed demographic data from recent fieldwork to determine which models produce the most robust explanation of the rapid, recent demographic transition in rural Bangladesh. To rigorously compare models, we use an evidence-based statistical approach using model selection techniques derived from likelihood theory. This approach allows us to quantify the relative evidence the data give to alternative models, even when model predictions are not mutually exclusive. Results indicate that fertility, measured as either total fertility or surviving children, is best explained by models emphasizing economic factors and related motivations for parental investment. Our results also suggest important synergies between models, implicating multiple causal pathways in the rapidity and degree of recent demographic transitions. PMID:23630293

  18. Recursive partitioning for heterogeneous causal effects.

    PubMed

    Athey, Susan; Imbens, Guido

    2016-07-05

    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%.

  19. Adaptive Non-Interventional Heuristics for Covariation Detection in Causal Induction: Model Comparison and Rational Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hattori, Masasi; Oaksford, Mike

    2007-01-01

    In this article, 41 models of covariation detection from 2 x 2 contingency tables were evaluated against past data in the literature and against data from new experiments. A new model was also included based on a limiting case of the normative phi-coefficient under an extreme rarity assumption, which has been shown to be an important factor in…

  20. Does partial Granger causality really eliminate the influence of exogenous inputs and latent variables?

    PubMed

    Roelstraete, Bjorn; Rosseel, Yves

    2012-04-30

    Partial Granger causality was introduced by Guo et al. (2008) who showed that it could better eliminate the influence of latent variables and exogenous inputs than conditional G-causality. In the recent literature we can find some reviews and applications of this type of Granger causality (e.g. Smith et al., 2011; Bressler and Seth, 2010; Barrett et al., 2010). These articles apparently do not take into account a serious flaw in the original work on partial G-causality, being the negative F values that were reported and even proven to be plausible. In our opinion, this undermines the credibility of the obtained results and thus the validity of the approach. Our study is aimed to further validate partial G-causality and to find an answer why negative partial Granger causality estimates were reported. Time series were simulated from the same toy model as used in the original paper and partial and conditional causal measures were compared in the presence of confounding variables. Inference was done parametrically and using non-parametric block bootstrapping. We counter the proof that partial Granger F values can be negative, but the main conclusion of the original article remains. In the presence of unknown latent and exogenous influences, it appears that partial G-causality will better eliminate their influence than conditional G-causality, at least when non-parametric inference is used.

  1. Food addiction as a causal model of obesity. Effects on stigma, blame, and perceived psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Latner, Janet D; Puhl, Rebecca M; Murakami, Jessica M; O'Brien, Kerry S

    2014-06-01

    The present study examined the impact of the food-addiction model of obesity on weight stigma directed at obese people. Participants (n = 625) were randomly assigned to four experimental conditions. They were asked to read either a food-addiction explanatory model of obesity or a nonaddiction model, and subsequently read a vignette describing a target person who met the characteristics of one of these models and was either obese or of normal weight. Questionnaires assessed participants' stigmatization and blame of targets and their attribution of psychopathology toward targets. Additional questionnaires assessed stigma and blame directed toward obese people generally, and personal fear of fat. A manipulation check revealed that the food-addiction experimental condition did significantly increase belief in the food-addiction model. Significant main effects for addiction showed that the food-addiction model produced less stigma, less blame, and lower perceived psychopathology attributed to the target described in vignettes, regardless of the target's weight. The food-addiction model also produced less blame toward obese people in general and less fear of fat. The present findings suggest that presenting obesity as an addiction does not increase weight bias and could even be helpful in reducing the widespread prejudice against obese people.

  2. 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

  3. Academic Self-Concept, Interest, Grades, and Standardized Test Scores: Reciprocal Effects Models of Causal Ordering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Herbert W.; Trautwein, Ulrich; Ldtke, Oliver; Kller, Olaf; Baumert, Jrgen

    2005-01-01

    Reciprocal effects models of longitudinal data show that academic self-concept is both a cause and an effect of achievement. In this study this model was extended to juxtapose self-concept with academic interest. Based on longitudinal data from 2 nationally representative samples of German 7th-grade students (Study 1: N=5,649, M age13.4; Study 2:…

  4. Profiling neuronal ion channelopathies with non-invasive brain imaging and dynamic causal models: Case studies of single gene mutations

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Jessica R.; Symmonds, Mkael; Hanna, Michael G.; Dolan, Raymond J.; Friston, Karl J.; Moran, Rosalyn J.

    2016-01-01

    Clinical assessments of brain function rely upon visual inspection of electroencephalographic waveform abnormalities in tandem with functional magnetic resonance imaging. However, no current technology proffers in vivo assessments of activity at synapses, receptors and ion-channels, the basis of neuronal communication. Using dynamic causal modeling we compared electrophysiological responses from two patients with distinct monogenic ion channelopathies and a large cohort of healthy controls to demonstrate the feasibility of assaying synaptic-level channel communication non-invasively. Synaptic channel abnormality was identified in both patients (100% sensitivity) with assay specificity above 89%, furnishing estimates of neurotransmitter and voltage-gated ion throughput of sodium, calcium, chloride and potassium. This performance indicates a potential novel application as an adjunct for clinical assessments in neurological and psychiatric settings. More broadly, these findings indicate that biophysical models of synaptic channels can be estimated non-invasively, having important implications for advancing human neuroimaging to the level of non-invasive ion channel assays. PMID:26342528

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Dynamic causal modelling of eye movements during pursuit: Confirming precision-encoding in V1 using MEG.

    PubMed

    Adams, Rick A; Bauer, Markus; Pinotsis, Dimitris; Friston, Karl J

    2016-05-15

    This paper shows that it is possible to estimate the subjective precision (inverse variance) of Bayesian beliefs during oculomotor pursuit. Subjects viewed a sinusoidal target, with or without random fluctuations in its motion. Eye trajectories and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data were recorded concurrently. The target was periodically occluded, such that its reappearance caused a visual evoked response field (ERF). Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) was used to fit models of eye trajectories and the ERFs. The DCM for pursuit was based on predictive coding and active inference, and predicts subjects' eye movements based on their (subjective) Bayesian beliefs about target (and eye) motion. The precisions of these hierarchical beliefs can be inferred from behavioural (pursuit) data. The DCM for MEG data used an established biophysical model of neuronal activity that includes parameters for the gain of superficial pyramidal cells, which is thought to encode precision at the neuronal level. Previous studies (using DCM of pursuit data) suggest that noisy target motion increases subjective precision at the sensory level: i.e., subjects attend more to the target's sensory attributes. We compared (noisy motion-induced) changes in the synaptic gain based on the modelling of MEG data to changes in subjective precision estimated using the pursuit data. We demonstrate that imprecise target motion increases the gain of superficial pyramidal cells in V1 (across subjects). Furthermore, increases in sensory precision - inferred by our behavioural DCM - correlate with the increase in gain in V1, across subjects. This is a step towards a fully integrated model of brain computations, cortical responses and behaviour that may provide a useful clinical tool in conditions like schizophrenia.

  8. Dynamic causal modelling of eye movements during pursuit: Confirming precision-encoding in V1 using MEG

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Rick A.; Bauer, Markus; Pinotsis, Dimitris; Friston, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    This paper shows that it is possible to estimate the subjective precision (inverse variance) of Bayesian beliefs during oculomotor pursuit. Subjects viewed a sinusoidal target, with or without random fluctuations in its motion. Eye trajectories and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data were recorded concurrently. The target was periodically occluded, such that its reappearance caused a visual evoked response field (ERF). Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) was used to fit models of eye trajectories and the ERFs. The DCM for pursuit was based on predictive coding and active inference, and predicts subjects' eye movements based on their (subjective) Bayesian beliefs about target (and eye) motion. The precisions of these hierarchical beliefs can be inferred from behavioural (pursuit) data. The DCM for MEG data used an established biophysical model of neuronal activity that includes parameters for the gain of superficial pyramidal cells, which is thought to encode precision at the neuronal level. Previous studies (using DCM of pursuit data) suggest that noisy target motion increases subjective precision at the sensory level: i.e., subjects attend more to the target's sensory attributes. We compared (noisy motion-induced) changes in the synaptic gain based on the modelling of MEG data to changes in subjective precision estimated using the pursuit data. We demonstrate that imprecise target motion increases the gain of superficial pyramidal cells in V1 (across subjects). Furthermore, increases in sensory precision – inferred by our behavioural DCM – correlate with the increase in gain in V1, across subjects. This is a step towards a fully integrated model of brain computations, cortical responses and behaviour that may provide a useful clinical tool in conditions like schizophrenia. PMID:26921713

  9. Simulation of fMRI signals to validate dynamic causal modeling estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anandwala, Mobin; Siadat, Mohamad-Reza; Hadi, Shamil M.

    2012-03-01

    Through cognitive tasks certain brain areas are activated and also receive increased blood to them. This is modeled through a state system consisting of two separate parts one that deals with the neural node stimulation and the other blood response during that stimulation. The rationale behind using this state system is to validate existing analysis methods such as DCM to see what levels of noise they can handle. Using the forward Euler's method this system was approximated in a series of difference equations. What was obtained was the hemodynamic response for each brain area and this was used to test an analysis tool to estimate functional connectivity between each brain area with a given amount of noise. The importance of modeling this system is to not only have a model for neural response but also to compare to actual data obtained through functional imaging scans.

  10. Processing Speed, Intelligence, Creativity, and School Performance: Testing of Causal Hypotheses Using Structural Equation Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rindermann, H.; Neubauer, A. C.

    2004-01-01

    According to mental speed theory of intelligence, the speed of information processing constitutes an important basis for cognitive abilities. However, the question, how mental speed relates to real world criteria, like school, academic, or job performance, is still unanswered. The aim of the study is to test an indirect speed-factor model in…

  11. A Causal Model of Organizational Commitment in a Military Training Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathieu, John E.

    1988-01-01

    Tested model of organizational commitment using survey responses from 202 Army and Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets. Found personal characteristics, role states, job characteristics, and work experiences exhibited significant direct relationships with commitment and identified their interrelationships. Discusses results in terms of an…

  12. Using the PRECEDE Model for Causal Analysis of Bulimic Tendencies among Elite Women Swimmers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, RoseAnn; Taub, Diane E.

    1993-01-01

    Describes a study of weight control techniques and bulimic tendencies among elite female participants in an Olympic Swimming Selection Meet. Results showed concern with thinness, body dissatisfaction, and unhealthy eating, dieting, and weight loss patterns among participants. Discusses the explanatory power of the PRECEDE model. (SM)

  13. Academic self-concept, interest, grades, and standardized test scores: reciprocal effects models of causal ordering.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Herbert W; Trautwein, Ulrich; Lüdtke, Oliver; Köller, Olaf; Baumert, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Reciprocal effects models of longitudinal data show that academic self-concept is both a cause and an effect of achievement. In this study this model was extended to juxtapose self-concept with academic interest. Based on longitudinal data from 2 nationally representative samples of German 7th-grade students (Study 1: N = 5,649, M age = 13.4; Study 2: N = 2,264, M age = 13.7 years), prior self-concept significantly affected subsequent math interest, school grades, and standardized test scores, whereas prior math interest had only a small effect on subsequent math self-concept. Despite stereotypic gender differences in means, linkages relating these constructs were invariant over gender. These results demonstrate the positive effects of academic self-concept on a variety of academic outcomes and integrate self-concept with the developmental motivation literature.

  14. Linking service climate and customer perceptions of service quality: test of a causal model.

    PubMed

    Schneider, B; White, S S; Paul, M C

    1998-04-01

    A set of foundation issues that support employee work and service quality is conceptualized as a necessary but not sufficient cause of a climate for service, which in turn is proposed to be reflected in customer experiences. Climate for service rests on the foundation issues, but in addition it requires policies and practices that focus attention directly on service quality. Data were collected at multiple points in time from employees and customers of 134 branches of a bank and analyzed via structural equation modeling. Results indicated that the model in which the foundation issues yielded a climate for service, and climate for service in turn led to customer perceptions of service quality, fit the data well. However, subsequent cross-lagged analyses revealed the presence of a reciprocal effect for climate and customer perceptions. Implications of these results for theory and research are offered.

  15. Graphical Models for Recovering Probabilistic and Causal Queries from Missing Data

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-01

    employ a formal representation called ‘Missingness Graphs ’ (m- graphs , for short) to explicitly portray the missingness process as well as the...exists any theoretical impediment to estimability of queries of interest, m- graphs can also provide a means for communication and refinement of...assumptions about the missingness process. Furthermore, m- graphs permit us to detect violations in modeling assumptions even when the dataset is

  16. Anterior Cingulate Cortico-Hippocampal Dysconnectivity in Unaffected Relatives of Schizophrenia Patients: A Stochastic Dynamic Causal Modeling Study

    PubMed Central

    Xi, Yi-Bin; Li, Chen; Cui, Long-Biao; Liu, Jian; Guo, Fan; Li, Liang; Liu, Ting-Ting; Liu, Kang; Chen, Gang; Xi, Min; Wang, Hua-Ning; Yin, Hong

    2016-01-01

    Familial risk plays a significant role in the etiology of schizophrenia (SZ). Many studies using neuroimaging have demonstrated structural and functional alterations in relatives of SZ patients, with significant results found in diverse brain regions involving the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), caudate, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and hippocampus. This study investigated whether unaffected relatives of first episode SZ differ from healthy controls (HCs) in effective connectivity measures among these regions. Forty-six unaffected first-degree relatives of first episode SZ patients—according to the DSM-IV—were studied. Fifty HCs were included for comparison. All subjects underwent resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We used stochastic dynamic causal modeling (sDCM) to estimate the directed connections between the left ACC, right ACC, left caudate, right caudate, left DLPFC, left hippocampus, and right hippocampus. We used Bayesian parameter averaging (BPA) to characterize the differences. The BPA results showed hyperconnectivity from the left ACC to right hippocampus and hypoconnectivity from the right ACC to right hippocampus in SZ relatives compared to HCs. The pattern of anterior cingulate cortico-hippocampal connectivity in SZ relatives may be a familial feature of SZ risk, appearing to reflect familial susceptibility for SZ. PMID:27512370

  17. Practical application of the vanishing tetrad test for causal indicator measurement models: an example from health-related quality of life.

    PubMed

    Bollen, Kenneth A; Lennox, Richard D; Dahly, Darren L

    2009-05-01

    Researchers are often faced with the task of trying to measure abstract concepts. The most common approach is to use multiple indicators that reflect an underlying latent variable. However, this 'effect indicator' measurement model is not always appropriate; sometimes the indicators instead cause the construct of interest. While the notion of 'causal indicators' has been known for some time, it is still too often ignored. However, there are limited means to determine whether a possible indicator should be treated as a cause or an effect of the latent construct of interest. Perhaps the best empirical way is to use the vanishing tetrad test (VTT), yet this method is still often overlooked. We speculate that one reason for this is the lack of published examples of its use in practice, written for an audience without extensive statistical training. The goal of this paper was to help fill this gap in the literature-to provide a basic example of how to use the VTT. We illustrated the VTT by looking at multiple items from a health related quality of life instrument that seem more likely to cause the latent variable rather than the other way around.

  18. Rumination as a Mediator of Chronic Stress Effects on Hypertension: A Causal Model

    PubMed Central

    Gerin, William; Zawadzki, Matthew J.; Brosschot, Jos F.; Thayer, Julian F.; Christenfeld, Nicholas J. S.; Campbell, Tavis S.; Smyth, Joshua M.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic stress has been linked to hypertension, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly specified. We suggest that chronic stress poses a risk for hypertension through repeated occurrence of acute stressors (often stemming from the chronic stress context) that cause activation of stress-mediating physiological systems. Previous models have often focused on the magnitude of the acute physiological response as a risk factor; we attempt to extend this to address the issue of duration of exposure. Key to our model is the notion that these acute stressors can emerge not only in response to stressors present in the environment, but also to mental representations of those (or other) stressors. Consequently, although the experience of any given stressor may be brief, a stressor often results in a constellation of negative cognitions and emotions that form a mental representation of the stressor. Ruminating about this mental representation of the stressful event can cause autonomic activation similar to that observed in response to the original incident, and may occur and persist long after the event itself has ended. Thus, rumination helps explain how chronic stress causes repeated (acute) activation of one's stress-mediating physiological systems, the effects of which accumulate over time, resulting in hypertension risk. PMID:22518285

  19. Independence and dependence in human causal reasoning.

    PubMed

    Rehder, Bob

    2014-07-01

    Causal graphical models (CGMs) are a popular formalism used to model human causal reasoning and learning. The key property of CGMs is the causal Markov condition, which stipulates patterns of independence and dependence among causally related variables. Five experiments found that while adult's causal inferences exhibited aspects of veridical causal reasoning, they also exhibited a small but tenacious tendency to violate the Markov condition. They also failed to exhibit robust discounting in which the presence of one cause as an explanation of an effect makes the presence of another less likely. Instead, subjects often reasoned "associatively," that is, assumed that the presence of one variable implied the presence of other, causally related variables, even those that were (according to the Markov condition) conditionally independent. This tendency was unaffected by manipulations (e.g., response deadlines) known to influence fast and intuitive reasoning processes, suggesting that an associative response to a causal reasoning question is sometimes the product of careful and deliberate thinking. That about 60% of the erroneous associative inferences were made by about a quarter of the subjects suggests the presence of substantial individual differences in this tendency. There was also evidence that inferences were influenced by subjects' assumptions about factors that disable causal relations and their use of a conjunctive reasoning strategy. Theories that strive to provide high fidelity accounts of human causal reasoning will need to relax the independence constraints imposed by CGMs.

  20. 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.

  1. Modeling positive Granger causality and negative phase lag between cortical areas.

    PubMed

    Matias, Fernanda S; Gollo, Leonardo L; Carelli, Pedro V; Bressler, Steven L; Copelli, Mauro; Mirasso, Claudio R

    2014-10-01

    Different measures of directional influence have been employed to infer effective connectivity in the brain. When the connectivity between two regions is such that one of them (the sender) strongly influences the other (the receiver), a positive phase lag is often expected. The assumption is that the time difference implicit in the relative phase reflects the transmission time of neuronal activity. However, Brovelli et al. (2004) observed that, in monkeys engaged in processing a cognitive task, a dominant directional influence from one area of sensorimotor cortex to another may be accompanied by either a negative or a positive time delay. Here we present a model of two brain regions, coupled with a well-defined directional influence, that displays similar features to those observed in the experimental data. This model is inspired by the theoretical framework of Anticipated Synchronization developed in the field of dynamical systems. Anticipated Synchronization is a form of synchronization that occurs when a unidirectional influence is transmitted from a sender to a receiver, but the receiver leads the sender in time. This counterintuitive synchronization regime can be a stable solution of two dynamical systems coupled in a master-slave (sender-receiver) configuration when the slave receives a negative delayed self-feedback. Despite efforts to understand the dynamics of Anticipated Synchronization, experimental evidence for it in the brain has been lacking. By reproducing experimental delay times and coherence spectra, our results provide a theoretical basis for the underlying mechanisms of the observed dynamics, and suggest that the primate cortex could operate in a regime of Anticipated Synchronization as part of normal neurocognitive function.

  2. Causal Role of Thalamic Interneurons in Brain State Transitions: A Study Using a Neural Mass Model Implementing Synaptic Kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Basabdatta Sen; Bond, Thomas P.; O'Hare, Louise; Turner, Daniel; Durrant, Simon J.

    2016-01-01

    Experimental studies on the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN) of mammals and rodents show that the inhibitory interneurons (IN) receive around 47.1% of their afferents from the retinal spiking neurons, and constitute around 20–25% of the LGN cell population. However, there is a definite gap in knowledge about the role and impact of IN on thalamocortical dynamics in both experimental and model-based research. We use a neural mass computational model of the LGN with three neural populations viz. IN, thalamocortical relay (TCR), thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), to study the causality of IN on LGN oscillations and state-transitions. The synaptic information transmission in the model is implemented with kinetic modeling, facilitating the linking of low-level cellular attributes with high-level population dynamics. The model is parameterized and tuned to simulate alpha (8–13 Hz) rhythm that is dominant in both Local Field Potential (LFP) of LGN and electroencephalogram (EEG) of visual cortex in an awake resting state with eyes closed. The results show that: First, the response of the TRN is suppressed in the presence of IN in the circuit; disconnecting the IN from the circuit effects a dramatic change in the model output, displaying high amplitude synchronous oscillations within the alpha band in both TCR and TRN. These observations conform to experimental reports implicating the IN as the primary inhibitory modulator of LGN dynamics in a cognitive state, and that reduced cognition is achieved by suppressing the TRN response. Second, the model validates steady state visually evoked potential response in humans corresponding to periodic input stimuli; however, when the IN is disconnected from the circuit, the output power spectra do not reflect the input frequency. This agrees with experimental reports underpinning the role of IN in efficient retino-geniculate information transmission. Third, a smooth transition from alpha to theta band is observed by progressive

  3. A Nonlinear Causality Estimator Based on Non-Parametric Multiplicative Regression

    PubMed Central

    Nicolaou, Nicoletta; Constandinou, Timothy G.

    2016-01-01

    Causal prediction has become a popular tool for neuroscience applications, as it allows the study of relationships between different brain areas during rest, cognitive tasks or brain disorders. We propose a nonparametric approach for the estimation of nonlinear causal prediction for multivariate time series. In the proposed estimator, CNPMR, Autoregressive modeling is replaced by Nonparametric Multiplicative Regression (NPMR). NPMR quantifies interactions between a response variable (effect) and a set of predictor variables (cause); here, we modified NPMR for model prediction. We also demonstrate how a particular measure, the sensitivity Q, could be used to reveal the structure of the underlying causal relationships. We apply CNPMR on artificial data with known ground truth (5 datasets), as well as physiological data (2 datasets). CNPMR correctly identifies both linear and nonlinear causal connections that are present in the artificial data, as well as physiologically relevant connectivity in the real data, and does not seem to be affected by filtering. The Sensitivity measure also provides useful information about the latent connectivity.The proposed estimator addresses many of the limitations of linear Granger causality and other nonlinear causality estimators. CNPMR is compared with pairwise and conditional Granger causality (linear) and Kernel-Granger causality (nonlinear). The proposed estimator can be applied to pairwise or multivariate estimations without any modifications to the main method. Its nonpametric nature, its ability to capture nonlinear relationships and its robustness to filtering make it appealing for a number of applications. PMID:27378901

  4. A Nonlinear Causality Estimator Based on Non-Parametric Multiplicative Regression.

    PubMed

    Nicolaou, Nicoletta; Constandinou, Timothy G

    2016-01-01

    Causal prediction has become a popular tool for neuroscience applications, as it allows the study of relationships between different brain areas during rest, cognitive tasks or brain disorders. We propose a nonparametric approach for the estimation of nonlinear causal prediction for multivariate time series. In the proposed estimator, C NPMR , Autoregressive modeling is replaced by Nonparametric Multiplicative Regression (NPMR). NPMR quantifies interactions between a response variable (effect) and a set of predictor variables (cause); here, we modified NPMR for model prediction. We also demonstrate how a particular measure, the sensitivity Q, could be used to reveal the structure of the underlying causal relationships. We apply C NPMR on artificial data with known ground truth (5 datasets), as well as physiological data (2 datasets). C NPMR correctly identifies both linear and nonlinear causal connections that are present in the artificial data, as well as physiologically relevant connectivity in the real data, and does not seem to be affected by filtering. The Sensitivity measure also provides useful information about the latent connectivity.The proposed estimator addresses many of the limitations of linear Granger causality and other nonlinear causality estimators. C NPMR is compared with pairwise and conditional Granger causality (linear) and Kernel-Granger causality (nonlinear). The proposed estimator can be applied to pairwise or multivariate estimations without any modifications to the main method. Its nonpametric nature, its ability to capture nonlinear relationships and its robustness to filtering make it appealing for a number of applications.

  5. 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,…

  6. Hydraulic Modeling of Lock Approaches

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-08-01

    cation was that the guidewall design changed from a solid wall to one on pilings in which water was allowed to flow through and/or under the wall ...develops innovative solutions in civil and military engineering, geospatial sciences, water resources, and environmental sciences for the Army, the...magnitudes and directions at lock approaches for open river conditions. The meshes were developed using the Surface- water Modeling System. The two

  7. Stress increases the risk of type 2 diabetes onset in women: A 12-year longitudinal study using causal modelling

    PubMed Central

    Oldmeadow, Christopher; Hure, Alexis; Luu, Judy; Loxton, Deborah

    2017-01-01

    Background Type 2 diabetes is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Modifiable risk factors have been found to contribute up to 60% of type 2 diabetes risk. However, type 2 diabetes continues to rise despite implementation of interventions based on traditional risk factors. There is a clear need to identify additional risk factors for chronic disease prevention. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived stress and type 2 diabetes onset, and partition the estimates into direct and indirect effects. Methods and findings Women born in 1946–1951 (n = 12,844) completed surveys for the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. The total causal effect was estimated using logistic regression and marginal structural modelling. Controlled direct effects were estimated through conditioning in the regression model. A graded association was found between perceived stress and all mediators in the multivariate time lag analyses. A significant association was found between hypertension, as well as physical activity and body mass index, and diabetes, but not smoking or diet quality. Moderate/high stress levels were associated with a 2.3-fold increase in the odds of diabetes three years later, for the total estimated effect. Results were only slightly attenuated when the direct and indirect effects of perceived stress on diabetes were partitioned, with the mediators only explaining 10–20% of the excess variation in diabetes. Conclusions Perceived stress is a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The majority of the effect estimate of stress on diabetes risk is not mediated by the traditional risk factors of hypertension, physical activity, smoking, diet quality, and body mass index. This gives a new pathway for diabetes prevention trials and clinical practice. PMID:28222165

  8. Causal Indicators Can Help to Interpret Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bentler, Peter M.

    2016-01-01

    The latent factor in a causal indicator model is no more than the latent factor of the factor part of the model. However, if the causal indicator variables are well-understood and help to improve the prediction of individuals' factor scores, they can help to interpret the meaning of the latent factor. Aguirre-Urreta, Rönkkö, and Marakas (2016)…

  9. 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.

  10. The enhanced information flow from visual cortex to frontal area facilitates SSVEP response: evidence from model-driven and data-driven causality analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Fali; Tian, Yin; Zhang, Yangsong; Qiu, Kan; Tian, Chunyang; Jing, Wei; Liu, Tiejun; Xia, Yang; Guo, Daqing; Yao, Dezhong; Xu, Peng

    2015-10-05

    The neural mechanism of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) is still not clearly understood. Especially, only certain frequency stimuli can evoke SSVEP. Our previous network study reveals that 8 Hz stimulus that can evoke strong SSVEP response shows the enhanced linkage strength between frontal and visual cortex. To further probe the directed information flow between the two cortex areas for various frequency stimuli, this paper develops a causality analysis based on the inversion of double columns model using particle swarm optimization (PSO) to characterize the directed information flow between visual and frontal cortices with the intracranial rat electroencephalograph (EEG). The estimated model parameters demonstrate that the 8 Hz stimulus shows the enhanced directional information flow from visual cortex to frontal lobe facilitates SSVEP response, which may account for the strong SSVEP response for 8 Hz stimulus. Furthermore, the similar finding is replicated by data-driven causality analysis. The inversion of neural mass model proposed in this study may be helpful to provide the new causality analysis to link the physiological model and the observed datasets in neuroscience and clinical researches.

  11. The enhanced information flow from visual cortex to frontal area facilitates SSVEP response: evidence from model-driven and data-driven causality analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Fali; Tian, Yin; Zhang, Yangsong; Qiu, Kan; Tian, Chunyang; Jing, Wei; Liu, Tiejun; Xia, Yang; Guo, Daqing; Yao, Dezhong; Xu, Peng

    2015-10-01

    The neural mechanism of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) is still not clearly understood. Especially, only certain frequency stimuli can evoke SSVEP. Our previous network study reveals that 8 Hz stimulus that can evoke strong SSVEP response shows the enhanced linkage strength between frontal and visual cortex. To further probe the directed information flow between the two cortex areas for various frequency stimuli, this paper develops a causality analysis based on the inversion of double columns model using particle swarm optimization (PSO) to characterize the directed information flow between visual and frontal cortices with the intracranial rat electroencephalograph (EEG). The estimated model parameters demonstrate that the 8 Hz stimulus shows the enhanced directional information flow from visual cortex to frontal lobe facilitates SSVEP response, which may account for the strong SSVEP response for 8 Hz stimulus. Furthermore, the similar finding is replicated by data-driven causality analysis. The inversion of neural mass model proposed in this study may be helpful to provide the new causality analysis to link the physiological model and the observed datasets in neuroscience and clinical researches.

  12. Causal Imprinting in Causal Structure Learning

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Eric G.; Ahn, Woo-kyoung

    2012-01-01

    Suppose one observes a correlation between two events, B and C, and infers that B causes C. Later one discovers that event A explains away the correlation between B and C. Normatively, one should now dismiss or weaken the belief that B causes C. Nonetheless, participants in the current study who observed a positive contingency between B and C followed by evidence that B and C were independent given A, persisted in believing that B causes C. The authors term this difficulty in revising initially learned causal structures “causal imprinting.” Throughout four experiments, causal imprinting was obtained using multiple dependent measures and control conditions. A Bayesian analysis showed that causal imprinting may be normative under some conditions, but causal imprinting also occurred in the current study when it was clearly non-normative. It is suggested that causal imprinting occurs due to the influence of prior knowledge on how reasoners interpret later evidence. Consistent with this view, when participants first viewed the evidence showing that B and C are independent given A, later evidence with only B and C did not lead to the belief that B causes C. PMID:22859019

  13. Analyzing multiple nonlinear time series with extended Granger causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yonghong; Rangarajan, Govindan; Feng, Jianfeng; Ding, Mingzhou

    2004-04-01

    Identifying causal relations among simultaneously acquired signals is an important problem in multivariate time series analysis. For linear stochastic systems Granger proposed a simple procedure called the Granger causality to detect such relations. In this work we consider nonlinear extensions of Granger's idea and refer to the result as extended Granger causality. A simple approach implementing the extended Granger causality is presented and applied to multiple chaotic time series and other types of nonlinear signals. In addition, for situations with three or more time series we propose a conditional extended Granger causality measure that enables us to determine whether the causal relation between two signals is direct or mediated by another process.

  14. 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.

  15. Causal thinking and causal language in epidemiology: it's in the details

    PubMed Central

    Lipton, Robert; Ødegaard, Terje

    2005-01-01

    Although epidemiology is necessarily involved with elucidating causal processes, we argue that there is little practical need, having described an epidemiological result, to then explicitly label it as causal (or not). Doing so is a convention which obscures the valuable core work of epidemiology as an important constituent of public health practice. We discuss another approach which emphasizes the public health "use value" of research findings in regard to prediction and intervention independent from explicit metaphysical causal claims. Examples are drawn from smoking and lung cancer, with particular focus on the original 1964 Surgeon General's report on smoking and the new version released in 2004. The intent is to help the epidemiologist focus on the pertinent implications of research, which, from a public health point of view, in large part entails the ability to predict and to intervene. Further discussion will center on the importance of differentiating between technical/practical uses of causal language, as might be used in structural equations or marginal structural modeling, and more foundational notions of cause. We show that statistical/epidemiological results, such as "smoking two packs a day increases risk of lung cancer by 10 times" are in themselves a kind of causal argument that are not in need of additional support from relatively ambiguous language such as "smoking causes lung cancer." We will show that the confusion stemming from the use of this latter statement is more than mere semantics. Our goal is to allow researchers to feel more confident in the power of their research to tell a convincing story without resorting to metaphysical/unsupportable notions of cause. PMID:16053522

  16. Combining Group-Based Trajectory Modeling and Propensity Score Matching for Causal Inferences in Nonexperimental Longitudinal Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haviland, Amelia; Nagin, Daniel S.; Rosenbaum, Paul R.; Tremblay, Richard E.

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Granger causality in wall-bounded turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tissot, Gilles; Lozano-Durán, Adrian; Cordier, Laurent; Jiménez, Javier; Noack, Bernd R.

    2014-04-01

    Granger causality is based on the idea that if a variable helps to predict another one, then they are probably involved in a causality relationship. This technique is based on the identification of a predictive model for causality detection. The aim of this paper is to use Granger causality to study the dynamics and the energy redistribution between scales and components in wall-bounded turbulent flows. In order to apply it on flows, Granger causality is generalized for snapshot-based observations of large size using linear-model identification methods coming from model reduction. Optimized DMD, a variant of the Dynamic Mode Decomposition, is considered for building a linear model based on snapshots. This method is used to link physical events and extract physical mechanisms associated to the bursting process in the logarithmic layer of a turbulent channel flow.

  18. A nonlinear generalization of spectral Granger causality.

    PubMed

    He, Fei; Wei, Hua-Liang; Billings, Stephen A; Sarrigiannis, Ptolemaios G

    2014-06-01

    Spectral measures of linear Granger causality have been widely applied to study the causal connectivity between time series data in neuroscience, biology, and economics. Traditional Granger causality measures are based on linear autoregressive with exogenous (ARX) inputs models of time series data, which cannot truly reveal nonlinear effects in the data especially in the frequency domain. In this study, it is shown that the classical Geweke's spectral causality measure can be explicitly linked with the output spectra of corresponding restricted and unrestricted time-domain models. The latter representation is then generalized to nonlinear bivariate signals and for the first time nonlinear causality analysis in the frequency domain. This is achieved by using the nonlinear ARX (NARX) modeling of signals, and decomposition of the recently defined output frequency response function which is related to the NARX model.

  19. HEDR modeling approach: Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    Shipler, D.B.; Napier, B.A.

    1994-05-01

    This report is a revision of the previous Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction (HEDR) Project modeling approach report. This revised report describes the methods used in performing scoping studies and estimating final radiation doses to real and representative individuals who lived in the vicinity of the Hanford Site. The scoping studies and dose estimates pertain to various environmental pathways during various periods of time. The original report discussed the concepts under consideration in 1991. The methods for estimating dose have been refined as understanding of existing data, the scope of pathways, and the magnitudes of dose estimates were evaluated through scoping studies.

  20. Interpretational Confounding or Confounded Interpretations of Causal Indicators?

    PubMed Central

    Bainter, Sierra A.; Bollen, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    In measurement theory causal indicators are controversial and little-understood. Methodological disagreement concerning causal indicators has centered on the question of whether causal indicators are inherently sensitive to interpretational confounding, which occurs when the empirical meaning of a latent construct departs from the meaning intended by a researcher. This article questions the validity of evidence used to claim that causal indicators are inherently susceptible to interpretational confounding. Further, a simulation study demonstrates that causal indicator coefficients are stable across correctly-specified models. Determining the suitability of causal indicators has implications for the way we conceptualize measurement and build and evaluate measurement models. PMID:25530730

  1. 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.

  2. Information thermodynamics on causal networks.

    PubMed

    Ito, Sosuke; Sagawa, Takahiro

    2013-11-01

    We study nonequilibrium thermodynamics of complex information flows induced by interactions between multiple fluctuating systems. Characterizing nonequilibrium dynamics by causal networks (i.e., Bayesian networks), we obtain novel generalizations of the second law of thermodynamics and the fluctuation theorem, which include an informational quantity characterized by the topology of the causal network. Our result implies that the entropy production in a single system in the presence of multiple other systems is bounded by the information flow between these systems. We demonstrate our general result by a simple model of biochemical adaptation.

  3. Modeling Approaches in Planetary Seismology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Renee; Knapmeyer, Martin; Panning, Mark; Schmerr, Nick

    2014-01-01

    Of the many geophysical means that can be used to probe a planet's interior, seismology remains the most direct. Given that the seismic data gathered on the Moon over 40 years ago revolutionized our understanding of the Moon and are still being used today to produce new insight into the state of the lunar interior, it is no wonder that many future missions, both real and conceptual, plan to take seismometers to other planets. To best facilitate the return of high-quality data from these instruments, as well as to further our understanding of the dynamic processes that modify a planet's interior, various modeling approaches are used to quantify parameters such as the amount and distribution of seismicity, tidal deformation, and seismic structure on and of the terrestrial planets. In addition, recent advances in wavefield modeling have permitted a renewed look at seismic energy transmission and the effects of attenuation and scattering, as well as the presence and effect of a core, on recorded seismograms. In this chapter, we will review these approaches.

  4. Dynamics of safety performance and culture: a group model building approach.

    PubMed

    Goh, Yang Miang; Love, Peter E D; Stagbouer, Greg; Annesley, Chris

    2012-09-01

    The management of occupational health and safety (OHS) including safety culture interventions is comprised of complex problems that are often hard to scope and define. Due to the dynamic nature and complexity of OHS management, the concept of system dynamics (SD) is used to analyze accident prevention. In this paper, a system dynamics group model building (GMB) approach is used to create a causal loop diagram of the underlying factors influencing the OHS performance of a major drilling and mining contractor in Australia. While the organization has invested considerable resources into OHS their disabling injury frequency rate (DIFR) has not been decreasing. With this in mind, rich individualistic knowledge about the dynamics influencing the DIFR was acquired from experienced employees with operations, health and safety and training background using a GMB workshop. Findings derived from the workshop were used to develop a series of causal loop diagrams that includes a wide range of dynamics that can assist in better understanding the causal influences OHS performance. The causal loop diagram provides a tool for organizations to hypothesize the dynamics influencing effectiveness of OHS management, particularly the impact on DIFR. In addition the paper demonstrates that the SD GMB approach has significant potential in understanding and improving OHS management.

  5. Multisource causal data mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodley, Robert; Gosnell, Michael; Shallenberger, Kevin

    2012-06-01

    Analysts are faced with mountains of data, and finding that relevant piece of information is the proverbial needle in a haystack, only with dozens of haystacks. Analysis tools that facilitate identifying causal relationships across multiple data sets are sorely needed. 21st Century Systems, Inc. (21CSi) has initiated research called Causal-View, a causal datamining visualization tool, to address this challenge. Causal-View is built on an agent-enabled framework. Much of the processing that Causal-View will do is in the background. When a user requests information, Data Extraction Agents launch to gather information. This initial search is a raw, Monte Carlo type search designed to gather everything available that may have relevance to an individual, location, associations, and more. This data is then processed by Data- Mining Agents. The Data-Mining Agents are driven by user supplied feature parameters. If the analyst is looking to see if the individual frequents a known haven for insurgents he may request information on his last known locations. Or, if the analyst is trying to see if there is a pattern in the individual's contacts, the mining agent can be instructed with the type and relevance of the information fields to look at. The same data is extracted from the database, but the Data Mining Agents customize the feature set to determine causal relationships the user is interested in. At this point, a Hypothesis Generation and Data Reasoning Agents take over to form conditional hypotheses about the data and pare the data, respectively. The newly formed information is then published to the agent communication backbone of Causal- View to be displayed. Causal-View provides causal analysis tools to fill the gaps in the causal chain. We present here the Causal-View concept, the initial research into data mining tools that assist in forming the causal relationships, and our initial findings.

  6. Information Theoretic Causal Coordination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-12

    his 1969 paper, Clive Granger , British economist and Nobel laureate, proposed a statistical def- inition of causality between stochastic processes. It...showed that the directed infor- mation, an information theoretic quantity, quantifies Granger causality . We also explored a more pessimistic setup...Final Technical Report Project Title: Information Theoretic Causal Coordination AFOSR Award Number: AF FA9550-10-1-0345 Reporting Period: July 15

  7. The Ising Model on the Random Planar Causal Triangulation: Bounds on the Critical Line and Magnetization Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Napolitano, George M.; Turova, Tatyana S.

    2016-02-01

    We investigate a Gibbs (annealed) probability measure defined on Ising spin configurations on causal triangulations of the plane. We study the region where such measure can be defined and provide bounds on the boundary of this region (critical line). We prove that for any finite random triangulation the magnetization of the central spin is sensitive to the boundary conditions. Furthermore, we show that in the infinite volume limit, the magnetization of the central spin vanishes for values of the temperature high enough.

  8. A closed-loop causal model of workload based on a comparison of fuzzy and crisp measurements techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moray, Neville; King, Barbara; Turksen, Burhan; Waterton, Keith

    1987-01-01

    Fuzzy and crisp measurements of workload are compared for a tracking task that varied in bandwidth and order of control. Fuzzy measures are as powerful as crisp measures, and can under certain conditions give extra insights into workload causality. Both methods suggest that workload arises in a system in which effort, performance, difficulty, and task variables are linked in a closed loop. Marked individual differences were found. Future work on the fuzzy measurement of workload is justified.

  9. Using Causal Models to Manage the Cyber Threat to C2 Agility: Working with the Benefit of Hindsight

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    applied to historical data , using correlations or patterns in that data to predict future effect (i.e. extrapolation from data mining functions, or...advantage over adversarial action. Figure 16. The Use of Data Mining and Simulation to Complement the Use of Causal Rules Actual Observed or...what is likely to happen, given my current domain understanding” Mined Statistical analysis of actual data ,and extrapolation “what should have

  10. 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

  11. Two roads to noncommutative causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besnard, Fabien

    2015-08-01

    We review the physical motivations and the mathematical results obtained so far in the isocone-based approach to noncommutative causality. We also give a briefer account of the alternative framework of Franco and Eckstein which is based on Lorentzian spectral triples. We compare the two theories on the simple example of the product geometry of the Minkowski plane by the finite noncommutative space with algebra M2(C).

  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. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Agency, time, and causality.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Causal inference in obesity research.

    PubMed

    Franks, P W; Atabaki-Pasdar, N

    2017-03-01

    Obesity is a risk factor for a plethora of severe morbidities and premature death. Most supporting evidence comes from observational studies that are prone to chance, bias and confounding. Even data on the protective effects of weight loss from randomized controlled trials will be susceptible to confounding and bias if treatment assignment cannot be masked, which is usually the case with lifestyle and surgical interventions. Thus, whilst obesity is widely considered the major modifiable risk factor for many chronic diseases, its causes and consequences are often difficult to determine. Addressing this is important, as the prevention and treatment of any disease requires that interventions focus on causal risk factors. Disease prediction, although not dependent on knowing the causes, is nevertheless enhanced by such knowledge. Here, we provide an overview of some of the barriers to causal inference in obesity research and discuss analytical approaches, such as Mendelian randomization, that can help to overcome these obstacles. In a systematic review of the literature in this field, we found: (i) probable causal relationships between adiposity and bone health/disease, cancers (colorectal, lung and kidney cancers), cardiometabolic traits (blood pressure, fasting insulin, inflammatory markers and lipids), uric acid concentrations, coronary heart disease and venous thrombosis (in the presence of pulmonary embolism), (ii) possible causal relationships between adiposity and gray matter volume, depression and common mental disorders, oesophageal cancer, macroalbuminuria, end-stage renal disease, diabetic kidney disease, nuclear cataract and gall stone disease, and (iii) no evidence for causal relationships between adiposity and Alzheimer's disease, pancreatic cancer, venous thrombosis (in the absence of pulmonary embolism), liver function and periodontitis.

  17. Classical sequential growth dynamics for causal sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rideout, D. P.; Sorkin, R. D.

    2000-01-01

    Starting from certain causality conditions and a discrete form of general covariance, we derive a very general family of classically stochastic, sequential growth dynamics for causal sets. The resulting theories provide a relatively accessible ``halfway house'' to full quantum gravity that possibly contains the latter's classical limit (general relativity). Because they can be expressed in terms of state models for an assembly of Ising spins residing on the relations of the causal set, these theories also illustrate how nongravitational matter can arise dynamically from the causal set without having to be built in at the fundamental level. Additionally, our results bring into focus some interpretive issues of importance for a causal set dynamics and for quantum gravity more generally.

  18. 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.

  19. On the spectral formulation of Granger causality.

    PubMed

    Chicharro, D

    2011-12-01

    Spectral measures of causality are used to explore the role of different rhythms in the causal connectivity between brain regions. We study several spectral measures related to Granger causality, comprising the bivariate and conditional Geweke measures, the directed transfer function, and the partial directed coherence. We derive the formulation of dependence and causality in the spectral domain from the more general formulation in the information-theory framework. We argue that the transfer entropy, the most general measure derived from the concept of Granger causality, lacks a spectral representation in terms of only the processes associated with the recorded signals. For all the spectral measures we show how they are related to mutual information rates when explicitly considering the parametric autoregressive representation of the processes. In this way we express the conditional Geweke spectral measure in terms of a multiple coherence involving innovation variables inherent to the autoregressive representation. We also link partial directed coherence with Sims' criterion of causality. Given our results, we discuss the causal interpretation of the spectral measures related to Granger causality and stress the necessity to explicitly consider their specific formulation based on modeling the signals as linear Gaussian stationary autoregressive processes.

  20. Omission of Causal Indicators: Consequences and Implications for Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aguirre-Urreta, Miguel I.; Rönkkö, Mikko; Marakas, George M.

    2016-01-01

    One of the central assumptions of the causal-indicator literature is that all causal indicators must be included in the research model and that the exclusion of one or more relevant causal indicators would have severe negative consequences by altering the meaning of the latent variable. In this research we show that the omission of a relevant…

  1. How to Be Causal: Time, Spacetime and Spectra

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kinsler, Paul

    2011-01-01

    I explain a simple definition of causality in widespread use, and indicate how it links to the Kramers-Kronig relations. The specification of causality in terms of temporal differential equations then shows us the way to write down dynamical models so that their causal nature "in the sense used here" should be obvious to all. To extend existing…

  2. Towards a neural implementation of causal inference in cue combination.

    PubMed

    Ma, Wei Ji; Rahmati, Masih

    2013-01-01

    Causal inference in sensory cue combination is the process of determining whether multiple sensory cues have the same cause or different causes. Psychophysical evidence indicates that humans closely follow the predictions of a Bayesian causal inference model. Here, we explore how Bayesian causal inference could be implemented using probabilistic population coding and plausible neural operations, but conclude that the resulting architecture is unrealistic.

  3. 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…

  4. Canonical Granger causality between regions of interest.

    PubMed

    Ashrafulla, Syed; Haldar, Justin P; Joshi, Anand A; Leahy, Richard M

    2013-12-01

    Estimating and modeling functional connectivity in the brain is a challenging problem with potential applications in the understanding of brain organization and various neurological and neuropsychological conditions. An important objective in connectivity analysis is to determine the connections between regions of interest in the brain. However, traditional functional connectivity analyses have frequently focused on modeling interactions between time series recordings at individual sensors, voxels, or vertices despite the fact that a single region of interest will often include multiple such recordings. In this paper, we present a novel measure of interaction between regions of interest rather than individual signals. The proposed measure, termed canonical Granger causality, combines ideas from canonical correlation and Granger causality analysis to yield a measure that reflects directed causality between two regions of interest. In particular, canonical Granger causality uses optimized linear combinations of signals from each region of interest to enable accurate causality measurements from substantially less data compared to alternative multivariate methods that have previously been proposed for this scenario. The optimized linear combinations are obtained using a variation of a technique developed for optimization on the Stiefel manifold. We demonstrate the advantages of canonical Granger causality in comparison to alternative causality measures for a range of different simulated datasets. We also apply the proposed measure to local field potential data recorded in a macaque brain during a visuomotor task. Results demonstrate that canonical Granger causality can be used to identify causal relationships between striate and prestriate cortexes in cases where standard Granger causality is unable to identify statistically significant interactions.

  5. Shortcomings/Limitations of Blockwise Granger Causality and Advances of Blockwise New Causality.

    PubMed

    Hu, Sanqing; Jia, Xinxin; Zhang, Jianhai; Kong, Wanzeng; Cao, Yu

    2016-12-01

    Multivariate blockwise Granger causality (BGC) is used to reflect causal interactions among blocks of multivariate time series. In particular, spectral BGC and conditional spectral BGC are used to disclose blockwise causal flow among different brain areas in various frequencies. In this paper, we demonstrate that: 1) BGC in time domain may not necessarily disclose true causality and 2) due to the use of the transfer function or its inverse matrix and partial information of the multivariate linear regression model, both of spectral BGC and conditional spectral BGC have shortcomings and/or limitations, which may inevitably lead to misinterpretation. We then, in time and frequency domains, develop two new multivariate blockwise causality methods for the linear regression model called blockwise new causality (BNC) and spectral BNC, respectively. By several examples, we confirm that BNC measures are more reasonable and sensitive to reflect true causality or trend of true causality than BGC or conditional BGC. Finally, for electroencephalograph data from an epilepsy patient, we analyze event-related potential causality and demonstrate that both of the BGC and BNC methods show significant causality flow in frequency domain, but the spectral BNC method yields satisfactory and convincing results, which are consistent with an event-related time-frequency power spectrum activity. The spectral BGC method is shown to generate misleading results. Thus, we deeply believe that our new blockwise causality definitions as well as our previous NC definitions may have wide applications to reflect true causality among two blocks of time series or two univariate time series in economics, neuroscience, and engineering.

  6. Improving classification accuracy and causal knowledge for better credit decisions.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei-Wen

    2011-08-01

    Numerous studies have contributed to efforts to boost the accuracy of the credit scoring model. Especially interesting are recent studies which have successfully developed the hybrid approach, which advances classification accuracy by combining different machine learning techniques. However, to achieve better credit decisions, it is not enough merely to increase the accuracy of the credit scoring model. It is necessary to conduct meaningful supplementary analyses in order to obtain knowledge of causal relations, particularly in terms of significant conceptual patterns or structures involving attributes used in the credit scoring model. This paper proposes a solution of integrating data preprocessing strategies and the Bayesian network classifier with the tree augmented Na"ıve Bayes search algorithm, in order to improve classification accuracy and to obtain improved knowledge of causal patterns, thus enhancing the validity of credit decisions.

  7. Internal modeling of upcoming speech: A causal role of the right posterior cerebellum in non-motor aspects of language production.

    PubMed

    Runnqvist, Elin; Bonnard, Mireille; Gauvin, Hanna S; Attarian, Shahram; Trébuchon, Agnès; Hartsuiker, Robert J; Alario, F-Xavier

    2016-08-01

    Some language processing theories propose that, just as for other somatic actions, self-monitoring of language production is achieved through internal modeling. The cerebellum is the proposed center of such internal modeling in motor control, and the right cerebellum has been linked to an increasing number of language functions, including predictive processing during comprehension. Relating these findings, we tested whether the right posterior cerebellum has a causal role for self-monitoring of speech errors. Participants received 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation during 15 min to lobules Crus I and II in the right hemisphere, and, in counterbalanced orders, to the contralateral area in the left cerebellar hemisphere (control) in order to induce a temporary inactivation of one of these zones. Immediately afterwards, they engaged in a speech production task priming the production of speech errors. Language production was impaired after right compared to left hemisphere stimulation, a finding that provides evidence for a causal role of the cerebellum during language production. We interpreted this role in terms of internal modeling of upcoming speech through a verbal working memory process used to prevent errors.

  8. Improving causal inferences in risk analysis.

    PubMed

    Cox, Louis Anthony Tony

    2013-10-01

    Recent headlines and scientific articles projecting significant human health benefits from changes in exposures too often depend on unvalidated subjective expert judgments and modeling assumptions, especially about the causal interpretation of statistical associations. Some of these assessments are demonstrably biased toward false positives and inflated effects estimates. More objective, data-driven methods of causal analysis are available to risk analysts. These can help to reduce bias and increase the credibility and realism of health effects risk assessments and causal claims. For example, quasi-experimental designs and analysis allow alternative (noncausal) explanations for associations to be tested, and refuted if appropriate. Panel data studies examine empirical relations between changes in hypothesized causes and effects. Intervention and change-point analyses identify effects (e.g., significant changes in health effects time series) and estimate their sizes. Granger causality tests, conditional independence tests, and counterfactual causality models test whether a hypothesized cause helps to predict its presumed effects, and quantify exposure-specific contributions to response rates in differently exposed groups, even in the presence of confounders. Causal graph models let causal mechanistic hypotheses be tested and refined using biomarker data. These methods can potentially revolutionize the study of exposure-induced health effects, helping to overcome pervasive false-positive biases and move the health risk assessment scientific community toward more accurate assessments of the impacts of exposures and interventions on public health.

  9. Validation of Modeling Flow Approaching Navigation Locks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-08-01

    instrumentation, direction vernier . ........................................................................ 8  Figure 11. Plan A lock approach, upstream approach...13-9 8 Figure 9. Tools and instrumentation, bracket attached to rail. Figure 10. Tools and instrumentation, direction vernier . Numerical model

  10. Approaches for modeling magnetic nanoparticle dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Reeves, Daniel B; Weaver, John B

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic nanoparticles are useful biological probes as well as therapeutic agents. There have been several approaches used to model nanoparticle magnetization dynamics for both Brownian as well as Néel rotation. The magnetizations are often of interest and can be compared with experimental results. Here we summarize these approaches including the Stoner-Wohlfarth approach, and stochastic approaches including thermal fluctuations. Non-equilibrium related temperature effects can be described by a distribution function approach (Fokker-Planck equation) or a stochastic differential equation (Langevin equation). Approximate models in several regimes can be derived from these general approaches to simplify implementation. PMID:25271360

  11. Joint estimation of causal effects from observational and intervention gene expression data

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In recent years, there has been great interest in using transcriptomic data to infer gene regulatory networks. For the time being, methodological development in this area has primarily made use of graphical Gaussian models for observational wild-type data, resulting in undirected graphs that are not able to accurately highlight causal relationships among genes. In the present work, we seek to improve the estimation of causal effects among genes by jointly modeling observational transcriptomic data with arbitrarily complex intervention data obtained by performing partial, single, or multiple gene knock-outs or knock-downs. Results Using the framework of causal Gaussian Bayesian networks, we propose a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm with a Mallows proposal model and analytical likelihood maximization to sample from the posterior distribution of causal node orderings, and in turn, to estimate causal effects. The main advantage of the proposed algorithm over previously proposed methods is its flexibility to accommodate any kind of intervention design, including partial or multiple knock-out experiments. Using simulated data as well as data from the Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods (DREAM) 2007 challenge, the proposed method was compared to two alternative approaches: one requiring a complete, single knock-out design, and one able to model only observational data. Conclusions The proposed algorithm was found to perform as well as, and in most cases better, than the alternative methods in terms of accuracy for the estimation of causal effects. In addition, multiple knock-outs proved to contribute valuable additional information compared to single knock-outs. Finally, the simulation study confirmed that it is not possible to estimate the causal ordering of genes from observational data alone. In all cases, we found that the inclusion of intervention experiments enabled more accurate estimation of causal regulatory relationships than

  12. Investigating effective brain connectivity from fMRI data: past findings and current issues with reference to Granger causality analysis.

    PubMed

    Deshpande, Gopikrishna; Hu, Xiaoping

    2012-01-01

    Interactions between brain regions have been recognized as a critical ingredient required to understand brain function. Two modes of interactions have held prominence-synchronization and causal influence. Efforts to ascertain causal influence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data have relied primarily on confirmatory model-driven approaches, such as dynamic causal modeling and structural equation modeling, and exploratory data-driven approaches such as Granger causality analysis. A slew of recent articles have focused on the relative merits and caveats of these approaches. The relevant studies can be classified into simulations, theoretical developments, and experimental results. In the first part of this review, we will consider each of these themes and critically evaluate their arguments, with regard to Granger causality analysis. Specifically, we argue that simulations are bounded by the assumptions and simplifications made by the simulator, and hence must be regarded only as a guide to experimental design and should not be viewed as the final word. On the theoretical front, we reason that each of the improvements to existing, yet disparate, methods brings them closer to each other with the hope of eventually leading to a unified framework specifically designed for fMRI. We then review latest experimental results that demonstrate the utility and validity of Granger causality analysis under certain experimental conditions. In the second part, we will consider current issues in causal connectivity analysis-hemodynamic variability, sampling, instantaneous versus causal relationship, and task versus resting states. We highlight some of our own work regarding these issues showing the effect of hemodynamic variability and sampling on Granger causality. Further, we discuss recent techniques such as the cubature Kalman filtering, which can perform blind deconvolution of the hemodynamic response robustly well, and hence enabling wider application of

  13. An Introduction to Causal Inference

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-02

    or new measurements. These tasks are managed well by standard statistical analysis so long as experimental conditions remain the same. Causal analysis...combines features of the structural equation models (SEM) used in economics and social science (Goldberger, 1973; Duncan, 1975), the potential-outcome...analysis which, by definition, are un- correlated with the regressors. The formers are part of physical reality (e.g., genetic factors, socio- economic

  14. In silico model-based inference: a contemporary approach for hypothesis testing in network biology.

    PubMed

    Klinke, David J

    2014-01-01

    Inductive inference plays a central role in the study of biological systems where one aims to increase their understanding of the system by reasoning backwards from uncertain observations to identify causal relationships among components of the system. These causal relationships are postulated from prior knowledge as a hypothesis or simply a model. Experiments are designed to test the model. Inferential statistics are used to establish a level of confidence in how well our postulated model explains the acquired data. This iterative process, commonly referred to as the scientific method, either improves our confidence in a model or suggests that we revisit our prior knowledge to develop a new model. Advances in technology impact how we use prior knowledge and data to formulate models of biological networks and how we observe cellular behavior. However, the approach for model-based inference has remained largely unchanged since Fisher, Neyman and Pearson developed the ideas in the early 1900s that gave rise to what is now known as classical statistical hypothesis (model) testing. Here, I will summarize conventional methods for model-based inference and suggest a contemporary approach to aid in our quest to discover how cells dynamically interpret and transmit information for therapeutic aims that integrates ideas drawn from high performance computing, Bayesian statistics, and chemical kinetics.

  15. In silico model-based inference: a contemporary approach for hypothesis testing in network biology

    PubMed Central

    Klinke, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Inductive inference plays a central role in the study of biological systems where one aims to increase their understanding of the system by reasoning backwards from uncertain observations to identify causal relationships among components of the system. These causal relationships are postulated from prior knowledge as a hypothesis or simply a model. Experiments are designed to test the model. Inferential statistics are used to establish a level of confidence in how well our postulated model explains the acquired data. This iterative process, commonly referred to as the scientific method, either improves our confidence in a model or suggests that we revisit our prior knowledge to develop a new model. Advances in technology impact how we use prior knowledge and data to formulate models of biological networks and how we observe cellular behavior. However, the approach for model-based inference has remained largely unchanged since Fisher, Neyman and Pearson developed the ideas in the early 1900’s that gave rise to what is now known as classical statistical hypothesis (model) testing. Here, I will summarize conventional methods for model-based inference and suggest a contemporary approach to aid in our quest to discover how cells dynamically interpret and transmit information for therapeutic aims that integrates ideas drawn from high performance computing, Bayesian statistics, and chemical kinetics. PMID:25139179

  16. Causal networks in EIA

    SciTech Connect

    Perdicoulis, Anastassios . E-mail: tasso@utad.pt; Glasson, John . E-mail: jglasson@brookes.ac.uk

    2006-08-15

    Causal networks have been used in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) since its early days, but they appear to have a minimal use in modern practice. This article reviews the typology of causal networks in EIA as well as in other academic and professional fields, verifies their contribution to EIA against the principles and requirements of the process, and discusses alternative scenarios for their future in EIA.

  17. Causality analysis on health care evaluation criteria for state-operated mental hospitals in Korea using Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award model.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yang-Kyun; Oh, Hyun-Jong

    2012-10-01

    Hospitals today are pressured to move away from the conventional health services management techniques and provide higher-quality health care to survive in intense competition. In our study, we aimed to develop health care evaluation criteria for the mental health care sector based on the existing Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award model, and verify the causality of the evaluation model to lay groundwork for future research on the outcomes of national quality awards for mental health care. We focused on comparison groups comprising five state-operated mental hospitals in Korea using 92 survey questions derived from the MBNQA criteria for health care through structural equation modeling techniques. We verified that Leadership drives Foundation and Direction, which affect System that creates Results with 15 hypotheses supported out of 18 hypotheses established. We believe our findings will provide valuable implications to the top management of mental hospitals for self-examining quality management and promoting competitiveness.

  18. Multivariate Granger causality analysis of fMRI data.

    PubMed

    Deshpande, Gopikrishna; LaConte, Stephan; James, George Andrew; Peltier, Scott; Hu, Xiaoping

    2009-04-01

    This article describes the combination of multivariate Granger causality analysis, temporal down-sampling of fMRI time series, and graph theoretic concepts for investigating causal brain networks and their dynamics. As a demonstration, this approach was applied to analyze epoch-to-epoch changes in a hand-gripping, muscle fatigue experiment. Causal influences between the activated regions were analyzed by applying the directed transfer function (DTF) analysis of multivariate Granger causality with the integrated epoch response as the input, allowing us to account for the effects of several relevant regions simultaneously. Integrated responses were used in lieu of originally sampled time points to remove the effect of the spatially varying hemodynamic response as a confounding factor; using integrated responses did not affect our ability to capture its slowly varying affects of fatigue. We separately modeled the early, middle, and late periods in the fatigue. We adopted graph theoretic concepts of clustering and eccentricity to facilitate the interpretation of the resultant complex networks. Our results reveal the temporal evolution of the network and demonstrate that motor fatigue leads to a disconnection in the related neural network.

  19. Statistical threshold for nonlinear Granger Causality in motor intention analysis.

    PubMed

    Liu, MengTing; Kuo, Ching-Chang; Chiu, Alan W L

    2011-01-01

    Directed influence between multiple channel signal measurements is important for the understanding of large dynamic systems. This research investigates a method to analyze large, complex multi-variable systems using directional flow measure to extract relevant information related to the functional connectivity between different units in the system. The directional flow measure was completed through nonlinear Granger Causality (GC) which is based on the nonlinear predictive models using radial basis functions (RBF). In order to extract relevant information from the causality map, we propose a threshold method that can be set up through a spatial statistical process where only the top 20% of causality pathways is shown. We applied this approach to a brain computer interface (BCI) application to decode the different intended arm reaching movement (left, right and forward) using 128 surface electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes. We also evaluated the importance of selecting the appropriate radius in the region of interest and found that the directions of causal influence of active brain regions were unique with respect to the intended direction.

  20. Causal Inference Based on the Analysis of Events of Relations for Non-stationary Variables

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Yu; Yao, Dezhong

    2016-01-01

    The main concept behind causality involves both statistical conditions and temporal relations. However, current approaches to causal inference, focusing on the probability vs. conditional probability contrast, are based on model functions or parametric estimation. These approaches are not appropriate when addressing non-stationary variables. In this work, we propose a causal inference approach based on the analysis of Events of Relations (CER). CER focuses on the temporal delay relation between cause and effect, and a binomial test is established to determine whether an “event of relation” with a non-zero delay is significantly different from one with zero delay. Because CER avoids parameter estimation of non-stationary variables per se, the method can be applied to both stationary and non-stationary signals. PMID:27389921

  1. Causal Inference Based on the Analysis of Events of Relations for Non-stationary Variables.

    PubMed

    Yin, Yu; Yao, Dezhong

    2016-07-08

    The main concept behind causality involves both statistical conditions and temporal relations. However, current approaches to causal inference, focusing on the probability vs. conditional probability contrast, are based on model functions or parametric estimation. These approaches are not appropriate when addressing non-stationary variables. In this work, we propose a causal inference approach based on the analysis of Events of Relations (CER). CER focuses on the temporal delay relation between cause and effect, and a binomial test is established to determine whether an "event of relation" with a non-zero delay is significantly different from one with zero delay. Because CER avoids parameter estimation of non-stationary variables per se, the method can be applied to both stationary and non-stationary signals.

  2. Numerical approaches to combustion modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Oran, E.S.; Boris, J.P. )

    1991-01-01

    This book presents a series of topics ranging from microscopic combustion physics to several aspects of macroscopic reactive-flow modeling. As the reader progresses into the book, the successive chapters generally include a wider range of physical and chemical processes in the mathematical model. Including more processes, however, usually means that they will be represented phenomenologically at a cruder level. In practice the detailed microscopic models and simulations are often used to develop and calibrate the phenomenologies used in the macroscopic models. The book first describes computations of the most microscopic chemical processes, then considers laminar flames and detonation modeling, and ends with computations of complex, multiphase combustion systems.

  3. Estimating causal effects of air quality regulations using principal stratification for spatially correlated multivariate intermediate outcomes.

    PubMed

    Zigler, Corwin M; Dominici, Francesca; Wang, Yun

    2012-04-01

    Methods for causal inference regarding health effects of air quality regulations are met with unique challenges because (1) changes in air quality are intermediates on the causal pathway between regulation and health, (2) regulations typically affect multiple pollutants on the causal pathway towards health, and (3) regulating a given location can affect pollution at other locations, that is, there is interference between observations. We propose a principal stratification method designed to examine causal effects of a regulation on health that are and are not associated with causal effects of the regulation on air quality. A novel feature of our approach is the accommodation of a continuously scaled multivariate intermediate response vector representing multiple pollutants. Furthermore, we use a spatial hierarchical model for potential pollution concentrations and ultimately use estimates from this model to assess validity of assumptions regarding interference. We apply our method to estimate causal effects of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments among approximately 7 million Medicare enrollees living within 6 miles of a pollution monitor.

  4. A Bayesian Theory of Sequential Causal Learning and Abstract Transfer.

    PubMed

    Lu, Hongjing; Rojas, Randall R; Beckers, Tom; Yuille, Alan L

    2016-03-01

    Two key research issues in the field of causal learning are how people acquire causal knowledge when observing data that are presented sequentially, and the level of abstraction at which learning takes place. Does sequential causal learning solely involve the acquisition of specific cause-effect links, or do learners also acquire knowledge about abstract causal constraints? Recent empirical studies have revealed that experience with one set of causal cues can dramatically alter subsequent learning and performance with entirely different cues, suggesting that learning involves abstract transfer, and such transfer effects involve sequential presentation of distinct sets of causal cues. It has been demonstrated that pre-training (or even post-training) can modulate classic causal learning phenomena such as forward and backward blocking. To account for these effects, we propose a Bayesian theory of sequential causal learning. The theory assumes that humans are able to consider and use several alternative causal generative models, each instantiating a different causal integration rule. Model selection is used to decide which integration rule to use in a given learning environment in order to infer causal knowledge from sequential data. Detailed computer simulations demonstrate that humans rely on the abstract characteristics of outcome variables (e.g., binary vs. continuous) to select a causal integration rule, which in turn alters causal learning in a variety of blocking and overshadowing paradigms. When the nature of the outcome variable is ambiguous, humans select the model that yields the best fit with the recent environment, and then apply it to subsequent learning tasks. Based on sequential patterns of cue-outcome co-occurrence, the theory can account for a range of phenomena in sequential causal learning, including various blocking effects, primacy effects in some experimental conditions, and apparently abstract transfer of causal knowledge.

  5. Exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy and term low birth weight: estimation of causal associations in a semiparametric model.

    PubMed

    Padula, Amy M; Mortimer, Kathleen; Hubbard, Alan; Lurmann, Frederick; Jerrett, Michael; Tager, Ira B

    2012-11-01

    Traffic-related air pollution is recognized as an important contributor to health problems. Epidemiologic analyses suggest that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollutants may be associated with adverse birth outcomes; however, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the relation is causal. The Study of Air Pollution, Genetics and Early Life Events comprises all births to women living in 4 counties in California's San Joaquin Valley during the years 2000-2006. The probability of low birth weight among full-term infants in the population was estimated using machine learning and targeted maximum likelihood estimation for each quartile of traffic exposure during pregnancy. If everyone lived near high-volume freeways (approximated as the fourth quartile of traffic density), the estimated probability of term low birth weight would be 2.27% (95% confidence interval: 2.16, 2.38) as compared with 2.02% (95% confidence interval: 1.90, 2.12) if everyone lived near smaller local roads (first quartile of traffic density). Assessment of potentially causal associations, in the absence of arbitrary model assumptions applied to the data, should result in relatively unbiased estimates. The current results support findings from previous studies that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollution may adversely affect birth weight among full-term infants.

  6. Granger-causality maps of diffusion processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahl, Benjamin; Feudel, Ulrike; Hlinka, Jaroslav; Wächter, Matthias; Peinke, Joachim; Freund, Jan A.

    2016-02-01

    Granger causality is a statistical concept devised to reconstruct and quantify predictive information flow between stochastic processes. Although the general concept can be formulated model-free it is often considered in the framework of linear stochastic processes. Here we show how local linear model descriptions can be employed to extend Granger causality into the realm of nonlinear systems. This novel treatment results in maps that resolve Granger causality in regions of state space. Through examples we provide a proof of concept and illustrate the utility of these maps. Moreover, by integration we convert the local Granger causality into a global measure that yields a consistent picture for a global Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. Finally, we recover invariance transformations known from the theory of autoregressive processes.

  7. Granger-causality maps of diffusion processes.

    PubMed

    Wahl, Benjamin; Feudel, Ulrike; Hlinka, Jaroslav; Wächter, Matthias; Peinke, Joachim; Freund, Jan A

    2016-02-01

    Granger causality is a statistical concept devised to reconstruct and quantify predictive information flow between stochastic processes. Although the general concept can be formulated model-free it is often considered in the framework of linear stochastic processes. Here we show how local linear model descriptions can be employed to extend Granger causality into the realm of nonlinear systems. This novel treatment results in maps that resolve Granger causality in regions of state space. Through examples we provide a proof of concept and illustrate the utility of these maps. Moreover, by integration we convert the local Granger causality into a global measure that yields a consistent picture for a global Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. Finally, we recover invariance transformations known from the theory of autoregressive processes.

  8. THE CAUSAL ANALYSIS / DIAGNOSIS DECISION ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    CADDIS is an on-line decision support system that helps investigators in the regions, states and tribes find, access, organize, use and share information to produce causal evaluations in aquatic systems. It is based on the US EPA's Stressor Identification process which is a formal method for identifying causes of impairments in aquatic systems. CADDIS 2007 increases access to relevant information useful for causal analysis and provides methods and tools that practitioners can use to analyze their own data. The new Candidate Cause section provides overviews of commonly encountered causes of impairments to aquatic systems: metals, sediments, nutrients, flow alteration, temperature, ionic strength, and low dissolved oxygen. CADDIS includes new Conceptual Models that illustrate the relationships from sources to stressors to biological effects. An Interactive Conceptual Model for phosphorus links the diagram with supporting literature citations. The new Analyzing Data section helps practitioners analyze their data sets and interpret and use those results as evidence within the USEPA causal assessment process. Downloadable tools include a graphical user interface statistical package (CADStat), and programs for use with the freeware R statistical package, and a Microsoft Excel template. These tools can be used to quantify associations between causes and biological impairments using innovative methods such as species-sensitivity distributions, biological inferenc

  9. Can we believe the DAGs? A comment on the relationship between causal DAGs and mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Aalen, OO; Røysland, K; Gran, JM; Kouyos, R

    2014-01-01

    Directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) play a large role in the modern approach to causal inference. DAGs describe the relationship between measurements taken at various discrete times including the effect of interventions. The causal mechanisms, on the other hand, would naturally be assumed to be a continuous process operating over time in a cause–effect fashion. How does such immediate causation, that is causation occurring over very short time intervals, relate to DAGs constructed from discrete observations? We introduce a time-continuous model and simulate discrete observations in order to judge the relationship between the DAG and the immediate causal model. We find that there is no clear relationship; indeed the Bayesian network described by the DAG may not relate to the causal model. Typically, discrete observations of a process will obscure the conditional dependencies that are represented in the underlying mechanistic model of the process. It is therefore doubtful whether DAGs are always suited to describe causal relationships unless time is explicitly considered in the model. We relate the issues to mechanistic modeling by using the concept of local (in)dependence. An example using data from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study is presented. PMID:24463886

  10. Relating Granger causality to long-term causal effects.

    PubMed

    Smirnov, Dmitry A; Mokhov, Igor I

    2015-10-01

    In estimation of causal couplings between observed processes, it is important to characterize coupling roles at various time scales. The widely used Granger causality reflects short-term effects: it shows how strongly perturbations of a current state of one process affect near future states of another process, and it quantifies that via prediction improvement (PI) in autoregressive models. However, it is often more important to evaluate the effects of coupling on long-term statistics, e.g., to find out how strongly the presence of coupling changes the variance of a driven process as compared to an uncoupled case. No general relationships between Granger causality and such long-term effects are known. Here, we pose the problem of relating these two types of coupling characteristics, and we solve it for a class of stochastic systems. Namely, for overdamped linear oscillators, we rigorously derive that the above long-term effect is proportional to the short-term effects, with the proportionality coefficient depending on the prediction interval and relaxation times. We reveal that this coefficient is typically considerably greater than unity so that small normalized PI values may well correspond to quite large long-term effects of coupling. The applicability of the derived relationship to wider classes of systems, its limitations, and its value for further research are discussed. To give a real-world example, we analyze couplings between large-scale climatic processes related to sea surface temperature variations in equatorial Pacific and North Atlantic regions.

  11. Relating Granger causality to long-term causal effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smirnov, Dmitry A.; Mokhov, Igor I.

    2015-10-01

    In estimation of causal couplings between observed processes, it is important to characterize coupling roles at various time scales. The widely used Granger causality reflects short-term effects: it shows how strongly perturbations of a current state of one process affect near future states of another process, and it quantifies that via prediction improvement (PI) in autoregressive models. However, it is often more important to evaluate the effects of coupling on long-term statistics, e.g., to find out how strongly the presence of coupling changes the variance of a driven process as compared to an uncoupled case. No general relationships between Granger causality and such long-term effects are known. Here, we pose the problem of relating these two types of coupling characteristics, and we solve it for a class of stochastic systems. Namely, for overdamped linear oscillators, we rigorously derive that the above long-term effect is proportional to the short-term effects, with the proportionality coefficient depending on the prediction interval and relaxation times. We reveal that this coefficient is typically considerably greater than unity so that small normalized PI values may well correspond to quite large long-term effects of coupling. The applicability of the derived relationship to wider classes of systems, its limitations, and its value for further research are discussed. To give a real-world example, we analyze couplings between large-scale climatic processes related to sea surface temperature variations in equatorial Pacific and North Atlantic regions.

  12. 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.

  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. Model of Conceptual Change for INQPRO: A Bayesian Network Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ting, Choo-Yee; Sam, Yok-Cheng; Wong, Chee-Onn

    2013-01-01

    Constructing a computational model of conceptual change for a computer-based scientific inquiry learning environment is difficult due to two challenges: (i) externalizing the variables of conceptual change and its related variables is difficult. In addition, defining the causal dependencies among the variables is also not trivial. Such difficulty…

  15. 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.

  16. Causal Dynamical Triangulations in Four Dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görlich, Andrzej

    2011-11-01

    Recent results obtained within a non-perturbative approach to quantum gravity based on the method of four-dimensional Causal Dynamical Triangulations are described. The phase diagram of the model consists of three phases. In the physically most interesting phase, the time-translational symmetry is spontaneously broken. Calculations of expectation values required introducing procedures taking into account the inhomogeneity of configurations. It was shown that the dynamically emerged four-dimensional background geometry corresponds to a Euclidean de Sitter space and reveals no fractality at large distances. Measurements of the covariance matrix of scale factor fluctuations allowed to reconstruct the effective action, which remained in agreement with the discrete minisuperspace action. Values of the Hausdorff dimension and spectral dimension of three-dimensional spatial slices suggest their fractal nature, which was confirmed by a direct analysis of triangulation structure. The Monte Carlo algorithm used to obtain presented results is described.

  17. Mediation and causality at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Bergman, Lars R

    2009-09-01

    Within a person-oriented research paradigm the focus is on individuals characterized by patterns of information that are regarded as indivisible wholes. It is then not sufficient to carry out standard variable-oriented mediation analysis. The procedure suggested by von Eye, Mun, and Mair (2009) for pattern-oriented mediation analysis is much better aligned to this person-oriented framework. An important new feature in their approach is that it can detect mediator configurations that prohibit predictor and outcome connections at a pattern level. Two extensions of their procedure are suggested, namely (1) the use of cluster analysis to arrive at the categories and (2) the use of other models for estimating the expected frequencies. It is pointed out that in their context a functional relations perspective might be more relevant than the standard causality perspective.

  18. 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

  19. Causal Discovery from Subsampled Time Series Data by Constraint Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Hyttinen, Antti; Plis, Sergey; Järvisalo, Matti; Eberhardt, Frederick; Danks, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper focuses on causal structure estimation from time series data in which measurements are obtained at a coarser timescale than the causal timescale of the underlying system. Previous work has shown that such subsampling can lead to significant errors about the system’s causal structure if not properly taken into account. In this paper, we first consider the search for the system timescale causal structures that correspond to a given measurement timescale structure. We provide a constraint satisfaction procedure whose computational performance is several orders of magnitude better than previous approaches. We then consider finite-sample data as input, and propose the first constraint optimization approach for recovering the system timescale causal structure. This algorithm optimally recovers from possible conflicts due to statistical errors. More generally, these advances allow for a robust and non-parametric estimation of system timescale causal structures from subsampled time series data. PMID:28203316

  20. Causal Discovery from Subsampled Time Series Data by Constraint Optimization.

    PubMed

    Hyttinen, Antti; Plis, Sergey; Järvisalo, Matti; Eberhardt, Frederick; Danks, David

    2016-08-01

    This paper focuses on causal structure estimation from time series data in which measurements are obtained at a coarser timescale than the causal timescale of the underlying system. Previous work has shown that such subsampling can lead to significant errors about the system's causal structure if not properly taken into account. In this paper, we first consider the search for the system timescale causal structures that correspond to a given measurement timescale structure. We provide a constraint satisfaction procedure whose computational performance is several orders of magnitude better than previous approaches. We then consider finite-sample data as input, and propose the first constraint optimization approach for recovering the system timescale causal structure. This algorithm optimally recovers from possible conflicts due to statistical errors. More generally, these advances allow for a robust and non-parametric estimation of system timescale causal structures from subsampled time series data.

  1. Causality, mediation and time: a dynamic viewpoint

    PubMed Central

    Aalen, Odd O; Røysland, Kjetil; Gran, Jon Michael; Ledergerber, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Summary. Time dynamics are often ignored in causal modelling. Clearly, causality must operate in time and we show how this corresponds to a mechanistic, or system, understanding of causality. The established counterfactual definitions of direct and indirect effects depend on an ability to manipulate the mediator which may not hold in practice, and we argue that a mechanistic view may be better. Graphical representations based on local independence graphs and dynamic path analysis are used to facilitate communication as well as providing an overview of the dynamic relations ‘at a glance’. The relationship between causality as understood in a mechanistic and in an interventionist sense is discussed. An example using data from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study is presented. PMID:23193356

  2. Inferring causal relationships between reproductive and metabolic health disorders and production traits in first-lactation US Holsteins using recursive models.

    PubMed

    Dhakal, K; Tiezzi, F; Clay, J S; Maltecca, C

    2015-04-01

    Health disorders in dairy cows have a substantial effect on the profitability of a dairy enterprise because of loss in milk sales, culling of unhealthy cows, and replacement costs. Complex relationships exist between health disorders and production traits. Understanding the causal structures among these traits may help us disentangle these complex relationships. The principal objective of this study was to use producer-recorded data to explore phenotypic and genetic relationships among reproductive and metabolic health disorders and production traits in first-lactation US Holsteins. A total of 77,004 first-lactation daughters' records of 2,183 sires were analyzed using recursive models. Health data contained information on reproductive health disorders [retained placenta (RP); metritis (METR)] and metabolic health disorders [ketosis (KETO); displaced abomasum (DA)]. Production traits included mean milk yield (MY) from early lactation (mean MY from 6 to 60 d in milk and from 61 to 120 d in milk), peak milk yield (PMY), day in milk of peak milk yield (PeakD), and lactation persistency (LP). Three different sets of traits were analyzed in which recursive effects from each health disorder on culling, recursive effects of one health disorder on another health disorder and on MY, and recursive effects of each health disorder on production traits, including PeakD, PMY, and LP, were assumed. Different recursive Gaussian-threshold and threshold models were implemented in a Bayesian framework. Estimates of the structural coefficients obtained between health disorders and culling were positive; on the liability scale, the structural coefficients ranged from 0.929 to 1.590, confirming that the presence of a health disorder increased culling. Positive recursive effects of RP to METR (0.117) and of KETO to DA (0.122) were estimated, whereas recursive effects from health disorders to production traits were negligible in all cases. Heritability estimates of health disorders ranged

  3. On Granger causality and the effect of interventions in time series.

    PubMed

    Eichler, Michael; Didelez, Vanessa

    2010-01-01

    We combine two approaches to causal reasoning. Granger causality, on the one hand, is popular in fields like econometrics, where randomised experiments are not very common. Instead information about the dynamic development of a system is explicitly modelled and used to define potentially causal relations. On the other hand, the notion of causality as effect of interventions is predominant in fields like medical statistics or computer science. In this paper, we consider the effect of external, possibly multiple and sequential, interventions in a system of multivariate time series, the Granger causal structure of which is taken to be known. We address the following questions: under what assumptions about the system and the interventions does Granger causality inform us about the effectiveness of interventions, and when does the possibly smaller system of observable times series allow us to estimate this effect? For the latter we derive criteria that can be checked graphically and are in the same spirit as Pearl's back-door and front-door criteria (Pearl 1995).

  4. Analysis of sampling artifacts on the Granger causality analysis for topology extraction of neuronal dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Granger causality (GC) is a powerful method for causal inference for time series. In general, the GC value is computed using discrete time series sampled from continuous-time processes with a certain sampling interval length τ, i.e., the GC value is a function of τ. Using the GC analysis for the topology extraction of the simplest integrate-and-fire neuronal network of two neurons, we discuss behaviors of the GC value as a function of τ, which exhibits (i) oscillations, often vanishing at certain finite sampling interval lengths, (ii) the GC vanishes linearly as one uses finer and finer sampling. We show that these sampling effects can occur in both linear and non-linear dynamics: the GC value may vanish in the presence of true causal influence or become non-zero in the absence of causal influence. Without properly taking this issue into account, GC analysis may produce unreliable conclusions about causal influence when applied to empirical data. These sampling artifacts on the GC value greatly complicate the reliability of causal inference using the GC analysis, in general, and the validity of topology reconstruction for networks, in particular. We use idealized linear models to illustrate possible mechanisms underlying these phenomena and to gain insight into the general spectral structures that give rise to these sampling effects. Finally, we present an approach to circumvent these sampling artifacts to obtain reliable GC values.

  5. Discrimination of coupling structures using causality networks from multivariate time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutlis, Christos; Kugiumtzis, Dimitris

    2016-09-01

    Measures of Granger causality on multivariate time series have been used to form the so-called causality networks. A causality network represents the interdependence structure of the underlying dynamical system or coupled dynamical systems, and its properties are quantified by network indices. In this work, it is investigated whether network indices on networks generated by an appropriate Granger causality measure can discriminate different coupling structures. The information based Granger causality measure of partial mutual information from mixed embedding (PMIME) is used to form causality networks, and a large number of network indices are ranked according to their ability to discriminate the different coupling structures. The evaluation of the network indices is done with a simulation study based on two dynamical systems, the coupled Mackey-Glass delay differential equations and the neural mass model, both of 25 variables, and three prototypes of coupling structures, i.e., random, small-world, and scale-free. It is concluded that the setting of PMIME combined with a network index attains high level of discrimination of the coupling structures solely on the basis of the observed multivariate time series. This approach is demonstrated to identify epileptic seizures emerging during electroencephalogram recordings.

  6. Causal inference and the data-fusion problem

    PubMed Central

    Bareinboim, Elias; Pearl, Judea

    2016-01-01

    We review concepts, principles, and tools that unify current approaches to causal analysis and attend to new challenges presented by big data. In particular, we address the problem of data fusion—piecing together multiple datasets collected under heterogeneous conditions (i.e., different populations, regimes, and sampling methods) to obtain valid answers to queries of interest. The availability of multiple heterogeneous datasets presents new opportunities to big data analysts, because the knowledge that can be acquired from combined data would not be possible from any individual source alone. However, the biases that emerge in heterogeneous environments require new analytical tools. Some of these biases, including confounding, sampling selection, and cross-population biases, have been addressed in isolation, largely in restricted parametric models. We here present a general, nonparametric framework for handling these biases and, ultimately, a theoretical solution to the problem of data fusion in causal inference tasks. PMID:27382148

  7. Aging and the detection of contingency in causal learning.

    PubMed

    Mutter, Sharon A; Williams, Thomas W

    2004-03-01

    Young and older participants' ability to detect negative, random, and positive response-outcome contingencies was evaluated using both contingency estimation and response rate adaptation tasks. Age differences in contingency estimation were consistently greater for negative than positive contingencies, and these differences, though still present, were smaller when response rate adaptation was used as the measure of contingency learning. Detecting causal contingency apparently becomes more difficult with age, especially when an oven numerical estimate of contingency must be provided and when the relationship between a causal event and an outcome is negative. A model that incorporates features of both associative and rule-based approaches to contingency learning (e.g., P. C. Price & J. F. Yates, 1995; D. R. Shanks, 1995) provides the best explanation for this pattern of findings.

  8. Matrix model approach to cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaney, A.; Lu, Lei; Stern, A.

    2016-03-01

    We perform a systematic search for rotationally invariant cosmological solutions to toy matrix models. These models correspond to the bosonic sector of Lorentzian Ishibashi, Kawai, Kitazawa and Tsuchiya (IKKT)-type matrix models in dimensions d less than ten, specifically d =3 and d =5 . After taking a continuum (or commutative) limit they yield d -1 dimensional Poisson manifolds. The manifolds have a Lorentzian induced metric which can be associated with closed, open, or static space-times. For d =3 , we obtain recursion relations from which it is possible to generate rotationally invariant matrix solutions which yield open universes in the continuum limit. Specific examples of matrix solutions have also been found which are associated with closed and static two-dimensional space-times in the continuum limit. The solutions provide for a resolution of cosmological singularities, at least within the context of the toy matrix models. The commutative limit reveals other desirable features, such as a solution describing a smooth transition from an initial inflation to a noninflationary era. Many of the d =3 solutions have analogues in higher dimensions. The case of d =5 , in particular, has the potential for yielding realistic four-dimensional cosmologies in the continuum limit. We find four-dimensional de Sitter d S4 or anti-de Sitter AdS4 solutions when a totally antisymmetric term is included in the matrix action. A nontrivial Poisson structure is attached to these manifolds which represents the lowest order effect of noncommutativity. For the case of AdS4 , we find one particular limit where the lowest order noncommutativity vanishes at the boundary, but not in the interior.

  9. 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

    Ghasemi, Mahdieh; Mahloojifar, Ali

    2013-04-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. More discussions for granger causality and new causality measures.

    PubMed

    Hu, Sanqing; Cao, Yu; Zhang, Jianhai; Kong, Wanzeng; Yang, Kun; Zhang, Yanbin; Li, Xun

    2012-02-01

    Granger causality (GC) has been widely applied in economics and neuroscience to reveal causality influence of time series. In our previous paper (Hu et al., in IEEE Trans on Neural Netw, 22(6), pp. 829-844, 2011), we proposed new causalities in time and frequency domains and particularly focused on new causality in frequency domain by pointing out the shortcomings/limitations of GC or Granger-alike causality metrics and the advantages of new causality. In this paper we continue our previous discussions and focus on new causality and GC or Granger-alike causality metrics in time domain. Although one strong motivation was introduced in our previous paper (Hu et al., in IEEE Trans on Neural Netw, 22(6), pp. 829-844, 2011) we here present additional motivation for the proposed new causality metric and restate the previous motivation for completeness. We point out one property of conditional GC in time domain and the shortcomings/limitations of conditional GC which cannot reveal the real strength of the directional causality among three time series. We also show the shortcomings/limitations of directed causality (DC) or normalize DC for multivariate time series and demonstrate it cannot reveal real causality at all. By calculating GC and new causality values for an example we demonstrate the influence of one of the time series on the other is linearly increased as the coupling strength is linearly increased. This fact further supports reasonability of new causality metric. We point out that larger instantaneous correlation does not necessarily mean larger true causality (e.g., GC and new causality), or vice versa. Finally we conduct analysis of statistical test for significance and asymptotic distribution property of new causality metric by illustrative examples.

  13. Computational modelling approaches to vaccinology.

    PubMed

    Pappalardo, Francesco; Flower, Darren; Russo, Giulia; Pennisi, Marzio; Motta, Santo

    2015-02-01

    Excepting the Peripheral and Central Nervous Systems, the Immune System is the most complex of somatic systems in higher animals. This complexity manifests itself at many levels from the molecular to that of the whole organism. Much insight into this confounding complexity can be gained through computational simulation. Such simulations range in application from epitope prediction through to the modelling of vaccination strategies. In this review, we evaluate selectively various key applications relevant to computational vaccinology: these include technique that operates at different scale that is, from molecular to organisms and even to population level.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Self-belief does make a difference: a reciprocal effects model of the causal ordering of physical self-concept and gymnastics performance.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Herbert W; Chanal, Julien P; Sarrazin, Philippe G

    2006-01-01

    A large body of research in support of the reciprocal effects model of causal ordering demonstrates that prior academic self-concept predicts subsequent academic achievement beyond what can be explained in terms of prior achievement. Here we evaluate the generalizability of this support for the reciprocal effects model to a physical activity context in which achievement is reflected in gymnastics skills on a standardized gymnastics performance test evaluated by expert judges. Based on the responses of 376 adolescents collected at the start (T1) and end (T2) of a gymnastics training programme, there is support for a reciprocal effects model in which there are significant paths leading from both T1 gymnastics self-concept to T2 gymnastics skills and from T1 gymnastics skills to T2 self-concept. Although there were gender and age effects (girls and older participants had better gymnastics skills, boys had higher self-concepts), multiple group structural equation models indicated that support for the reciprocal effects model generalized over responses by boys and girls. In summary, self-concept and performance are both determinants and consequences of each other.

  18. An approach to solving large reliability models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyd, Mark A.; Veeraraghavan, Malathi; Dugan, Joanne Bechta; Trivedi, Kishor S.

    1988-01-01

    This paper describes a unified approach to the problem of solving large realistic reliability models. The methodology integrates behavioral decomposition, state trunction, and efficient sparse matrix-based numerical methods. The use of fault trees, together with ancillary information regarding dependencies to automatically generate the underlying Markov model state space is proposed. The effectiveness of this approach is illustrated by modeling a state-of-the-art flight control system and a multiprocessor system. Nonexponential distributions for times to failure of components are assumed in the latter example. The modeling tool used for most of this analysis is HARP (the Hybrid Automated Reliability Predictor).

  19. Causality violation, gravitational shockwaves and UV completion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollowood, Timothy J.; Shore, Graham M.

    2016-03-01

    The effective actions describing the low-energy dynamics of QFTs involving gravity generically exhibit causality violations. These may take the form of superluminal propagation or Shapiro time advances and allow the construction of "time machines", i.e. spacetimes admitting closed non-spacelike curves. Here, we discuss critically whether such causality violations may be used as a criterion to identify unphysical effective actions or whether, and how, causality problems may be resolved by embedding the action in a fundamental, UV complete QFT. We study in detail the case of photon scattering in an Aichelburg-Sexl gravitational shockwave background and calculate the phase shifts in QED for all energies, demonstrating their smooth interpolation from the causality-violating effective action values at low-energy to their manifestly causal high-energy limits. At low energies, these phase shifts may be interpreted as backwards-in-time coordinate jumps as the photon encounters the shock wavefront, and we illustrate how the resulting causality problems emerge and are resolved in a two-shockwave time machine scenario. The implications of our results for ultra-high (Planck) energy scattering, in which graviton exchange is modelled by the shockwave background, are highlighted.

  20. Striatal-cerebellar networks mediate consolidation in a motor sequence learning task: An fMRI study using dynamic causal modelling.

    PubMed

    Tzvi, Elinor; Stoldt, Anne; Witt, Karsten; Krämer, Ulrike M

    2015-11-15

    The fast and slow learning stages of motor sequence learning are suggested to be realized through plasticity in a distributed cortico-striato-cerebellar network. To better understand the causal interactions within this network in the different phases of motor sequence learning, we investigated the effective connectivity within this network during encoding (Day 1) and after consolidation (Day 2) of a serial reaction time task. Using Dynamic Causal Modelling of fMRI data, we found general changes in network connections reflected in altered input nodes and endogenous connections when comparing the early and fast learning session to the late and slow learning session. Whereas encoding of a motor memory early on modulated several connections in a distributed network, slow learning resulted in a pruned network. More specifically, we found a negative modulation of connections from left M1 to right cerebellum, right premotor cortex to left cerebellum, as well as backward connections from putamen to cerebellum bilaterally in the encoding session. While connections during pre-sleep were significantly modulated by learning per se (i.e., specifically modulated by performance on sequence conditions), the connections observed after sleep were rather modulated by general performance (i.e., modulated by performance on both sequence and random conditions). A forward connection from left cerebellum to right putamen was found to be consistent across participants for the sequence condition only during slow learning. Together these findings suggest that whereas encoding in the fast learning phase requires plasticity in several connections implementing both motor and perceptual learning components, slow learning is mediated through connectivity from left cerebellum to right putamen.

  1. Reverse causal reasoning: applying qualitative causal knowledge to the interpretation of high-throughput data

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Gene expression profiling and other genome-scale measurement technologies provide comprehensive information about molecular changes resulting from a chemical or genetic perturbation, or disease state. A critical challenge is the development of methods to interpret these large-scale data sets to identify specific biological mechanisms that can provide experimentally verifiable hypotheses and lead to the understanding of disease and drug action. Results We present a detailed description of Reverse Causal Reasoning (RCR), a reverse engineering methodology to infer mechanistic hypotheses from molecular profiling data. This methodology requires prior knowledge in the form of small networks that causally link a key upstream controller node representing a biological mechanism to downstream measurable quantities. These small directed networks are generated from a knowledge base of literature-curated qualitative biological cause-and-effect relationships expressed as a network. The small mechanism networks are evaluated as hypotheses to explain observed differential measurements. We provide a simple implementation of this methodology, Whistle, specifically geared towards the analysis of gene expression data and using prior knowledge expressed in Biological Expression Language (BEL). We present the Whistle analyses for three transcriptomic data sets using a publically available knowledge base. The mechanisms inferred by Whistle are consistent with the expected biology for each data set. Conclusions Reverse Causal Reasoning yields mechanistic insights to the interpretation of gene expression profiling data that are distinct from and complementary to the results of analyses using ontology or pathway gene sets. This reverse engineering algorithm provides an evidence-driven approach to the development of models of disease, drug action, and drug toxicity. PMID:24266983

  2. A MIMIC approach to modeling the underground economy in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, David Han-Min; Lin, Jer-Yan; Yu, Tiffany Hui-Kuang

    2006-11-01

    The size of underground economy (UE) expansion usually increases the tax gap, impose a burden on the economy, and results in tax distortions. This study uses the MIMIC approach to model the causal variables and indicating variables to estimate the UE in Taiwan. We also focus on testing the data for non-stationarity and perform diagnostic tests. By using annual time-series data for Taiwan from 1961 to 2003, it is found that the estimated size of the UE varies from 11.0% to 13.1% before 1988, and from 10.6% to 11.8% from 1989 onwards. That the size of the UE experienced a substantial downward shift in 1989 indicates that there was a structural break. The UE is significantly and positively affected by such casual variables as the logarithm of real government consumption and currency inflation, but is negatively affected by the tax burden at 5% significant level. Unemployment rate and crime rate are not significantly correlated with the UE in this study.

  3. Granger Causality and Transfer Entropy Are Equivalent for Gaussian Variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Hybrid approaches to physiologic modeling and prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olengü, Nicholas O.; Reifman, Jaques

    2005-05-01

    This paper explores how the accuracy of a first-principles physiological model can be enhanced by integrating data-driven, "black-box" models with the original model to form a "hybrid" model system. Both linear (autoregressive) and nonlinear (neural network) data-driven techniques are separately combined with a first-principles model to predict human body core temperature. Rectal core temperature data from nine volunteers, subject to four 30/10-minute cycles of moderate exercise/rest regimen in both CONTROL and HUMID environmental conditions, are used to develop and test the approach. The results show significant improvements in prediction accuracy, with average improvements of up to 30% for prediction horizons of 20 minutes. The models developed from one subject's data are also used in the prediction of another subject's core temperature. Initial results for this approach for a 20-minute horizon show no significant improvement over the first-principles model by itself.

  5. Measuring frequency domain granger causality for multiple blocks of interacting time series.

    PubMed

    Faes, Luca; Nollo, Giandomenico

    2013-04-01

    In the past years, several frequency-domain causality measures based on vector autoregressive time series modeling have been suggested to assess directional connectivity in neural systems. The most followed approaches are based on representing the considered set of multiple time series as a realization of two or three vector-valued processes, yielding the so-called Geweke linear feedback measures, or as a realization of multiple scalar-valued processes, yielding popular measures like the directed coherence (DC) and the partial DC (PDC). In the present study, these two approaches are unified and generalized by proposing novel frequency-domain causality measures which extend the existing measures to the analysis of multiple blocks of time series. Specifically, the block DC (bDC) and block PDC (bPDC) extend DC and PDC to vector-valued processes, while their logarithmic counterparts, denoted as multivariate total feedback [Formula: see text] and direct feedback [Formula: see text], represent into a full multivariate framework the Geweke's measures. Theoretical analysis of the proposed measures shows that they: (i) possess desirable properties of causality measures; (ii) are able to reflect either direct causality (bPDC, [Formula: see text] or total (direct + indirect) causality (bDC, [Formula: see text] between time series blocks; (iii) reduce to the DC and PDC measures for scalar-valued processes, and to the Geweke's measures for pairs of processes; (iv) are able to capture internal dependencies between the scalar constituents of the analyzed vector processes. Numerical analysis showed that the proposed measures can be efficiently estimated from short time series, allow to represent in an objective, compact way the information derived from the causal analysis of several pairs of time series, and may detect frequency domain causality more accurately than existing measures. The proposed measures find their natural application in the evaluation of directional

  6. Causal Attributions in Young Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedberg, Robert D.; Dalenberg, Constance J.

    1990-01-01

    Investigated the causal explanations children use to account for common experiences. In the study, 60 preschoolers watched videotaped puppet shows designed to elicit causal attributions. Most children predominantly used internal, unstable, and specific attributions. (CB)

  7. 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…

  8. Combining Causal Model and Focus Group Discussions Experiences Learned from a Socio-Anthropological Research on the Differing Perceptions of Caretakers and Health Professionals on Children's Health (Bolivia/Peru)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lefevre, Pierre; de Suremain, Charles-Edouard; Rubin de Celis, Emma; Sejas, Edgar

    2004-01-01

    The paper discusses the utility of constructing causal models in focus groups. This was experienced as a complement to an in-depth ethnographic research on the differing perceptions of caretakers and health professionals on child's growth and development in Peru and Bolivia. The rational, advantages, difficulties and necessary adaptations of…

  9. 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.

  10. Identifying effective connectivity parameters in simulated fMRI: a direct comparison of switching linear dynamic system, stochastic dynamic causal, and multivariate autoregressive models

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jason F.; Chen, Kewei; Pillai, Ajay S.; Horwitz, Barry

    2013-01-01

    The number and variety of connectivity estimation methods is likely to continue to grow over the coming decade. Comparisons between methods are necessary to prune this growth to only the most accurate and robust methods. However, the nature of connectivity is elusive with different methods potentially attempting to identify different aspects of connectivity. Commonalities of connectivity definitions across methods upon which base direct comparisons can be difficult to derive. Here, we explicitly define “effective connectivity” using a common set of observation and state equations that are appropriate for three connectivity methods: dynamic causal modeling (DCM), multivariate autoregressive modeling (MAR), and switching linear dynamic systems for fMRI (sLDSf). In addition while deriving this set, we show how many other popular functional and effective connectivity methods are actually simplifications of these equations. We discuss implications of these connections for the practice of using one method to simulate data for another method. After mathematically connecting the three effective connectivity methods, simulated fMRI data with varying numbers of regions and task conditions is generated from the common equation. This simulated data explicitly contains the type of the connectivity that the three models were intended to identify. Each method is applied to the simulated data sets and the accuracy of parameter identification is analyzed. All methods perform above chance levels at identifying correct connectivity parameters. The sLDSf method was superior in parameter estimation accuracy to both DCM and MAR for all types of comparisons. PMID:23717258

  11. Towards causally cohesive genotype–phenotype modelling for characterization of the soft-tissue mechanics of the heart in normal and pathological geometries

    PubMed Central

    Nordbø, Øyvind; Gjuvsland, Arne B.; Nermoen, Anders; Land, Sander; Niederer, Steven; Lamata, Pablo; Lee, Jack; Smith, Nicolas P.; Omholt, Stig W.; Vik, Jon Olav

    2015-01-01

    A scientific understanding of individual variation is key to personalized medicine, integrating genotypic and phenotypic information via computational physiology. Genetic effects are often context-dependent, differing between genetic backgrounds or physiological states such as disease. Here, we analyse in silico genotype–phenotype maps (GP map) for a soft-tissue mechanics model of the passive inflation phase of the heartbeat, contrasting the effects of microstructural and other low-level parameters assumed to be genetically influenced, under normal, concentrically hypertrophic and eccentrically hypertrophic geometries. For a large number of parameter scenarios, representing mock genetic variation in low-level parameters, we computed phenotypes describing the deformation of the heart during inflation. The GP map was characterized by variance decompositions for each phenotype with respect to each parameter. As hypothesized, the concentric geometry allowed more low-level parameters to contribute to variation in shape phenotypes. In addition, the relative importance of overall stiffness and fibre stiffness differed between geometries. Otherwise, the GP map was largely similar for the different heart geometries, with little genetic interaction between the parameters included in this study. We argue that personalized medicine can benefit from a combination of causally cohesive genotype–phenotype modelling, and strategic phenotyping that captures effect modifiers not explicitly included in the mechanistic model. PMID:25833237

  12. A stochastic approach to model validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luis, Steven J.; McLaughlin, Dennis

    This paper describes a stochastic approach for assessing the validity of environmental models. In order to illustrate basic concepts we focus on the problem of modeling moisture movement through an unsaturated porous medium. We assume that the modeling objective is to predict the mean distribution of moisture content over time and space. The mean moisture content describes the large-scale flow behavior of most interest in many practical applications. The model validation process attempts to determine whether the model's predictions are acceptably close to the mean. This can be accomplished by comparing small-scale measurements of moisture content to the model's predictions. Differences between these two quantities can be attributed to three distinct 'error sources': (1) measurement error, (2) spatial heterogeneity, and (3) model error. If we adopt appropriate stochastic descriptions for the first two sources of error we can view model validation as a hypothesis testing problem where the null hypothesis states that model error is negligible. We illustrate this concept by comparing the predictions of a simple two-dimensional deterministic model to measurements collected during a field experiment carried out near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Preliminary results from this field test indicate that a stochastic approach to validation can identify model deficiencies and provide objective standards for model performance.

  13. Inductive reasoning about causally transmitted properties.

    PubMed

    Shafto, Patrick; Kemp, Charles; Bonawitz, Elizabeth Baraff; Coley, John D; Tenenbaum, Joshua B

    2008-11-01

    Different intuitive theories constrain and guide inferences in different contexts. Formalizing simple intuitive theories as probabilistic processes operating over structured representations, we present a new computational model of category-based induction about causally transmitted properties. A first experiment demonstrates undergraduates' context-sensitive use of taxonomic and food web knowledge to guide reasoning about causal transmission and shows good qualitative agreement between model predictions and human inferences. A second experiment demonstrates strong quantitative and qualitative fits to inferences about a more complex artificial food web. A third experiment investigates human reasoning about complex novel food webs where species have known taxonomic relations. Results demonstrate a double-dissociation between the predictions of our causal model and a related taxonomic model [Kemp, C., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2003). Learning domain structures. In Proceedings of the 25th annual conference of the cognitive science society]: the causal model predicts human inferences about diseases but not genes, while the taxonomic model predicts human inferences about genes but not diseases. We contrast our framework with previous models of category-based induction and previous formal instantiations of intuitive theories, and outline challenges in developing a complete model of context-sensitive reasoning.

  14. Computer Use, Confidence, Attitudes, and Knowledge: A Causal Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Tamar; Donitsa-Schmidt, Smadar

    1998-01-01

    Introduces a causal model which links measures of computer experience, computer-related attitudes, computer-related confidence, and perceived computer-based knowledge. The causal model suggests that computer use has a positive effect on perceived computer self-confidence, as well as on computer-related attitudes. Questionnaires were administered…

  15. (S)-citalopram influences amygdala modulation in healthy subjects: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind fMRI study using dynamic causal modeling.

    PubMed

    Sladky, Ronald; Spies, Marie; Hoffmann, Andre; Kranz, Georg; Hummer, Allan; Gryglewski, Gregor; Lanzenberger, Rupert; Windischberger, Christian; Kasper, Siegfried

    2015-03-01

    Citalopram and Escitalopram are gold standard pharmaceutical treatment options for affective, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders. However, their neurophysiologic function on cortico-limbic circuits is incompletely characterized. Here we studied the neuropharmacological influence of Citalopram and Escitalopram on cortico-limbic regulatory processes by assessing the effective connectivity between orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and amygdala using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) applied to functional MRI data. We investigated a cohort of 15 healthy subjects in a randomized, crossover, double-blind design after 10days of Escitalopram (10mg/d (S)-citalopram), Citalopram (10mg/d (S)-citalopram and 10mg/d (R)-citalopram), or placebo. Subjects performed an emotional face discrimination task, while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning at 3 Tesla. As hypothesized, the OFC, in the context of the emotional face discrimination task, exhibited a down-regulatory effect on amygdala activation. This modulatory effect was significantly increased by (S)-citalopram, but not (R)-citalopram. For the first time, this study shows that (1) the differential effects of the two enantiomers (S)- and (R)-citalopram on cortico-limbic connections can be demonstrated by modeling effective connectivity methods, and (2) one of their mechanisms can be linked to an increased inhibition of amygdala activation by the orbitofrontal cortex.

  16. Towards new approaches in phenological modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chmielewski, Frank-M.; Götz, Klaus-P.; Rawel, Harshard M.; Homann, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Modelling of phenological stages is based on temperature sums for many decades, describing both the chilling and the forcing requirement of woody plants until the beginning of leafing or flowering. Parts of this approach go back to Reaumur (1735), who originally proposed the concept of growing degree-days. Now, there is a growing body of opinion that asks for new methods in phenological modelling and more in-depth studies on dormancy release of woody plants. This requirement is easily understandable if we consider the wide application of phenological models, which can even affect the results of climate models. To this day, in phenological models still a number of parameters need to be optimised on observations, although some basic physiological knowledge of the chilling and forcing requirement of plants is already considered in these approaches (semi-mechanistic models). Limiting, for a fundamental improvement of these models, is the lack of knowledge about the course of dormancy in woody plants, which cannot be directly observed and which is also insufficiently described in the literature. Modern metabolomic methods provide a solution for this problem and allow both, the validation of currently used phenological models as well as the development of mechanistic approaches. In order to develop this kind of models, changes of metabolites (concentration, temporal course) must be set in relation to the variability of environmental (steering) parameters (weather, day length, etc.). This necessarily requires multi-year (3-5 yr.) and high-resolution (weekly probes between autumn and spring) data. The feasibility of this approach has already been tested in a 3-year pilot-study on sweet cherries. Our suggested methodology is not only limited to the flowering of fruit trees, it can be also applied to tree species of the natural vegetation, where even greater deficits in phenological modelling exist.

  17. Causal simulation and sensor planning in predictive monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doyle, Richard J.

    1989-01-01

    Two issues are addressed which arise in the task of detecting anomalous behavior in complex systems with numerous sensor channels: how to adjust alarm thresholds dynamically, within the changing operating context of the system, and how to utilize sensors selectively, so that nominal operation can be verified reliably without processing a prohibitive amount of sensor data. The approach involves simulation of a causal model of the system, which provides information on expected sensor values, and on dependencies between predicted events, useful in assessing the relative importance of events so that sensor resources can be allocated effectively. The potential applicability of this work to the execution monitoring of robot task plans is briefly discussed.

  18. The balanced scorecard: an incremental approach model to health care management.

    PubMed

    Pineno, Charles J

    2002-01-01

    The balanced scorecard represents a technique used in strategic management to translate an organization's mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance measures that provide the framework for implementation of strategic management. This article develops an incremental approach for decision making by formulating a specific balanced scorecard model with an index of nonfinancial as well as financial measures. The incremental approach to costs, including profit contribution analysis and probabilities, allows decisionmakers to assess, for example, how their desire to meet different health care needs will cause changes in service design. This incremental approach to the balanced scorecard may prove to be useful in evaluating the existence of causality relationships between different objective and subjective measures to be included within the balanced scorecard.

  19. An eating disorder-specific model of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-ED): causal pathways and treatment implications.

    PubMed

    Rieger, Elizabeth; Van Buren, Dorothy J; Bishop, Monica; Tanofsky-Kraff, Marian; Welch, Robinson; Wilfley, Denise E

    2010-06-01

    Several studies support the efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) in the treatment of eating disorders. Treatment outcomes are likely to be augmented through a greater understanding, and hence treatment targeting, of the mechanisms whereby IPT induces therapeutic gains. To this end, the present paper seeks to develop a theoretical model of IPT in the context of eating disorders (IPT-ED). After providing a brief description of IPT, the IPT-ED model is presented and research supporting its theorized mechanisms is summarized. This model proposes that negative social evaluation plays a pivotal role as both a cause (via its detrimental impact on self evaluation and associated affect) and consequence of eating disorder symptoms. In the final section, key eating disorder constructs (namely, the developmental period of adolescence, clinical perfectionism, cognitive dysfunction, and affect regulation) are re-interpreted from the standpoint of negative social evaluation thereby further explicating IPT's efficacy as an intervention for individuals with an eating disorder.

  20. Causal relations and feature similarity in children's inductive reasoning.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Brett K; Thompson, Susan P

    2007-08-01

    Four experiments examined the development of property induction on the basis of causal relations. In the first 2 studies, 5-year-olds, 8-year-olds, and adults were presented with triads in which a target instance was equally similar to 2 inductive bases but shared a causal antecedent feature with 1 of them. All 3 age groups used causal relations as a basis for property induction, although the proportion of causal inferences increased with age. Subsequent experiments pitted causal relations against featural similarity in induction. It was found that adults and 8-year-olds, but not 5-year-olds, preferred shared causal relations over strong featural similarity as a basis for induction. The implications for models of inductive reasoning and development are discussed.

  1. A Causal-Comparative Analysis of the Effects of a Student Support Team (SST) Intervention Model at a Secondary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Mid D.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to identify and examine the effectiveness of a "Student Support Team" (SST) intervention model designed to increase the performance of struggling secondary students and to help them achieve prescribed state standards on the mathematics "Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)"…

  2. The Interdependence of the Factors Influencing the Perceived Quality of the Online Learning Experience: A Causal Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peltier, James W.; Schibrowsky, John A.; Drago, William

    2007-01-01

    A structural model of the drivers of online education is proposed and tested. The findings help to identify the interrelated nature of the lectures delivered via technology outside of the traditional classroom, the importance of mentoring, the need to develop course structure, the changing roles for instructors and students, and the importance of…

  3. Shell Model Approach to Nuclear Level Density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horoi, Mihai

    2000-04-01

    Nuclear level densities (NLD) are traditionally estimated using variations of Fermi Gas Formula (FGF) or combinatoric techniques. Recent investigations using Monte Carlo Shell Model (MCSM) techniques indicate that a shell model description of NLD may be an accurate and stable approach. Full shell model calculations of NLD are very difficult. We calculated the NLD for all nuclei in the sd shell and show that the results can be described by a single particle combinatoric model, which depends on two parameters similar to FGF. We further investigated other models and find that a sum of gaussians with means and variances given by French and Ratcliff averages (Phys. Rev. C 3, 94(1971)) is able to accurately describe shell model NLD, even when shell effects are present. The contribution of the spurious center-of-mass motion to the shell model NLD is also discussed.

  4. Frequency decomposition of conditional Granger causality and application to multivariate neural field potential data.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yonghong; Bressler, Steven L; Ding, Mingzhou

    2006-01-30

    It is often useful in multivariate time series analysis to determine statistical causal relations between different time series. Granger causality is a fundamental measure for this purpose. Yet the traditional pairwise approach to Granger causality analysis may not clearly distinguish between direct causal influences from one time series to another and indirect ones acting through a third time series. In order to differentiate direct from indirect Granger causality, a conditional Granger causality measure in the frequency domain is derived based on a partition matrix technique. Simulations and an application to neural field potential time series are demonstrated to validate the method.

  5. Choice of Units and the Causal Markov Condition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jiji; Spirtes, Peter

    2014-03-01

    Elliott Sober's well-known challenge to the principle of the common cause -- and to its generalization, the causal Markov condition -- appeals to the apparent positive correlation between two causally unconnected quantities: Venetian sea levels and British bread prices. In this paper we examine Kevin Hoover's and Daniel Steel's opposite evaluations of Sober's case. We argue that the difference in their assessments results from a difference in their choice of units and populations for statistical modeling. Our analysis suggests yet another diagnosis of Sober's counterexample: the failure of the causal Markov condition in the population chosen by Sober and Steel is due to the presence of causal relations that hold between the relevant properties across units. Such inter-unit causation is left unrepresented in causal models congenial to statistical analysis, because statistics does not deal with inter-unit relationships once the units are fixed. Accordingly, the causal Markov condition is formulated in terms of causal structures that depict intra-unit causal relations only. It is therefore worth highlighting a methodological principle for causal inference: the units should be so chosen that they do not interfere with each other, a principle that, fortunately, is often observed in practice.

  6. Towards a Multiscale Approach to Cybersecurity Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Hogan, Emilie A.; Hui, Peter SY; Choudhury, Sutanay; Halappanavar, Mahantesh; Oler, Kiri J.; Joslyn, Cliff A.

    2013-11-12

    We propose a multiscale approach to modeling cyber networks, with the goal of capturing a view of the network and overall situational awareness with respect to a few key properties--- connectivity, distance, and centrality--- for a system under an active attack. We focus on theoretical and algorithmic foundations of multiscale graphs, coming from an algorithmic perspective, with the goal of modeling cyber system defense as a specific use case scenario. We first define a notion of \\emph{multiscale} graphs, in contrast with their well-studied single-scale counterparts. We develop multiscale analogs of paths and distance metrics. As a simple, motivating example of a common metric, we present a multiscale analog of the all-pairs shortest-path problem, along with a multiscale analog of a well-known algorithm which solves it. From a cyber defense perspective, this metric might be used to model the distance from an attacker's position in the network to a sensitive machine. In addition, we investigate probabilistic models of connectivity. These models exploit the hierarchy to quantify the likelihood that sensitive targets might be reachable from compromised nodes. We believe that our novel multiscale approach to modeling cyber-physical systems will advance several aspects of cyber defense, specifically allowing for a more efficient and agile approach to defending these systems.

  7. The totally constrained model: three quantization approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gambini, Rodolfo; Olmedo, Javier

    2014-08-01

    We provide a detailed comparison of the different approaches available for the quantization of a totally constrained system with a constraint algebra generating the non-compact group. In particular, we consider three schemes: the Refined Algebraic Quantization, the Master Constraint Programme and the Uniform Discretizations approach. For the latter, we provide a quantum description where we identify semiclassical sectors of the kinematical Hilbert space. We study the quantum dynamics of the system in order to show that it is compatible with the classical continuum evolution. Among these quantization approaches, the Uniform Discretizations provides the simpler description in agreement with the classical theory of this particular model, and it is expected to give new insights about the quantum dynamics of more realistic totally constrained models such as canonical general relativity.

  8. A Transfer Learning Approach for Network Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shuai; Li, Jing; Chen, Kewei; Wu, Teresa; Ye, Jieping; Wu, Xia; Yao, Li

    2012-01-01

    Networks models have been widely used in many domains to characterize the interacting relationship between physical entities. A typical problem faced is to identify the networks of multiple related tasks that share some similarities. In this case, a transfer learning approach that can leverage the knowledge gained during the modeling of one task to help better model another task is highly desirable. In this paper, we propose a transfer learning approach, which adopts a Bayesian hierarchical model framework to characterize task relatedness and additionally uses the L1-regularization to ensure robust learning of the networks with limited sample sizes. A method based on the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm is further developed to learn the networks from data. Simulation studies are performed, which demonstrate the superiority of the proposed transfer learning approach over single task learning that learns the network of each task in isolation. The proposed approach is also applied to identification of brain connectivity networks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) data. The findings are consistent with the AD literature. PMID:24526804

  9. Post-16 Biology--Some Model Approaches?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lock, Roger

    1997-01-01

    Outlines alternative approaches to the teaching of difficult concepts in A-level biology which may help student learning by making abstract ideas more concrete and accessible. Examples include models, posters, and poems for illustrating meiosis, mitosis, genetic mutations, and protein synthesis. (DDR)

  10. In Defense of Causal-Formative Indicators: A Minority Report.

    PubMed

    Bollen, Kenneth A; Diamantopoulos, Adamantios

    2015-09-21

    Causal-formative indicators directly affect their corresponding latent variable. They run counter to the predominant view that indicators depend on latent variables and are thus often controversial. If present, such indicators have serious implications for factor analysis, reliability theory, item response theory, structural equation models, and most measurement approaches that are based on reflective or effect indicators. Psychological Methods has published a number of influential articles on causal and formative indicators as well as launching the first major backlash against them. This article examines 7 common criticisms of these indicators distilled from the literature: (a) A construct measured with "formative" indicators does not exist independently of its indicators; (b) Such indicators are causes rather than measures; (c) They imply multiple dimensions to a construct and this is a liability; (d) They are assumed to be error-free, which is unrealistic; (e) They are inherently subject to interpretational confounding; (f) They fail proportionality constraints; and (g) Their coefficients should be set in advance and not estimated. We summarize each of these criticisms and point out the flaws in the logic and evidence marshaled in their support. The most common problems are not distinguishing between what we call causal-formative and composite-formative indicators, tautological fallacies, and highlighting issues that are common to all indicators, but presenting them as special problems of causal-formative indicators. We conclude that measurement theory needs (a) to incorporate these types of indicators, and (b) to better understand their similarities to and differences from traditional indicators. (PsycINFO Database Record

  11. Building Water Models: A Different Approach

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Simplified classical water models are currently an indispensable component in practical atomistic simulations. Yet, despite several decades of intense research, these models are still far from perfect. Presented here is an alternative approach to constructing widely used point charge water models. In contrast to the conventional approach, we do not impose any geometry constraints on the model other than the symmetry. Instead, we optimize the distribution of point charges to best describe the “electrostatics” of the water molecule. The resulting “optimal” 3-charge, 4-point rigid water model (OPC) reproduces a comprehensive set of bulk properties significantly more accurately than commonly used rigid models: average error relative to experiment is 0.76%. Close agreement with experiment holds over a wide range of temperatures. The improvements in the proposed model extend beyond bulk properties: compared to common rigid models, predicted hydration free energies of small molecules using OPC are uniformly closer to experiment, with root-mean-square error <1 kcal/mol. PMID:25400877

  12. Application of transfer entropy to causality detection and synchronization experiments in tokamaks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murari, A.; Peluso, E.; Gelfusa, M.; Garzotti, L.; Frigione, D.; Lungaroni, M.; Pisano, F.; Gaudio, P.; Contributors, JET

    2016-02-01

    Determination of causal-effect relationships can be a difficult task even in the analysis of time series. This is particularly true in the case of complex, nonlinear systems affected by significant levels of noise. Causality can be modelled as a flow of information between systems, allowing to better predict the behaviour of a phenomenon on the basis of the knowledge of the one causing it. Therefore, information theoretic tools, such as the transfer entropy, have been used in various disciplines to quantify the causal relationship between events. In this paper, Transfer Entropy is applied to determining the information relationship between various phenomena in Tokamaks. The proposed approach provides unique insight about information causality in difficult situations, such as the link between sawteeth and ELMs and ELM pacing experiments. The application to the determination of disruption causes, and therefore to the classification of disruption types, looks also very promising. The obtained results indicate that the proposed method can provide a quantitative and statistically sound criterion to address the causal-effect relationships in various difficult and ambiguous situations if the data is of sufficient quality.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Leveraging modeling approaches: reaction networks and rules.

    PubMed

    Blinov, Michael L; Moraru, Ion I

    2012-01-01

    We have witnessed an explosive growth in research involving mathematical models and computer simulations of intracellular molecular interactions, ranging from metabolic pathways to signaling and gene regulatory networks. Many software tools have been developed to aid in the study of such biological systems, some of which have a wealth of features for model building and visualization, and powerful capabilities for simulation and data analysis. Novel high-resolution and/or high-throughput experimental techniques have led to an abundance of qualitative and quantitative data related to the spatiotemporal distribution of molecules and complexes, their interactions kinetics, and functional modifications. Based on this information, computational biology researchers are attempting to build larger and more detailed models. However, this has proved to be a major challenge. Traditionally, modeling tools require the explicit specification of all molecular species and interactions in a model, which can quickly become a major limitation in the case of complex networks - the number of ways biomolecules can combine to form multimolecular complexes can be combinatorially large. Recently, a new breed of software tools has been created to address the problems faced when building models marked by combinatorial complexity. These have a different approach for model specification, using reaction rules and species patterns. Here we compare the traditional modeling approach with the new rule-based methods. We make a case for combining the capabilities of conventional simulation software with the unique features and flexibility of a rule-based approach in a single software platform for building models of molecular interaction networks.

  16. Estimating Causal Effects With Propensity Score Models: An Evaluation of the Touch Condom Media Campaign in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Beaudoin, Christopher E; Chen, Hongliang; Agha, Sohail

    2016-01-01

    Rapid population growth in Pakistan poses major risks, including those pertinent to public health. In the context of family planning in Pakistan, the current study evaluates the Touch condom media campaign and its effects on condom-related awareness, attitudes, behavioral intention, and behavior. This evaluation relies on 3 waves of panel survey data from men married to women ages 15-49 living in urban and rural areas in Pakistan (N = 1,012): Wave 1 was March 15 to April 7, 2009; Wave 2 was August 10 to August 24, 2009; and Wave 3 was May 1 to June 13, 2010. Analysis of variance provided evidence of improvements in 10 of 11 condom-related outcomes from Wave 1 to Wave 2 and Wave 3. In addition, there was no evidence of outcome decay 1 year after the conclusion of campaign advertising dissemination. To help compensate for violating the assumption of random assignment, propensity score modeling offered evidence of the beneficial effects of confirmed Touch ad recall on each of the 11 outcomes in at least 1 of 3 time-lagged scenarios. By using these different time-lagged scenarios (i.e., from Wave 1 to Wave 2, from Wave 1 to Wave 3, and from Wave 2 to Wave 3), propensity score modeling permitted insights into how the campaign had time-variant effects on the different types of condom-related outcomes, including carryover effects of the media campaign.

  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. [Clinical research III. The causality studies].

    PubMed

    Talavera, Juan O; Wacher-Rodarte, Niels H; Rivas-Ruiz, Rodolfo

    2011-01-01

    The need to solve a clinical problem leads us to establish a starting point to address (risk, prognosis or treatment studies), all these cases seek to attribute causality. Clinical reasoning described in the book Clinical Epidemiology. The architecture of clinical research, offers a simple guide to understanding this phenomenon. And proposes three basic components: baseline, maneuver and outcome. In this model, different systematic errors (bias) are described, which may be favored by omitting characteristics of the three basic components. Thus, omissions in the baseline characteristics cause an improper assembly of the population and susceptibility bias, omissions in the application or evaluation of the maneuver provoke performance bias, and omissions in the assessment of out-come cause detection bias and transfer bias. Importantly, if this way of thinking facilitates understanding of the causal phenomenon, the appropriateness of the variables to be selected in the studies to which attribute or not causality, require additional arguments for evaluate clinical relevance.

  19. Neural network approaches for noisy language modeling.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun; Ouazzane, Karim; Kazemian, Hassan B; Afzal, Muhammad Sajid

    2013-11-01

    Text entry from people is not only grammatical and distinct, but also noisy. For example, a user's typing stream contains all the information about the user's interaction with computer using a QWERTY keyboard, which may include the user's typing mistakes as well as specific vocabulary, typing habit, and typing performance. In particular, these features are obvious in disabled users' typing streams. This paper proposes a new concept called noisy language modeling by further developing information theory and applies neural networks to one of its specific application-typing stream. This paper experimentally uses a neural network approach to analyze the disabled users' typing streams both in general and specific ways to identify their typing behaviors and subsequently, to make typing predictions and typing corrections. In this paper, a focused time-delay neural network (FTDNN) language model, a time gap model, a prediction model based on time gap, and a probabilistic neural network model (PNN) are developed. A 38% first hitting rate (HR) and a 53% first three HR in symbol prediction are obtained based on the analysis of a user's typing history through the FTDNN language modeling, while the modeling results using the time gap prediction model and the PNN model demonstrate that the correction rates lie predominantly in between 65% and 90% with the current testing samples, and 70% of all test scores above basic correction rates, respectively. The modeling process demonstrates that a neural network is a suitable and robust language modeling tool to analyze the noisy language stream. The research also paves the way for practical application development in areas such as informational analysis, text prediction, and error correction by providing a theoretical basis of neural network approaches for noisy language modeling.

  20. 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...