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

    PubMed

    Park, Leeyoung; Kim, Ju H

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Quantum causal modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Fabio; Shrapnel, Sally

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lozano, A. C.

    2010-12-01

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

  8. Causally nonseparable processes admitting a causal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feix, Adrien; Araújo, Mateus; Brukner, Časlav

    2016-08-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

    Theory-based intervention programmes to support health-related behaviour change aim to increase health impact and improve understanding of mechanisms of behaviour change. However, the science of intervention development remains at an early stage. We present a causal modelling approach to developing complex interventions for evaluation in randomized trials. In this approach a generic model links behavioural determinants, causally through behaviour, to physiological and biochemical variables, and health outcomes. It is tailored to context, target population, behaviours and health outcomes. The development of a specific causal model based on theory and evidence is illustrated by the ProActive programme, supporting increased physical activity among individuals at risk of Type 2 diabetes. The model provides a rational guide to appropriate measures, intervention points and intervention techniques, and can be tested quantitatively. Causal modelling is critically compared to other approaches to intervention development and evaluation, and research directions are indicated.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  12. Evaluating Causal Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watt, James H., Jr.

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

  13. A 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.

  14. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. Causal Rasch models

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Loop anomalies in the causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigore, Dan-Radu

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Dynamic causal modeling with genetic algorithms.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-15

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

  4. The metagenomic approach and causality in virology.

    PubMed

    Castrignano, Silvana Beres; Nagasse-Sugahara, Teresa Keico

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. A Causal Model of Faculty Research Productivity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bean, John P.

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

  8. Assessing causality in multivariate accident models.

    PubMed

    Elvik, Rune

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the application of operational criteria of causality to multivariate statistical models developed to identify sources of systematic variation in accident counts, in particular the effects of variables representing safety treatments. Nine criteria of causality serving as the basis for the discussion have been developed. The criteria resemble criteria that have been widely used in epidemiology. To assess whether the coefficients estimated in a multivariate accident prediction model represent causal relationships or are non-causal statistical associations, all criteria of causality are relevant, but the most important criterion is how well a model controls for potentially confounding factors. Examples are given to show how the criteria of causality can be applied to multivariate accident prediction models in order to assess the relationships included in these models. It will often be the case that some of the relationships included in a model can reasonably be treated as causal, whereas for others such an interpretation is less supported. The criteria of causality are indicative only and cannot provide a basis for stringent logical proof of causality.

  9. Causal Indicator Models: Identification, Estimation, and Testing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bollen, Kenneth A.; Davis, Walter R.

    2009-01-01

    We discuss the identification, estimation, and testing of structural equation models that have causal indicators. We first provide 2 rules of identification that are particularly helpful in models with causal indicators--the 2C emitted paths rule and the exogenous X rule. We demonstrate how these rules can help us distinguish identified from…

  10. Spin foam models as energetic causal sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortês, Marina; Smolin, Lee

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Compact Representations of Extended Causal Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halpern, Joseph Y.; Hitchcock, Christopher

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Aleksejūnienė, Jolanta; Holst, Dorthe; Brukienė, Vilma

    2009-01-01

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

  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. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. Causal Model of a Health Services System

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, James G.

    1972-01-01

    Path analysis is used to construct a causal model of the health services system serving the state of New Mexico. The model includes a network specifying the causal relationships among a set of social, demographic, and economic variables hypothesized to be related to the health status of the population; a set of mathematical equations that permit prediction of the effects of changes in the values of any one variable on all other variables in the model; and estimates of path coefficients based on U.S. Census data and vital statistics. The model is used to predict both direct and indirect effects on health status of changes in population structure resulting from natural causes or from the intervention of health programs. PMID:5025955

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

    PubMed Central

    Young, Gerald

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Dimensions of Causal Understanding: The Role of Complex Causal Models in Students' Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perkins, David N.; Grotzer, Tina A.

    2005-01-01

    This article argues that an important source of the difficulties posed by particular concepts and theories is the narrow range of "types of causal models" with which most learners are familiar. Most learners are familiar with relatively simple styles of causal models, but many concepts and theories in science depend on styles substantially more…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hung-Pin, Lin

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gopnik, Alison; Wellman, Henry M.

    2012-01-01

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

  9. New Approaches to Establish Genetic Causality

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Elizabeth M.; George, Alfred L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yopchick, Jennelle E; Kim, Nancy S

    2012-02-01

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

  11. Doubly robust estimation in missing data and causal inference models.

    PubMed

    Bang, Heejung; Robins, James M

    2005-12-01

    The goal of this article is to construct doubly robust (DR) estimators in ignorable missing data and causal inference models. In a missing data model, an estimator is DR if it remains consistent when either (but not necessarily both) a model for the missingness mechanism or a model for the distribution of the complete data is correctly specified. Because with observational data one can never be sure that either a missingness model or a complete data model is correct, perhaps the best that can be hoped for is to find a DR estimator. DR estimators, in contrast to standard likelihood-based or (nonaugmented) inverse probability-weighted estimators, give the analyst two chances, instead of only one, to make a valid inference. In a causal inference model, an estimator is DR if it remains consistent when either a model for the treatment assignment mechanism or a model for the distribution of the counterfactual data is correctly specified. Because with observational data one can never be sure that a model for the treatment assignment mechanism or a model for the counterfactual data is correct, inference based on DR estimators should improve upon previous approaches. Indeed, we present the results of simulation studies which demonstrate that the finite sample performance of DR estimators is as impressive as theory would predict. The proposed method is applied to a cardiovascular clinical trial.

  12. Causal structure and hierarchies of models.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Kevin D

    2012-12-01

    Economics prefers complete explanations: general over partial equilibrium, microfoundational over aggregate. Similarly, probabilistic accounts of causation frequently prefer greater detail to less as in typical resolutions of Simpson's paradox. Strategies of causal refinement equally aim to distinguish direct from indirect causes. Yet, there are countervailing practices in economics. Representative-agent models aim to capture economic motivation but not to reduce the level of aggregation. Small structural vector-autoregression and dynamic stochastic general-equilibrium models are practically preferred to larger ones. The distinction between exogenous and endogenous variables suggests partitioning the world into distinct subsystems. The tension in these practices is addressed within a structural account of causation inspired by the work of Herbert Simon's, which defines cause with reference to complete systems adapted to deal with incomplete systems and piecemeal evidence. The focus is on understanding the constraints that a structural account of causation places on the freedom to model complex or lower-order systems as simpler or higher-order systems and on to what degree piecemeal evidence can be incorporated into a structural account.

  13. 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.

  14. Causal Estimation using Semiparametric Transformation Models under Prevalent Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yu-Jen; Wang, Mei-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Summary This paper develops methods and inference for causal estimation in semiparametric transformation models for prevalent survival data. Through estimation of the transformation models and covariate distribution, we propose analytical procedures to estimate the causal survival function. As the data are observational, the unobserved potential outcome (survival time) may be associated with the treatment assignment, and therefore there may exist a systematic imbalance between the data observed from each treatment arm. Further, due to prevalent sampling, subjects are observed only if they have not experienced the failure event when data collection began, causing the prevalent sampling bias. We propose a unified approach which simultaneously corrects the bias from the prevalent sampling and balances the systematic differences from the observational data. We illustrate in the simulation study that standard analysis without proper adjustment would result in biased causal inference. Large sample properties of the proposed estimation procedures are established by techniques of empirical processes and examined by simulation studies. The proposed methods are applied to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) and Medicare linked data for women diagnosed with breast cancer. PMID:25715045

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Demographics, Causality, Work Salience, and the Career Maturity of African-American Students: A Causal Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naidoo, Anthony V.; Bowman, Sharon L.; Gerstein, Lawrence H.

    1998-01-01

    A model proposing that causality and work salience moderate the influence of gender, educational level, and socioeconomic status on career maturity was tested with 288 African-American students. Work salience had the strongest direct effect on career maturity. For these students home/family had higher salience than did work. (SK)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Smithson, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shou, Yiyun; Smithson, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Loughnan, Steve; Bratanova, Boyka; Kuppens, Peter

    2013-10-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Nonlinear Dynamic Causal Models for fMRI

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Formalizing the Role of Agent-Based Modeling in Causal Inference and Epidemiology

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Brandon D. L.; Galea, Sandro

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25480821

  16. Dynamic causal modelling of brain-behaviour relationships.

    PubMed

    Rigoux, L; Daunizeau, J

    2015-08-15

    In this work, we expose a mathematical treatment of brain-behaviour relationships, which we coin behavioural Dynamic Causal Modelling or bDCM. This approach aims at decomposing the brain's transformation of stimuli into behavioural outcomes, in terms of the relative contribution of brain regions and their connections. In brief, bDCM places the brain at the interplay between stimulus and behaviour: behavioural outcomes arise from coordinated activity in (hidden) neural networks, whose dynamics are driven by experimental inputs. Estimating neural parameters that control network connectivity and plasticity effectively performs a neurobiologically-constrained approximation to the brain's input-outcome transform. In other words, neuroimaging data essentially serves to enforce the realism of bDCM's decomposition of input-output relationships. In addition, post-hoc artificial lesions analyses allow us to predict induced behavioural deficits and quantify the importance of network features for funnelling input-output relationships. This is important, because this enables one to bridge the gap with neuropsychological studies of brain-damaged patients. We demonstrate the face validity of the approach using Monte-Carlo simulations, and its predictive validity using empirical fMRI/behavioural data from an inhibitory control task. Lastly, we discuss promising applications of this work, including the assessment of functional degeneracy (in the healthy brain) and the prediction of functional recovery after lesions (in neurological patients).

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Measured, modeled, and causal conceptions of fitness

    PubMed Central

    Abrams, Marshall

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Dynamical Causal Modeling from a Quantum Dynamical Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demiralp, Emre; Demiralp, Metin

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Acquisition of causal models for local distributions in Bayesian networks.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Yang; Truong, Minh

    2014-09-01

    To specify a Bayesian network, a local distribution in the form of a conditional probability table, often of an effect conditioned on its n causes, needs to be acquired, one for each non-root node. Since the number of parameters to be assessed is generally exponential in n , improving the efficiency is an important concern in knowledge engineering. Non-impeding noisy-AND (NIN-AND) tree causal models reduce the number of parameters to being linear in n , while explicitly expressing both reinforcing and undermining interactions among causes. The key challenge in NIN-AND tree modeling is the acquisition of the NIN-AND tree structure. In this paper, we formulate a concise structure representation and an expressive causal interaction function of NIN-AND trees. Building on these representations, we propose two structural acquisition methods, which are applicable to both elicitation-based and machine learning-based acquisitions. Their accuracy is demonstrated through experimental evaluations.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Nikolic, Milena; Lagnado, David A

    2015-11-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Transfer effects between moral dilemmas: a causal model theory.

    PubMed

    Wiegmann, Alex; Waldmann, Michael R

    2014-04-01

    Evaluations of analogous situations are an important source for our moral intuitions. A puzzling recent set of findings in experiments exploring transfer effects between intuitions about moral dilemmas has demonstrated a striking asymmetry. Transfer often occurred with a specific ordering of moral dilemmas, but not when the sequence was reversed. In this article we present a new theory of transfer between moral intuitions that focuses on two components of moral dilemmas, namely their causal structure and their default evaluations. According to this theory, transfer effects are expected when the causal models underlying the considered dilemmas allow for a mapping of the highlighted aspect of the first scenario onto the causal structure of the second dilemma, and when the default evaluations of the two dilemmas substantially differ. The theory's key predictions for the occurrence and the direction of transfer effects between two moral dilemmas are tested in five experiments with various variants of moral dilemmas from different domains. A sixth experiment tests the predictions of the theory for how the target action in the moral dilemmas is represented.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geuther, Steven C.; Shih, Ann T.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Belausteguigoitia, Juan Carlos

    2004-02-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallini, Joan

    1982-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohan, Bernard; Beckett, Gulbahar Huxur

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besson, Ugo

    2010-03-01

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

  11. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sloman, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Learning about causes from people and about people as causes: probabilistic models and social causal reasoning.

    PubMed

    Buchsbaum, Daphna; Seiver, Elizabeth; Bridgers, Sophie; Gopnik, Alison

    2012-01-01

    A major challenge children face is uncovering the causal structure of the world around them. Previous research on children's causal inference has demonstrated their ability to learn about causal relationships in the physical environment using probabilistic evidence. However, children must also learn about causal relationships in the social environment, including discovering the causes of other people's behavior, and understanding the causal relationships between others' goal-directed actions and the outcomes of those actions. In this chapter, we argue that social reasoning and causal reasoning are deeply linked, both in the real world and in children's minds. Children use both types of information together and in fact reason about both physical and social causation in fundamentally similar ways. We suggest that children jointly construct and update causal theories about their social and physical environment and that this process is best captured by probabilistic models of cognition. We first present studies showing that adults are able to jointly infer causal structure and human action structure from videos of unsegmented human motion. Next, we describe how children use social information to make inferences about physical causes. We show that the pedagogical nature of a demonstrator influences children's choices of which actions to imitate from within a causal sequence and that this social information interacts with statistical causal evidence. We then discuss how children combine evidence from an informant's testimony and expressed confidence with evidence from their own causal observations to infer the efficacy of different potential causes. We also discuss how children use these same causal observations to make inferences about the knowledge state of the social informant. Finally, we suggest that psychological causation and attribution are part of the same causal system as physical causation. We present evidence that just as children use covariation between

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Gradient-based MCMC samplers for dynamic causal modelling.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

    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.

  18. Gradient-based MCMC samplers for dynamic causal modelling.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerrard, Sue; Rugg, Gordon

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rastegar, Mina

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Autoregressive models for gene regulatory network inference: sparsity, stability and causality issues.

    PubMed

    Michailidis, George; d'Alché-Buc, Florence

    2013-12-01

    Reconstructing gene regulatory networks from high-throughput measurements represents a key problem in functional genomics. It also represents a canonical learning problem and thus has attracted a lot of attention in both the informatics and the statistical learning literature. Numerous approaches have been proposed, ranging from simple clustering to rather involved dynamic Bayesian network modeling, as well as hybrid ones that combine a number of modeling steps, such as employing ordinary differential equations coupled with genome annotation. These approaches are tailored to the type of data being employed. Available data sources include static steady state data and time course data obtained either for wild type phenotypes or from perturbation experiments. This review focuses on the class of autoregressive models using time course data for inferring gene regulatory networks. The central themes of sparsity, stability and causality are discussed as well as the ability to integrate prior knowledge for successful use of these models for the learning task at hand. PMID:24176667

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. What Would It Take to Change an Inference? Using Rubin's Causal Model to Interpret the Robustness of Causal Inferences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frank, Kenneth A.; Maroulis, Spiro J.; Duong, Minh Q.; Kelcey, Benjamin M.

    2013-01-01

    We contribute to debate about causal inferences in educational research in two ways. First, we quantify how much bias there must be in an estimate to invalidate an inference. Second, we utilize Rubin's causal model to interpret the bias necessary to invalidate an inference in terms of sample replacement. We apply our analysis to an inference…

  11. Investigating causality between interacting brain areas with multivariate autoregressive models of MEG sensor data.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

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

  17. Three Cs in measurement models: causal indicators, composite indicators, and covariates.

    PubMed

    Bollen, Kenneth A; Bauldry, Shawn

    2011-09-01

    In the last 2 decades attention to causal (and formative) indicators has grown. Accompanying this growth has been the belief that one can classify indicators into 2 categories: effect (reflective) indicators and causal (formative) indicators. We argue that the dichotomous view is too simple. Instead, there are effect indicators and 3 types of variables on which a latent variable depends: causal indicators, composite (formative) indicators, and covariates (the "Three Cs"). Causal indicators have conceptual unity, and their effects on latent variables are structural. Covariates are not concept measures, but are variables to control to avoid bias in estimating the relations between measures and latent variables. Composite (formative) indicators form exact linear combinations of variables that need not share a concept. Their coefficients are weights rather than structural effects, and composites are a matter of convenience. The failure to distinguish the Three Cs has led to confusion and questions, such as, Are causal and formative indicators different names for the same indicator type? Should an equation with causal or formative indicators have an error term? Are the coefficients of causal indicators less stable than effect indicators? Distinguishing between causal and composite indicators and covariates goes a long way toward eliminating this confusion. We emphasize the key role that subject matter expertise plays in making these distinctions. We provide new guidelines for working with these variable types, including identification of models, scaling latent variables, parameter estimation, and validity assessment. A running empirical example on self-perceived health illustrates our major points.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Guarnera, Enrico; Berezovsky, Igor N

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Guarnera, Enrico; Berezovsky, Igor N

    2016-03-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Expectations and interpretations during causal learning.

    PubMed

    Luhmann, Christian C; Ahn, Woo-Kyoung

    2011-05-01

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

  6. Expectations and Interpretations During Causal Learning

    PubMed Central

    Luhmann, Christian C.; Ahn, Woo-kyoung

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besson, Ugo

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  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 findings support…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gobert, Janice D.

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Health and Wealth of Elderly Couples: Causality Tests Using Dynamic Panel Data Models*

    PubMed Central

    Michaud, Pierre-Carl; van Soest, Arthur

    2010-01-01

    A positive relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and health, the “health-wealth gradient”, is repeatedly found in many industrialized countries. This study analyzes competing explanations for this gradient: causal effects from health to wealth (health causation) and causal effects from wealth to health (wealth or social causation). Using six biennial waves of couples aged 51–61 in 1992 from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study, we test for causality in panel data models incorporating unobserved heterogeneity and a lag structure supported by specification tests. In contrast to tests relying on models with only first order lags or without unobserved heterogeneity, these tests provide no evidence of causal wealth health effects. On the other hand, we find strong evidence of causal effects from both spouses’ health on household wealth. We also find an effect of the husband’s health on the wife’s mental health, but no other effects from one spouse’s health to health of the other spouse. PMID:18513809

  19. Detecting causality in complex ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-26

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Active inference and oculomotor pursuit: The dynamic causal modelling of eye movements

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Rick A.; Aponte, Eduardo; Marshall, Louise; Friston, Karl J.

    2015-01-01

    Background This paper introduces a new paradigm that allows one to quantify the Bayesian beliefs evidenced by subjects during oculomotor pursuit. Subjects’ eye tracking responses to a partially occluded sinusoidal target were recorded non-invasively and averaged. These response averages were then analysed using dynamic causal modelling (DCM). In DCM, observed responses are modelled using biologically plausible generative or forward models – usually biophysical models of neuronal activity. New method Our key innovation is to use a generative model based on a normative (Bayes-optimal) model of active inference to model oculomotor pursuit in terms of subjects’ beliefs about how visual targets move and how their oculomotor system responds. Our aim here is to establish the face validity of the approach, by manipulating the content and precision of sensory information – and examining the ensuing changes in the subjects’ implicit beliefs. These beliefs are inferred from their eye movements using the normative model. Results We show that on average, subjects respond to an increase in the ‘noise’ of target motion by increasing sensory precision in their models of the target trajectory. In other words, they attend more to the sensory attributes of a noisier stimulus. Conversely, subjects only change kinetic parameters in their model but not precision, in response to increased target speed. Conclusions Using this technique one can estimate the precisions of subjects’ hierarchical Bayesian beliefs about target motion. We hope to apply this paradigm to subjects with schizophrenia, whose pursuit abnormalities may result from the abnormal encoding of precision. PMID:25583383

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  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. PMID:25955497

  5. Physical integration: a causal account for consciousness.

    PubMed

    Manzotti, Riccardo; Chella, Antonio

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morabia, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Morabia, Alfredo

    2013-11-15

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Theory of Mind and Social Behavior: Causal Models Tested in a Longitudinal Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Jennifer M.; Astington, Janet Wilde

    2000-01-01

    Tested competing causal models concerning the relationship between children's social behaviors and theory of mind in 3- and 4-year-olds tested 3 times over 7 months. Found that false belief performance predicted joint planning and role assignment during pretend play, after taking into account initial performance on joint planning and role…

  13. 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…

  14. A Causal Model for the Development of Scientific Reasoning in Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuessy, Carol L.

    A model for the development of scientific reasoning in adolescents was formulated largely upon the basis of Piagetian theory. Included as potential determinants of scientific reasoning were: experience; age; locus of control; field dependence-independence (FID); rigidity/flexibility; intelligence quotient (IQ); and sex. Causal relationships…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-15

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Bayesian modeling for linking causally related observations in chest X-ray reports.

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, W. W.; Haug, P. J.

    1998-01-01

    Our natural language understanding system outputs a list of diseases, findings, and appliances found in a chest x-ray report. The system described in this paper links those diseases and findings that are causally related. Using Bayesian networks to model the conceptual and diagnostic information found in a chest x-ray we are able to infer more specific information about the findings that are linked to diseases. PMID:9929287

  1. Causal effect models for realistic individualized treatment and intention to treat rules.

    PubMed

    van der Laan, Mark J; Petersen, Maya L

    2007-01-01

    Marginal structural models (MSM) are an important class of models in causal inference. Given a longitudinal data structure observed on a sample of n independent and identically distributed experimental units, MSM model the counterfactual outcome distribution corresponding with a static treatment intervention, conditional on user-supplied baseline covariates. Identification of a static treatment regimen-specific outcome distribution based on observational data requires, beyond the standard sequential randomization assumption, the assumption that each experimental unit has positive probability of following the static treatment regimen. The latter assumption is called the experimental treatment assignment (ETA) assumption, and is parameter-specific. In many studies the ETA is violated because some of the static treatment interventions to be compared cannot be followed by all experimental units, due either to baseline characteristics or to the occurrence of certain events over time. For example, the development of adverse effects or contraindications can force a subject to stop an assigned treatment regimen.In this article we propose causal effect models for a user-supplied set of realistic individualized treatment rules. Realistic individualized treatment rules are defined as treatment rules which always map into the set of possible treatment options. Thus, causal effect models for realistic treatment rules do not rely on the ETA assumption and are fully identifiable from the data. Further, these models can be chosen to generalize marginal structural models for static treatment interventions. The estimating function methodology of Robins and Rotnitzky (1992) (analogue to its application in Murphy, et. al. (2001) for a single treatment rule) provides us with the corresponding locally efficient double robust inverse probability of treatment weighted estimator.In addition, we define causal effect models for "intention-to-treat" regimens. The proposed intention

  2. Causal Responsibility and Counterfactuals

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:22623666

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Hindsight bias doesn't always come easy: causal models, cognitive effort, and creeping determinism.

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

    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 resources to make sense of an outcome. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants were asked to read a scenario while they were under either low or high processing load. Participants who had the cognitive resources to make sense of the outcome perceived it as more probable and necessary than did participants under high processing load or participants who did not receive outcome information. Experiment 3 was designed to separate 2 postulated subprocesses and showed that the attenuating effect of processing load on hindsight bias is not due to a disruption of the retrieval of potential causal antecedents but to a disruption of their evaluation. Together the 3 experiments show that the processes underlying creeping determinism are effortful, and they highlight the crucial role of causal reasoning in the perception of past events.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. Neural pathways in processing of sexual arousal: a dynamic causal modeling study.

    PubMed

    Seok, J-W; Park, M-S; Sohn, J-H

    2016-09-01

    Three decades of research have investigated brain processing of visual sexual stimuli with neuroimaging methods. These researchers have found that sexual arousal stimuli elicit activity in a broad neural network of cortical and subcortical brain areas that are known to be associated with cognitive, emotional, motivational and physiological components. However, it is not completely understood how these neural systems integrate and modulated incoming information. Therefore, we identify cerebral areas whose activations were correlated with sexual arousal using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and used the dynamic causal modeling method for searching the effective connectivity about the sexual arousal processing network. Thirteen heterosexual males were scanned while they passively viewed alternating short trials of erotic and neutral pictures on a monitor. We created a subset of seven models based on our results and previous studies and selected a dominant connectivity model. Consequently, we suggest a dynamic causal model of the brain processes mediating the cognitive, emotional, motivational and physiological factors of human male sexual arousal. These findings are significant implications for the neuropsychology of male sexuality. PMID:27278664

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Social Structure Shapes Cultural Stereotypes and Emotions: A Causal Test of the Stereotype Content Model

    PubMed Central

    Caprariello, Peter A.; Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Fiske, Susan T.

    2013-01-01

    The stereotype content model (SCM) posits that social structure predicts specific cultural stereotypes and associated emotional prejudices. No prior evidence at a societal level has manipulated both structural predictors and measured both stereotypes and prejudices. In the present study, participants (n = 120) responded to an immigration scenario depicting a high- or low-status group, competitive or not competitive, and rated their likely stereotype (on warmth and competence) and elicited emotional prejudices (admiration, contempt, envy, and pity). Seven of eight specific predictions are fully confirmed, supporting the SCM's predicted causality for social structural effects on cultural stereotypes and emotional prejudices. PMID:24285928

  19. Granger causality revisited

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. PMID:2346105

  6. Effective coping with stroke disability in a community setting: the development of a causal model.

    PubMed

    Boynton De Sepulveda, L I; Chang, B

    1994-08-01

    A proposed causal model based upon Lazarus' theory of psychological stress and coping was tested in a sample of 75 persons disabled by stroke. Coping constraints such as demographic and stroke factors were hypothesized to affect resources (perceived availability of social support, perceived effectiveness of social support, social contact), stress appraisal, coping behavior and coping effectiveness. Although the model did not fit the data, several path coefficients within the model were statistically significant. Functional status was positively related to resources and negatively related to the stressor. Resources were negatively related to the stressor and positively related to coping effectiveness. It was noted that the buffering effect of social support was related to the level of disability of the stroke person. Persons with functional disability following stroke also had decreased social contact, perceived less availability of social resources and increased threat to physical well-being, and had reduced coping effectiveness.

  7. 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.

  8. Causality analysis of groundwater dynamics based on a Vector Autoregressive model in the semi-arid basin of Gundal (South India)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangiarotti, S.; Sekhar, M.; Berthon, L.; Javeed, Y.; Mazzega, P.

    2012-08-01

    Causal relationships existing between observed levels of groundwater in a semi-arid sub-basin of the Kabini River basin (Karnataka state, India) are investigated in this study. A Vector Auto Regressive model is used for this purpose. Its structure is built on an upstream/downstream interaction network based on observed hydro-physical properties. Exogenous climatic forcing is used as an input based on cumulated rainfall departure. Optimal models are obtained thanks to a trial approach and are used as a proxy of the dynamics to derive causal networks. It appears to be an interesting tool for analysing the causal relationships existing inside the basin. The causal network reveals 3 main regions: the Northeastern part of the Gundal basin is closely coupled to the outlet dynamics. The Northwestern part is mainly controlled by the climatic forcing and only marginally linked to the outlet dynamic. Finally, the upper part of the basin plays as a forcing rather than a coupling with the lower part of the basin allowing for a separate analysis of this local behaviour. The analysis also reveals differential time scales at work inside the basin when comparing upstream oriented with downstream oriented causalities. In the upper part of the basin, time delays are close to 2 months in the upward direction and lower than 1 month in the downward direction. These time scales are likely to be good indicators of the hydraulic response time of the basin which is a parameter usually difficult to estimate practically. This suggests that, at the sub-basin scale, intra-annual time scales would be more relevant scales for analysing or modelling tropical basin dynamics in hard rock (granitic and gneissic) aquifers ubiquitous in south India.

  9. Embeddings of Causal Sets

    SciTech Connect

    Reid, David D.

    2009-07-06

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

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

    PubMed

    Skumanich, S A; Kintsfather, D P

    1996-08-01

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

  11. Academic achievement among undergraduate nursing students: the development and test of a causal model.

    PubMed

    Chacko, S B; Huba, M E

    1991-06-01

    This article tested relationships among variables depicted in a causal learning model of academic achievement developed by the authors. The Learning and Study Skills (LASSI), Life Experience Survey (LES), and ASSET test were administered to 134 first-semester nursing students at a 2-year community college. The path analysis supported 11 of the 14 pathways tested. Language ability, reading ability, and self-efficacy were found to be direct effects on academic achievement. When self-efficacy was the criterion, students' language ability, math ability, motivation, and concentration and preparation for class were direct effects. Life stress, motivation, and self-monitoring/use of study strategies were found to be direct effects on students' concentration and preparation for class. In turn, when the ability to self-monitor and use study strategies was the criterion, motivation was the only direct effect. Overall, the model explained 46% of the variance in academic achievement.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Dynamic Causal Models and Physiological Inference: A Validation Study Using Isoflurane Anaesthesia in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Rosalyn J.; Jung, Fabienne; Kumagai, Tetsuya; Endepols, Heike; Graf, Rudolf; Dolan, Raymond J.; Friston, Karl J.; Stephan, Klaas E.; Tittgemeyer, Marc

    2011-01-01

    Generative models of neuroimaging and electrophysiological data present new opportunities for accessing hidden or latent brain states. Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) uses Bayesian model inversion and selection to infer the synaptic mechanisms underlying empirically observed brain responses. DCM for electrophysiological data, in particular, aims to estimate the relative strength of synaptic transmission at different cell types and via specific neurotransmitters. Here, we report a DCM validation study concerning inference on excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission, using different doses of a volatile anaesthetic agent (isoflurane) to parametrically modify excitatory and inhibitory synaptic processing while recording local field potentials (LFPs) from primary auditory cortex (A1) and the posterior auditory field (PAF) in the auditory belt region in rodents. We test whether DCM can infer, from the LFP measurements, the expected drug-induced changes in synaptic transmission mediated via fast ionotropic receptors; i.e., excitatory (glutamatergic) AMPA and inhibitory GABAA receptors. Cross- and auto-spectra from the two regions were used to optimise three DCMs based on biologically plausible neural mass models and specific network architectures. Consistent with known extrinsic connectivity patterns in sensory hierarchies, we found that a model comprising forward connections from A1 to PAF and backward connections from PAF to A1 outperformed a model with forward connections from PAF to A1 and backward connections from A1 to PAF and a model with reciprocal lateral connections. The parameter estimates from the most plausible model indicated that the amplitude of fast glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) behaved as predicted by previous neurophysiological studies. Specifically, with increasing levels of anaesthesia, glutamatergic EPSPs decreased linearly, whereas fast GABAergic IPSPs displayed a

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. Stochastic Dynamic Causal Modeling of Working Memory Connections in Cocaine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Liangsuo; Steinberg, Joel L.; Hasan, Khader M.; Narayana, Ponnada A.; Kramer, Larry A.; Moeller, F. Gerard

    2015-01-01

    Although reduced working memory brain activation has been reported in several brain regions of cocaine dependent subjects compared to controls, very little is known about whether there is altered connectivity of working memory pathways in cocaine dependence. This study addresses this issue by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based stochastic dynamic causal model (DCM) analysis to study the effective connectivity of 19 cocaine-dependent subjects and 14 healthy controls while performing a working memory task. Stochastic DCM is an advanced method that has recently been implemented in SPM8 that can obtain improved estimates, relative to deterministic DCM, of hidden neuronal causes prior to convolution with the hemodynamic response. Thus, stochastic DCM may be less influenced by the confounding effects of variations in BOLD response caused by disease or drugs. Based on the significant regional activation common to both groups, and consistent with previous working memory activation studies, seven regions of interest were chosen as nodes for DCM analyses. Bayesian family level inference, Bayesian model selection analyses, and Bayesian model averaging (BMA) were conducted. BMA showed that the cocaine-dependent subjects had large differences compared to the control subjects in the strengths of prefrontal-striatal modulatory (B matrix) DCM parameters. These findings are consistent with altered cortical-striatal networks that may be related to reduced dopamine function in cocaine dependence. As far as we are aware, this is the first between-group DCM study using stochastic methodology. PMID:23151990

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.…

  13. Photodetection and causality I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Haan, M.

    1985-09-01

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

  14. Human causal discovery from observational data.

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

  17. Infertile Individuals’ Marital Relationship Status, Happiness, and Mental Health: A Causal Model

    PubMed Central

    Ahmadi Forooshany, Seyed Habiballah; Yazdkhasti, Fariba; Safari Hajataghaie, Saiede; Nasr Esfahani, Mohammad Hossein

    2014-01-01

    Background This study examined the causal model of relation between marital relation- ship status, happiness, and mental health in infertile individuals. Materials and Methods In this descriptive study, 155 subjects (men: 52 and women: 78), who had been visited in one of the infertility Centers, voluntarily participated in a self-evaluation. Golombok Rust Inventory of Marital Status, Oxford Happiness Ques- tionnaire, and General Health Questionnaire were used as instruments of the study. Data was analyzed by SPSS17 and Amos 5 software using descriptive statistics, independent sample t test, and path analysis. Results Disregarding the gender factor, marital relationship status was directly related to happiness (p<0.05) and happiness was directly related to mental health, (p<0.05). Also, indirect relation between marital relationship status and mental health was significant (p<0.05). These results were confirmed in women participants but in men participants only the direct relation between happiness and mental health was significant (p<0.05). Conclusion Based on goodness of model fit in fitness indexes, happiness had a mediator role in relation between marital relationship status and mental health in infertile individu- als disregarding the gender factor. Also, considering the gender factor, only in infertile women, marital relationship status can directly and indirectly affect happiness and mental health. PMID:25379161

  18. Warp drive and causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Everett, Allen E.

    1996-06-01

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

  19. Circular causality.

    PubMed

    Thomas, R

    2006-07-01

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

  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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei-Chih; Chang, Kaowen

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Earle, Gregory; Hintz, William

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Earle, Gregory; Hintz, William

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Redundant variables and Granger causality.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Towards a causal model of childbearing and abortion attitudes in contemporary Japan.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, N; Hodge, R W

    1983-01-01

    Described in this paper is the rationale and thinking behind the development of a causal model of childbearing and abortion attitudes in contemporary Japan. This effort represents one of the 1st attempts to build a multiple equation, micro-level model of fertility and fertility related behavior and attitudes in Japan. The results are almost wholely consistent with received demographic theory. Japan has now reached the last stage of her demographic transition and the results are consistent with the view that social and economic differentials in fertility are gradually eroded over the course of the transition. There are still statistically significant residues of these differentials in contemporary Japan, but they are at best modest in scope. Fertility in modern Japan is largely a matter of age and personal desires. Even abortion, which was so instrumental in moving Japan through the middle stages of her demographic transition in the immediate postwar period, exhibits only weak relationships with the social and economic position of women; attitudes about abortion are even more weakly linked to the social order. In sum, as of 1981, the process of family formation appears to have evolved to the point where it is largely homogeneous with respect to social and economic status. The differentials which remain are the expected ones, but their magnitude is not overwhelming and the force of social location is at most only a modest constraint on fertility behavior and fertility related beliefs and attitudes. This is the exact scenario one expects to find in a nation which is at the final stage of its demographic transition. The present analysis is current and cross-sectional. It is largely exploratory and as such, represents one of the very 1st efforts to develop a structural equation model of individual fertility behavior in Japan. The findings are based on the analysis of the data gathered in Japan in connection with ESCAP Study on the Relationship Between Fertility Behavior

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Experimental test of nonlocal causality.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Experimental test of nonlocal causality.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:26038158

  3. Learning a theory of causality.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Multivariate dynamical systems-based estimation of causal brain interactions in fMRI: Group-level validation using benchmark data, neurophysiological models and human connectome project data

    PubMed Central

    Ryali, Srikanth; Chen, Tianwen; Supekar, Kaustubh; Tu, Tao; Kochlka, John; Cai, Weidong; Menon, Vinod

    2016-01-01

    Background Causal estimation methods are increasingly being used to investigate functional brain networks in fMRI, but there are continuing concerns about the validity of these methods. New Method Multivariate Dynamical Systems (MDS) is a state-space method for estimating dynamic causal interactions in fMRI data. Here we validate MDS using benchmark simulations as well as simulations from a more realistic stochastic neurophysiological model. Finally, we applied MDS to investigate dynamic casual interactions in a fronto-cingulate-parietal control network using Human Connectome Project (HCP) data acquired during performance of a working memory task. Crucially, since the ground truth in experimental data is unknown, we conducted novel stability analysis to determine robust causal interactions within this network. Results MDS accurately recovered dynamic causal interactions with an area under receiver operating characteristic (AUC) above 0.7 for benchmark datasets and AUC above 0.9 for datasets generated using the neurophysiological model. In experimental fMRI data, bootstrap procedures revealed a stable pattern of causal influences from the anterior insula to other nodes of the fronto-cingulate-parietal network. Comparison with Existing Methods MDS is effective in estimating dynamic causal interactions in both the benchmark and neurophysiological model based datasets in terms of AUC, sensitivity and false positive rates. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that MDS can accurately estimate causal interactions in fMRI data. Neurophysiological models and stability analysis provide a general framework for validating computational methods designed to estimate causal interactions in fMRI. The right anterior insula functions as a causal hub during working memory. PMID:27015792

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  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. Causal premise semantics.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Stefan

    2013-08-01

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

  10. What Is Going on Inside the Arrows? Discovering the Hidden Springs in Causal Models

    PubMed Central

    Murray-Watters, Alexander; Glymour, Clark

    2016-01-01

    Using Gebharter's (2014) representation, we consider aspects of the problem of discovering the structure of unmeasured sub-mechanisms when the variables in those sub-mechanisms have not been measured. Exploiting an early insight of Sober's (1998), we provide a correct algorithm for identifying latent, endogenous structure—sub-mechanisms—for a restricted class of structures. The algorithm can be merged with other methods for discovering causal relations among unmeasured variables, and feedback relations between measured variables and unobserved causes can sometimes be learned. PMID:27313331

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Scalar Fields via Causal Tapestries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulis, William

    2012-02-01

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

  16. Causal Premise Semantics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufmann, Stefan

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Depression and Distortion in the Attribution of Causality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rizley, Ross

    1978-01-01

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

  2. Automatic search for fMRI connectivity mapping: an alternative to Granger causality testing using formal equivalences among SEM path modeling, VAR, and unified SEM.

    PubMed

    Gates, Kathleen M; Molenaar, Peter C M; Hillary, Frank G; Ram, Nilam; Rovine, Michael J

    2010-04-15

    Modeling the relationships among brain regions of interest (ROIs) carries unique potential to explicate how the brain orchestrates information processing. However, hurdles arise when using functional MRI data. Variation in ROI activity contains sequential dependencies and shared influences on synchronized activation. Consequently, both lagged and contemporaneous relationships must be considered for unbiased statistical parameter estimation. Identifying these relationships using a data-driven approach could guide theory-building regarding integrated processing. The present paper demonstrates how the unified SEM attends to both lagged and contemporaneous influences on ROI activity. Additionally, this paper offers an approach akin to Granger causality testing, Lagrange multiplier testing, for statistically identifying directional influence among ROIs and employs this approach using an automatic search procedure to arrive at the optimal model. Rationale for this equivalence is offered by explicating the formal relationships among path modeling, vector autoregression, and unified SEM. When applied to simulated data, biases in estimates which do not consider both lagged and contemporaneous paths become apparent. Finally, the use of unified SEM with the automatic search procedure is applied to an empirical data example.

  3. Selection Mechanisms Underlying High Impact Biomedical Research - A Qualitative Analysis and Causal Model

    PubMed Central

    Zelko, Hilary; Zammar, Guilherme Roberto; Bonilauri Ferreira, Ana Paula; Phadtare, Amruta; Shah, Jatin; Pietrobon, Ricardo

    2010-01-01

    Background Although scientific innovation has been a long-standing topic of interest for historians, philosophers and cognitive scientists, few studies in biomedical research have examined from researchers' perspectives how high impact publications are developed and why they are consistently produced by a small group of researchers. Our objective was therefore to interview a group of researchers with a track record of high impact publications to explore what mechanism they believe contribute to the generation of high impact publications. Methodology/Principal Findings Researchers were located in universities all over the globe and interviews were conducted by phone. All interviews were transcribed using standard qualitative methods. A Grounded Theory approach was used to code each transcript, later aggregating concept and categories into overarching explanation model. The model was then translated into a System Dynamics mathematical model to represent its structure and behavior. Five emerging themes were found in our study. First, researchers used heuristics or rules of thumb that came naturally to them. Second, these heuristics were reinforced by positive feedback from their peers and mentors. Third, good communication skills allowed researchers to provide feedback to their peers, thus closing a positive feedback loop. Fourth, researchers exhibited a number of psychological attributes such as curiosity or open-mindedness that constantly motivated them, even when faced with discouraging situations. Fifth, the system is dominated by randomness and serendipity and is far from a linear and predictable environment. Some researchers, however, took advantage of this randomness by incorporating mechanisms that would allow them to benefit from random findings. The aggregation of these themes into a policy model represented the overall expected behavior of publications and their impact achieved by high impact researchers. Conclusions The proposed selection mechanism

  4. Causality in epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Kamangar, Farin

    2012-10-01

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

  5. Behaviour Modelling, Instruction and Exploration Training Approaches in Group and Individual Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Truman, G. E.

    2009-01-01

    Behaviour modelling has been associated with higher learning outcomes compared to other training approaches. These cumulative research findings create imperative to examine underlying causal mechanisms or contingency factors that may promote behaviour modelling's advantages even further. We propose group-based learning as one contingency factor…

  6. Expectations and Interpretations during Causal Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luhmann, Christian C.; Ahn, Woo-kyoung

    2011-01-01

    In existing models of causal induction, 4 types of covariation information (i.e., presence/absence of an event followed by presence/absence of another event) always exert identical influences on causal strength judgments (e.g., joint presence of events always suggests a generative causal relationship). In contrast, we suggest that, due to…

  7. 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.…

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  10. Enhancing stakeholder participation in river basin management using mental mapping and causality models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haase, D.

    2009-04-01

    Participation processes play a crucial role in implementing adaptive management in river basins. A range of different participative methods is being applied, however, little is known on their effectiveness in addressing the specific question or policy process at stake and their performance in different socio-economic and cultural settings. To shed light on the role of cultural settings on the outcomes of a participative process we carried out a comparative study of participation processes using group model building (GMB) in a European, a Central Asian, and an African river basin. We use an analytical framework which covers the goals, the role of science and stakeholders, the initiation and methods of the processes framed by very different cultural, socio-economic and biophysical conditions. Across all three basins, the GMB processes produced a shared understanding among all participants of the major water management issues in the respective river basin and common approaches to address them. The "ownership of the ideas" by the stakeholders, i.e. the topic to be addressed in a GMB process, is important for their willingness to contribute to such a participatory process. Differences, however, exist in so far that cultural and contextual constraints of the basin drive the way the GMB processes have been designed and how their results contribute to policy development.

  11. Modelling approaches in biomechanics.

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, R McN

    2003-01-01

    Conceptual, physical and mathematical models have all proved useful in biomechanics. Conceptual models, which have been used only occasionally, clarify a point without having to be constructed physically or analysed mathematically. Some physical models are designed to demonstrate a proposed mechanism, for example the folding mechanisms of insect wings. Others have been used to check the conclusions of mathematical modelling. However, others facilitate observations that would be difficult to make on real organisms, for example on the flow of air around the wings of small insects. Mathematical models have been used more often than physical ones. Some of them are predictive, designed for example to calculate the effects of anatomical changes on jumping performance, or the pattern of flow in a 3D assembly of semicircular canals. Others seek an optimum, for example the best possible technique for a high jump. A few have been used in inverse optimization studies, which search for variables that are optimized by observed patterns of behaviour. Mathematical models range from the extreme simplicity of some models of walking and running, to the complexity of models that represent numerous body segments and muscles, or elaborate bone shapes. The simpler the model, the clearer it is which of its features is essential to the calculated effect. PMID:14561333

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Narrative organization skills in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and language impairment: application of the causal network model.

    PubMed

    Luo, Fei; Timler, Geralyn R

    2008-01-01

    Studies suggest that the oral narratives of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are less organized than those of typically developing peers. Many studies, however, do not account for children's language abilities. Because language impairment (LI) is a frequent comorbid condition in children with ADHD, this exploratory study investigated language abilities and narrative organization skills in children with and without ADHD. Narratives were elicited using the picture-sequence task and the single-picture task from the Test of Narrative Language (Gillam & Pearson, 2004). The causal network model (Trabasso, Van den Broek, & Suh, 1989) was applied to analyse the narratives. Specifically, narratives were examined to identify complete and incomplete superordinate and subordinate Goal-Attempt-Outcome (GAO) units. The results revealed no differences among the groups in the picture-sequence task. Children with ADHD+LI produced significantly fewer complete superordinate GAO units than typical children in the single-picture task. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Mueller, Klaus

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Causal learning with local computations.

    PubMed

    Fernbach, Philip M; Sloman, Steven A

    2009-05-01

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

  20. Causal Models of Role Stressor Antecedents and Consequences: The Importance of Occupational Differences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bacharach, Samuel; Bamberger, Peter

    1992-01-01

    Survey data from 215 nurses (10 male) and 430 civil engineers (10 female) supported the plausibility of occupation-specific models (positing direct paths between role stressors, antecedents, and consequences) compared to generic models. A weakness of generic models is the tendency to ignore differences in occupational structure and culture. (SK)

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chicharro, Daniel; Ledberg, Anders

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Inferring causal molecular networks: empirical assessment through a community-based effort.

    PubMed

    Hill, Steven M; Heiser, Laura M; Cokelaer, Thomas; Unger, Michael; Nesser, Nicole K; Carlin, Daniel E; Zhang, Yang; Sokolov, Artem; Paull, Evan O; Wong, Chris K; Graim, Kiley; Bivol, Adrian; Wang, Haizhou; Zhu, Fan; Afsari, Bahman; Danilova, Ludmila V; Favorov, Alexander V; Lee, Wai Shing; Taylor, Dane; Hu, Chenyue W; Long, Byron L; Noren, David P; Bisberg, Alexander J; Mills, Gordon B; Gray, Joe W; Kellen, Michael; Norman, Thea; Friend, Stephen; Qutub, Amina A; Fertig, Elana J; Guan, Yuanfang; Song, Mingzhou; Stuart, Joshua M; Spellman, Paul T; Koeppl, Heinz; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio; Mukherjee, Sach

    2016-04-01

    It remains unclear whether causal, rather than merely correlational, relationships in molecular networks can be inferred in complex biological settings. Here we describe the HPN-DREAM network inference challenge, which focused on learning causal influences in signaling networks. We used phosphoprotein data from cancer cell lines as well as in silico data from a nonlinear dynamical model. Using the phosphoprotein data, we scored more than 2,000 networks submitted by challenge participants. The networks spanned 32 biological contexts and were scored in terms of causal validity with respect to unseen interventional data. A number of approaches were effective, and incorporating known biology was generally advantageous. Additional sub-challenges considered time-course prediction and visualization. Our results suggest that learning causal relationships may be feasible in complex settings such as disease states. Furthermore, our scoring approach provides a practical way to empirically assess inferred molecular networks in a causal sense.

  4. Inferring causal molecular networks: empirical assessment through a community-based effort.

    PubMed

    Hill, Steven M; Heiser, Laura M; Cokelaer, Thomas; Unger, Michael; Nesser, Nicole K; Carlin, Daniel E; Zhang, Yang; Sokolov, Artem; Paull, Evan O; Wong, Chris K; Graim, Kiley; Bivol, Adrian; Wang, Haizhou; Zhu, Fan; Afsari, Bahman; Danilova, Ludmila V; Favorov, Alexander V; Lee, Wai Shing; Taylor, Dane; Hu, Chenyue W; Long, Byron L; Noren, David P; Bisberg, Alexander J; Mills, Gordon B; Gray, Joe W; Kellen, Michael; Norman, Thea; Friend, Stephen; Qutub, Amina A; Fertig, Elana J; Guan, Yuanfang; Song, Mingzhou; Stuart, Joshua M; Spellman, Paul T; Koeppl, Heinz; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio; Mukherjee, Sach

    2016-04-01

    It remains unclear whether causal, rather than merely correlational, relationships in molecular networks can be inferred in complex biological settings. Here we describe the HPN-DREAM network inference challenge, which focused on learning causal influences in signaling networks. We used phosphoprotein data from cancer cell lines as well as in silico data from a nonlinear dynamical model. Using the phosphoprotein data, we scored more than 2,000 networks submitted by challenge participants. The networks spanned 32 biological contexts and were scored in terms of causal validity with respect to unseen interventional data. A number of approaches were effective, and incorporating known biology was generally advantageous. Additional sub-challenges considered time-course prediction and visualization. Our results suggest that learning causal relationships may be feasible in complex settings such as disease states. Furthermore, our scoring approach provides a practical way to empirically assess inferred molecular networks in a causal sense. PMID:26901648

  5. A Socio-Psychophysiological Model for Explaining the Causal Effects of Social Reinforcement Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Edward K.

    The expanded socio-psychophysiological model (SPPM) appears to provide a meaningful paradigm for explaining the psycho-psysiological effects of Social Reinforcement Systems (SRS). This model may be used to assist individuals, and the society, to become more aware of the effects that social practices have on the immediate and long-term actions of…

  6. 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…

  7. Multiscale causal connectivity analysis by canonical correlation: theory and application to epileptic brain.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guo Rong; Chen, Fuyong; Kang, Dezhi; Zhang, Xiangyang; Marinazzo, Daniele; Chen, Huafu

    2011-11-01

    Multivariate Granger causality is a well-established approach for inferring information flow in complex systems, and it is being increasingly applied to map brain connectivity. Traditional Granger causality is based on vector autoregressive (AR) or mixed autoregressive moving average (ARMA) model, which are potentially affected by errors in parameter estimation and may be contaminated by zero-lag correlation, notably when modeling neuroimaging data. To overcome this issue, we present here an extended canonical correlation approach to measure multivariate Granger causal interactions among time series. The procedure includes a reduced rank step for calculating canonical correlation analysis (CCA), and extends the definition of causality including instantaneous effects, thus avoiding the potential estimation problems of AR (or ARMA) models. We tested this approach on simulated data and confirmed its practical utility by exploring local network connectivity at different scales in the epileptic brain analyzing scalp and depth-EEG data during an interictal period. PMID:21788178

  8. Editorial: Introduction to the Special Section on Causal Inference in Cross Sectional and Longitudinal Mediational Models

    PubMed Central

    West, Stephen G.

    2016-01-01

    Psychologists have long had interest in the processes through which antecedent variables produce their effects on the outcomes of ultimate interest (e.g., Wood-worth's Stimulus-Organism-Response model). Models involving such meditational processes have characterized many of the important psychological theories of the 20th century and continue to the present day. However, it was not until Judd and Kenny (1981) and Baron and Kenny (1986) combined ideas from experimental design and structural equation modeling that statistical methods for directly testing such models, now known as mediation analysis, began to be developed. Methodologists have improved these statistical methods, developing new, more efficient estimators for mediated effects. They have also extended mediation analysis to multilevel data structures, models involving multiple mediators, models in which interactions occur, and an array of noncontinuous outcome measures (see MacKinnon, 2008). This work nicely maps on to key questions of applied researchers and has led to an outpouring of research testing meditational models (As of August, 2011, Baron and Kenny's article has had over 24,000 citations according to Google Scholar). PMID:26736046

  9. 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. PMID:24630939

  10. 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

  11. A causal model of antecedents with burnout focusing on the intermediate role of hardy personality in Iranian nurses.

    PubMed

    Bemana, Foruzan; Bemana, Simin; Farhadi, Payam; Shokrpour, Nasrin

    2014-01-01

    Nowadays burnout is a common issue in all health systems and therapeutic professions. Burnout is caused by job stressors and results in reduction in output, increase in absenteeism and health expenses, behavioral changes, and sometimes drugs abuse. Nonetheless, people who have hardy personalities experience less exhaustion. The present research aimed to present a causal model of antecedents with burnout to emphasize the intermediate role of hardy personality in the nurses working in the public hospitals of Shiraz, Iran. The study data were collected using the Nursing Burnout Scale questionnaire (Int J Nurs Stud. 2008;45(3):418-427). In addition, the structural equation method was used as a model in order to determine the relationship between the variables. The suggested pattern in this research was checked by Leasrel software, version 8.5. The study results showed that antecedents, such as incorrect supervision, responsibility, and workload, have a significant effect on burnout. However, mediated hardy personality had no effect on burnout. The results also showed that the people who had hardy personality could manage the stressful situations well and, consequently, rarely experience burnout. Overall, if the job stressors are existent in the job environment and the individuals cannot eradicate them, they will cause burnout outbreak.

  12. Causal Network Inference Via Group Sparse Regularization.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-11

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. African Americans' Educational Expectations: Longitudinal Causal Models for Women and Men.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trusty, Jerry

    2002-01-01

    Investigates the long-term educational development of African American adolescents. The dependent variable was the highest level of education that participants ever expected to receive. Path models revealed differing processes for women and men. Overall, effects of early academic performance variables were strongest, followed by effects of family…

  16. A causal model of depression among older adults in Chon Buri Province, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Piboon, Kanchana; Subgranon, Rarcharneeporn; Hengudomsub, Pornpat; Wongnam, Pairatana; Louise Callen, Bonnie

    2012-02-01

    The purposes of this study are to develop and empirically test a theoretical model that examines the relationships between a set of predictors and depression among older adults. A biopsychosocial model was tested with 317 community dwelling older adults residing in Chon Buri Province, Thailand. A face-to-face interview was used in a cross-sectional community-based survey. A hypothesized model of depression was tested by using path analysis. It was found that the modified model fitted the data and the predictors accounted for 60% of the variance in depression. Female gender, activities of daily living, loneliness, stressful life events, and emotional-focused coping had a positive direct effect on depression. Social support and problem-focused coping had a negative direct effect on depression. Additionally, perceived stress, stressful life events, loneliness, and income had a negative indirect effect on depression through social support. Female gender, activities of daily living, and perceived stress also had a positive indirect effect on depression through emotional-focused coping. Stressful life events, perceived stress, and income had a negative indirect effect on depression through problem-focused coping. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the variables that predict depression in older adults. Thus, health care providers should consider the effects of these contributing factors on depression in the older adult person and can devise a program to prevent and promote health in older adults alleviating depression.

  17. 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)

  18. Testing the Causal Mediation Component of Dodge's Social Information Processing Model of Social Competence and Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Possel, Patrick; Seemann, Simone; Ahrens, Stefanie; Hautzinger, Martin

    2006-01-01

    In Dodge's model of "social information processing" depression is the result of a linear sequence of five stages of information processing ("Annu Rev Psychol" 44: 559-584, 1993). These stages follow a person's reaction to situational stimuli, such that each stage of information processing mediates the relationship between earlier and later stages.…

  19. 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.

  20. Causal tapestries for psychology and physics.

    PubMed

    Sulis, William H

    2012-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:9577232

  3. Inversion-based control of a vehicle with a clutch using a switched causal modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lhomme, W.; Trigui, R.; Bouscayrol, A.; Delarue, P.; Jeanneret, B.; Badin, F.

    2011-02-01

    The modelling of a clutch in a power train transmission is a delicate process because of its non-linear behaviour. Two different states have to be taken into account: when the clutch is locked and when the clutch is slipping. Moreover the clutch has often to be controlled automatically in parallel hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). An energetic macroscopic representation (EMR) of a clutch system has been developed. Both clutch states are genuinely taken into account in a physical way. In this article, EMR leads to organise the control scheme of the clutch system using an inversion methodology. An experimental validation is provided on a conventional vehicle before being implemented on parallel HEVs. Experimental results are provided to validate the clutch model and the inversion-based control.

  4. Algorithms of causal inference for the analysis of effective connectivity among brain regions

    PubMed Central

    Chicharro, Daniel; Panzeri, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, powerful general algorithms of causal inference have been developed. In particular, in the framework of Pearl’s causality, algorithms of inductive causation (IC and IC*) provide a procedure to determine which causal connections among nodes in a network can be inferred from empirical observations even in the presence of latent variables, indicating the limits of what can be learned without active manipulation of the system. These algorithms can in principle become important complements to established techniques such as Granger causality and Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) to analyze causal influences (effective connectivity) among brain regions. However, their application to dynamic processes has not been yet examined. Here we study how to apply these algorithms to time-varying signals such as electrophysiological or neuroimaging signals. We propose a new algorithm which combines the basic principles of the previous algorithms with Granger causality to obtain a representation of the causal relations suited to dynamic processes. Furthermore, we use graphical criteria to predict dynamic statistical dependencies between the signals from the causal structure. We show how some problems for causal inference from neural signals (e.g., measurement noise, hemodynamic responses, and time aggregation) can be understood in a general graphical approach. Focusing on the effect of spatial aggregation, we show that when causal inference is performed at a coarser scale than the one at which the neural sources interact, results strongly depend on the degree of integration of the neural sources aggregated in the signals, and thus characterize more the intra-areal properties than the interactions among regions. We finally discuss how the explicit consideration of latent processes contributes to understand Granger causality and DCM as well as to distinguish functional and effective connectivity. PMID:25071541

  5. Algorithms of causal inference for the analysis of effective connectivity among brain regions.

    PubMed

    Chicharro, Daniel; Panzeri, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, powerful general algorithms of causal inference have been developed. In particular, in the framework of Pearl's causality, algorithms of inductive causation (IC and IC(*)) provide a procedure to determine which causal connections among nodes in a network can be inferred from empirical observations even in the presence of latent variables, indicating the limits of what can be learned without active manipulation of the system. These algorithms can in principle become important complements to established techniques such as Granger causality and Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) to analyze causal influences (effective connectivity) among brain regions. However, their application to dynamic processes has not been yet examined. Here we study how to apply these algorithms to time-varying signals such as electrophysiological or neuroimaging signals. We propose a new algorithm which combines the basic principles of the previous algorithms with Granger causality to obtain a representation of the causal relations suited to dynamic processes. Furthermore, we use graphical criteria to predict dynamic statistical dependencies between the signals from the causal structure. We show how some problems for causal inference from neural signals (e.g., measurement noise, hemodynamic responses, and time aggregation) can be understood in a general graphical approach. Focusing on the effect of spatial aggregation, we show that when causal inference is performed at a coarser scale than the one at which the neural sources interact, results strongly depend on the degree of integration of the neural sources aggregated in the signals, and thus characterize more the intra-areal properties than the interactions among regions. We finally discuss how the explicit consideration of latent processes contributes to understand Granger causality and DCM as well as to distinguish functional and effective connectivity.

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. Granger Causality Mapping during Joint Actions Reveals Evidence for Forward Models That Could Overcome Sensory-Motor Delays

    PubMed Central

    Kokal, Idil; Keysers, Christian

    2010-01-01

    Studies investigating joint actions have suggested a central role for the putative mirror neuron system (pMNS) because of the close link between perception and action provided by these brain regions [1], [2], [3]. In contrast, our previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment demonstrated that the BOLD response of the pMNS does not suggest that it directly integrates observed and executed actions during joint actions [4]. To test whether the pMNS might contribute indirectly to the integration process by sending information to brain areas responsible for this integration (integration network), here we used Granger causality mapping (GCM) [5]. We explored the directional information flow between the anterior sites of the pMNS and previously identified integrative brain regions. We found that the left BA44 sent more information than it received to both the integration network (left thalamus, right middle occipital gyrus and cerebellum) and more posterior nodes of the pMNS (BA2). Thus, during joint actions, two anatomically separate networks therefore seem effectively connected and the information flow is predominantly from anterior to posterior areas of the brain. These findings suggest that the pMNS is involved indirectly in joint actions by transforming observed and executed actions into a common code and is part of a generative model that could predict the future somatosensory and visual consequences of observed and executed actions in order to overcome otherwise inevitable neural delays. PMID:20975836

  9. Causal Entropic Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  10. Effective connectivity in the neural network underlying coarse-to-fine categorization of visual scenes. A dynamic causal modeling study.

    PubMed

    Kauffmann, Louise; Chauvin, Alan; Pichat, Cédric; Peyrin, Carole

    2015-10-01

    According to current models of visual perception scenes are processed in terms of spatial frequencies following a predominantly coarse-to-fine processing sequence. Low spatial frequencies (LSF) reach high-order areas rapidly in order to activate plausible interpretations of the visual input. This triggers top-down facilitation that guides subsequent processing of high spatial frequencies (HSF) in lower-level areas such as the inferotemporal and occipital cortices. However, dynamic interactions underlying top-down influences on the occipital cortex have never been systematically investigated. The present fMRI study aimed to further explore the neural bases and effective connectivity underlying coarse-to-fine processing of scenes, particularly the role of the occipital cortex. We used sequences of six filtered scenes as stimuli depicting coarse-to-fine or fine-to-coarse processing of scenes. Participants performed a categorization task on these stimuli (indoor vs. outdoor). Firstly, we showed that coarse-to-fine (compared to fine-to-coarse) sequences elicited stronger activation in the inferior frontal gyrus (in the orbitofrontal cortex), the inferotemporal cortex (in the fusiform and parahippocampal gyri), and the occipital cortex (in the cuneus). Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) was then used to infer effective connectivity between these regions. DCM results revealed that coarse-to-fine processing resulted in increased connectivity from the occipital cortex to the inferior frontal gyrus and from the inferior frontal gyrus to the inferotemporal cortex. Critically, we also observed an increase in connectivity strength from the inferior frontal gyrus to the occipital cortex, suggesting that top-down influences from frontal areas may guide processing of incoming signals. The present results support current models of visual perception and refine them by emphasizing the role of the occipital cortex as a cortical site for feedback projections in the neural network underlying

  11. 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.

  12. Effective connectivity during animacy perception – dynamic causal modelling of Human Connectome Project data

    PubMed Central

    Hillebrandt, Hauke; Friston, Karl J.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2014-01-01

    Biological agents are the most complex systems humans have to model and predict. In predictive coding, high-level cortical areas inform sensory cortex about incoming sensory signals, a comparison between the predicted and actual sensory feedback is made, and information about unpredicted sensory information is passed forward to higher-level areas. Predictions about animate motion – relative to inanimate motion – should result in prediction error and increase signal passing from lower level sensory area MT+/V5, which is responsive to all motion, to higher-order posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which is selectively activated by animate motion. We tested this hypothesis by investigating effective connectivity in a large-scale fMRI dataset from the Human Connectome Project. 132 participants viewed animations of triangles that were designed to move in a way that appeared animate (moving intentionally), or inanimate (moving in a mechanical way). We found that forward connectivity from V5 to the pSTS increased, and inhibitory self-connection in the pSTS decreased, when viewing intentional motion versus inanimate motion. These prediction errors associated with animate motion may be the cause for increased attention to animate stimuli found in previous studies. PMID:25174814

  13. A causal model of coping and well-being in elderly people with arthritis.

    PubMed

    Downe-Wamboldt, B L; Melanson, P M

    1998-06-01

    The purpose of this longitudinal study was to test a model of the relationships among social economic status, gender, severity of impairment, stress emotions, coping strategies and psychological well-being. A sample of 78 elderly women and men, 60 years old or over, and diagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis since mid-life, volunteered to participate in the study. Twelve months later, 64 of these elderly people were re-interviewed. Path analysis was used to examine the empirical import of the Lazarus and Folkman theory of stress and coping. Analysis of variance for repeated measures was used to test for changes over time among the study variable. A consistent relationship between severity of impairment, emotions, coping strategies and psychological well-being emerged from the data at time one and time two. Choice of coping strategies and psychological well-being were primarily influenced by emotions. The best predictor of psychological well-being at both time periods was the stress emotion of challenge. At both time periods, optimistic and self-reliant coping strategies were used most often and evasive and emotive strategies the least.

  14. How prescriptive norms influence causal inferences.

    PubMed

    Samland, Jana; Waldmann, Michael R

    2016-11-01

    Recent experimental findings suggest that prescriptive norms influence causal inferences. The cognitive mechanism underlying this finding is still under debate. We compare three competing theories: The culpable control model of blame argues that reasoners tend to exaggerate the causal influence of norm-violating agents, which should lead to relatively higher causal strength estimates for these agents. By contrast, the counterfactual reasoning account of causal selection assumes that norms do not alter the representation of the causal model, but rather later causal selection stages. According to this view, reasoners tend to preferentially consider counterfactual states of abnormal rather than normal factors, which leads to the choice of the abnormal factor in a causal selection task. A third view, the accountability hypothesis, claims that the effects of prescriptive norms are generated by the ambiguity of the causal test question. Asking whether an agent is a cause can be understood as a request to assess her causal contribution but also her moral accountability. According to this theory norm effects on causal selection are mediated by accountability judgments that are not only sensitive to the abnormality of behavior but also to mitigating factors, such as intentionality and knowledge of norms. Five experiments are presented that favor the accountability account over the two alternative theories. PMID:27591550

  15. Modeling approaches for active systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herold, Sven; Atzrodt, Heiko; Mayer, Dirk; Thomaier, Martin

    2006-03-01

    To solve a wide range of vibration problems with the active structures technology, different simulation approaches for several models are needed. The selection of an appropriate modeling strategy is depending, amongst others, on the frequency range, the modal density and the control target. An active system consists of several components: the mechanical structure, at least one sensor and actuator, signal conditioning electronics and the controller. For each individual part of the active system the simulation approaches can be different. To integrate the several modeling approaches into an active system simulation and to ensure a highly efficient and accurate calculation, all sub models must harmonize. For this purpose, structural models considered in this article are modal state-space formulations for the lower frequency range and transfer function based models for the higher frequency range. The modal state-space formulations are derived from finite element models and/or experimental modal analyses. Consequently, the structure models which are based on transfer functions are directly derived from measurements. The transfer functions are identified with the Steiglitz-McBride iteration method. To convert them from the z-domain to the s-domain a least squares solution is implemented. An analytical approach is used to derive models of active interfaces. These models are transferred into impedance formulations. To couple mechanical and electrical sub-systems with the active materials, the concept of impedance modeling was successfully tested. The impedance models are enhanced by adapting them to adequate measurements. The controller design strongly depends on the frequency range and the number of modes to be controlled. To control systems with a small number of modes, techniques such as active damping or independent modal space control may be used, whereas in the case of systems with a large number of modes or with modes that are not well separated, other control

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

    PubMed Central

    McGue, Matt; Osler, Merete; Christensen, Kaare

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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,…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Nonparametric causal inference for bivariate time series.

    PubMed

    McCracken, James M; Weigel, Robert S

    2016-02-01

    We introduce new quantities for exploratory causal inference between bivariate time series. The quantities, called penchants and leanings, are computationally straightforward to apply, follow directly from assumptions of probabilistic causality, do not depend on any assumed models for the time series generating process, and do not rely on any embedding procedures; these features may provide a clearer interpretation of the results than those from existing time series causality tools. The penchant and leaning are computed based on a structured method for computing probabilities.

  1. Nonparametric causal inference for bivariate time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCracken, James M.; Weigel, Robert S.

    2016-02-01

    We introduce new quantities for exploratory causal inference between bivariate time series. The quantities, called penchants and leanings, are computationally straightforward to apply, follow directly from assumptions of probabilistic causality, do not depend on any assumed models for the time series generating process, and do not rely on any embedding procedures; these features may provide a clearer interpretation of the results than those from existing time series causality tools. The penchant and leaning are computed based on a structured method for computing probabilities.

  2. 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)…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26434769

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Fluctuations in relativistic causal hydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Self-esteem and causal attributions.

    PubMed

    Chandler, T A; Lee, M S; Pengilly, J W

    1997-11-01

    The relationship between self-esteem and causal attributions of success and failure in achievement-related behavior was examined among undergraduate students. An integration of a self-consistency model of causal attribution and self-enhancement theory was attempted. Self-esteem and performance outcome conditions of success and failure served as independent variables. Success and failure conditions were created via feedback regarding the participants' performance on an anagram task. The participants' attributions of six causal elements (ability, effort, immediate effort, task difficulty, luck, and mood) were categorized and combined with three causal dimensions (internal-external locus, stability, and controllability), which served as dependent variables. Participants' expectations regarding performance also served as a dependent variable. The relationship between self-esteem, expectancies of success and failure, performance, and stable causality were reported. In terms of causal dimensions, internal, stable, and controllable dimensions were explained by self-enhancement.

  9. A review of causal inference for biomedical informatics

    PubMed Central

    Kleinberg, Samantha; Hripcsak, George

    2011-01-01

    Causality is an important concept throughout the health sciences and is particularly vital for informatics work such as finding adverse drug events or risk factors for disease using electronic health records. While philosophers and scientists working for centuries on formalizing what makes something a cause have not reached a consensus, new methods for inference show that we can make progress in this area in many practical cases. This article reviews core concepts in understanding and identifying causality and then reviews current computational methods for inference and explanation, focusing on inference from large-scale observational data. While the problem is not fully solved, we show that graphical models and Granger causality provide useful frameworks for inference and that a more recent approach based on temporal logic addresses some of the limitations of these methods. PMID:21782035

  10. Causality violation and paradoxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnikov, S. V.

    1997-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Toward creation of interaction models: simple objects-interaction approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández-Díaz, Teresa; García-Huerta, Juan-M.; Vázquez-Cervantes, Alberto; Jiménez-Hernández, Hugo; Herrera-Navarro, Ana-M.

    2015-03-01

    This paper presents a proposal to manage simple-objects interaction in video surveillance system. The proposal consists on locating a set of features in each video frame. Maxima regions from the second Eigen- value of the tensor matrix are used as features. Afterwards, statics features are discarded (labeling as background) and dynamic features are used to represent objects in motion (foreground). Dynamics features are dynamically clustered with k-neighborhood and EM algorithm. The centroid of each cluster locally represents motion objects, and its displacement through time is denoted by displacement of cumulus over several frames. The behavior of cumulus in time help us to model simple object interactions. These primitives can be used in addition to a causal dependencies across time; i.e. cluster division, cluster fusion and cluster motion with respect to the others, offer information of local dynamics which is referred to local interactions. And based on causal dependencies theory, a graph dependence of local centroids behavior can be built. This graph can represent the local interaction model. In experimental section, the approach is tested in several scenarios, extracting simple interaction objects in controlled/not-controlled scenarios.

  13. Sensitivity analyses for parametric causal mediation effect estimation.

    PubMed

    Albert, Jeffrey M; Wang, Wei

    2015-04-01

    Causal mediation analysis uses a potential outcomes framework to estimate the direct effect of an exposure on an outcome and its indirect effect through an intermediate variable (or mediator). Causal interpretations of these effects typically rely on sequential ignorability. Because this assumption is not empirically testable, it is important to conduct sensitivity analyses. Sensitivity analyses so far offered for this situation have either focused on the case where the outcome follows a linear model or involve nonparametric or semiparametric models. We propose alternative approaches that are suitable for responses following generalized linear models. The first approach uses a Gaussian copula model involving latent versions of the mediator and the final outcome. The second approach uses a so-called hybrid causal-observational model that extends the association model for the final outcome, providing a novel sensitivity parameter. These models, while still assuming a randomized exposure, allow for unobserved (as well as observed) mediator-outcome confounders that are not affected by exposure. The methods are applied to data from a study of the effect of mother education on dental caries in adolescence.

  14. Estimating Causal Associations of Fine Particles With Daily Deaths in Boston.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Joel; Austin, Elena; Bind, Marie-Abele; Zanobetti, Antonella; Koutrakis, Petros

    2015-10-01

    Many studies have reported associations between daily particles less than 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) and deaths, but they have been associational studies that did not use formal causal modeling approaches. On the basis of a potential outcome approach, we used 2 causal modeling methods with different assumptions and strengths to address whether there was a causal association between daily PM2.5 and deaths in Boston, Massachusetts (2004-2009). We used an instrumental variable approach, including back trajectories as instruments for variations in PM2.5 uncorrelated with other predictors of death. We also used propensity score as an alternative causal modeling analysis. The former protects against confounding by measured and unmeasured confounders and is based on the assumption of a valid instrument. The latter protects against confounding by all measured covariates, provides valid estimates in the case of effect modification, and is based on the assumption of no unmeasured confounders. We found a causal association of PM2.5 with mortality, with a 0.53% (95% confidence interval: 0.09, 0.97) and a 0.50% (95% confidence interval: 0.20, 0.80) increase in daily deaths using the instrumental variable and the propensity score, respectively. We failed to reject the null association with exposure after the deaths (P =0.93). Given these results, prior studies, and extensive toxicological support, the association between PM2.5 and deaths is almost certainly causal.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:22664675

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Assessing Interactive Causal Influence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Novick, Laura R.; Cheng, Patricia W.

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Repeated Causal Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagmayer, York; Meder, Bjorn

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Causality in physiological signals.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Component Modeling Approach Software Tool

    2010-08-23

    The Component Modeling Approach Software Tool (CMAST) establishes a set of performance libraries of approved components (frames, glass, and spacer) which can be accessed for configuring fenestration products for a project, and btaining a U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and Visible Transmittance (VT) rating for those products, which can then be reflected in a CMA Label Certificate for code compliance. CMAST is web-based as well as client-based. The completed CMA program and software toolmore » will be useful in several ways for a vast array of stakeholders in the industry: Generating performance ratings for bidding projects Ascertaining credible and accurate performance data Obtaining third party certification of overall product performance for code compliance« less

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Quantifying information transfer and mediation along causal pathways in complex systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Runge, Jakob

    2015-12-01

    Measures of information transfer have become a popular approach to analyze interactions in complex systems such as the Earth or the human brain from measured time series. Recent work has focused on causal definitions of information transfer aimed at decompositions of predictive information about a target variable, while excluding effects of common drivers and indirect influences. While common drivers clearly constitute a spurious causality, the aim of the present article is to develop measures quantifying different notions of the strength of information transfer along indirect causal paths, based on first reconstructing the multivariate causal network. Another class of novel measures quantifies to what extent different intermediate processes on causal paths contribute to an interaction mechanism to determine pathways of causal information transfer. The proposed framework complements predictive decomposition schemes by focusing more on the interaction mechanism between multiple processes. A rigorous mathematical framework allows for a clear information-theoretic interpretation that can also be related to the underlying dynamics as proven for certain classes of processes. Generally, however, estimates of information transfer remain hard to interpret for nonlinearly intertwined complex systems. But if experiments or mathematical models are not available, then measuring pathways of information transfer within the causal dependency structure allows at least for an abstraction of the dynamics. The measures are illustrated on a climatological example to disentangle pathways of atmospheric flow over Europe.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:27249802

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

    PubMed

    Eichler, Michael

    2013-08-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Approaches to the Hubbard Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maguire, Cary Mcilwaine, Jr.

    This thesis analyzes several theoretical approaches to the one band Hubbard model in hopes of extracting selected physical quantities in limits most closely corresponding to real materials. Along the way, three rather remarkable theorems of a much broader scope are proven. It is hoped that these may be of general interest in a variety of related physical and mathematical disciplines. In chapter one, the well-known mean field theory developed by Affleck and Marston is studied in the presence of a magnetic field. Through a rather straightforward numerical procedure, phase diagrams in t/delta ^ace are generated as a function of field. The results of this study are then extended to a magnetic susceptibility calculation and to the analysis of the phase diagram of fan alternate mean field theory, the "generalized flux phases" proposed by Anderson. Several interesting properties and symmetries of the solutions are then briefly discussed. In chapter two, the Gutzwiller projector is analyzed both analytically and numerically, with the results being used to calculate the momentum density function for a trial wavefunction also proposed by Anderson. Two of the above mentioned theorems are developed in this chapter, the one prescribing the expansion of a general restricted sum in terms of its related unrestricted sums, and the other presenting the exact diagonilization of a component of the projector which is equivalent through a U(1) gauge transformation to the total spin operator. In chapter three, we discuss the exact solutions to the one dimensional Hubbard model first derived by Lieb and Wu. From their large U limiting behavior, we extract the phonon scattering matrix elements and first order single particle energies for some finite systems. The third potentially general theorem, which related charge determinants with an arbitrary number of "gaps" between their rows to a comparatively simple function of the corresponding van der Monde determinants, is proven here.

  20. Causal Inference for a Population of Causally Connected Units

    PubMed Central

    van der Laan, Mark J.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Causality and methodology. Notes on thanatochronological estimations.

    PubMed

    Boniolo, Giovanni; Libero, Mirella; Aprile, Anna

    2005-01-01

    The authors propose some methodological considerations on thanatochronological estimations. They first consider the problem of the definition of death, and then they deal with the issue of the estimations of death time, that is, with the Post-Mortem Interval (PMI). As regards the first question, they note that it does not concern only the definition of death, but also the choice of a particular kind of definition of 'definition'. With reference to the second question, the authors suggest a causal model showing that the presence of many causal chains must be taken into consideration. Finally they discuss what 'most convenient and reliable causal chain' means for a thanatochronologist.

  2. Inferring causal molecular networks: empirical assessment through a community-based effort

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Steven M.; Heiser, Laura M.; Cokelaer, Thomas; Unger, Michael; Nesser, Nicole K.; Carlin, Daniel E.; Zhang, Yang; Sokolov, Artem; Paull, Evan O.; Wong, Chris K.; Graim, Kiley; Bivol, Adrian; Wang, Haizhou; Zhu, Fan; Afsari, Bahman; Danilova, Ludmila V.; Favorov, Alexander V.; Lee, Wai Shing; Taylor, Dane; Hu, Chenyue W.; Long, Byron L.; Noren, David P.; Bisberg, Alexander J.; Mills, Gordon B.; Gray, Joe W.; Kellen, Michael; Norman, Thea; Friend, Stephen; Qutub, Amina A.; Fertig, Elana J.; Guan, Yuanfang; Song, Mingzhou; Stuart, Joshua M.; Spellman, Paul T.; Koeppl, Heinz; Stolovitzky, Gustavo; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio; Mukherjee, Sach

    2016-01-01

    Inferring molecular networks is a central challenge in computational biology. However, it has remained unclear whether causal, rather than merely correlational, relationships can be effectively inferred in complex biological settings. Here we describe the HPN-DREAM network inference challenge that focused on learning causal influences in signaling networks. We used phosphoprotein data from cancer cell lines as well as in silico data from a nonlinear dynamical model. Using the phosphoprotein data, we scored more than 2,000 networks submitted by challenge participants. The networks spanned 32 biological contexts and were scored in terms of causal validity with respect to unseen interventional data. A number of approaches were effective and incorporating known biology was generally advantageous. Additional sub-challenges considered time-course prediction and visualization. Our results constitute the most comprehensive assessment of causal network inference in a mammalian setting carried out to date and suggest that learning causal relationships may be feasible in complex settings such as disease states. Furthermore, our scoring approach provides a practical way to empirically assess the causal validity of inferred molecular networks. PMID:26901648

  3. Agent-based modeling: a new approach for theory building in social psychology.

    PubMed

    Smith, Eliot R; Conrey, Frederica R

    2007-02-01

    Most social and psychological phenomena occur not as the result of isolated decisions by individuals but rather as the result of repeated interactions between multiple individuals over time. Yet the theory-building and modeling techniques most commonly used in social psychology are less than ideal for understanding such dynamic and interactive processes. This article describes an alternative approach to theory building, agent-based modeling (ABM), which involves simulation of large numbers of autonomous agents that interact with each other and with a simulated environment and the observation of emergent patterns from their interactions. The authors believe that the ABM approach is better able than prevailing approaches in the field, variable-based modeling (VBM) techniques such as causal modeling, to capture types of complex, dynamic, interactive processes so important in the social world. The article elaborates several important contrasts between ABM and VBM and offers specific recommendations for learning more and applying the ABM approach. PMID:18453457

  4. 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

  5. Investigating Effective Brain Connectivity from fMRI Data: Past Findings and Current Issues with Reference to Granger Causality Analysis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Abstract 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

  6. Exposure to Traffic-related Air Pollution During Pregnancy and Term Low Birth Weight: Estimation of Causal Associations in a Semiparametric Model

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23045474

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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. PMID:26986337

  10. 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.

  11. Different roles of cytoarchitectonic BA 44 and BA 45 in phonological and semantic verbal fluency as revealed by dynamic causal modelling.

    PubMed

    Heim, Stefan; Eickhoff, Simon B; Amunts, Katrin

    2009-11-15

    The interactions of left cytoarchitectonic BA 44 and BA 45 during semantic and phonological verbal fluency tasks were investigated using dynamic causal modelling (DCM). Three different models were tested, all of which featured BA 44 and BA 45 as top-down driven interconnected nodes projecting to the motor cortex as the final output region. Model #1 represents the hypothesis that BA 45 is involved in lexical retrieval including both semantic and phonological processes, while BA 44 supports other phonological processes. Model #2 reflects the notion of a clear-cut segregation of computational processes sustained by BA 44 (phonological processing) and BA 45 (semantic processing). Model #3 was based on the hypothesis that both BA 44 and BA 45 support semantic and phonological processing. When these models were compared against each other by Bayesian model selection, evidence emerged in favour of the first model, implying that BA 45 supports word retrieval processes whereas BA 44 is involved in processing phonological information during word generation. In a subsequent analysis of the derived model parameters for model #1, all connection strengths were significantly positive except for the inhibitory coupling between BA 44 and BA 45. This inhibition may reflect how the phonological analysis in BA 44 during word generation constrains lexical word retrieval in BA 45. To conclude, DCM provided additional insights into the roles of BA 44 and BA 45 during verbal fluency revealing the involvement of BA 45 in lexical retrieval and the relevance of BA 44 for phonological processing during word generation. PMID:19560543

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Causal connectivity of evolved neural networks during behavior.

    PubMed

    Seth, Anil K

    2005-03-01

    To show how causal interactions in neural dynamics are modulated by behavior, it is valuable to analyze these interactions without perturbing or lesioning the neural mechanism. This paper proposes a method, based on a graph-theoretic extension of vector autoregressive modeling and 'Granger causality,' for characterizing causal interactions generated within intact neural mechanisms. This method, called 'causal connectivity analysis' is illustrated via model neural networks optimized for controlling target fixation in a simulated head-eye system, in which the structure of the environment can be experimentally varied. Causal connectivity analysis of this model yields novel insights into neural mechanisms underlying sensorimotor coordination. In contrast to networks supporting comparatively simple behavior, networks supporting rich adaptive behavior show a higher density of causal interactions, as well as a stronger causal flow from sensory inputs to motor outputs. They also show different arrangements of 'causal sources' and 'causal sinks': nodes that differentially affect, or are affected by, the remainder of the network. Finally, analysis of causal connectivity can predict the functional consequences of network lesions. These results suggest that causal connectivity analysis may have useful applications in the analysis of neural dynamics. PMID:16350433

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. A Model Approach to Teacher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monaco, Theresa M.; Chiappetta, Eugene L.

    A "model approach" to teacher education specifies the development of a model of an idealized learning environment. One way to create a model as a real entity as opposed to a written document is to operationalize model classrooms that exemplify the type of instruction desired. The model described here goes hand in hand with the university-based and…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. Characterizing time series: when Granger causality triggers complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Tian; Cui, Yindong; Lin, Wei; Kurths, Jürgen; Liu, Chong

    2012-08-01

    In this paper, we propose a new approach to characterize time series with noise perturbations in both the time and frequency domains by combining Granger causality and complex networks. We construct directed and weighted complex networks from time series and use representative network measures to describe their physical and topological properties. Through analyzing the typical dynamical behaviors of some physical models and the MIT-BIHMassachusetts Institute of Technology-Beth Israel Hospital. human electrocardiogram data sets, we show that the proposed approach is able to capture and characterize various dynamics and has much potential for analyzing real-world time series of rather short length.

  4. Gene regulatory networks in plants: learning causality from time and perturbation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The goal of systems biology is to generate models for predicting how a system will react under untested conditions or in response to genetic perturbations. This paper discusses experimental and analytical approaches to deriving causal relationships in gene regulatory networks. PMID:23805876

  5. Confounding effects of phase delays on causality estimation.

    PubMed

    Vakorin, Vasily A; Mišić, Bratislav; Krakovska, Olga; Bezgin, Gleb; McIntosh, Anthony R

    2013-01-01

    Linear and non-linear techniques for inferring causal relations between the brain signals representing the underlying neuronal systems have become a powerful tool to extract the connectivity patterns in the brain. Typically these tools employ the idea of Granger causality, which is ultimately based on the temporal precedence between the signals. At the same time, phase synchronization between coupled neural ensembles is considered a mechanism implemented in the brain to integrate relevant neuronal ensembles to perform a cognitive or perceptual task. Phase synchronization can be studied by analyzing the effects of phase-locking between the brain signals. However, we should expect that there is no one-to-one mapping between the observed phase lag and the time precedence as specified by physically interacting systems. Specifically, phase lag observed between two signals may interfere with inferring causal relations. This could be of critical importance for the coupled non-linear oscillating systems, with possible time delays in coupling, when classical linear cross-spectrum strategies for solving phase ambiguity are not efficient. To demonstrate this, we used a prototypical model of coupled non-linear systems, and compared three typical pipelines of inferring Granger causality, as established in the literature. Specifically, we compared the performance of the spectral and information-theoretic Granger pipelines as well as standard Granger causality in their relations to the observed phase differences for frequencies at which the signals become synchronized to each other. We found that an information-theoretic approach, which takes into account different time lags between the past of one signal and the future of another signal, was the most robust to phase effects.

  6. Model compilation: An approach to automated model derivation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, Richard M.; Baudin, Catherine; Iwasaki, Yumi; Nayak, Pandurang; Tanaka, Kazuo

    1990-01-01

    An approach is introduced to automated model derivation for knowledge based systems. The approach, model compilation, involves procedurally generating the set of domain models used by a knowledge based system. With an implemented example, how this approach can be used to derive models of different precision and abstraction is illustrated, and models are tailored to different tasks, from a given set of base domain models. In particular, two implemented model compilers are described, each of which takes as input a base model that describes the structure and behavior of a simple electromechanical device, the Reaction Wheel Assembly of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The compilers transform this relatively general base model into simple task specific models for troubleshooting and redesign, respectively, by applying a sequence of model transformations. Each transformation in this sequence produces an increasingly more specialized model. The compilation approach lessens the burden of updating and maintaining consistency among models by enabling their automatic regeneration.

  7. Analysis of sampling artifacts on the Granger causality analysis for topology extraction of neuronal dynamics

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25126067

  8. 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

  9. Causal Responsibility and Counterfactuals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    How do people attribute responsibility in situations where the contributions of multiple agents combine to produce a joint outcome? The prevalence of over-determination in such cases makes this a difficult problem for counterfactual theories of causal responsibility. In this article, we explore a general framework for assigning responsibility in…

  10. Causal essentialism in kinds.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  11. The Causal Asymmetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Peter A.

    2006-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. [Effective connectivity within the default mode network modulated by methylphenidate using dynamic causal modeling on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging].

    PubMed

    Xu, Fang-Fang; Han, Lu; He, Hong-Jian; Zhu, Yi-Hong; Zhong, Jian-Hui

    2016-06-25

    The effective connectivity of default mode network (DMN) and its change after taking methylphenidate (MPH) were investigated in this study based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) was applied to compare the effective connectivity between the conditions of taking MPH and placebo for 18 healthy male volunteers. Started with the network structural basis provided by a recent literature, endogenous low frequency fluctuation signals (0.01-0.08 Hz) of each node of DMN were taken as the driving input, and thirty-two possible models were designed according to the modulation effect of MPH on different connections between nodes. Model fitting and Bayesian model selection were performed to find the winning model and corresponding parameters. Our results indicated that the effective connectivity from medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) to posterior cingulated cortex (PCC), from left/right inferior parietal lobule (L/RIPL) to MPFC, and from RIPL to PCC were excitatory, whereas the connectivity from LIPL to PCC was inhibitory. Further t-test statistics on connectivity parameters found that MPH significantly reduced the link from RIPL to MPFC in DMN (t = 2.724, P = 0.016) and changed the weak excitatory state to inhibitory state. However, it had no significant effect on other connections. In all, our results demonstrated that MPH modulates the effective connectivity within DMN in resting state. PMID:27350198

  18. A Unified Approach to Modeling Multidisciplinary Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Samareh, Jamshid A.; Bhatia, Kumar G.

    2000-01-01

    There are a number of existing methods to transfer information among various disciplines. For a multidisciplinary application with n disciplines, the traditional methods may be required to model (n(exp 2) - n) interactions. This paper presents a unified three-dimensional approach that reduces the number of interactions from (n(exp 2) - n) to 2n by using a computer-aided design model. The proposed modeling approach unifies the interactions among various disciplines. The approach is independent of specific discipline implementation, and a number of existing methods can be reformulated in the context of the proposed unified approach. This paper provides an overview of the proposed unified approach and reformulations for two existing methods. The unified approach is specially tailored for application environments where the geometry is created and managed through a computer-aided design system. Results are presented for a blended-wing body and a high-speed civil transport.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. HABITAT MODELING APPROACHES FOR RESTORATION SITE SELECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous modeling approaches have been used to develop predictive models of species-environment and species-habitat relationships. These models have been used in conservation biology and habitat or species management, but their application to restoration efforts has been minimal...

  5. 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…

  6. Context, causality, and appreciation.

    PubMed

    Ross, Stephanie

    2013-04-01

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

  7. Context, causality, and appreciation.

    PubMed

    Ross, Stephanie

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Towards causally cohesive genotype-phenotype modelling for characterization of the soft-tissue mechanics of the heart in normal and pathological geometries.

    PubMed

    Nordbø, Øyvind; Gjuvsland, Arne B; Nermoen, Anders; Land, Sander; Niederer, Steven; Lamata, Pablo; Lee, Jack; Smith, Nicolas P; Omholt, Stig W; Vik, Jon Olav

    2015-05-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Challenges in structural approaches to cell modeling.

    PubMed

    Im, Wonpil; Liang, Jie; Olson, Arthur; Zhou, Huan-Xiang; Vajda, Sandor; Vakser, Ilya A

    2016-07-31

    Computational modeling is essential for structural characterization of biomolecular mechanisms across the broad spectrum of scales. Adequate understanding of biomolecular mechanisms inherently involves our ability to model them. Structural modeling of individual biomolecules and their interactions has been rapidly progressing. However, in terms of the broader picture, the focus is shifting toward larger systems, up to the level of a cell. Such modeling involves a more dynamic and realistic representation of the interactomes in vivo, in a crowded cellular environment, as well as membranes and membrane proteins, and other cellular components. Structural modeling of a cell complements computational approaches to cellular mechanisms based on differential equations, graph models, and other techniques to model biological networks, imaging data, etc. Structural modeling along with other computational and experimental approaches will provide a fundamental understanding of life at the molecular level and lead to important applications to biology and medicine. A cross section of diverse approaches presented in this review illustrates the developing shift from the structural modeling of individual molecules to that of cell biology. Studies in several related areas are covered: biological networks; automated construction of three-dimensional cell models using experimental data; modeling of protein complexes; prediction of non-specific and transient protein interactions; thermodynamic and kinetic effects of crowding; cellular membrane modeling; and modeling of chromosomes. The review presents an expert opinion on the current state-of-the-art in these various aspects of structural modeling in cellular biology, and the prospects of future developments in this emerging field. PMID:27255863

  12. Challenges in structural approaches to cell modeling.

    PubMed

    Im, Wonpil; Liang, Jie; Olson, Arthur; Zhou, Huan-Xiang; Vajda, Sandor; Vakser, Ilya A

    2016-07-31

    Computational modeling is essential for structural characterization of biomolecular mechanisms across the broad spectrum of scales. Adequate understanding of biomolecular mechanisms inherently involves our ability to model them. Structural modeling of individual biomolecules and their interactions has been rapidly progressing. However, in terms of the broader picture, the focus is shifting toward larger systems, up to the level of a cell. Such modeling involves a more dynamic and realistic representation of the interactomes in vivo, in a crowded cellular environment, as well as membranes and membrane proteins, and other cellular components. Structural modeling of a cell complements computational approaches to cellular mechanisms based on differential equations, graph models, and other techniques to model biological networks, imaging data, etc. Structural modeling along with other computational and experimental approaches will provide a fundamental understanding of life at the molecular level and lead to important applications to biology and medicine. A cross section of diverse approaches presented in this review illustrates the developing shift from the structural modeling of individual molecules to that of cell biology. Studies in several related areas are covered: biological networks; automated construction of three-dimensional cell models using experimental data; modeling of protein complexes; prediction of non-specific and transient protein interactions; thermodynamic and kinetic effects of crowding; cellular membrane modeling; and modeling of chromosomes. The review presents an expert opinion on the current state-of-the-art in these various aspects of structural modeling in cellular biology, and the prospects of future developments in this emerging field.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Linear structures, causal sets and topology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudetz, Laurenz

    2015-11-01

    Causal set theory and the theory of linear structures (which has recently been developed by Tim Maudlin as an alternative to standard topology) share some of their main motivations. In view of that, I raise and answer the question how these two theories are related to each other and to standard topology. I show that causal set theory can be embedded into Maudlin's more general framework and I characterise what Maudlin's topological concepts boil down to when applied to discrete linear structures that correspond to causal sets. Moreover, I show that all topological aspects of causal sets that can be described in Maudlin's theory can also be described in the framework of standard topology. Finally, I discuss why these results are relevant for evaluating Maudlin's theory. The value of this theory depends crucially on whether it is true that (a) its conceptual framework is as expressive as that of standard topology when it comes to describing well-known continuous as well as discrete models of spacetime and (b) it is even more expressive or fruitful when it comes to analysing topological aspects of discrete structures that are intended as models of spacetime. On one hand, my theorems support (a). The theory is rich enough to incorporate causal set theory and its definitions of topological notions yield a plausible outcome in the case of causal sets. On the other hand, the results undermine (b). Standard topology, too, has the conceptual resources to capture those topological aspects of causal sets that are analysable within Maudlin's framework. This fact poses a challenge for the proponents of Maudlin's theory to prove it fruitful.

  16. A Hierarchical Systems Approach to Model Validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Easterbrook, S. M.

    2011-12-01

    Existing approaches to the question of how climate models should be evaluated tend to rely on either philosophical arguments about the status of models as scientific tools, or on empirical arguments about how well runs from a given model match observational data. These have led to quantitative approaches expressed in terms of model bias or forecast skill, and ensemble approaches where models are assessed according to the extent to which the ensemble brackets the observational data. Unfortunately, such approaches focus the evaluation on models per se (or more specifically, on the simulation runs they produce) as though the models can be isolated from their context. Such approach may overlook a number of important aspects of the use of climate models: - the process by which models are selected and configured for a given scientific question. - the process by which model outputs are selected, aggregated and interpreted by a community of expertise in climatology. - the software fidelity of the models (i.e. whether the running code is actually doing what the modellers think it's doing). - the (often convoluted) history that begat a given model, along with the modelling choices long embedded in the code. - variability in the scientific maturity of different model components within a coupled system. These omissions mean that quantitative approaches cannot assess whether a model produces the right results for the wrong reasons, or conversely, the wrong results for the right reasons (where, say the observational data is problematic, or the model is configured to be unlike the earth system for a specific reason). Hence, we argue that it is a mistake to think that validation is a post-hoc process to be applied to an individual "finished" model, to ensure it meets some criteria for fidelity to the real world. We are therefore developing a framework for model validation that extends current approaches down into the detailed codebase and the processes by which the code is built

  17. 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).

  18. FAST TRACK COMMUNICATION: Particle simulations in causal set theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philpott, L.

    2010-02-01

    Models of particle propagation in causal set theory are investigated through simulations. For the swerves model the simulations are shown to agree with the expected continuum diffusion behaviour. Given the limitations on the simulated causal set size, the agreement is far better than anticipated.

  19. Shell Model in a First Principles Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Navratil, P; Nogga, A; Lloyd, R; Vary, J P; Ormand, W E; Barrett, B R

    2004-01-08

    We develop and apply an ab-initio approach to nuclear structure. Starting with the NN interaction, that fits two-body scattering and bound state data, and adding a theoretical NNN potential, we evaluate nuclear properties in a no-core approach. For presently feasible no-core model spaces, we evaluate an effective Hamiltonian in a cluster approach which is guaranteed to provide exact answers for sufficiently large model spaces and/or sufficiently large clusters. A number of recent applications are surveyed including an initial application to exotic multiquark systems.

  20. 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.

  1. Causality-imposed (Kramers-Kronig) relationships between attenuation and dispersion.

    PubMed

    Waters, Kendall R; Mobley, Joel; Miller, James G

    2005-05-01

    Causality imposes restrictions on both the time-domain and frequency-domain responses of a system. The Kramers-Kronig (K-K) relations relate the real and imaginary parts of the frequency-domain response. In ultrasonics, K-K relations often are used to link attenuation and dispersion. We review both integral and differential forms of the frequency-domain K-K relations that are relevant to theoretical models and laboratory measurements. We consider two methods for implementing integral K-K relations for the case of finite-bandwidth data, namely, extrapolation of data and restriction of integration limits. For the latter approach, we discuss the accuracy of K-K predictions for specific classes of system behavior and how the truncation of the integrals affects this accuracy. We demonstrate the accurate prediction of attenuation and dispersion using several forms of the K-K relations relevant to experimental measurements of media with attenuation coefficients obeying a frequency power law and media consisting of resonant scatterers. We also review the time-causal relations that describe the time-domain consequences of causality in the wave equation. These relations can be thought of as time-domain analogs of the (frequency-domain) K-K relations. Causality-imposed relations, such as the K-K and time-causal relations, provide useful tools for the analysis of measurements and models of acoustic systems.

  2. 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.

  3. Work Climate, Organizational Commitment, and Highway Safety in the Trucking Industry: Toward Causal Modeling of Large Truck Crashes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graham, Carroll M.; Scott, Aaron J.; Nafukho, Fredrick M.

    2008-01-01

    While theoretical models aimed at explaining or predicting employee turnover outcomes have been developed, minimal consideration has been given to the same task regarding safety, often measured as the probability of a crash in a given time frame. The present literature review identifies four constructs from turnover literature, which are believed…

  4. 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…

  5. Wage Equity and Female Job Satisfaction: The Role of Wage Differentials in a Job Satisfaction Causal Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagedorn, Linda Serra

    1996-01-01

    Using data from a national survey of faculty, a study examined the role of male/female wage differentials in a model of job satisfaction for full-time female faculty. Results indicated that as gender-based wage differentials increased, females' global job satisfaction decreased, with the effect mainly in faculty perceptions of the institution.…

  6. 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.

  7. Heterogeneous Factor Analysis Models: A Bayesian Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ansari, Asim; Jedidi, Kamel; Dube, Laurette

    2002-01-01

    Developed Markov Chain Monte Carlo procedures to perform Bayesian inference, model checking, and model comparison in heterogeneous factor analysis. Tested the approach with synthetic data and data from a consumption emotion study involving 54 consumers. Results show that traditional psychometric methods cannot fully capture the heterogeneity in…

  8. Modeling diffuse pollution with a distributed approach.

    PubMed

    León, L F; Soulis, E D; Kouwen, N; Farquhar, G J

    2002-01-01

    The transferability of parameters for non-point source pollution models to other watersheds, especially those in remote areas without enough data for calibration, is a major problem in diffuse pollution modeling. A water quality component was developed for WATFLOOD (a flood forecast hydrological model) to deal with sediment and nutrient transport. The model uses a distributed group response unit approach for water quantity and quality modeling. Runoff, sediment yield and soluble nutrient concentrations are calculated separately for each land cover class, weighted by area and then routed downstream. The distributed approach for the water quality model for diffuse pollution in agricultural watersheds is described in this paper. Integrating the model with data extracted using GIS technology (Geographical Information Systems) for a local watershed, the model is calibrated for the hydrologic response and validated for the water quality component. With the connection to GIS and the group response unit approach used in this paper, model portability increases substantially, which will improve non-point source modeling at the watershed scale level.

  9. Quantum information causality.

    PubMed

    Pitalúa-García, Damián

    2013-05-24

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

  10. 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.

  11. Potential Causal Relationship Between Depressive Symptoms and Academic Achievement in the Hawaiian High Schools Health Survey Using Contemporary Longitudinal Latent Variable Change Models

    PubMed Central

    Hishinuma, Earl S.; Chang, Janice Y.; McArdle, John J.; Hamagami, Fumiaki

    2012-01-01

    There is a relatively consistent negative relationship between adolescent depressive symptoms and educational achievement (e.g., grade-point average [GPA]). However, we are less certain of the causal direction for this association due to the lack of longitudinal data with both indicators measured across at least two time periods, and due to the lack of application of more sophisticated contemporary statistical techniques. We present multivariate results from a large longitudinal cohort-sequential study of high school students (N = 7,317) with measures of self-reported depressive symptoms and self-reported GPAs across multiple time points (following McArdle, 2009; McArdle et al., 2001) using an ethnically diverse sample from Hawai‘i. Contemporary statistical techniques included: bivariate dynamic structural equation modeling (DSEM); multi-group gender-and-ethnic DSEMs; ordinal scale measurement of key outcomes; and imputation for incomplete longitudinal data. The findings suggest that depressive symptoms affect subsequent academic achievement, and not the other way around, especially for Native Hawaiians as compared to non-Hawaiian females. We further discuss the scientific, applied, and methodological-statistical implications of the results, including the need for further theorizing and research on mediating variables. We also discuss the need for increased prevention, early intervention, screening, identification, and treatment of depressive symptoms and disorders. Finally, we argue for utilization of more contemporary methodological-statistical techniques, especially when violating parametric-test assumptions. PMID:22268606

  12. Quantitative genetic analysis of causal relationships among feather pecking, feather eating, and general locomotor activity in laying hens using structural equation models.

    PubMed

    Lutz, V; Kjaer, J B; Iffland, H; Rodehutscord, M; Bessei, W; Bennewitz, J

    2016-08-01

    The objective of this research was to analyze the relationship between feather pecking (FP) and feather eating (FE) as well as general locomotor activity (GLA) using structural equation models, which allow that one trait can be treated as an explanatory variable of another trait. This provides an opportunity to infer putative causal links among the traits. For the analysis, 897 F2-hens set up from 2 lines divergently selected for high and low FP were available. The FP observations were Box-Cox transformed, and FE and GLA observations were log and square root transformed, respectively. The estimated heritabilities of FE, GLA, and FP were 0.36, 0.29, and 0.20, respectively. The genetic correlation between FP and FE (GLA) was 0.17 (0.04). A high genetic correlation of 0.47 was estimated between FE and GLA. The recursive effect from FE to FP was [Formula: see text], and from GLA to FP [Formula: see text] These results imply that an increase of FE leads to an increased FP behavior and that an increase in GLA results in a higher FP value. Furthermore, the study showed that the genetic correlation among the traits is mainly caused by indirect effects. PMID:27252366

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26855176

  15. Final Report for Dynamic Models for Causal Analysis of Panel Data. Models for Change in Quantitative Variables, Part I Deterministic Models. Part II, Chapter 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Michael T.

    This document is part of a series of chapters described in SO 011 759. Addressing the question of effective models to measure change and the change process, the author suggests that linear structural equation systems may be viewed as steady state outcomes of continuous-change models and have rich sociological grounding. Two interpretations of the…

  16. Causal Phenotype Discovery via Deep Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kale, David C.; Che, Zhengping; Bahadori, Mohammad Taha; Li, Wenzhe; Liu, Yan; Wetzel, Randall

    2015-01-01

    The rapid growth of digital health databases has attracted many researchers interested in using modern computational methods to discover and model patterns of health and illness in a research program known as computational phenotyping. Much of the work in this area has focused on traditional statistical learning paradigms, such as classification, prediction, clustering, pattern mining. In this paper, we propose a related but different paradigm called causal phenotype discovery, which aims to discover latent representations of illness that are causally predictive. We illustrate this idea with a two-stage framework that combines the latent representation learning power of deep neural networks with state-of-the-art tools from causal inference. We apply this framework to two large ICU time series data sets and show that it can learn features that are predictively useful, that capture complex physiologic patterns associated with critical illnesses, and that are potentially more clinically meaningful than manually designed features. PMID:26958203

  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. The causal meaning of Hamilton's rule.

    PubMed

    Okasha, Samir; Martens, Johannes

    2016-03-01

    Hamilton's original derivation of his rule for the spread of an altruistic gene (rb>c) assumed additivity of costs and benefits. Recently, it has been argued that an exact version of the rule holds under non-additive pay-offs, so long as the cost and benefit terms are suitably defined, as partial regression coefficients. However, critics have questioned both the biological significance and the causal meaning of the resulting rule. This paper examines the causal meaning of the generalized Hamilton's rule in a simple model, by computing the effect of a hypothetical experiment to assess the cost of a social action and comparing it to the partial regression definition. The two do not agree. A possible way of salvaging the causal meaning of Hamilton's rule is explored, by appeal to R. A. Fisher's 'average effect of a gene substitution'.

  19. The causal meaning of Hamilton's rule.

    PubMed

    Okasha, Samir; Martens, Johannes

    2016-03-01

    Hamilton's original derivation of his rule for the spread of an altruistic gene (rb>c) assumed additivity of costs and benefits. Recently, it has been argued that an exact version of the rule holds under non-additive pay-offs, so long as the cost and benefit terms are suitably defined, as partial regression coefficients. However, critics have questioned both the biological significance and the causal meaning of the resulting rule. This paper examines the causal meaning of the generalized Hamilton's rule in a simple model, by computing the effect of a hypothetical experiment to assess the cost of a social action and comparing it to the partial regression definition. The two do not agree. A possible way of salvaging the causal meaning of Hamilton's rule is explored, by appeal to R. A. Fisher's 'average effect of a gene substitution'. PMID:27069669

  20. Are network-based interventions a useful antiobesity strategy? An application of simulation models for causal inference in epidemiology.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Abdulrahman M; Seemann, Lars; Scarborough, Peter; Galea, Sandro

    2013-07-15

    Recent research suggests that social networks may present an avenue for intervention against obesity. By using a simulation model in which artificial individuals were nested in a social network, we assessed whether interventions targeting highly networked individuals could help reduce population obesity. We compared the effects of targeting antiobesity interventions at the most connected individuals in a network with those targeting individuals at random. We tested 2 interventions, the first "preventing" obesity among 10% of the population at simulation outset and the second "treating" obesity among 10% of the obese population yearly, each in 2 separate simulations. One simulation featured a literature-based parameter for the network spread of obesity, and the other featured an artificially high parameter. Interventions that targeted highly networked individuals did not outperform at-random interventions in simulations featuring the literature-based parameter. However, in simulations featuring the artificially high parameter, the targeted prevention intervention outperformed the at-random intervention, whereas the treatment intervention implemented at random outperformed the targeted treatment intervention. Results were qualitatively similar across network topologies and intervention scales. Although descriptive studies suggest that social networks influence the spread of obesity, policies targeting well-connected individuals in social networks may not improve obesity reduction. We highlight and discuss the potential applications of counterfactual simulations in epidemiology.

  1. Causal dynamical triangulation with extended interactions in 1+1 dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuji, Hiroyuki; Sato, Yuki; Watabiki, Yoshiyuki

    2011-10-01

    We study the Causal Dynamical Triangulation (CDT) with extended interactions in 1 + 1 dimensions applying the method in the non-critical String Field Theory (SFT) constructed by Ishibashi and Kawai. For this model, we solve Schwinger-Dyson's Equation (SDE) for disk amplitude perturbatively, and find a matrix model in the continuum limit reproducing the SDE in the non-critical SFT approach as the loop equation.

  2. 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.

  3. Comments: Causal Interpretations of Mediation Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jo, Booil; Stuart, Elizabeth A.

    2012-01-01

    The authors thank Dr. Lindsay Page for providing a nice illustration of the use of the principal stratification framework to define causal effects, and a Bayesian model for effect estimation. They hope that her well-written article will help expose education researchers to these concepts and methods, and move the field of mediation analysis in…

  4. Inductive Reasoning about Causally Transmitted Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shafto, Patrick; Kemp, Charles; Bonawitz, Elizabeth Baraff; Coley, John D.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2008-01-01

    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'…

  5. Reflective, causal, and composite indicators of quality of life: A conceptual or an empirical distinction?

    PubMed

    Costa, Daniel S J

    2015-09-01

    Items (or indicators) that constitute "quality of life" instruments can be classified as either reflective (manifestations of some underlying construct), causal (the construct is an effect of the indicators), or composite (the construct is an exact linear combination of the indicators). Psychometric methods based on inter-item associations are only appropriate for reflective indicators, whereas other statistical and non-statistical validation methods can be used for composite or causal indicators. Thus, the distinction has important practical, as well as theoretical, implications. Attempts have been made to empirically identify which items of the EORTC QLQ-C30, a cancer-specific instrument, are causal and which are reflective. Such attempts, however, first require commitment to a particular definition of quality of life, of which there are many. Whether an indicator forms a composite, is causal or reflective of quality of life will depend on the definition adopted, and therefore, the reflective-composite-causal distinction is, arguably, best established on conceptual rather empirical grounds, guided by the "mental experiments" suggested by Bollen (Structural equations with latent variables, Wiley, New York, 1989). Conceptual models of health status and quality of life, as well as a cognitive-linguistic approach to quality of life assessment, may make some contribution to this practice. Theoretical consideration of indicator content can guide not only instrument development and validation, but also the selection of an appropriate instrument. PMID:25725599

  6. 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...

  7. Contemporary Quantitative Methods and "Slow" Causal Inference: Response to Palinkas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Susan

    2014-01-01

    This response considers together simultaneously occurring discussions about causal inference in social work and allied health and social science disciplines. It places emphasis on scholarship that integrates the potential outcomes model with directed acyclic graphing techniques to extract core steps in causal inference. Although this scholarship…

  8. Causal Coherence Relations and Levels of Discourse Representation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulder, Gerben; Sanders, Ted J. M.

    2012-01-01

    This study focused on the cognitive representation of causal coherence relations linguistically marked with the connective "because." This article investigated whether these local causal relations are represented both at the level of the textbase and the situation model. Following earlier studies investigating the psychological validity of levels…

  9. From Blickets to Synapses: Inferring Temporal Causal Networks by Observation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernando, Chrisantha

    2013-01-01

    How do human infants learn the causal dependencies between events? Evidence suggests that this remarkable feat can be achieved by observation of only a handful of examples. Many computational models have been produced to explain how infants perform causal inference without explicit teaching about statistics or the scientific method. Here, we…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rehder, Bob

    2015-01-01

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

  11. The Feasibility of Using Causal Indicators in Educational Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Jue; Engelhard, George, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The authors of the focus article describe an important issue related to the use and interpretation of causal indicators within the context of structural equation modeling (SEM). In the focus article, the authors illustrate with simulated data the effects of omitting a causal indicator. Since SEMs are used extensively in the social and behavioral…

  12. Causal Relations Drive Young Children's Induction, Naming, and Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Opfer, John E.; Bulloch, Megan J.

    2007-01-01

    A number of recent models and experiments have suggested that evidence of early category-based induction is an artifact of perceptual cues provided by experimenters. We tested these accounts against the prediction that different relations (causal versus non-causal) determine the types of perceptual similarity by which children generalize. Young…

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

    PubMed

    Lombrozo, Tania

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lombrozo, Tania

    2010-12-01

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

  15. Causal inference in randomized experiments with mediational processes.

    PubMed

    Jo, Booil

    2008-12-01

    This article links the structural equation modeling (SEM) approach with the principal stratification (PS) approach, both of which have been widely used to study the role of intermediate posttreatment outcomes in randomized experiments. Despite the potential benefit of such integration, the 2 approaches have been developed in parallel with little interaction. This article proposes the cross-model translation (CMT) approach, in which parameter estimates are translated back and forth between the PS and SEM models. First, without involving any particular identifying assumptions, translation between PS and SEM parameters is carried out on the basis of their close conceptual connection. Monte Carlo simulations are used to further clarify the relation between the 2 approaches under particular identifying assumptions. The study concludes that, under the common goal of causal inference, what makes a practical difference is the choice of identifying assumptions, not the modeling framework itself. The CMT approach provides a common ground in which the PS and SEM approaches can be jointly considered, focusing on their common inferential problems.

  16. Final Report for Dynamic Models for Causal Analysis of Panel Data. Models for Change in Quantitative Variables, Part II Scholastic Models. Part II, Chapter 4.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Michael T.

    This document is part of a series of chapters described in SO 011 759. Stochastic models for the sociological analysis of change and the change process in quantitative variables are presented. The author lays groundwork for the statistical treatment of simple stochastic differential equations (SDEs) and discusses some of the continuities of…

  17. 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.

  18. Causal electromagnetic interaction equations

    SciTech Connect

    Zinoviev, Yury M.

    2011-02-15

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

  19. 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)

  20. Mitigating the effects of measurement noise on Granger causality

    SciTech Connect

    Nalatore, Hariharan; Ding Mingzhou; Rangarajan, Govindan

    2007-03-15

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

  1. Spread of entanglement and causality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casini, Horacio; Liu, Hong; Mezei, Márk

    2016-07-01

    We investigate causality constraints on the time evolution of entanglement entropy after a global quench in relativistic theories. We first provide a general proof that the so-called tsunami velocity is bounded by the speed of light. We then generalize the free particle streaming model of [1] to general dimensions and to an arbitrary entanglement pattern of the initial state. In more than two spacetime dimensions the spread of entanglement in these models is highly sensitive to the initial entanglement pattern, but we are able to prove an upper bound on the normalized rate of growth of entanglement entropy, and hence the tsunami velocity. The bound is smaller than what one gets for quenches in holographic theories, which highlights the importance of interactions in the spread of entanglement in many-body systems. We propose an interacting model which we believe provides an upper bound on the spread of entanglement for interacting relativistic theories. In two spacetime dimensions with multiple intervals, this model and its variations are able to reproduce intricate results exhibited by holographic theories for a significant part of the parameter space. For higher dimensions, the model bounds the tsunami velocity at the speed of light. Finally, we construct a geometric model for entanglement propagation based on a tensor network construction for global quenches.

  2. Decomposition approach to model smart suspension struts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Xubin

    2008-10-01

    Model and simulation study is the starting point for engineering design and development, especially for developing vehicle control systems. This paper presents a methodology to build models for application of smart struts for vehicle suspension control development. The modeling approach is based on decomposition of the testing data. Per the strut functions, the data is dissected according to both control and physical variables. Then the data sets are characterized to represent different aspects of the strut working behaviors. Next different mathematical equations can be built and optimized to best fit the corresponding data sets, respectively. In this way, the model optimization can be facilitated in comparison to a traditional approach to find out a global optimum set of model parameters for a complicated nonlinear model from a series of testing data. Finally, two struts are introduced as examples for this modeling study: magneto-rheological (MR) dampers and compressible fluid (CF) based struts. The model validation shows that this methodology can truly capture macro-behaviors of these struts.

  3. Spatio-temporal Granger causality: a new framework

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  5. The Causal Effects of Father Absence

    PubMed Central

    McLanahan, Sara; Tach, Laura; Schneider, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The literature on father absence is frequently criticized for its use of cross-sectional data and methods that fail to take account of possible omitted variable bias and reverse causality. We review studies that have responded to this critique by employing a variety of innovative research designs to identify the causal effect of father absence, including studies using lagged dependent variable models, growth curve models, individual fixed effects models, sibling fixed effects models, natural experiments, and propensity score matching models. Our assessment is that studies using more rigorous designs continue to find negative effects of father absence on offspring well-being, although the magnitude of these effects is smaller than what is found using traditional cross-sectional designs. The evidence is strongest and most consistent for outcomes such as high school graduation, children’s social-emotional adjustment, and adult mental health. PMID:24489431

  6. 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.

  7. Dysconnectivity Within the Default Mode in First-Episode Schizophrenia: A Stochastic Dynamic Causal Modeling Study With Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Bastos-Leite, António J.; Ridgway, Gerard R.; Silveira, Celeste; Norton, Andreia; Reis, Salomé; Friston, Karl J.

    2015-01-01

    We report the first stochastic dynamic causal modeling (sDCM) study of effective connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) in schizophrenia. Thirty-three patients (9 women, mean age = 25.0 years, SD = 5) with a first episode of psychosis and diagnosis of schizophrenia—according to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, revised criteria—were studied. Fifteen healthy control subjects (4 women, mean age = 24.6 years, SD = 4) were included for comparison. All subjects underwent resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) interspersed with 2 periods of continuous picture viewing. The anterior frontal (AF), posterior cingulate (PC), and the left and right parietal nodes of the DMN were localized in an unbiased fashion using data from 16 independent healthy volunteers (using an identical fMRI protocol). We used sDCM to estimate directed connections between and within nodes of the DMN, which were subsequently compared with t tests at the between subject level. The excitatory effect of the PC node on the AF node and the inhibitory self-connection of the AF node were significantly weaker in patients (mean values = 0.013 and −0.048 Hz, SD = 0.09 and 0.05, respectively) relative to healthy subjects (mean values = 0.084 and −0.088 Hz, SD = 0.15 and 0.77, respectively; P < .05). In summary, sDCM revealed reduced effective connectivity to the AF node of the DMN—reflecting a reduced postsynaptic efficacy of prefrontal afferents—in patients with first-episode schizophrenia. PMID:24939881

  8. A hybrid modeling approach for option pricing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hajizadeh, Ehsan; Seifi, Abbas

    2011-11-01

    The complexity of option pricing has led many researchers to develop sophisticated models for such purposes. The commonly used Black-Scholes model suffers from a number of limitations. One of these limitations is the assumption that the underlying probability distribution is lognormal and this is so controversial. We propose a couple of hybrid models to reduce these limitations and enhance the ability of option pricing. The key input to option pricing model is volatility. In this paper, we use three popular GARCH type model for estimating volatility. Then, we develop two non-parametric models based on neural networks and neuro-fuzzy networks to price call options for S&P 500 index. We compare the results with those of Black-Scholes model and show that both neural network and neuro-fuzzy network models outperform Black-Scholes model. Furthermore, comparing the neural network and neuro-fuzzy approaches, we observe that for at-the-money options, neural network model performs better and for both in-the-money and an out-of-the money option, neuro-fuzzy model provides better results.

  9. Causal Poisson bracket via deformation quantization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berra-Montiel, Jasel; Molgado, Alberto; Palacios-García, César D.

    2016-06-01

    Starting with the well-defined product of quantum fields at two spacetime points, we explore an associated Poisson structure for classical field theories within the deformation quantization formalism. We realize that the induced star-product is naturally related to the standard Moyal product through an appropriate causal Green’s functions connecting points in the space of classical solutions to the equations of motion. Our results resemble the Peierls-DeWitt bracket that has been analyzed in the multisymplectic context. Once our star-product is defined, we are able to apply the Wigner-Weyl map in order to introduce a generalized version of Wick’s theorem. Finally, we include some examples to explicitly test our method: the real scalar field, the bosonic string and a physically motivated nonlinear particle model. For the field theoretic models, we have encountered causal generalizations of the creation/annihilation relations, and also a causal generalization of the Virasoro algebra for the bosonic string. For the nonlinear particle case, we use the approximate solution in terms of the Green’s function, in order to construct a well-behaved causal bracket.

  10. A subgrid based approach for morphodynamic modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volp, N. D.; van Prooijen, B. C.; Pietrzak, J. D.; Stelling, G. S.

    2016-07-01

    To improve the accuracy and the efficiency of morphodynamic simulations, we present a subgrid based approach for a morphodynamic model. This approach is well suited for areas characterized by sub-critical flow, like in estuaries, coastal areas and in low land rivers. This new method uses a different grid resolution to compute the hydrodynamics and the morphodynamics. The hydrodynamic computations are carried out with a subgrid based, two-dimensional, depth-averaged model. This model uses a coarse computational grid in combination with a subgrid. The subgrid contains high resolution bathymetry and roughness information to compute volumes, friction and advection. The morphodynamic computations are carried out entirely on a high resolution grid, the bed grid. It is key to find a link between the information defined on the different grids in order to guaranty the feedback between the hydrodynamics and the morphodynamics. This link is made by using a new physics-based interpolation method. The method interpolates water levels and velocities from the coarse grid to the high resolution bed grid. The morphodynamic solution improves significantly when using the subgrid based method compared to a full coarse grid approach. The Exner equation is discretised with an upwind method based on the direction of the bed celerity. This ensures a stable solution for the Exner equation. By means of three examples, it is shown that the subgrid based approach offers a significant improvement at a minimal computational cost.

  11. Expert Causal Reasoning and Explanation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuipers, Benjamin

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

  12. Theory-Based Causal Induction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffiths, Thomas L.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Causal Inference and Developmental Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, E. Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  14. The Development of Causal Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Brett K.; Rehder, Bob

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments examined the impact of causal relations between features on categorization in 5- to 6-year-old children and adults. Participants learned artificial categories containing instances with causally related features and noncausal features. They then selected the most likely category member from a series of novel test pairs.…

  15. A Bayesian Shrinkage Approach for AMMI Models

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira, Luciano Antonio; Nuvunga, Joel Jorge; Pamplona, Andrezza Kéllen Alves

    2015-01-01

    Linear-bilinear models, especially the additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model, are widely applicable to genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI) studies in plant breeding programs. These models allow a parsimonious modeling of GE interactions, retaining a small number of principal components in the analysis. However, one aspect of the AMMI model that is still debated is the selection criteria for determining the number of multiplicative terms required to describe the GE interaction pattern. Shrinkage estimators have been proposed as selection criteria for the GE interaction components. In this study, a Bayesian approach was combined with the AMMI model with shrinkage estimators for the principal components. A total of 55 maize genotypes were evaluated in nine different environments using a complete blocks design with three replicates. The results show that the traditional Bayesian AMMI model produces low shrinkage of singular values but avoids the usual pitfalls in determining the credible intervals in the biplot. On the other hand, Bayesian shrinkage AMMI models have difficulty with the credible interval for model parameters, but produce stronger shrinkage of the principal components, converging to GE matrices that have more shrinkage than those obtained using mixed models. This characteristic allowed more parsimonious models to be chosen, and resulted in models being selected that were similar to those obtained by the Cornelius F-test (α = 0.05) in traditional AMMI models and cross validation based on leave-one-out. This characteristic allowed more parsimonious models to be chosen and more GEI pattern retained on the first two components. The resulting model chosen by posterior distribution of singular value was also similar to those produced by the cross-validation approach in traditional AMMI models. Our method enables the estimation of credible interval for AMMI biplot plus the choice of AMMI model based on direct posterior

  16. A Bayesian Shrinkage Approach for AMMI Models.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Carlos Pereira; de Oliveira, Luciano Antonio; Nuvunga, Joel Jorge; Pamplona, Andrezza Kéllen Alves; Balestre, Marcio

    2015-01-01

    Linear-bilinear models, especially the additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model, are widely applicable to genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI) studies in plant breeding programs. These models allow a parsimonious modeling of GE interactions, retaining a small number of principal components in the analysis. However, one aspect of the AMMI model that is still debated is the selection criteria for determining the number of multiplicative terms required to describe the GE interaction pattern. Shrinkage estimators have been proposed as selection criteria for the GE interaction components. In this study, a Bayesian approach was combined with the AMMI model with shrinkage estimators for the principal components. A total of 55 maize genotypes were evaluated in nine different environments using a complete blocks design with three replicates. The results show that the traditional Bayesian AMMI model produces low shrinkage of singular values but avoids the usual pitfalls in determining the credible intervals in the biplot. On the other hand, Bayesian shrinkage AMMI models have difficulty with the credible interval for model parameters, but produce stronger shrinkage of the principal components, converging to GE matrices that have more shrinkage than those obtained using mixed models. This characteristic allowed more parsimonious models to be chosen, and resulted in models being selected that were similar to those obtained by the Cornelius F-test (α = 0.05) in traditional AMMI models and cross validation based on leave-one-out. This characteristic allowed more parsimonious models to be chosen and more GEI pattern retained on the first two components. The resulting model chosen by posterior distribution of singular value was also similar to those produced by the cross-validation approach in traditional AMMI models. Our method enables the estimation of credible interval for AMMI biplot plus the choice of AMMI model based on direct posterior

  17. On causality of extreme events

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  18. [Causality: risk factors and interventions].

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Olaf M; Vandenbroucke, Jan P

    2013-01-01

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

  19. On causality of extreme events.

    PubMed

    Zanin, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Apparent causality affects perceived simultaneity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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