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Causal inference

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29149201/the-influence-of-filtering-and-downsampling-on-the-estimation-of-transfer-entropy
#1
Immo Weber, Esther Florin, Michael von Papen, Lars Timmermann
Transfer entropy (TE) provides a generalized and model-free framework to study Wiener-Granger causality between brain regions. Because of its nonparametric character, TE can infer directed information flow also from nonlinear systems. Despite its increasing number of applications in neuroscience, not much is known regarding the influence of common electrophysiological preprocessing on its estimation. We test the influence of filtering and downsampling on a recently proposed nearest neighborhood based TE estimator...
2017: PloS One
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29149188/orienting-the-causal-relationship-between-imprecisely-measured-traits-using-gwas-summary-data
#2
Gibran Hemani, Kate Tilling, George Davey Smith
Inference about the causal structure that induces correlations between two traits can be achieved by combining genetic associations with a mediation-based approach, as is done in the causal inference test (CIT). However, we show that measurement error in the phenotypes can lead to the CIT inferring the wrong causal direction, and that increasing sample sizes has the adverse effect of increasing confidence in the wrong answer. This problem is likely to be general to other mediation-based approaches. Here we introduce an extension to Mendelian randomisation, a method that uses genetic associations in an instrumentation framework, that enables inference of the causal direction between traits, with some advantages...
November 17, 2017: PLoS Genetics
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29146466/causal-mapping-of-emotion-networks-in-the-human-brain-framework-and-initial-findings
#3
Julien Dubois, Hiroyuki Oya, J Michael Tyszka, Matthew Howard, Frederick Eberhardt, Ralph Adolphs
Emotions involve many cortical and subcortical regions, prominently including the amygdala. It remains unknown how these multiple network components interact, and it remains unknown how they cause the behavioral, autonomic, and experiential effects of emotions. Here we describe a framework for combining a novel technique, concurrent electrical stimulation with fMRI (es-fMRI), together with a novel analysis, inferring causal structure from fMRI data (causal discovery). We outline a research program for investigating human emotion with these new tools, and provide initial findings from two large resting-state datasets as well as case studies in neurosurgical patients with electrical stimulation of the amygdala...
November 13, 2017: Neuropsychologia
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29146124/relationship-of-c-reactive-protein-reduction-to-cardiovascular-event-reduction-following-treatment-with-canakinumab-a-secondary-analysis-from-the-cantos-randomised-controlled-trial
#4
Paul M Ridker, Jean G MacFadyen, Brendan M Everett, Peter Libby, Tom Thuren, Robert J Glynn
BACKGROUND: Canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting interleukin-1β, reduces inflammation and cardiovascular event rates with no effect on lipid concentrations. However, it is uncertain which patient groups benefit the most from treatment and whether reductions in the inflammatory biomarker high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) correlate with clinical benefits for individual patients. METHODS: The Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study (CANTOS) used computer-generated codes to randomly allocate 10 061 men and women with a history of myocardial infarction to placebo or one of three doses of canakinumab (50 mg, 150 mg, or 300 mg) given subcutaneously once every 3 months...
November 13, 2017: Lancet
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29130592/accounting-for-measurement-error-in-human-life-history-trade-offs-using-structural-equation-modeling
#5
Samuli Helle
OBJECTIVES: Revealing causal effects from correlative data is very challenging and a contemporary problem in human life history research owing to the lack of experimental approach. Problems with causal inference arising from measurement error in independent variables, whether related either to inaccurate measurement technique or validity of measurements, seem not well-known in this field. The aim of this study is to show how structural equation modeling (SEM) with latent variables can be applied to account for measurement error in independent variables when the researcher has recorded several indicators of a hypothesized latent construct...
November 11, 2017: American Journal of Human Biology: the Official Journal of the Human Biology Council
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29130025/epidemiology-of-keratinocyte-carcinoma
#6
David M Perry, Virginia Barton, Anthony J Alberg
Purpose of the review: To provide a synopsis of recent research advances in the epidemiology of keratinocyte carcinoma (KC), with a focus on indoor tanning and known risk factors for other forms of cancer such as cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking. Recent findings: The evidence is strong enough to infer that use of UVR-emitting indoor tanning devices cause KC. Epidemiologic studies of cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and menopausal hormone therapy all show some suggestion for increased risk of KC but the evidence is not yet strong enough to determine if there is a true etiologic role...
September 2017: Current Dermatology Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29128975/transcutaneous-vagus-nerve-stimulation-tvns-modulates-flow-experience
#7
Lorenza S Colzato, Gina Wolters, Corinna Peifer
Flow has been defined as a pleasant psychological state that people experience when completely absorbed in an activity. Previous correlative evidence showed that the vagal tone (as indexed by heart rate variability) is a reliable marker of flow. So far, it has not yet been demonstrated that the vagus nerve plays a causal role in flow. To explore this we used transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS), a novel non-invasive brain stimulation technique that increases activation of the locus coeruleus (LC) and norepinephrine release...
November 11, 2017: Experimental Brain Research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation Cérébrale
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29118835/classic-cases-revisited-oxygen-in-court-and-the-problem-of-therapeutic-illusion
#8
Piotr Szawarski
Medical science attempts to inform clinical practice. Law is concerned with causality. Intersection of law and medicine at times highlights the shortcomings in the medical approach to causality. Evidence-based medicine is only as good as the process of gathering evidence and this is inherently imperfect as suggested by philosophers. There is a risk of attributing a causal relationship when there is none, which can result in a false belief about an intervention. False beliefs can become entrenched forming a dogma...
August 2017: J Intensive Care Soc
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29112042/network-viral-load-a-critical-metric-for-hiv-elimination
#9
Britt Skaathun, Aditya S Khanna, Ethan Morgan, Samuel R Friedman, John A Schneider
BACKGROUND: Associations have been observed between an aggregate viral load measure, the community viral load (CVL) and new HIV diagnoses. The CVL aggregates viral loads within chosen geographic areas, restricting inferences about HIV acquisition risk to these areas. We develop a more precise metric, the Network Viral Load (NVL) to measure the composite viral load within a risk network of an HIV negative individual. METHODS: We examined the relationship between NVL and HIV infection among Young Men who have Sex with Men (YMSM) in Chicago, United States...
November 2, 2017: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: JAIDS
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29111422/shorter-sleep-duration-and-longer-sleep-onset-latency-are-related-to-difficulty-disengaging-attention-from-negative-emotional-images-in-individuals-with-elevated-transdiagnostic-repetitive-negative-thinking
#10
Jacob A Nota, Meredith E Coles
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is often associated with disruptions in sleep and circadian rhythms. Disruptions in sleep and circadian rhythms may deal a "second hit" to attentional control deficits. This study evaluated whether sleep and circadian rhythm disruptions are related to the top-down control of attention to negative stimuli in individuals with heightened repetitive negative thinking. METHODS: Fifty-two community adults with high levels of transdiagnostic RNT and varying habitual sleep durations and bedtimes participated in a hybrid free-viewing and directed attention task using pairs of emotionally-evocative and neutral images while eye-tracking data were collected...
October 19, 2017: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29109253/a-transient-dopamine-signal-encodes-subjective-value-and-causally-influences-demand-in-an-economic-context
#11
Scott A Schelp, Katherine J Pultorak, Dylan R Rakowski, Devan M Gomez, Gregory Krzystyniak, Raibatak Das, Erik B Oleson
The mesolimbic dopamine system is strongly implicated in motivational processes. Currently accepted theories suggest that transient mesolimbic dopamine release events energize reward seeking and encode reward value. During the pursuit of reward, critical associations are formed between the reward and cues that predict its availability. Conditioned by these experiences, dopamine neurons begin to fire upon the earliest presentation of a cue, and again at the receipt of reward. The resulting dopamine concentration scales proportionally to the value of the reward...
November 6, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29107887/the-early-social-significance-of-shared-ritual-actions
#12
Zoe Liberman, Katherine D Kinzler, Amanda L Woodward
Many rituals are socially stipulated such that engaging in a group's rituals can fundamentally signal membership in that group. Here, we asked whether infants infer information about people's social affiliation based on whether those people perform the same ritualistic action versus different actions. We presented 16-month-old infants with two people who used the same object to achieve the same goal: turning on a light. In a first study, the actions that the actors used to turn on the light had key properties of ritual: they were not causally necessary to reach the overall goal, and there were no features of the situation that required doing the particular actions...
November 3, 2017: Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29106568/spillover-effects-in-epidemiology-parameters-study-designs-and-methodological-considerations
#13
Jade Benjamin-Chung, Benjamin F Arnold, David Berger, Stephen P Luby, Edward Miguel, John M Colford, Alan E Hubbard
Many public health interventions provide benefits that extend beyond their direct recipients and impact people in close physical or social proximity who did not directly receive the intervention themselves. A classic example of this phenomenon is the herd protection provided by many vaccines. If these 'spillover effects' (i.e. 'herd effects') are present in the same direction as the effects on the intended recipients, studies that only estimate direct effects on recipients will likely underestimate the full public health benefits of the intervention...
November 2, 2017: International Journal of Epidemiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29104515/simcausal-r-package-conducting-transparent-and-reproducible-simulation-studies-of-causal-effect-estimation-with-complex-longitudinal-data
#14
Oleg Sofrygin, Mark J van der Laan, Romain Neugebauer
The simcausal R package is a tool for specification and simulation of complex longitudinal data structures that are based on non-parametric structural equation models. The package aims to provide a flexible tool for simplifying the conduct of transparent and reproducible simulation studies, with a particular emphasis on the types of data and interventions frequently encountered in real-world causal inference problems, such as, observational data with time-dependent confounding, selection bias, and random monitoring processes...
2017: Journal of Statistical Software
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29102189/modeling-drivers-of-phosphorus-loads-in-chesapeake-bay-tributaries-and-inferences-about-long-term-change
#15
Karen R Ryberg, Joel D Blomquist, Lori A Sprague, Andrew J Sekellick, Jennifer Keisman
Causal attribution of changes in water quality often consists of correlation, qualitative reasoning, listing references to the work of others, or speculation. To better support statements of attribution for water-quality trends, structural equation modeling was used to model the causal factors of total phosphorus loads in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. By transforming, scaling, and standardizing variables, grouping similar sites, grouping some causal factors into latent variable models, and using methods that correct for assumption violations, we developed a structural equation model to show how causal factors interact to produce total phosphorus loads...
October 25, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29101022/lsd-modulates-effective-connectivity-and-neural-adaptation-mechanisms-in-an-auditory-oddball-paradigm
#16
REVIEW
Christopher Timmermann, Meg J Spriggs, Mendel Kaelen, Robert Leech, David J Nutt, Rosalyn J Moran, Robin L Carhart-Harris, Suresh D Muthukumaraswamy
Under the predictive coding framework, perceptual learning and inference are dependent on the interaction between top-down predictions and bottom-up sensory signals both between and within regions in a network. However, how such feedback and feedforward connections are modulated in the state induced by lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is poorly understood. In this study, an auditory oddball paradigm was presented to healthy participants (16 males, 4 female) under LSD and placebo, and brain activity was recorded using magnetoencephalography (MEG)...
October 31, 2017: Neuropharmacology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29096130/impaired-self-agency-inferences-in-schizophrenia-the-role-of-cognitive-capacity-and-causal-reasoning-style
#17
M Prikken, A van der Weiden, R S Kahn, H Aarts, N E M van Haren
BACKGROUND: The sense of self-agency, i.e., experiencing oneself as the cause of one's own actions, is impaired in patients with schizophrenia. Normally, inferences of self-agency are enhanced when actual outcomes match with pre-activated outcome information, where this pre-activation can result from explicitly set goals (i.e., goal-based route) or implicitly primed outcome information (i.e., prime-based route). Previous research suggests that patients show specific impairments in the prime-based route, implicating that they do not rely on matches between implicitly available outcome information and actual action-outcomes when inferring self-agency...
September 20, 2017: European Psychiatry: the Journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29095246/impact-of-national-ambient-air-quality-standards-nonattainment-designations-on-particulate-pollution-and-health
#18
Corwin M Zigler, Christine Choirat, Francesca Dominici
BACKGROUND: Despite dramatic air quality improvement in the United States over the past decades, recent years have brought renewed scrutiny and uncertainty surrounding the effectiveness of specific regulatory programs for continuing to improve air quality and public health outcomes. METHODS: We employ causal inference methods and a spatial hierarchical regression model to characterize the extent to which a designation of "nonattainment" with the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ambient fine particulate matter (PM2...
October 31, 2017: Epidemiology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29094375/collaborative-targeted-learning-using-regression-shrinkage
#19
Mireille E Schnitzer, Matthew Cefalu
Causal inference practitioners are routinely presented with the challenge of model selection and, in particular, reducing the size of the covariate set with the goal of improving estimation efficiency. Collaborative targeted minimum loss-based estimation (CTMLE) is a general framework for constructing doubly robust semiparametric causal estimators that data-adaptively limit model complexity in the propensity score to optimize a preferred loss function. This stepwise complexity reduction is based on a loss function placed on a strategically updated model for the outcome variable through which the error is assessed using cross-validation...
November 2, 2017: Statistics in Medicine
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29094155/inference-in-psychiatry-via-2-sample-mendelian-randomization-from-association-to-causal-pathway
#20
Enda M Byrne, Jian Yang, Naomi R Wray
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 1, 2017: JAMA Psychiatry
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