Talk: Mathematical modelling applied to archaeology and neuroscience

18 Dec 2014
11.00 am – 12.00 pm

by Nevio Dubbini

TITLE: Mathematical modelling applied to archaeology and neuroscience: archaeological potential estimation and brain activation detection.

ABSTRACT: I will talk about the mathematical/statistical models I have used to address two problems, one related to archaeology, the other to neuroscience.
As for archaeology, the problem addressed is that of estimating the archaeological potential, in the areas where archaeological data is missing. The archaeological potential is a measure of the importance of the archaeological remains. The space regions, through the presence of findings, can attribute importance to surrounding areas by “suggesting” the presence of further findigs; and in turn can receive importance from other areas. Therefore a variation of the PageRank algorithm has revealed appropriate. PageRank is a well-known algorithm used by search engines to attribute importance to web pages, with similar principles. The case study presented is the estimation of the archaeological potential of the urban area of Pisa.
Wihtin neuroscience, the problem of detecting human brain activation from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data is discussed.
Here the main issue addressed is that of avoiding the hypothesis of independence of voxels’ behavior, upon which the standard methods to detect activations rely on. A model considering also brain connectiviy in detecting activation is presented, which combines autoregressive models, causality measures, and statistical techniques. The case study presented is about finger tapping data.

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