Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics


Graduate Student Sean Mc Carthy awarded with the REM Fellowship

Congratulations to Sean Mc Carthy for receiving the award of a Research Experience for Master's Programs Fellowship for Spring 2015. Sean is a graduate student in the Applied Statistics program interested in cognitive neuropsychology. Below is an abstract for his research.


An unfortunate reality of modern society is drunk driving. Humans experience traumatic brain injury while under the effects of alcohol. A question important both to society and medicine is how level of alcohol consumption relates to recovery from brain injury. Using an animal model, we examine several statistical methods for quantifying the effects of alcohol on traumatic brain injury. In this experiment 12 trained mice were given a controlled brain injury (5 saline control and 7 alcohol treatment). The mice were then tested on ability to reach for food pellets over the course of 30 days. The data provides binomial success rates over time based on treatment group. We show that nonlinear mixed effects analysis is better able to model the population response when compared to standard repeated measures ANOVA or logistic regression analysis. These findings provide a more fluid and accurate representation of experimental outcomes. By demonstrating the effectiveness of nonlinear mixed effects analysis in regards to biological models, we hope to arm scientists in other areas with a valuable tool for complex data analysis.