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Case Studies in Bayesian Statistical Modelling and Analysis by Anthony N. Pettitt, Kerrie L. Mengersen, Clair L. Alston

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18

Hidden Markov Models for Complex Stochastic Processes: A Case Study in Electrophysiology

Nicole M. White1,4, Helen Johnson1, Peter Silburn2, Judith Rousseau3 and Kerrie L. Mengersen1

1Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

2St. Andrew's War Memorial Hospital and Medical Institute, Brisbane, Australia

3Université Paris-Dauphine, Paris, France and Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique (CREST), Paris, France

4CRC for Spatial Information, Australia

18.1 Introduction

Understanding the complexities of human physiology remains an exciting and challenging field in modern medicine. Of the many research streams in this field, a popular area is the study of action potentials (APs), or electrophysiology. Defined by a rapid rise and fall of electrical potential in an activated cellular membrane, an AP is visibly characterized by a unique waveform shape or trajectory, that is considered as an event separate from background noise. Biologically, APs play a central role in the activation of intracellular processes in the human body, including heart and muscle contraction, the release of insulin from the pancreas, facilitation of communication between neurons in the brain and motor sensory signals between the brain and muscles and tissues in the body. As such, the study of APs has the potential to gain understanding of these processes and how they are affected under different environmental, genetic and physical conditions.

The understanding of this and other complex ...

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