Nonlinear Methods Workshop


This workshop provides the theoretical background, as well as hands-on training in R, for the application in psychology and the social sciences of some of the most popular and broadly-applicable nonlinear analyses methods. Specifically, we will focus on the following methods: (Cross-)Recurrence Quantification Analyses ((C-)RQA), Fractal Analysis (FA), and Convergent Cross-Mapping (CCM).

RQA has a broad applicability, allowing the analysis of quantitative and qualitative changes in time-series and sequences, the analysis of coupling properties between two or more systems, as well as the analysis of multidimensional time-series.
FA allows to analyze fractal scaling relations and long-memory properties of time-series.
CCM is a method to analyze the strength and direction of influence among two time-series allowing the construction of a causal network between a set of variables.

In the social and behavioral sciences, these methods are useful for studying systems with nonlinear time evolution because they do not make strong assumptions about the data and allow to capture complex temporal patterns. They have been particularly useful for the analysis of time-series data from naturalistic settings and semi-experimental studies, investigations of response times, as well as the analysis of joint-action data in order to quantify group-dynamics such as synchrony and coupling between individuals, as well as leader-follower relationships.

Participants are welcome to bring their own data, which they can analyze during the training sessions or together with the instructors at the end of the workshop.

Basic knowledge of R is necessary, such as loading or saving data and performing basic operations on the command line. No previous knowledge of the methods discussed in the workshop is assumed. Note that participants will need to bring their own laptop in order to participate. If you are not familiar with R, we recommend working through a tutorial beforehand (e.g.,

Hybrid workshop
We intent to hold this workshop as a face-to-face workshop at the University of Lüneburg. In our experience, participants profit from the direct, mutual exchange with one another, as well as with the instructors. Moreover, discussing research designs or participants data and idiosyncratic analysis strategies are best done face-to-face, we think.
However, we offer this workshop under any circumstances as a hybrid workshop. Hence, it will be possible to participate in this workshop remotely as well. Particularly, if the Covid-19 situation will be such that travel and face-to-face meetings in June 2021 are not possible, this workshop will be also offered as an online workshop on the same dates and time, and with the same topics.


Sebastian Wallot, PhD<>

Sebastian Wallot is a senior researcher at the Department of Language and Literature at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He got his PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Cincinnati, OH, USA and worked as postdoctoral research at the Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark. His research focusses on reading, particularly the relation between reading process characteristics and comprehension, joint action, and the development of and application of nonlinear time-series analyses.

Prof. Dan Mønster <>

Originally trained as a physicist, Dan Mønster now directs Cognition and Behavior Lab at Aarhus University, Denmark. He is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Business Economics where he teaches mathematics, and is part of the Interacting Minds Centre. His research focuses on interpersonal dynamics in group cooperation, using both linear and nonlinear methods to analyze behavioral and physiological data from controlled experiments. Dan has contributed to algorithms for nonlinear analysis and R packages.

Prof. Giuseppe Leonardi <>

During his doctorate in experimental psychology, which he completed in Trieste, Italy, he studied applications of Dynamical System Theory to psychology and spent two years at the Center for Complex Systems at Florida Atlantic University, USA. He specializes in dynamical analyses of naturalistic human interactions, with a focus in Recurrence Quantification Analysis. He is now director of the psychology program at the University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, Poland.

Prof. Ralf Cox <>

Ralf Cox is currently associate professor at the Developmental Psychology group of the Department of Psychology of the University of Groningen, Netherlands. He received his PhD in Social Sciences at the Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands, in 2007. His research addresses the coordinative basis of behavior, cognition and their development. This entails a micro-genetic and complex dynamical systems approach to intra- and interpersonal coordination, as well as the advancement of nonlinear time-series techniques to study this. He has published on motor performance, planning, language development, dyslexia, mother-child, client-therapist and peer interaction, and gesture-speech attunement.

Monika Tschense, M.A. <>

During her studies, Monika Tschense acquired a background in linguistics with foci on (neuro-) cognition of language and speech-language pathology. Since November 2018 she is a PhD student and researcher within the third-party funded project “Reading time regularity” at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The project aims to explore to what extent nonlinear measures of time-series data are suitable for predicting text comprehension. To this end, together with Sebastian Wallot, Monika investigates behavioral measures (reaction times, eye movements) as well as electrophysiological correlates of natural reading.


Tuesday, June 22nd

09:30-10:30   Introduction: Why nonlinear methods,  Theory and example applications of nonlinear analyses in psychology
10:30-11:00   Coffee Break
11:00-12:30   Basics of Recurrence Quantification Analysis, Introduction to Recurrence Plots; Introduction to phase-space   
                       reconstruction; Hands-on: selecting embedding parameters
12:30-13:30   Lunch on your own
13:30-15:00   Cross-Recurrence Quantification Analysis I Introduction to CRQA;
                       Hands-on: CRQA with continuous and nominal data
15:00-15:30   Coffee Break
15:30-17:00   Cross-Recurrence Quantification Analysis II, Introduction to leader-follower analysis using diagonal
                       cross-recurrence profiles (DCRPs), Hands-on: calculating DCRPs

Wednesday, June 23rd

09:00-10:30  Chromatic and anisotropic Cross-Recurrence Quantification Analysis, Introduction to the analyses of matches
                      between two categorical time-series
10:30-11:00  Coffee Break
11:00-12:30  Multidimensional Recurrence Quantification Analysis, Introduction to MdRQA;
                      Hands-on: using MdRQA on group (n > 2) data, and analysis of different intra-group levels
12:30-13:30  Lunch on your own
13:30-15:00  Multidimensional Cross-Recurrence Quantification Analysis, Introduction to MdCRQA;
                      Hands-on: using MdCRQA to correlate two multidimensional time-series
15:00:15:30  Coffee Break
15:30:17:00  Sample parameter estimation for Recurrence-Based Analyses,
                      Best practices: choosing embedding parameters and follow-up statistical analyses;
                      Hands-on: dealing with a sample of time-series data
18:30             Dinner

Thursday, June 24th

09:00-10:30    Practice session: Using Recurrence-based analysis on different data types
10:30-11:00    Coffee Break
11:00-12:30    Convergent Cross-Mapping, Introduction to CCM; Constructing causal networks between a set of variables
12:30-13:30    Lunch on your own
13:30-15:00    Practice session: Using Convergent Cross-Mapping
15:00-15:30    Coffee Break
15:30-17:00    Basics of Fractal Analysis, Introduction to fractals; Introduction to fractal geometry and scaling relations

Friday, June 25th

09:00-10:30    Monofractal Analysis, Analyses of long-memory properties of time-series
10:30-11:00    Coffee Break
11:00-12:30    Practice Session: Fractal Analysis
12:30-13:30    Lunch on your own
13:30-15:00    Wrap-up / Q&A / Analyze your own data, Final remarks and goodbye;Analyze your own data
                         with the help of the instructors
15:00-15:30    Coffee Break
15:30-17:00    Analyze your own data, Continue analyzing your own data with the help of the instructors


R packages needed:
- nonlinearTseries
- sparseM
- ggplot
- crqa

...and all their dependencies.

Also check out:

Recurrence Plots and Cross Recurrence Plots

Coco, M. I. & Dale, R. (2014). Cross-recurrence quantification analysis of categorical and continuous time series: an R package. Frontiers in Quantitative Psychology and Measurement, 5, 510.

Wallot, S. (2017). Recurrence Quantification Analysis of Processes and Products of Discourse: A Tutorial in R. Discourse Processes, 54, 382-405.

Wallot, S., & Leonardi, G. (2018). Analyzing multivariate dynamics using cross-recurrence quantification analysis (crqa), diagonal-cross-recurrence profiles (dcrp), and multidimensional recurrence quantification analysis (mdrqa)–a tutorial in r. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 2232.


Participation in the workshop is for free, but you will need to cover costs for accommodation and travel yourself. Moreover, we can assist a limited number of participants in covering costs for travel and lodging. You can indicate if you need travel assistance in your application for registration (see link below).

If you want to register for the workshop, please use to following link:

Here, we ask to answer a few questions about your expertise (which are only for the instructor to get a sense of the audience), write a brief motivational statement why you want to participate, and upload a CV of no more than 2 pages.

The number of participants is limited to 30. If we receive more applications for registration than there are slots, participants will be selected based on their motivational statement and their CV.

Registration is open until April 30th and you will receive feedback on your registration application until May 5th the latest.

After your successful registration you will receive information about the hotel booking in Lüneburg.

contact: Monika Tschense:


Workshop Location is:

Leuphana University Lüneburg
Universitätsalle 1
21335 Lüneburg
Room C40.601 Audimax

Travel Information for Public Transportation to Conference Venue

Please check whether you will need a visa for Germany! Applying for and obtaining the visa is your own responsibility. If you need an invite to get a visa, please indicate so in the application form.

GENERAL: How to purchase a train ticket:
You have to purchase a ticket on a machine with German or English as operating languages.  Those machines are placed in the entrance areas of the station, usually before you are taking stairs down to the train platforms. Please enter

Directions upon arrival at the airport:
From Hamburg Airport : S1 Hamburg Airport to Hamburg Central Station
                                         Hamburg Central Station to Lüneburg with the metronom    
                                         taxi or bus to the Leuphana University, Universitätsalle 1, 21335 Lüneburg

From Hannover Airport: S5 Hannover Airport to Hannover Central Station
                                         Hannover Central Station to Lüneburg with train
                                         taxi or bus to the Leuphana University, Universitätsalle 1,  21335 Lüneburg

Directions upon arrival by train: to Lüneburg train station and then with taxi or bus to the
                                                        Leuphana University Lüneburg, Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg

Travel Direction upon Arrival by Car:

From Hamburg Airport: motorway A7 Schnelsen towards Hannover / Lüneburg
                                        to Maschener Kreuz then onto the A39 towards Lüneburg.
                                        Exit Adendorf to Leuphana University approx. 7 kilometers

From Hannover Airport: motorway A7 towards Hamburg
                                         exit Soltau Ost. Direction to Lüneburg on the street  B 209 approx .45 kilometers