# General linear model

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The general linear model or multivariate regression model is a statistical linear model. It may be written as[1]

${\displaystyle \mathbf {Y} =\mathbf {X} \mathbf {B} +\mathbf {U} ,}$

where Y is a matrix with series of multivariate measurements (each column being a set of measurements on one of the dependent variables), X is a matrix of observations on independent variables that might be a design matrix (each column being a set of observations on one of the independent variables), B is a matrix containing parameters that are usually to be estimated and U is a matrix containing errors (noise). The errors are usually assumed to be uncorrelated across measurements, and follow a multivariate normal distribution. If the errors do not follow a multivariate normal distribution, generalized linear models may be used to relax assumptions about Y and U.

The general linear model incorporates a number of different statistical models: ANOVA, ANCOVA, MANOVA, MANCOVA, ordinary linear regression, t-test and F-test. The general linear model is a generalization of multiple linear regression model to the case of more than one dependent variable. If Y, B, and U were column vectors, the matrix equation above would represent multiple linear regression.

Hypothesis tests with the general linear model can be made in two ways: multivariate or as several independent univariate tests. In multivariate tests the columns of Y are tested together, whereas in univariate tests the columns of Y are tested independently, i.e., as multiple univariate tests with the same design matrix.

## Multiple linear regression

Multiple linear regression is a generalization of linear regression by considering more than one independent variable, and a special case of general linear models formed by restricting the number of dependent variables to one. The basic model for linear regression is

${\displaystyle Y_{i}=\beta _{0}+\beta _{1}X_{i1}+\beta _{2}X_{i2}+\ldots +\beta _{p}X_{ip}+\epsilon _{i}.}$

In the formula above we consider n observations of one dependent variable and p independent variables. Thus, Yi is the ith observation of the dependent variable, Xij is ith observation of the jth independent variable, j = 1, 2, ..., p. The values βj represent parameters to be estimated, and εi is the ith independent identically distributed normal error.

## Applications

An application of the general linear model appears in the analysis of multiple brain scans in scientific experiments where Y contains data from brain scanners, X contains experimental design variables and confounds. It is usually tested in a univariate way (usually referred to a mass-univariate in this setting) and is often referred to as statistical parametric mapping.[2]