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A technique for detecting the causal relationship between fluctuating signals is used to investigate the relation between flux and gradient in fusion plasmas. Both a resistive pressure gradient driven turbulence model and experimental Langmuir probe data from the TJ-II stellarator are studied. It is found that the maximum influence occurs at a finite time lag (non-instantaneous response) and that quasi-periodicities exist. Furthermore, the model results show very long range radial influences, extending over most of the investigated regions, possibly related to coupling effects associated with plasma self-organization. These results clearly show that transport in fusion plasmas is not local and instantaneous, as is sometimes assumed.