Finding the event structure of neuronal spike trains

J. Vincent Toups, Jean Marc Fellous, Peter J. Thomas, Terrence J. Sejnowski, Paul H. Tiesinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Neurons in sensory systems convey information about physical stimuli in their spike trains. In vitro, single neurons respond precisely and reliably to the repeated injection of the same fluctuating current, producing regions of elevated firing rate, termed events. Analysis of these spike trains reveals that multiple distinct spike patterns can be identified as trial-to-trial correlations between spike times (Fellous, Tiesinga, Thomas, & Sejnowski, 2004). Finding events in data with realistic spiking statistics is challenging because events belonging to different spike patterns may overlap. We propose a method for finding spiking events that uses contextual information to disambiguate which pattern a trial belongs to. The procedure can be applied to spike trains of the same neuron across multiple trials to detect and separate responses obtained during different brain states. The procedure can also be applied to spike trains from multiple simultaneously recorded neurons in order to identify volleys of near-synchronous activity or to distinguish between excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The procedure was tested using artificial data as well as recordings in vitro in response to fluctuating current waveforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2169-2208
Number of pages40
JournalNeural computation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Finding the event structure of neuronal spike trains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this