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March 2011 Estimating the number of neurons in multi-neuronal spike trains
Mengxin Li, Wei-Liem Loh
Ann. Appl. Stat. 5(1): 176-200 (March 2011). DOI: 10.1214/10-AOAS371


A common way of studying the relationship between neural activity and behavior is through the analysis of neuronal spike trains that are recorded using one or more electrodes implanted in the brain. Each spike train typically contains spikes generated by multiple neurons. A natural question that arises is “what is the number of neurons ν generating the spike train?” This article proposes a method-of-moments technique for estimating ν. This technique estimates the noise nonparametrically using data from the silent region of the spike train and it applies to isolated spikes with a possibly small, but nonnegligible, presence of overlapping spikes. Conditions are established in which the resulting estimator for ν is shown to be strongly consistent. To gauge its finite sample performance, the technique is applied to simulated spike trains as well as to actual neuronal spike train data.


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Mengxin Li. Wei-Liem Loh. "Estimating the number of neurons in multi-neuronal spike trains." Ann. Appl. Stat. 5 (1) 176 - 200, March 2011.


Published: March 2011
First available in Project Euclid: 21 March 2011

zbMATH: 1220.62140
MathSciNet: MR2810394
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/10-AOAS371

Keywords: consistency , eigenvalue , isolated spike , method-of-moments , mixture distribution , neuronal spike train , overlapping spike , spike sorting , trigonometric moment matrix

Rights: Copyright © 2011 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.5 • No. 1 • March 2011
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