Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)
David E. Carlson, Vinayak Rao, Joshua T. Vogelstein, Lawrence Carin
With simultaneous measurements from ever increasing populations of neurons, there is a growing need for sophisticated tools to recover signals from individual neurons. In electrophysiology experiments, this classically proceeds in a two-step process: (i) threshold the waveforms to detect putative spikes and (ii) cluster the waveforms into single units (neurons). We extend previous Bayesian nonparamet- ric models of neural spiking to jointly detect and cluster neurons using a Gamma process model. Importantly, we develop an online approximate inference scheme enabling real-time analysis, with performance exceeding the previous state-of-the- art. Via exploratory data analysis—using data with partial ground truth as well as two novel data sets—we find several features of our model collectively contribute to our improved performance including: (i) accounting for colored noise, (ii) de- tecting overlapping spikes, (iii) tracking waveform dynamics, and (iv) using mul- tiple channels. We hope to enable novel experiments simultaneously measuring many thousands of neurons and possibly adapting stimuli dynamically to probe ever deeper into the mysteries of the brain.