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A non-parametric method for automatic neural spikes clustering based on the non-uniform distribution of the data

Zoran Tiganj 1 Mamadou Mboup 1, 2
1 NON-A - Non-Asymptotic estimation for online systems
Inria Lille - Nord Europe, CRIStAL - Centre de Recherche en Informatique, Signal et Automatique de Lille (CRIStAL) - UMR 9189
Abstract : In this paper we propose a simple and straightforward algorithm for neural spike sorting. The algorithm is based on the observation that the distribution of a neural signal largely deviates from the uniform distribution and is rather unimodal. The detected spikes to be sorted are first processed with some feature extraction technique, such as PCA, and then represented in a space with reduced dimension by keeping only a few most important features. The resulting space is next filtered in order to emphasis the differences between the centers and the borders of the clusters. Using some prior knowledge on the lowest level activity of a neuron, as \textit{e.g.} the minimal firing rate, we find the number of clusters and the center of each cluster. The spikes are then sorted using a simple greedy algorithm which grabs the nearest neighbors. We have tested the proposed algorithm on real extracellular recordings and used the simultaneous intracellular recordings to verify the results of the sorting. The results suggest that the algorithm is robust and reliable and it compares favorably with the state-of-the-art approaches. The proposed algorithm tends to be conservative, it is simple to implement and is thus suitable for both research and clinical applications as an interesting alternative to the more sophisticated approaches.
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Contributor : Zoran Tiganj <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 10:00:09 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 12:24:05 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 10, 2012 - 2:21:41 AM


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Zoran Tiganj, Mamadou Mboup. A non-parametric method for automatic neural spikes clustering based on the non-uniform distribution of the data. Journal of Neural Engineering, IOP Publishing, 2011, 8 (6), pp.066014. ⟨10.1088/1741-2560/8/6/066014⟩. ⟨hal-00639412⟩



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