Single-trial estimation of neuronal firing rates: from single-neuron spike trains to population activity

J Neurosci Methods. 1999 Dec 15;94(1):81-92. doi: 10.1016/s0165-0270(99)00127-2.


We present a method to estimate the neuronal firing rate from single-trial spike trains. The method, based on convolution of the spike train with a fixed kernel function, is calibrated by means of simulated spike trains for a representative selection of realistic dynamic rate functions. We derive rules for the optimized use and performance of the kernel method, specifically with respect to an effective choice of the shape and width of the kernel functions. An application of our technique to the on-line, single-trial reconstruction of arm movement trajectories from multiple single-unit spike trains using dynamic population vectors illustrates a possible use of the proposed method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Calibration
  • Electrophysiology
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology*