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Review
, 46 (3), 265-72

A New Approach to Spike Sorting for Multi-Neuronal Activities Recorded With a Tetrode--How ICA Can Be Practical

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Review

A New Approach to Spike Sorting for Multi-Neuronal Activities Recorded With a Tetrode--How ICA Can Be Practical

Susumu Takahashi et al. Neurosci Res.

Abstract

Multi-neuronal recording with a tetrode is a powerful technique to reveal neuronal interactions in local circuits. However, it is difficult to detect precise spike timings among closely neighboring neurons because the spike waveforms of individual neurons overlap on the electrode when more than two neurons fire simultaneously. In addition, the spike waveforms of single neurons, especially in the presence of complex spikes, are often non-stationary. These problems limit the ability of ordinary spike sorting to sort multi-neuronal activities recorded using tetrodes into their single-neuron components. Though sorting with independent component analysis (ICA) can solve these problems, it has one serious limitation that the number of separated neurons must be less than the number of electrodes. Using a combination of ICA and the efficiency of ordinary spike sorting technique (k-means clustering), we developed an automatic procedure to solve the spike-overlapping and the non-stationarity problems with no limitation on the number of separated neurons. The results for the procedure applied to real multi-neuronal data demonstrated that some outliers which may be assigned to distinct clusters if ordinary spike-sorting methods were used can be identified as overlapping spikes, and that there are functional connections between a putative pyramidal neuron and its putative dendrite. These findings suggest that the combination of ICA and k-means clustering can provide insights into the precise nature of functional circuits among neurons, i.e. cell assemblies.

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