A simple indicator of nonstationarity of firing rate in spike trains

J Neurosci Methods. 2007 Jun 15;163(1):181-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2007.02.021. Epub 2007 Mar 3.


The assessment of stationarity of firing rate in neural spike trains is important but is often performed only visually. Facing the growing amount of neural data generated by multi-electrode recording, there is a need for an automatic method to identify and disqualify spike trains with highly nonstationary firing rates. In this report, we propose a simple test of nonstationarity, associated with an indicator quantifying the degree of nonstationary in a spike train. This method is compared to the Mann-Kendall test of trend detection and the Runs test on simulated and real spike trains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Stochastic Processes*