Fast and accurate detection of action potentials from somatic calcium fluctuations

J Neurophysiol. 2008 Sep;100(3):1668-76. doi: 10.1152/jn.00084.2008. Epub 2008 Jul 2.


Large-scale recording from a population of neurons is a promising strategy for approaching the study of complex brain functions. Taking advantage of the fact that action potentials reliably evoke transient calcium fluctuations in the cell body, functional multineuron calcium imaging (fMCI) monitors the suprathreshold activity of hundreds of neurons. However, a limitation of fMCI is its semi-manual procedure of spike extraction from somatic calcium fluctuations, which is not only time consuming but is also associated with human errors. Here we describe a novel automatic method that combines principal-component analysis and support vector machine. This simple algorithm determines the timings of the spikes in calcium fluorescence traces more rapidly and reliably than human operators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Egtazic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Egtazic Acid / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / radiation effects
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Photons
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Thapsigargin / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Chelating Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid acetoxymethyl ester
  • Egtazic Acid
  • Thapsigargin
  • Calcium