Wavelet filtering before spike detection preserves waveform shape and enhances single-unit discrimination

J Neurosci Methods. 2008 Aug 15;173(1):34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.05.016. Epub 2008 May 28.


The isolation of single units in extracellular recordings involves filtering. Removing lower frequencies allows a constant threshold to be applied in order to identify and extract action potential events. However, standard methods such as Butterworth bandpass filtering perform this frequency excision at a cost of grossly distorting waveform shapes. Here, we apply wavelet decomposition and reconstruction as a filter for electrophysiology data and demonstrate its ability to better preserve spike shape. For the majority of cells, this approach also improves spike signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and increases cluster discrimination. Additionally, the described technique is fast enough to be applied real-time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Signal Detection, Psychological / physiology*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*