FIND--a unified framework for neural data analysis

Neural Netw. 2008 Oct;21(8):1085-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neunet.2008.06.019. Epub 2008 Jul 3.


The complexity of neurophysiology data has increased tremendously over the last years, especially due to the widespread availability of multi-channel recording techniques. With adequate computing power the current limit for computational neuroscience is the effort and time it takes for scientists to translate their ideas into working code. Advanced analysis methods are complex and often lack reproducibility on the basis of published descriptions. To overcome this limitation we develop FIND (Finding Information in Neural Data) as a platform-independent, open source framework for the analysis of neuronal activity data based on Matlab (Mathworks). Here, we outline the structure of the FIND framework and describe its functionality, our measures of quality control, and the policies for developers and users. Within FIND we have developed a unified data import from various proprietary formats, simplifying standardized interfacing with tools for analysis and simulation. The toolbox FIND covers a steadily increasing number of tools. These analysis tools address various types of neural activity data, including discrete series of spike events, continuous time series and imaging data. Additionally, the toolbox provides solutions for the simulation of parallel stochastic point processes to model multi-channel spiking activity. We illustrate two examples of complex analyses with FIND tools: First, we present a time-resolved characterization of the spiking irregularity in an in vivo extracellular recording from a mushroom-body extrinsic neuron in the honeybee during odor stimulation. Second, we describe layer specific input dynamics in the rat primary visual cortex in vivo in response to visual flash stimulation on the basis of multi-channel spiking activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Database Management Systems
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Statistics as Topic / methods*
  • User-Computer Interface