Estimating the Number of Channels in Patch Recordings

Biophys J. 1991 Aug;60(2):433-9. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(91)82069-0.


The estimation of the number of channels in a patch was assumed to be equivalent to the estimation of the binomial parameter n. Seven estimators were evaluated, using data sets simulated for a range of parameters appropriate for single channel recording experiments. No single estimator was best for all parameters; a combination of estimators is a possible option to avoid the biases of individual estimators. All estimators were highly accurate in estimating n in the case that n = 1. For n </= 4 the simplest estimator, the maximum number of simultaneously open channels, was the best, For larger values of n the best estimators were Bayesian.