Measuring the quality of neuronal identification in ensemble recordings

J Neurosci. 2011 Nov 9;31(45):16398-409. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4053-11.2011.


Technological advances in electrode construction and digital signal processing now allow recording simultaneous extracellular action potential discharges from many single neurons, with the potential to revolutionize understanding of the neural codes for sensory, motor, and cognitive variables. Such studies have revealed the importance of ensemble neural codes, encoding information in the dynamic relationships among the action potential spike trains of multiple single neurons. Although the success of this research depends on the accurate classification of extracellular action potentials to individual neurons, there are no widely used quantitative methods for assessing the quality of the classifications. Here we describe information theoretic measures of action potential waveform isolation applicable to any dataset that have an intuitive, universal interpretation, that are not dependent on the methods or choice of parameters for single-unit isolation, and that have been validated using a dataset of simultaneous intracellular and extracellular neuronal recordings from Sprague Dawley rats.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Electrodes
  • Electrophysiology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Information Theory*
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Probability
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Software
  • Statistics as Topic