Neural data science: accelerating the experiment-analysis-theory cycle in large-scale neuroscience

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2018 Jun:50:232-241. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.04.007.


Modern large-scale multineuronal recording methodologies, including multielectrode arrays, calcium imaging, and optogenetic techniques, produce single-neuron resolution data of a magnitude and precision that were the realm of science fiction twenty years ago. The major bottlenecks in systems and circuit neuroscience no longer lie in simply collecting data from large neural populations, but also in understanding this data: developing novel scientific questions, with corresponding analysis techniques and experimental designs to fully harness these new capabilities and meaningfully interrogate these questions. Advances in methods for signal processing, network analysis, dimensionality reduction, and optimal control-developed in lockstep with advances in experimental neurotechnology-promise major breakthroughs in multiple fundamental neuroscience problems. These trends are clear in a broad array of subfields of modern neuroscience; this review focuses on recent advances in methods for analyzing neural time-series data with single-neuronal precision.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Data Science*
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurosciences*


  • Calcium