Mar 1, 1984

What is the meaningful measure of neuronal spike train activity?

Journal of Neuroscience Methods
C J Sherry, W R Klemm


Neuronal spike train activity is conventionally viewed in terms of certain measures of central tendency (mean or median of intervals between discrete events or mean rate of such events) and their associated measures of variability (S.D., skew, etc.). Less commonly, investigators will compute the probabilities of occurrence in an Information Theory context. Another rarely considered measure of spike trains is serial ordering. Seldom is more than one of these approaches applied to the same spike train, and we are unaware of any case where all 3 have been applied to the same train. In order to test the inter-relationships among these approaches, we examined the same spike trains with all 3 analytic methods. Measures of central tendency were taken from the original absolute interval values, whereas entropy and serial order (Markov order) were computed from the sequences of patterns of adjacent intervals, expressed in the same non-parametric format. We found that entropy (measure of uncertainty) did not correlate well with the degree of serial ordering (Markov order). Entropy also did not correlate well with measures of central tendency (median or mean interval, or impulses/s) nor with the variability of such measures. An inverse co...Continue Reading

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Electrophysiology (Science)
Nerve Impulses
Computers, Digital

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