Open Access

An Unsupervised and Drift-Adaptive Spike Detection Algorithm Based on Hybrid Blind Beamforming

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20102011:696741

Received: 15 June 2010

Accepted: 16 November 2010

Published: 29 November 2010


In the case of extracellular recordings, spike detection algorithms are necessary in order to retrieve information about neuronal activity from the data. We present a new spike detection algorithm which is based on methods from the field of blind equalization and beamforming and which is particularly adapted to the specific signal structure neuronal data exhibit. In contrast to existing approaches, our method blindly estimates several waveforms directly from the data, selects automatically an appropriate detection threshold, and is also able to track neurons by filter adaptation. The few parameters of the algorithm are biologically motivated, thus, easy to set. We compare our method with current state-of-the-art spike detection algorithms and show that the proposed method achieves favorable results. Realistically simulated data as well as data acquired from simultaneous intra/extracellular recordings in rat slices are used as evaluation datasets.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Institute for Software Engineering and Theoretical Computer Science, Faculty IV, Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin)


© M. Natora and K. Obermayer. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.