3 years ago

Inferring oscillatory modulation in neural spike trains

Robert E. Kass, Kensuke Arai
Oscillations are observed at various frequency bands in continuous-valued neural recordings like the electroencephalogram (EEG) and local field potential (LFP) in bulk brain matter, and analysis of spike-field coherence reveals that spiking of single neurons often occurs at certain phases of the global oscillation. Oscillatory modulation has been examined in relation to continuous-valued oscillatory signals, and independently from the spike train alone, but behavior or stimulus triggered firing-rate modulation, spiking sparseness, presence of slow modulation not locked to stimuli and irregular oscillations with large variability in oscillatory periods, present challenges to searching for temporal structures present in the spike train. In order to study oscillatory modulation in real data collected under a variety of experimental conditions, we describe a flexible point-process framework we call the Latent Oscillatory Spike Train (LOST) model to decompose the instantaneous firing rate in biologically and behaviorally relevant factors: spiking refractoriness, event-locked firing rate non-stationarity, and trial-to-trial variability accounted for by baseline offset and a stochastic oscillatory modulation. We also extend the LOST model to accommodate changes in the modulatory structure over the duration of the experiment, and thereby discover trial-to-trial variability in the spike-field coherence of a rat primary motor cortical neuron to the LFP theta rhythm. Because LOST incorporates a latent stochastic auto-regressive term, LOST is able to detect oscillations when the firing rate is low, the modulation is weak, and when the modulating oscillation has a broad spectral peak.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005596

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