Robust spike classification based on frequency domain neural waveform features

Chenhui Yang, Yuan Yuan, Jennie Si

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective. We introduce a new spike classification algorithm based on frequency domain features of the spike snippets. The goal for the algorithm is to provide high classification accuracy, low false misclassification, ease of implementation, robustness to signal degradation, and objectivity in classification outcomes. Approach. In this paper, we propose a spike classification algorithm based on frequency domain features (CFDF). It makes use of frequency domain contents of the recorded neural waveforms for spike classification. The self-organizing map (SOM) is used as a tool to determine the cluster number intuitively and directly by viewing the SOM output map. After that, spike classification can be easily performed using clustering algorithms such as the k-Means. Main results. In conjunction with our previously developed multiscale correlation of wavelet coefficient (MCWC) spike detection algorithm, we show that the MCWC and CFDF detection and classification system is robust when tested on several sets of artificial and real neural waveforms. The CFDF is comparable to or outperforms some popular automatic spike classification algorithms with artificial and real neural data. Significance. The detection and classification of neural action potentials or neural spikes is an important step in single-unit-based neuroscientific studies and applications. After the detection of neural snippets potentially containing neural spikes, a robust classification algorithm is applied for the analysis of the snippets to (1) extract similar waveforms into one class for them to be considered coming from one unit, and to (2) remove noise snippets if they do not contain any features of an action potential. Usually, a snippet is a small 2 or 3 ms segment of the recorded waveform, and differences in neural action potentials can be subtle from one unit to another. Therefore, a robust, high performance classification system like the CFDF is necessary. In addition, the proposed algorithm does not require any assumptions on statistical properties of the noise and proves to be robust under noise contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066015
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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