Noise-robust unsupervised spike sorting based on discriminative subspace learning with outlier handling

Mohammad Reza Keshtkaran, Zhi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. Spike sorting is a fundamental preprocessing step for many neuroscience studies which rely on the analysis of spike trains. Most of the feature extraction and dimensionality reduction techniques that have been used for spike sorting give a projection subspace which is not necessarily the most discriminative one. Therefore, the clusters which appear inherently separable in some discriminative subspace may overlap if projected using conventional feature extraction approaches leading to a poor sorting accuracy especially when the noise level is high. In this paper, we propose a noise-robust and unsupervised spike sorting algorithm based on learning discriminative spike features for clustering. Approach. The proposed algorithm uses discriminative subspace learning to extract low dimensional and most discriminative features from the spike waveforms and perform clustering with automatic detection of the number of the clusters. The core part of the algorithm involves iterative subspace selection using linear discriminant analysis and clustering using Gaussian mixture model with outlier detection. A statistical test in the discriminative subspace is proposed to automatically detect the number of the clusters. Main results. Comparative results on publicly available simulated and real in vivo datasets demonstrate that our algorithm achieves substantially improved cluster distinction leading to higher sorting accuracy and more reliable detection of clusters which are highly overlapping and not detectable using conventional feature extraction techniques such as principal component analysis or wavelets. Significance. By providing more accurate information about the activity of more number of individual neurons with high robustness to neural noise and outliers, the proposed unsupervised spike sorting algorithm facilitates more detailed and accurate analysis of single- and multi-unit activities in neuroscience and brain machine interface studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number036003
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the funding support by NUS Young Investigator Award R-263-000-A29-33 and the startup fund provided by the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Copyright:
Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • data clustering
  • discriminative learning
  • extracellular signal
  • low SNR
  • machine learning
  • spike sorting
  • unsupervised learning

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