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J Neurophysiol. 2008 Sep;100(3):1668-76. doi: 10.1152/jn.00084.2008. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Fast and accurate detection of action potentials from somatic calcium fluctuations.

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Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Large-scale recording from a population of neurons is a promising strategy for approaching the study of complex brain functions. Taking advantage of the fact that action potentials reliably evoke transient calcium fluctuations in the cell body, functional multineuron calcium imaging (fMCI) monitors the suprathreshold activity of hundreds of neurons. However, a limitation of fMCI is its semi-manual procedure of spike extraction from somatic calcium fluctuations, which is not only time consuming but is also associated with human errors. Here we describe a novel automatic method that combines principal-component analysis and support vector machine. This simple algorithm determines the timings of the spikes in calcium fluorescence traces more rapidly and reliably than human operators.

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