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Nat Neurosci. 2016 Aug 26;19(9):1165-74. doi: 10.1038/nn.4365.

Improving data quality in neuronal population recordings.

Author information

  • 1UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.
  • 2UCL Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, London, UK.
  • 3Centre for Systems Neuroscience, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
  • 4Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia, USA.
  • 5Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


Understanding how the brain operates requires understanding how large sets of neurons function together. Modern recording technology makes it possible to simultaneously record the activity of hundreds of neurons, and technological developments will soon allow recording of thousands or tens of thousands. As with all experimental techniques, these methods are subject to confounds that complicate the interpretation of such recordings, and could lead to erroneous scientific conclusions. Here we discuss methods for assessing and improving the quality of data from these techniques and outline likely future directions in this field.

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