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Efficient Estimation of Phase Response Curves via Compressive Sensing.

S Hong, Q Robberechts, E De Schutter

1 Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology.

Journal of neurophysiology -: (2012)

Abstract - The phase response curve (PRC), relating the phase shift of an oscillator to external perturbation, is an important tool to study neurons and their population behavior. It can be experimentally estimated by measuring the phase changes caused by probe stimuli. These stimuli, usually short pulses or continuous noise, have a much wider frequency spectrum than that of neuronal dynamics. This makes the experimental data high dimensional while the number of data samples tends to be small. Current PRC estimation methods have not been optimized for efficiently discovering the relevant degrees of freedom from such data. We propose a systematic and efficient approach based on a recently developed signal processing theory called Compressive Sensing (CS). CS is a framework for recovering sparsely constructed signals from undersampled data and is suitable for extracting information about the PRC from finite but high dimensional experimental measure- ments. We illustrate how the CS algorithm can be translated into an estimation scheme, and demonstrate that our CS method can produce good estimates of the PRCs with simulated and experimental data, especially when the data size is so small that simple approaches such as naive averaging fail. The tradeoffs between degrees of freedom versus goodness-of-fit were systematically analyzed, which help us to understand better what part of the data has the most predictive power. Our results illustrate that finite sizes of neuroscientific data in general compounded by large dimensionality can hamper studies of the neural code, and suggest that CS is a good tool for overcoming this challenge.

PMID: 22723680 [PubMed]