Understanding the role of rhythmic dynamics in normal and diseased brain function is an important area of research in neural electrophysiology. Identifying and tracking changes in rhythms associated with spike trains present an additional challenge, because standard approaches for continuous-valued neural recordings-such as local field potential, magnetoencephalography, and electroencephalography data-require assumptions that do not typically hold for point process data. Additionally, subtle changes in the history dependent structure of a spike train have been shown to lead to robust changes in rhythmic firing patterns. Here, we propose a point process modeling framework to characterize the rhythmic spiking dynamics in spike trains, test for statistically significant changes to those dynamics, and track the temporal evolution of such changes. We first construct a two-state point process model incorporating spiking history and develop a likelihood ratio test to detect changes in the firing structure. We then apply adaptive state-space filters and smoothers to track these changes through time. We illustrate our approach with a simulation study as well as with experimental data recorded in the subthalamic nucleus of Parkinson's patients performing an arm movement task. Our analyses show that during the arm movement task, neurons underwent a complex pattern of modulation of spiking intensity characterized initially by a release of inhibitory control at 20-40 ms after a spike, followed by a decrease in excitatory influence at 40-60 ms after a spike.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Applied Mathematics