Applicability of independent component analysis on high-density microelectrode array recordings.
ABSTRACT: Emerging complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-based, high-density microelectrode array (HD-MEA) devices provide high spatial resolution at subcellular level and a large number of readout channels. These devices allow for simultaneous recording of extracellular activity of a large number of neurons with every neuron being detected by multiple electrodes. To analyze the recorded signals, spiking events have to be assigned to individual neurons, a process referred to as "spike sorting." For a set of observed signals, which constitute a linear mixture of a set of source signals, independent component (IC) analysis (ICA) can be used to demix blindly the data and extract the individual source signals. This technique offers great potential to alleviate the problem of spike sorting in HD-MEA recordings, as it represents an unsupervised method to separate the neuronal sources. The separated sources or ICs then constitute estimates of single-neuron signals, and threshold detection on the ICs yields the sorted spike times. However, it is unknown to what extent extracellular neuronal recordings meet the requirements of ICA. In this paper, we evaluate the applicability of ICA to spike sorting of HD-MEA recordings. The analysis of extracellular neuronal signals, recorded at high spatiotemporal resolution, reveals that the recorded data cannot be modeled as a purely linear mixture. As a consequence, ICA fails to separate completely the neuronal signals and cannot be used as a stand-alone method for spike sorting in HD-MEA recordings. We assessed the demixing performance of ICA using simulated data sets and found that the performance strongly depends on neuronal density and spike amplitude. Furthermore, we show how postprocessing techniques can be used to overcome the most severe limitations of ICA. In combination with these postprocessing techniques, ICA represents a viable method to facilitate rapid spike sorting of multidimensional neuronal recordings.
Project description:Neuronal spike sorting algorithms are designed to retrieve neuronal network activity on a single-cell level from extracellular multiunit recordings with Microelectrode Arrays (MEAs). In typical analysis of MEA data, one spike sorting algorithm is applied indiscriminately to all electrode signals. However, this approach neglects the dependency of algorithms' performances on the neuronal signals properties at each channel, which require data-centric methods. Moreover, sorting is commonly performed off-line, which is time and memory consuming and prevents researchers from having an immediate glance at ongoing experiments. The aim of this work is to provide a versatile framework to support the evaluation and comparison of different spike classification algorithms suitable for both off-line and on-line analysis. We incorporated different spike sorting "building blocks" into a Matlab-based software, including 4 feature extraction methods, 3 feature clustering methods, and 1 template matching classifier. The framework was validated by applying different algorithms on simulated and real signals from neuronal cultures coupled to MEAs. Moreover, the system has been proven effective in running on-line analysis on a standard desktop computer, after the selection of the most suitable sorting methods. This work provides a useful and versatile instrument for a supported comparison of different options for spike sorting towards more accurate off-line and on-line MEA data analysis.
Project description:Here we present an open-source R package 'meaRtools' that provides a platform for analyzing neuronal networks recorded on Microelectrode Arrays (MEAs). Cultured neuronal networks monitored with MEAs are now being widely used to characterize in vitro models of neurological disorders and to evaluate pharmaceutical compounds. meaRtools provides core algorithms for MEA spike train analysis, feature extraction, statistical analysis and plotting of multiple MEA recordings with multiple genotypes and treatments. meaRtools functionality covers novel solutions for spike train analysis, including algorithms to assess electrode cross-correlation using the spike train tiling coefficient (STTC), mutual information, synchronized bursts and entropy within cultured wells. Also integrated is a solution to account for bursts variability originating from mixed-cell neuronal cultures. The package provides a statistical platform built specifically for MEA data that can combine multiple MEA recordings and compare extracted features between different genetic models or treatments. We demonstrate the utilization of meaRtools to successfully identify epilepsy-like phenotypes in neuronal networks from Celf4 knockout mice. The package is freely available under the GPL license (GPL> = 3) and is updated frequently on the CRAN web-server repository. The package, along with full documentation can be downloaded from: https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/meaRtools/.
Project description:Extracellular recordings by means of high-density microelectrode arrays (HD-MEAs) have become a powerful tool to resolve subcellular details of single neurons in active networks grown from dissociated cells. To extend the application of this technology to slice preparations, we developed models describing how extracellular signals, produced by neuronal cells in slices, are detected by microelectrode arrays. The models help to analyze and understand the electrical-potential landscape in an in vitro HD-MEA-recording scenario based on point-current sources. We employed two modeling schemes, (i) a simple analytical approach, based on the method of images (MoI), and (ii) an approach, based on finite-element methods (FEM). We compared and validated the models with large-scale, high-spatiotemporal-resolution recordings of slice preparations by means of HD-MEAs. We then developed a model-based localization algorithm and compared the performance of MoI and FEM models. Both models provided accurate localization results and a comparable and negligible systematic error, when the point source was in saline, a condition similar to cell-culture experiments. Moreover, the relative random error in the x-y-z-localization amounted only up to 4.3% for z-distances up to 200??m from the HD-MEA surface. In tissue, the systematic errors of both, MoI and FEM models were significantly higher, and a pre-calibration was required. Nevertheless, the FEM values proved to be closer to the tissue experimental results, yielding 5.2??m systematic mean error, compared to 22.0??m obtained with MoI. These results suggest that the medium volume or "saline height", the brain slice thickness and anisotropy, and the location of the reference electrode, which were included in the FEM model, considerably affect the extracellular signal and localization performance, when the signal source is at larger distance to the array. After pre-calibration, the relative random error of the z-localization in tissue was only 3% for z-distances up to 200??m. We then applied the model and related detailed understanding of extracellular recordings to achieve an electrically-guided navigation of a stimulating micropipette, solely based on the measured HD-MEA signals, and managed to target spontaneously active neurons in an acute brain slice for electroporation.
Project description:Independent component analysis (ICA) is widely used in resting state functional connectivity studies. ICA is a data-driven method, which uses no a priori anatomical or functional assumptions. However, as a result, it still relies on the user to distinguish the independent components (ICs) corresponding to neuronal activation, peripherally originating signals (without directly attributable neuronal origin, such as respiration, cardiac pulsation and Mayer wave), and acquisition artifacts. In this concurrent near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)/functional MRI (fMRI) resting state study, we developed a method to systematically and quantitatively identify the ICs that show strong contributions from signals originating in the periphery. We applied group ICA (MELODIC from FSL) to the resting state data of 10 healthy participants. The systemic low frequency oscillation (LFO) detected simultaneously at each participant's fingertip by NIRS was used as a regressor to correlate with every subject-specific IC time course. The ICs that had high correlation with the systemic LFO were those closely associated with previously described sensorimotor, visual, and auditory networks. The ICs associated with the default mode and frontoparietal networks were less affected by the peripheral signals. The consistency and reproducibility of the results were evaluated using bootstrapping. This result demonstrates that systemic, low frequency oscillations in hemodynamic properties overlay the time courses of many spatial patterns identified in ICA analyses, which complicates the detection and interpretation of connectivity in these regions of the brain.
Project description:Substrate integrated planar microelectrode arrays is the "gold standard" method for millisecond-resolution, long-term, large-scale, cell-noninvasive electrophysiological recordings from mammalian neuronal networks. Nevertheless, these devices suffer from drawbacks that are solved by spike-detecting, spike-sorting and signal-averaging techniques which rely on estimated parameters that require user supervision to correct errors, merge clusters and remove outliers. Here we show that primary rat hippocampal neurons grown on micrometer sized gold mushroom-shaped microelectrodes (gM?E) functionalized simply by poly-ethylene-imine/laminin undergo self-assembly processes to form loose patch-like hybrid structures. More than 90% of the hybrids formed in this way record monophasic positive action potentials (APs). Of these, 34.5% record APs with amplitudes above 300??V and up to 5,085??V. This self-assembled neuron-gM?E configuration improves the recording quality as compared to planar MEA. This study characterizes and analyzes the electrophysiological signaling repertoire generated by the neurons-gM?E configuration, and discusses prospects to further improve the technology.
Project description:Spike sorting is a crucial step in electrophysiological studies of neuronal activity. While many spike sorting packages are available, there is little consensus about which are most accurate under different experimental conditions. SpikeForest is an open-source and reproducible software suite that benchmarks the performance of automated spike sorting algorithms across an extensive, curated database of ground-truth electrophysiological recordings, displaying results interactively on a continuously-updating website. With contributions from eleven laboratories, our database currently comprises 650 recordings (1.3 TB total size) with around 35,000 ground-truth units. These data include paired intracellular/extracellular recordings and state-of-the-art simulated recordings. Ten of the most popular spike sorting codes are wrapped in a Python package and evaluated on a compute cluster using an automated pipeline. SpikeForest documents community progress in automated spike sorting, and guides neuroscientists to an optimal choice of sorter and parameters for a wide range of probes and brain regions.
Project description:Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs) have emerged as a mature technique to investigate brain (dys)functions in vivo and in in vitro animal models. Often referred to as "smart" Petri dishes, MEAs have demonstrated a great potential particularly for medium-throughput studies in vitro, both in academic and pharmaceutical industrial contexts. Enabling rapid comparison of ionic/pharmacological/genetic manipulations with control conditions, MEAs are employed to screen compounds by monitoring non-invasively the spontaneous and evoked neuronal electrical activity in longitudinal studies, with relatively inexpensive equipment. However, in order to acquire sufficient statistical significance, recordings last up to tens of minutes and generate large amount of raw data (e.g., 60 channels/MEA, 16 bits A/D conversion, 20 kHz sampling rate: approximately 8 GB/MEA,h uncompressed). Thus, when the experimental conditions to be tested are numerous, the availability of fast, standardized, and automated signal preprocessing becomes pivotal for any subsequent analysis and data archiving. To this aim, we developed an in-house cloud-computing system, named QSpike Tools, where CPU-intensive operations, required for preprocessing of each recorded channel (e.g., filtering, multi-unit activity detection, spike-sorting, etc.), are decomposed and batch-queued to a multi-core architecture or to a computers cluster. With the commercial availability of new and inexpensive high-density MEAs, we believe that disseminating QSpike Tools might facilitate its wide adoption and customization, and inspire the creation of community-supported cloud-computing facilities for MEAs users.
Project description:Compared to linear independent component analysis (ICA), non-linear ICA is more suitable for the decomposition of mixed components. Existing studies of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data by using linear ICA assume that the brain's mixed signals, which are caused by the activity of brain, are formed through the linear combination of source signals. But the application of the non-linear combination of source signals is more suitable for the mixed signals of brain. For this reason, we investigated statistical differences in resting state networks (RSNs) on 32 healthy controls (HC) and 38 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients using post-nonlinear ICA. Post-nonlinear ICA is one of the non-linear ICA methods. Firstly, the fMRI data of all subjects was preprocessed. The second step was to extract independent components (ICs) of fMRI data of all subjects. In the third step, we calculated the correlation coefficient between ICs and RSN templates, and selected ICs of the largest spatial correlation coefficient. The ICs represent the corresponding RSNs. After finding out the eight RSNs of MCI group and HC group, one sample t-tests were performed. Finally, in order to compare the differences of RSNs between MCI and HC groups, the two-sample t-tests were carried out. We found that the functional connectivity (FC) of RSNs in MCI patients was abnormal. Compared with HC, MCI patients showed the increased and decreased FC in default mode network (DMN), central executive network (CEN), dorsal attention network (DAN), somato-motor network (SMN), visual network(VN), MCI patients displayed the specifically decreased FC in auditory network (AN), self-referential network (SRN). The FC of core network (CN) did not reveal significant group difference. The results indicate that the abnormal FC in RSNs is selective in MCI patients.
Project description:Recording extracellulary from neurons in the brains of animals in vivo is among the most established experimental techniques in neuroscience, and has recently become feasible in humans. Many interesting scientific questions can be addressed only when extracellular recordings last several hours, and when individual neurons are tracked throughout the entire recording. Such questions regard, for example, neuronal mechanisms of learning and memory consolidation, and the generation of epileptic seizures. Several difficulties have so far limited the use of extracellular multi-hour recordings in neuroscience: Datasets become huge, and data are necessarily noisy in clinical recording environments. No methods for spike sorting of such recordings have been available. Spike sorting refers to the process of identifying the contributions of several neurons to the signal recorded in one electrode. To overcome these difficulties, we developed Combinato: a complete data-analysis framework for spike sorting in noisy recordings lasting twelve hours or more. Our framework includes software for artifact rejection, automatic spike sorting, manual optimization, and efficient visualization of results. Our completely automatic framework excels at two tasks: It outperforms existing methods when tested on simulated and real data, and it enables researchers to analyze multi-hour recordings. We evaluated our methods on both short and multi-hour simulated datasets. To evaluate the performance of our methods in an actual neuroscientific experiment, we used data from from neurosurgical patients, recorded in order to identify visually responsive neurons in the medial temporal lobe. These neurons responded to the semantic content, rather than to visual features, of a given stimulus. To test our methods with multi-hour recordings, we made use of neurons in the human medial temporal lobe that respond selectively to the same stimulus in the evening and next morning.
Project description:In order to understand how retinal circuits encode visual scenes, the neural activity of defined populations of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) has to be investigated. Here we report on a method for stimulating, detecting, and subsequently targeting defined populations of RGCs. The possibility to select a distinct population of RGCs for extracellular recording enables the design of experiments that can increase our understanding of how these neurons extract precise spatio-temporal features from the visual scene, and how the brain interprets retinal signals. We used light stimulation to elicit a response from physiologically distinct types of RGCs and then utilized the dynamic-configurability capabilities of a microelectronics-based high-density microelectrode array (MEA) to record their synchronous action potentials. The layout characteristics of the MEA made it possible to stimulate and record from multiple, highly overlapping RGCs simultaneously without light-induced artifacts. The high-density of electrodes and the high signal-to-noise ratio of the MEA circuitry allowed for recording of the activity of each RGC on 14±7 electrodes. The spatial features of the electrical activity of each RGC greatly facilitated spike sorting. We were thus able to localize, identify and record from defined RGCs within a region of mouse retina. In addition, we stimulated and recorded from genetically modified RGCs to demonstrate the applicability of optogenetic methods, which introduces an additional feature to target a defined cell type. The developed methodologies can likewise be applied to other neuronal preparations including brain slices or cultured neurons.