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A new method for detecting neural interconnectivity

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We propose a class of counting process models for analyzing firing times of an ensemble of neurons. We allow the counting process intensities to be unspecified, unknown functions of the times passed since the most recent firings. Under this assumption we derive a class of statistics with their respective thresholds as well as graphical methods for detecting neural connectivity. We introduce a model under which detection is shown to be certain for long series of observations. We suggest ways to classify interactions as inhibition or excitation and to estimate their strengths. The power of the proposed methods is compared by simulating observations from artificial networks. By analyzing empirically obtained series we obtain results which are consistent with those obtained from cross-correlation-based methods but in addition obtain new insights on further aspects of the interactions.

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Received: 7 February 1996 / Accepted in revised form: 5 March 1997

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Utikal, K. A new method for detecting neural interconnectivity. Biol Cybern 76, 459–470 (1997).

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